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SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES AND HARD WORK PAYING OFF
Real estate is big business in Hong Kong, and KC Leung keenly spotted a largely untapped market during the 2000s: a user-friendly web portal for property listings. “When I was studying at UST, the internet was just beginning to take off, and even though I majored in engineering, I also learned how to code websites in HTML, and that obviously helped a lot when I decided to start 28Hse,” KC explains. This was also a vital lesson for both him and to HKUST alums: you never know when a peripheral knowledge might change your life later.
Since its founding in 2008, 28Hse continues the dominant player in the city’s online real estate classified listings, and KC has seen many a competitor come and fall away, saying, “28Hse has built a very substantial presence in HK and earned the trust of the top developers here; the locals also like how our website and business works, so it’s hard for others to come in and challenge us.” It is also for this reason KC hasn’t been seriously tempted to expand overseas, as other regional markets have matured already with established property websites that enjoy the same competitive advantages as 28Hse does in Hong Kong.
When asked what other strengths 28Hse enjoys, in addition to the broad existing client and user bases, KC points to price stability of his platform, and the time and money his business invests to produce bespoke materials for HK customers. Sensing the trend towards video marketing, 28Hse hired their own video production staff to produce informative and unbiased clips – this contrasts with other portals that show videos that are sponsored by real estate firms and thus not perceived as objective by prospective buyers and renters.
While KC is a veteran now and leaves most of the website and smartphone app coding to his younger staff, the BEng 1999 grad is always happy to check their work. In the meantime, 28Hse continues from strength to strength even during this pandemic, as it announced its acquisition of Squarefoot’s Hong Kong assets last November. Being geared towards an English-speaking audience in HK, KC is excited about the new market opportunities this new development will build for 28Hse. As 28Hse’s enduring success demonstrates, we can bet KC and his team will continue to work hard to stay on top of the game.