Mahmoud Al Boghdady Back to Basics

CEO Mahmoud Al Boghdady is confident enough to name his property marketing company ‘Joud’ (generosity), in a global real estate climate that is anything but that. He knows selling has gone back to basics, where success means simply delivering the most valuable product and the best possible service. Enigma discovers how…

Entering Joud’s sleek Zamalek office you’ll likely notice several characteristics: ‘nice interior decor’ (by Aura), ‘diverse project offerings’ (‘diversity’ being one of Joud’s core company values), and ‘well-trained friendly staff’ (the primary priority of CEO Mahmoud Al Boghdady). What you’ll be surprised to discover is that this well run outfit is brand spanking new. Joud was officially launched at last month’s Next Move Real Estate Exhibition. Yet it’s obvious Al Boghdady is hardly a novice in his field. As of their launch date, Joud already markets a wide variety of projects: Pyramids View, Stone Park in Kattameya, Fanadir Villas and Abu Tig Apartments in Gouna, Cape Citadel in Sahl Hasheesh (Red Sea) and Samadaya’s in Marsa Alam – and they’re looking to expand!

Joud’s early success is due to their foolproof strategy. In a global real estate market struggling to recover from the inevitable crash that followed wild speculation and unsustainable growth, Joud went back to the fundamentals by deciding to market handpicked development projects of actual value. And in real estate, actual value translates to location, location, location. Combine that with the highest quality for the best price, partnering with trusted developers and ensuring accessibility, and you have a product that is guaranteed to sell. These qualities led Joud to select projects like ROOYA’s Stone Park in Kattameya. Headed by Hesham Shoukry, one of the most respected developers in Egypt, ROOYA decided to incorporate a huge petrified stone tree into their construction plan rather than destroying it, making Stone Park inimitable. Another exciting project is Pyramids View, an upscale development just off the ring-road, five minutes from the Pyramids and three minutes from the New Egyptian Museum.

Pyramids View represents one of the crucial shifts in Egyptian real estate, to which Joud is particularly in-tune: catering to the upper middle class, the top 25 percent of income earners, rather than just targeting the top 5 percent. Pyramids View maintains the exclusive feel of a luxury residence yet some units are as small as 110 square metres, making them financially accessible to most of Egypt’s upper middle class. It is this population for whom the supply of housing has still not caught up with the demand. “The young execs are starting to finance their own homes rather than relying on their families,” Al Boghdady explains. “This is the group that will most benefit from the implementation of mortgage policies in Egypt.”

True, mortgages got off to a rocky start in Egypt, as the credit crisis caused the Egyptian central bank to lock down on banks to prevent them from extending mortgages to homeowners unlikely to pay their debts. But Al Boghdady has faith that the infant mortgage practice in Egypt, like Egypt’s real estate sector in general, is destined for great success. Although sales will likely remain slow in 2009, this may have less to do with an actual decline than with the fact that property holders in Egypt are unlikely to sell if prices stay low. “It’s the culture, people would rather wait than sell at a lower price.” And Al Boghdady foresees a rise in sales by the first quarter of 2010. “The market should strengthen steadily as a reflection of actual gains. No more unsustainable growth.”

In the meantime, he and his team are putting out feelers for investors, not only in Egypt but all over the MENA region and beyond. Initially Joud was the marketing arm of the Osoul Holding Company, but it has now transitioned to an independent company; partly because the current climate for real estate marketing is quite strong. As Al Bohdady explains, “It’s better for us, because property developers know they need to invest more in selling their product. Ultimately only the most effective companies will be left, and we’ll be paid well for the work we do.”

Al Boghdady describes Joud as a “boutique” real estate marketing company, “This does not mean expensive,” he clarifies immediately. “It means we select a product that is perfectly suited to our client.” This newcomer to Egyptian real estate marketing started strong, and with a stellar team and capable leadership, it would seem that destiny will be generous with Joud.

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