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All We Need is Real Estate GaGa

Author: Bill Barnett. Category: News Column - Property Report SEA. Posted: 1st Jun 2012

In the age of Hollywood rehashed superhero sequels, I can't help but ponder the lack of a truly memorable face in today's current state of real property. Bright shiny technology has the omnipresent image of Brand Jobs.

But let's face it, if I have to sit through one more corporate PowerPoint presentation and see one of Steve's framed quotes, just take me out back and put two bullets in the back of my head like a Mexican drug cartel deal gone bad. That given, I have tasted the Kool-Aid and am writing this epic on a MacBookAir.

Professional tennis is a great example of world gone bland in a vanilla sky kind of way. Mix and match Ken and Barbie's dot the circuit, grunts rather than insults are heard on the court and matches are measured in dog years instead of hours.

In past days, when I couldn't sleep I'd throw on either the Panda channel or use the handy tropical aquarium screen saver on the laptop, but now if I need to get comatose it's as easy as tuning into a grand slam tennis event.

This bizarrely brings us back to real estate. Where are the real characters and captains of enterprise? Rockefeller and his ilk have seemingly gone out of fashion. Donald "having a bad hair day" Trump, meanwhile, is entrenched in a gritty battle over a golf course in Scotland. I saw Braveheart, and I'm not sure about the Don's chances with that unruly lot.

Yes, the age of high profile property developers with a public image the size of Marina Bay Sands seems to be out of pace with modern trends. Sure we all secretly admire the Goldman Sachs guys, but it's a subject only discussed behind closed doors.

In effect, the global financial crisis has pushed capitalism into a dirty little closet space, where you put your old running shoes. We've become wimps, with egos that assimilate wet towels or leaves blowing in the wind. Over the last three - four years, real estate has skyrocketed all over Asia. Arising middle class means that not only can everyone afford to fly, but they now have a condo when they arrive.

What we really need is a Lady Gaga of real estate. Now there's a girl who has it going on. Forget Jobs and those innocuous black t-shirts, the G Brand bucks the trend in her fashion frills and funky face paints. She's no stranger to putting together a management team, tagging a brat pack full of under achievers called "the little monsters" into a formidable wild bunch. A string of big promotions- she's become a one woman brand that stretches well beyond her mind wrenching tunes to encompass every aspect of media and online social networking power to create a billion dollar business.

Steve Jobs' brand was his vision, Gaga's is herself. Perhaps what real estate needs is a visionary that can fill the space in between. There's a vacancy on the top floor.

Any takers?

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C9 Hotelworks Founder and Managing Director Bill Barnett is a noted columnist, author and leading authority on travel trend, hotels and property.

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