A few weeks ago, I visited the exhibition of the latest URA Draft Master Plan 2019 at URA Centre. Strolling through the gallery, I was amazed at what Singapore has been able to accomplish in just one generation since its independence in 1965, transforming from a swamp-covered island to what the country is today. The Master Plan ensures it never rest on its laurels with its bold imagination of what is possible over the next 10-15 years.
Bernard Tong studying the Draft Master Plan 2019 at the URA Centre (Pictures: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
I enjoyed the hour-long presentation by an eloquent NUS intern. By now, we are accustomed to the headline news - development of Greater Southern Waterfront, additional housing for CBD and going underground to free up surface land. But the 2019 Master Plan actually goes beyond these and is centred on five key themes - liveable and inclusive, mobility, local and global connectivity, rejuvenation and sustainability. Each theme is given adequate consideration and serves as the pillar for what Singapore aspires to be.
At times, the plan for EdgeProp Singapore resembles the microcosm of the Master Plan’s themes. Being the new-kid-on-the-block in the space we are competing in, we have to be inclusive, building a platform that caters to the needs of the different stakeholders (property-seekers, developers, builders, agents) and collaborating with relevant partners. For instance, we partner with DBS where we share our property listings and proprietary Edge Fair Value calculator to provide instantaneous indicative valuations. Our original content is also distributed by our content partners like Yahoo and Newsloop.
In our second year, we discovered that we have more users on mobile devices than desktop, and this trend will likely continue. That is when we decided to double-down our resources on being mobile-first, prioritising mobile technology over desktop to build scalable platform for mobility. Today, our users on mobile application are six times more engaged and send 1.5 times more enquiries.
(Picture: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
As a property hub, EdgeProp plays an important role to improve connectivity of information. The annual EdgeProp Excellence Awards, which is now entering its third year, was created to recognise local and international developers which strive to build better homes. This year in May, we will be hosting our very first International Property Show, a curation of the most discernible overseas properties for investment.
My favourite 2019 Master Plan theme is “Rejuvenating Familiar Places”. With the frantic pace of development, it is sometimes easy to lose our sense of identity. Therefore, it is admirable to have in place a plan to retain Singapore’s unique values by rejuvenating familiar and nostalgic places such as Holland Village, Toa Payoh and Dakota Crescent, towns that have seen and will see tremendous progress over the coming years.
Rejuvenation is central to our plan at EdgeProp to produce a series of informal, lifestyle content to portray fresh perspectives on communal living in these towns.
Bernard Tong envisioning the future
As I took a break from the URA tour on a makeshift chair of the alphabet ‘E’, which forms part of the word “DREAM”, I couldn’t help but ponder what the next 10-15 years at EdgePropwill look like. Since this is our 100th issue, I also took the time to envision where we will be when the 200th, 500th and 1,000th issues come around. That’s when I realised that we must never waver from our underlying principles in building a sustainable and resilient organisation: editorial integrity, delivering insightful content, prioritising readers/users first and retaining key decision makers.
Lastly, I want to thank our readers for being with us over the last 100 issues. We apologise for any mistakes we have made along the way and will always, always strive to do better. We have come a long way since we first started, yet we are only scratching the surface in terms of helping our users find their dream homes. To get there, we must be bold in our imagination, ambitious in our dreams, relentless in our execution, and develop our very own Master Plan as the compass for future growth.