Selman Özgün, who created an international brand in the name of "Helmann" from the Antalya-based Özgün Group, explains the secret of success as "I am both a self-trained and educated person of the business life. Businessman is a good life player. " With Selman Özgün, we had an interview about Antalya's potential rising business fields, real estates and construction.
* First, I would like to ask you how you started your business life.
Ticaretle geçimini sağlayan bir ailem vardı. Ticareti çocuk yaşlarda, babama yardım et- meye başladığımda keşfettim ve hep çok sevdim. Üniversiteyi bitirdikten sonra aile şirketimizin yönetimini devraldım ve büyüttüm. 22 yıldır gayrimenkul sektöründe faaliyet göstermekteyiz. Şu anda ‘Özgün Group’ isimli şirketler grubunun yönetim ku- rulu başkanlığını sürdürmekteyim. Babam H. Ali Özgün sağlık sorunlarından dolayı emekli oldu. Ama tecrübelerinden faydalanmaya çalışıyorum her fırsatta. “Allah onların gölgelerini başımızdan eksik etmesin” derim hep.
* What are your fields of activity?
Our main field of activity is generation of construction projects in the regions where added value will be created with land production and parceling practices. Potential investors of the projects that we have developed are foreigners and Turkish people living abroad.
* Where was the Özgün Group established? Is it a product of Antalya?
We were founded in Antalya. Today, we have started to do projects in various parts of Turkey. We currently have ongoing projects in the center of Antalya, Belek, Didim, Kuşadası and Bodrum. Real estate is a sector that needs trust. In particular, foreign investors prioritize confidence while tending towards long-term investments. When we were developing and growing Özgün Group, we made studies focusing on branding. In order to create an international brand based in Turkey, we created the 'Helmann' brand. Now, we are working in the majority of European countries, especially in England, Switzerland and Germany.
* What kind of a brand is Helmann? How did it emerge?
For many years, we have been operating with real estate development projects under the name of Özgün Group. The experience I have gained in the European countries, where our activities continue, taught me the necessity of branding. That's why I had long-term research in the field of the trademark I have created in my PhD studies. I created the Helmann brand starting from my name. When Selmann appeared to be a registered brand, I decided on Helmann. My goal was to create a strong image for real estate projects abroad, attract foreign investors who want to invest in Turkey, change their skeptic perception and make our presence felt in international markets in the best way. Our objective was to bring investors to the country as a world brand that is born and operating in Turkey. We achieved this to a great extent.
* What is the effect of the progress that occurs in the digital world at a dizzying speed on your activities?
Previously, our travel count was far more. With the digital transformation, we happen to make online meetings with our staff. We have reached significant convenience in terms of correspondence, online data transfer and visual presentation. It is also easier to improve ourselves in this environment where resources are open. We are not only limited to Turkey but also follow the development of the industry in the world.
* What is the secret of your progress in the real estate sector on an upward growth trend?
It is a big plus for me to be raised in a family that is rooted in trade. I always think: "Do not feel happy when you are successful, do not worry when you are unsuccessful." Because both slackness and sadness affect people negatively. A fighting spirit is very important to succeed. If you know what you do well, even if the conditions are bad, you keep doing your business without giving up; success will eventually come.
* What are your thoughts about business life?
I am both a self-trained and educated person of the business life. That’s why I feel very lucky. As the potential of our business grew, I felt like I had to develop myself and I always tried to create opportunities. If you are actively involved in business life, you have to be ready for everything at all times. You are in deep trouble, if you haven’t had very tough days. Because a businessman should experience failure. To overcome challenges in business life, it is necessary to be successful and determined in stress management. “What could a man spending his days in front of television experience?” A businessman is a good life player. Because changes in business life can sometimes be even faster than nature.
* What are the main problems of the real estate sector?
The most important cost item for real estate companies has become the 'land'. Therefore, the sector has focused on models that will reduce costs on lands. My opinion in this regard is: Construction producers should consider land financing, which constitutes 50-55% of the cost in large cities, within the framework of producer financing. In other words, the banks should finance the real estate development companies as producers. I think that if the land loans are assessed within the scope of producer financing, the cost share of the land in housing can be reduced to 30%, and this practice will decrease the housing prices and increase the demand. Moreover, companies that develop and sell the property abroad should be included in the scope of the exporter. With the mortgage lending of up to 30 years, as in Europe, the sector will grow steadily and healthily. Real estate buy-sell prices should be one-to-one. For this, changes in fees and tax rates must be made. Hürriyet / 17.11.16 / (Ceren DENİZ)