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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Ottomans Rising: a Hit for Istanbul Productions

The new Netflix release, ‘Empires Rising: Ottoman’ is achieving notable new ‘firsts’ for Istanbul and the Turkish film industry.  During the first full week of streaming, the six episode drama-documentary ranked 4th among top trending TV shows in the United States overall, briefly 2nd among Netflix shows, and 6th in binge viewing.

The impact of positive media projection upon property values in a specific location needs no explanation: the examples are evidenced far and wide. The more important question about ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’ is whether that success is repeatable. If so, then Istanbul as a property investment location could well be on its way to assuming the status of a top global investment location, on par with the likes of Miami, London, Hong Kong, etc. So the question remains, what potential is there for a repeat success?

In terms of funding and finance (issues that have plagued all sectors of economic activity in Turkey) the impetus derives from Netflix desire to grow its global subscriber base into local audiences in the international market.  That condition appears a likely probability to continue.

Bridging the gap between funding and output, was ProSieben and their Red Arrows International production studios’ local production company Karga Seven Pictures, with operations in Los Angeles and Istanbul. This is a combination of ‘best of breed’ production management, and local ‘on-location’ execution capability, combined with the creative talents spearheaded by a Turkish director having grown and perfected his skills in the US, Emre Sahin. As co-producer, co-writer, and director, this bundle of skills, knowledge, and experience is the essential ingredient of success, not to be under-estimated.

How many Emre Sahins are there, to replicate the formula? Perhaps a few, that remains to be seen. This is the key question. Business practices in the film industry in Turkey have yet to out-grow the decrepit business practices of a by-gone age when media production was a marginal low value-added economic sector. Fortunately the nature of Netflix economics means the production was insulated from the box office distribution wrangling that plagues the local sector. Perhaps the success of ‘Ottomans Rising’ will hasten the adaptation of practices and standards applied in more advanced international markets, thereby improving production efficiencies and output quality.

This is the key to releasing Istanbul’s wealth of creative resources and natural, historic, & cultural treasures, both as a location, and as a source of creative inspiration.  Abundance in these categories is self evident: if you do not know, take a look.

The location is un-equalled for a period drama set in the era. The massive walls of Constantinople are sufficiently challenging to defy the best director of photography, but do provide ample choices.

Technical production skills, crews, and equipment are in ample supply with adequate competency: the challenge is in the management. Artistic competency has never been in short supply in this largest metropolis, and centre of civilisation for two millennia.

Successful viewing rankings were ensured by strategic casting choices, with two idols leading the cast, Tuba Büyüküstün and Damla Sönmez, once again glowing for their grateful and growing international audiences, there was always a high probability of stellar success.  Seeing is believing: take a look.

A bold and inspired casting choice in the selection of a young actor to play the very big role of near-unfathomable stature, rising star Cem Yigit Uzümoglu captured audiences with a laudable and endearing performance, as Sultan.

For his counterpart, the Emperor, was a performance delivered by Tommaso Basili, with stature and grace, the only member of cast not sourced directly from the local Istanbul creative pool.

The supporting cast comprise a rich pageantry of talents well known locally, most debuting for international audiences, accomplished local faces thus emerge gracefully into the inernational spotlight.  Reflecting the international context of Istanbul's creative vivacity by the ability to deliver international faces from the vibrant local talent pool, statistically: Eva Dedova's ratings achieved the cast's greatest increase opening week; while Ryan Ol’s emergence as a new face has clearly attracted notice of audiences. Rankings for the idols and male lead broke Turkish records, achieving international ratings commensurate with Hollywood's greatest stars.

The production is notable for its apparent success in unifying different international audiences for Turkish productions, having grown over the last five years through the Middle East, and then Spain, Latin & South America. Achieving Netflix international objectives, Ottoman Rising is capturing viewing audiences in Northern Europe and North America, extending around the world to include India and Asia.

Successful international audience attraction on such scale, combined with the production cost differentials of the Istanbul location, both above and below the line, is surely catching the attention of production executives focused on their bottom line.

The above ingredients, combined, produced a successful production. Can the formula be repeated? The sequel and new productions are eagerly anticipated.

Buying Property in Turkey: Key Facts

Buying a Property in Turkey? The facts are explained here... almost everything you need to know. Provided by the Land Registry Governate of the Republic of Turkey. It has the Facts and is an essential reference guide... 

But what it doesn't tell you may be more important... for that information, click here to get 'The Guide to Buying Property in Turkey a Safer, Smarter, Better Way...

And click here for information about the Key Facts and other Government Publications about Citizenship Investment Program in Turkey, by Property Investment.

Turkish TV Series Stimulates Demand for Citizenship Property Investment...

The 'Rise of Empires: Ottoman' tops audience viewing ratings in the US and World Wide...

Until now, no locally produced Turkish film or TV series targeted at export to the international market has achieved notable success.

That has just changed, with the stellar success of the Netflix drama-documentary series ‘The Rise of Empires: Ottoman’… topping audience viewing rated in the USA and World Wide…

This success can be expected to result in additional demand for the Istanbul real estate market, corresponding to similar past correlations.  And result in a corresponding increase in Turkish Citizenship by Property Investment applications, with popularity increasing World Wide.

This very interesting development deserves a closer look, in more detail, in another post.

Property prices in Istanbul over the last six months have been stable, but still offer investors bargains if they can find liquidity-induced distress sales. During the last 18 months the real estate sector in Turkey has been depressed. So the market welcomed the recent policy of reducing the investment threshold for citizenship to USD 250,000. This has helped stimulate demand from international buyers, many hailing from the Middle East.

Many of these buyers are motivated by Turkish TV showing wonderful Istanbul life style and property, have come to buy their dream home for that reason alone ! Over the last five years Turkish TV series have grown increasingly popular in international markets such as the Middle East, South America, and India. These programs are local Turkish productions produced in Turkish, and dubbed in foreign languages for export. 

Now that a Turkish production targeting foreign audiences has proved a stellar success, the impact on the perception of Turkish assets, and real estate, from an investment persepctive, deserves re-evaluation...


Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Property Market in Turkey: How Local Turks Buy

House hunting on the internet is an ideal way to find property. And Turks in Turkey have special on-line property portals where they go to find properties- there are 2-3 large ones and three or more others that have more than a million properties listed for sale- the whole market. And the portals provide on-site message channels for the buyers to communicate directly with the sellers.

This is the property market in Turkey. It is so well-developed, that there are now several new on-line markets offering variations on the basic theme. To say these markets are ‘popular’ is an understatement: this is now the ‘norm’ for the last five years or more. These markets are where more than 87% of all property in Turkey is bought and sold. Why so much? To put it simply, there is no other way or better way to buy or sell property in Turkey. These are the ‘For Sale by Owner’ on-line property markets in Turkey. These aren’t small experimental fly-by-night start up operations. These are huge business owned by Turkiye’s largest holding companies quoted by NASDAQ on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. This is WHERE and HOW the local Turks buy and sell property in Turkey.

Have a question ? Please ask in the comments below, email me, or ask me on Quora...

Monday, August 26, 2019

The New Ways of Turkey's Property Market in the Digital Age

A foreign property owner selling and wanting to find a buyer needs first to come to terms with the reality of the market today, in the internet age, a digital world.  And doing so will open their eyes to many advantages in the new way property is bought and sold, compared to the old ways. Not only can the foreign seller find a Turkish buyer faster, there is also no need to deal with an agent and their lies, and no need to pay huge commissions for the privilege…! 

Wake up, people….

So how does a foreigner that doesn’t speak Turkish get into the ‘real’ property sector in Turkey and deal with everything that needs doing? The best way to start is an easy solution- it’s the starters’ kit at… the Sellers Tool-kit for Residential Property in Turkey. This tool kit provides help, guidance, support to D.I.Y Do-It-Yourself selling of your property on the new digital platforms; because all the platforms are designed and working this way:  Peer – to – Peer. They work so that buyers and sellers can deal direct with each other…there’s no place for agents…! Desperate agents have wedged their way in, but they are not welcome by buyers or sellers. For example, the name of the biggest on-line exchange, when translated into English means… ‘For Sale Direct from the Owner’. These on-line exchanges are NOT small experimental fly-by-night start up operations. These are huge business owned by the Turkiye’s largest holding companies quoted on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. 

Sellers, what are you waiting for ? (Besides months and months for your agent and then maybe if they somehow trick one more foreigner into believing their sales pitch illusions, as a buyer, you are rewarded by paying the huge commission…!)

Monday, August 19, 2019

So Who Are These Turkish On-Line Buyers…?

Yes, in recent years the incoming waves of foreign buyers of Turkish property has subsided. Today the largest segment of foreign buyers are the Citizenship buyers, but they can not purchase a property being sold by a foreign owner, so not much hope of a foreign owner finding a buyer there. 

So if there are few buyers in the English speaking foreign sector of the real estate market in Turkey, what about in the Turkish language speaking sector?

Surprisingly, and thankfully, that is a whole different world. And it is a world full of better and smarter ways to do real estate business, with many new innovations, now as advanced as anywhere in the world, and more so,  than most places. 

To understand why, it helps to know a vital statistic: Turkiye has the third highest on-line mobile phone usage in the world. Yes that’s right, ahead of countries like the UK, Netherlands, Russia….

And the second statistic is even more remarkable: less than 1/3 of the population in Turkey has ever been on the internet…!

So how is it possible for both to exist? What does it mean? Quite simply it means that 1/3 of the Turkish population are using on-line solutions far more intensively and pervasively than anywhere else in the world. So who are these people in this 1/3 of the population?

These people are the university educated, i-phone packing, upwardly mobile classes, and upper income segments of society. Yes, that’s right…! These are the best potential buyers of property a seller could ever wish to find. And it is this segment of society that uses the digital on-line property markets in Turkey.

So when these well-educated, clever, successful and wealthy on-line users want to find and buy a property, what reason would they have for going to a local corner shop ‘emlakci’, or on-line English-speaking ‘emlakci’ agent, and suffering all the nonsense, lies and tricks emlakcis are reputed and disdained for?  These sensible buyers just do not do it…!  Most times if a buyer finds out an agent is involved, the buyer will turn off and never have anything further to do with the agent: never mind the property being seen- no chance!

Instead, these smart Turksih buyers deal directly with the property owners that are selling, at the on-line Turkish language property portals. If you are a foreigner with a property to sell in Turkey, wouldn’t you rather be selling to these affluent Turkish buyers directly at an on-line portal, instead of waiting and wondering about your English speaking ‘emlakci’ ?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Finding a Buyer: Reality vs Illusion...

Finding a buyer for Turkish property has been challenging for foreign owners in the last few years. This is partly because the number of foreigners buying real estate in Turkey has dwindled significantly. And the English speaking sector of the Turkish real estate market is comprised primarily of foreign buyers relying on English. 

Recent changes to Citizenship Investment criteria to $250,000, has resulted in an increase of foreign buying from new and different parts of the world, but these buyers can not purchase property owned by a foreigner. Foreign owned property does not qualify for citizenship investment purposes.

So if there are few buyers of foreign owned Turkish property in the English speaking foreign sector of the real estate market in Turkey, how can a seller get into the ‘real’ Turkish language speaking sector to find Turkish speaking buyers? 

The solutions fortunately are several,  and not limited to going to your local English speaking neighbour-hood agent or online agent. In the ‘real’ Turkish speaking property market in Turkey no one uses agents anymore, and hasn’t for 5-10 years. This is because there are smarter, faster, and better solutions. 

For example there are on-line portals - no not agents websites-  these are on-line exchanges in the Turkish language, where buyers and sellers login to communicate with one another in private:  no agents. Sellers list their properties, and buyers can find what they want with the very good search engines the on-line exchanges have. There are several on-line exchanges, and several on-line ‘e-Bay type’ variations, and more. Together they comprise more than 95% of all real estate listings in Turkey.   

That’s where the market is, and that’s the reality. Dealing with English speaking foreign agent’s is just an illusion….