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“If only I had a piece of ground for a toothpick…”This thought of the past has made me now.” – Chun Jae-wan, CEO of Reliance Co., Ltd.,

“If I had a piece of ground to put a toothpick in…”This thought of the past has made me now.” As the Corona 19, which has spread around the world, has entered a prolonged period after more than six months, a growing number of Koreans are hoping for a reverse migration to Korea, which is recognized as a quarantine model country.

This phenomenon is fully confirmed by the increase in online communication of Korean residents and counseling of immigration companies. Currently, Koreans in the U.S. are more interested in Korean real estate than ever before. Introducing an American-style luxury rental house favored by the first generation of immigrants in Pyeongtaek, he met with Chun Jae-wan, CEO of Reliance Co., Ltd.,

who made headlines there and heard related stories.

How did you start the construction business?

He was poor as a child, and went through changes like a roller coaster. His father and mother were from Hwanghae Province and Kaesong, so they had no foundation in Korea and suffered a lot from escaping. There was no electricity in the house. The father brothers emigrated to the United States, Argentina, and Brazil in the 1970s and have settled in Los Angeles. I stayed in the U.S. as a young man and entered college in Arizona in 1984, but I couldn’t afford to continue studying. At that time, high tuition fees were not enough for parents and were less than the conditions for student loans. Having been forced to return home after all, I lamented that there was no land for toothpicks in Korea, just like the common grumbling of ethnic Koreans. If I had such land, I thought my relatives would not have left the country. It was a time when even a rebellious temperament appeared.

I had to earn money because I couldn’t afford to study. The idea that there was no land for toothpicks did not leave my mind. Since I was young, my grandfather’s Incheon bonded warehouse and construction related matters were imprinted on me, but eventually I started the construction project.

How did you start a business without money?

At first, I had to remodel a shabby building because I didn’t have money. As long as there were no problems with the equipment, it could be as good as wallpaper and floorboard, so no big money went into it. Still, as I worked hard on small things, the scale grew bigger. As they grew bigger, they lost their already completed projects.

Mother taught me that the ground hardens after the rain. Jacob, who appeared in the Bible, was robbed of his wells by the Philistines, but just as he succeeded in the end, I grew up overcoming difficulties. Now I am grateful for the loss of business many times.

What was the most memorable event?

Before I knew it, my business grew and I built a large officetel. However, there was a big accident where the generator of the model house broke down. There was a loud bang and the room became a black blackout. At that time, I thought, ‘Oh, this is ruined,’ and ‘Where are we going to start all over again.
When I fixed the generator after half an hour, I was surprised. This is because the lady’s guests, who were writing the contract, remained in the position without moving a single person. When there was a scream in the blackout, I thought everyone was out.

At that moment, I realized that Korean people were obsessed with real estate. He was also confident that the real estate business would succeed. On that day, 360 households were sold in just three hours.

Why did you become interested in Pyeongtaek?

Eight years ago, I visited Pyeongtaek at the request of an acquaintance to look over the land. It was the first place I’ve been to in my life. But suddenly, I met an acquaintance who is famous as a rich man in Ilsan at the country real estate agency. He said he purchased buildings and land there. I started studying about Pyeongtaek from then on. I went around Pyeongtaek alone by selling my legwork for months. It has been eight years since the U.S. military base was established in Pyeongtaek,

How was your business with Americans?

In 2014, all the houses in Pyeongtaek were built and all the houses were built. Land prices have also begun to rise. Small and medium-sized businesses across the country flocked to the rental business for the U.S. military. As there are only shabby houses near the unit, the U.S. military quickly completed the contract when a new house was built. The yield was up to 17%.

However, Korean-style houses gradually lost popularity as the volume increased. Our company considered size and style to suit American culture from the beginning. Why do you focus on Korean residents in the U.S. for the sale of rental houses? Among those who received the new apartments were Korean residents. With a personal network in the United States, a change of thought occurred. So, I turned my attention to the U.S. from three years ago. If I can contract the 104 households that I currently sell with Korean residents across the U.S., I have a special network. New business opportunities will continue. I expect to get out of the frog in the well.

What did you feel during the seminar tour in America?

In 2018, I met many Korean residents there during my full-fledged tour of the Americas. I knew that they were deeply hurt in connection with real estate investment in Korea. Until now, there have been so many crooks from Korea. It’s been a long time since I’ve caused a lot of damage by deceiving people that there are no land and buildings.

As I found out later, Korean residents were suspicious of me as well. As I saw the guests off after the seminar, I overheard their conversation, saying, “That guy takes another bite. The building is complete and rental is in progress,” he said.
I haven’t slept for two days since the word caught my ear. In the meantime, I wondered if it was all in vain to go all over the U.S. Since then, I felt sorry for the suspicious Korean residents on the tour.

However, the number of customers increased for each and every one of them, and some investors came to Korea to check the so-called fact. It is a situation where trust is being built even though it is difficult.

Please forecast the real estate market in Korea.

Look at the real estate graph for the past 10 years. The figures have never fallen as the government wants. Just as the total market value of the stock will rise, so will housing prices.


한국언론인총연대 상임회장 /KEP GROUP Chairman / Simul TV KOREA 부회장 / 뉴스스탠드 발행인 /진학뉴스 발행인 / 뉴욕일보 한국지사장 / 아리랑 1045 발행인/

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