My name is Srun Mengkiang, and this is my blog about real estate in Cambodia. I started this blog because of my love and passion for my career with IPIN (International Property Investment Network), a company I joined in late 2020 as a digital marketing advisor. Today, I am the sales and marketing director at IPIN.
I was in online media, TV and digital marketing for ten years before joining IPIN and working on its social media marketing and branding. During the start of the epidemic, many traditional marketing activities could not help realtors reach their new customers. It’s when I entered the picture. At that time, I was not familiar with real estate and how real estate agents operated.
It was a Sunday when I first came to see the team of about 60 members who were texting and calling clients on their phones. Some of them were even leaving the office to meet clients with cheerful smiles on their faces.
After a meeting, I came to know that some of these agents were calling a long list of prospective clients, and they would call around 100 people every day from that list. Their workday would also include doing booth activities at different supermarkets, coffee shops, and restaurants. They also had to deliver flyers and get in touch with people to recommend different properties to them.
I was not sure if social media would make any significant contribution to the team, but seeing them being so passionate at work motivated me to do my best with this team. At IPIN everyone works with smiles even on Sunday and let’s hear my story first before we get to know more about my career at IPIN.
Early Life – Spent during the Civil War
I was born in 1983 in Campong Cham province, some 100km from Phnom Penh. My father was a bicycle mechanic and fisherman, and my mother was a housewife. I’m the third child of 7 siblings, but I grew up as the middle child since my younger brother and sister died of dengue fever because there was no proper healthcare or medical treatment in Cambodia during the 80s or 90s. Our village was also not very developed; there were no cars or motorcycles. I remember that the villagers used to transport agricultural products to Phnom Penh by boat.
Only a few teens in our village were lucky enough to finish primary school and continue their studies in middle school. I was fortunate to go to middle school, but that’s when my family’s financial condition worsened. My mother fell seriously ill during my 1st year of middle school in 1995 when I was merely 12 years old. My father sold everything he could to take her to Phnom Penh for medical treatment.
Since we were broke, my father, older brother, and I used to grow vegetables on the land next to the Mekong River. At that time, we didn’t even have enough money to buy a small water pump, so the three of us would carry the water from the river to water the vegetables twice a day – once before sunrise and once before sunset.
We did this for three years. I still remember how sleepy I used to be around 4 am while carrying the water up the river bank. After three years of toiling away and growing vegetables, my middle school years finally ended. I somehow managed to pass the final exam and was prepared to go to high school.
1998: $1-2$ Per Week for High School
There was only one high school in our district, and only two students passed the exam for high school in my village in 1998 – me and another fellow.
Even with our tough financial condition and the lack of working individuals in the family, my parents decided to send me to high school in the district town. Students from different communities came to that high school. Some stayed in Pagoda, and others lived in a sharing house in a nearby villager as it had a low rent.
I was living with a villager for less than $100 per year. On Sundays, I would leave my home to head to the district with all the rice and dry food I could bring along. My parents would only give me $1-$2 to spend during the whole week, and I would return home on Friday evening. It was even harder than the time I spent during middle school because even though I worked hard, I ate properly. I could only go to high school for a year before giving it up.
1999: I Became a Monk
After finishing my first year in high school, I spent my summer vacations at home. I was sitting with my family when my parents expressed their desire to see one of their sons becoming a monk as our belief says it’s a good deed.
I have one older brother and sister and one younger brother and sister, and I’m the middle child. Since my older brother did not want to become a monk and my younger brother was too young, I decided to leave high school and become a monk. After all, I was the right age and had the heart to follow that path.
The years 1999 and 2000 were the most peaceful years of my life. I studied Buddha Dharma for a whole year, and from 2001 to 2003, I studied at a Buddhist school. In mid-2003, I started my associate degree in English and finished my education in late 2005, which is also when I left my monkhood.
Job Hunting Struggles
From 2005 to 2007, I could not find any full-time jobs. I worked as a waiter in a restaurant at night and part-time English teacher during the day. I could not find a better job as I did not have the skills most companies needed. Till early 2007, I couldn’t use any computer programs, and I didn’t have a social media account as I had not familiarized myself with the internet.
In early 2007, I got my first full-time job as a movie translator at a TV station, and that’s when I managed to start my third year of bachelor’s degree and graduated in late 2009. I changed my career to be a full-time English teacher in late 2008.
Joining the Online World
I changed careers to be an online news translator in 2010, and from there, I started my acquaintance with the online world – email, social media, blogs, etc. I continued my education in online journalism, locally and abroad.
In 2013, I was promoted to deputy editor-in-chief, which allowed me to dive deeper into online news and advertising. I continued down that path and became a TV News program producer in 2015. That job helped me learn more about branding and advertising, from online to broadcasting media.
I moved to digital marketing within the finance sector for one year before I landed the job at IPIN in late 2020. I have not looked back since then.
At IPIN, we are a big family of 90 members from different backgrounds, such as real estate, research, sales, marketing, finance, media, production, and more. Together, we form a professional team of individuals who serve clients from their hearts for a profitable long-term investment in real estate.
My role here at IPIN is to build our brand so that it stands out in the market. I also work closely with the research team and developers to make sure our clients invest in the best real estate opportunities.
Thanks for Being Here
Lastly, I really appreciate that you have read this far, and I want to thank you deeply for showing an interest in this blog.
I’m here for you as a realtor and a friend. I will respond to every email and listen to you whether you want to own or rent a property in Cambodia or need a friendly ear.
I want to help people find and buy their beloved home or enjoy a lovely stay in a rented property in Cambodia.
Thank you for reading my story!