Ricky Phoon - Property Developer Went From 0 to $140M in 8 Years

Ricky Phoon is a daring developer and runs Melbourne-based company BEKL. With a depth of experience in finance, negotiation, development management and acquisitions, Phoon’s experience has been instrumental in the delivery of a number of complex and high-end luxury projects, including a $25 million luxury mansion in Toorak, a $40 million luxury apartment in Hawthorn and the management of a $70 million lifestyle hotel development in Carlton. 

Join us on this episode as we discuss how 2020 slapped him in the face, but he has invigorating plans to get him back on his feet— the social butterfly isn’t going to let a pandemic keep his business from taking flight! We’ll talk about his laser-sharp focus on the student accommodation market and his determined plans to get it to snap back. We also delve into his entrepreneurial family’s life in Hong Kong, where the property market is a rapid roller-coaster but occasionally lets you off to do some shopping... followed by some more shopping. Plus, hear how one of his early businesses bubbled over as he took off like a shot before learning to walk! 

When They Started


Development Projects

$140 million+

Main Strategy

Property Development

How to Party Your Way to Pandemic-Proof Success With Ricky Phoon

We’re back with BEKL’s Ricky Phoon. Rapidly expanding his portfolio, he is now responsible for BEKL’s financial and technical operations and is highly regarded for his negotiation and networking skills. BEKL now has three projects currently operating or under construction, having recently announced its partnership with IHG on new development, voco South Melbourne, slated to open in 2023. 

It may surprise you to find out that Phoon didn’t grow up around development, or even plan to work in this area— what he studied at uni had no relation to building or architecture, but he found a way to connect it all together! 

 In this episode you’ll hear about Phoon’s fateful trip where the intention was to buy a bottle of wine but he ended up walking away with more than he intended— and no, it wasn’t a hangover! He delves into his eventful experiences building and developing purpose built student accommodation and explains how it’s different to typical uni accommodation, and tells a tale of when the circus came to town, except the circus was a brigade of builders, and town was his development. 

Resources and Links Mentioned

Note: Some of the resources may be affiliate links meaning I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
Happy Face
When I was in Hong Kong, there is actually no way I can learn property, to be honest. You can learn property as a normal buyer, right? It's like you buy and sell because Hong Kong apartment market is quite crazy, like a roller coaster.
- Ricky Phoon

Want to contact Ricky Phoon?

BEKL creates quality, innovative, long-standing spaces that place an emphasis on the human experience, with sustainable and urban renewal practises an intrinsic part of the design process. With a diverse portfolio spanning Victoria, all projects combine ideal location with an emphasis on future-proofing the property, providing sound investment opportunities to purchasers and investors alike. BEKL combines rich international experience with a modern, Australian way of working and a localised approach to development; the rebranding of Amazon Property Group's Australian operation to BEKL in 2020 sees a new generation carry forward Amazon Property Group's values in a localised, Australian context. 
Contact Ricky Phoon
Happy Face
There are people, a lot of project managers, I know that they feel that 'how come I know so much?' Because I was at the very bottom to start off with.
- Ricky Phoon

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