No to African and Middle Eastern tenants? Why..??

Recently, while I was around town talking to one of my clients, we spontaneously brought up the issue about renting out to Africans, China Chinese, and Middle Easterns. Not that this is new or even something we want to talk about but recently, there seemed to be this spark from residents, especially condominiums’ about the refusal of renting out to specific races, especially the Africans. She was quite insistent on not having her unit rented out to the above categories. I’m not too particular about this but having her asking me what is my view on this is a little awkward.

To be honest, a tenant is a tenant. As long as they entered the country officially and legally and most importantly, able to pay the rentals on time, who are we to turn them away? I would usually request for some background details before proposing the potential tenant to my client. Although not much we can get from these profiling work, at least some due-diligence was executed nonetheless.

Yes, we (estate agents) have encountered or somewhat heard from our counterparts about how some of these tenants wrecked the place, lousy paymasters and sometimes, even disappeared after awhile running away with some of the items from the house/condominium. But this happens even with local tenants. Why are we looking at the black dot on the whiteboard rather than acknowledging the white spaces around it that more or less represent a healthy rental market from these categories of people?  We can’t generalize the entire nation just because one or few of them behave that way.

I have really good Middle Eastern tenants and they can be the nicest and most flexible tenants to work with. They also pay their rentals on time too. Well, about wrecking the place, it’s a 50/50 thing. After a few years staying in the same place, especially more than 2 years, using the same items and utilizing every space available, it is fair to say that the wear and tear usually turn out slightly worse than those after a year. Some are born more ‘heavy handed’ (more careless and reckless) hence a little rough in handling the appliances and such. Therefore, nothing much you can do about it but to dig into the Tenancy Agreement and re-highlight the T&Cs which would trigger the security deposits.

And to be honest, yes, I’ve heard and seen that the locals are terrified when they are in close proximity with the Africans. They are pretty imposing at times and the stuff we heard about some of them do make the case. But generally, they are friendly people. At least they greet the people they meet in the lift.

But demanding the owners to refuse renting to these races by the resident committee or the condominium management at certain extent is really out of place in Malaysia. It’s a blatant act of racism if you ask me. Maybe I don’t know what happened between these folks and the Africans, but it doesn’t warrant them to issue a blanket order as pictured above. Coupled with 2017 KPI of 0% rentals to the Africans some more… that’s is a little absurd. Really people?? Seriously?

Take a look at the following video. You sort of feel for the African guy looking for a place.

Is there racism in the Malaysian property rental market? Three R.AGE journalists of different races called the same 30 listings to find out

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156301014844741&id=95743749740

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Then again, I’ve come across owners and landlords that are very accommodating too. They acknowledged the current soft market and think nothing more than to be able to rent out their units asap. Yes, they do have concerns about the type of tenants tenanting their place but if they try to be picky and discriminating as what we discussed earlier, it would only eat into their pockets and making life difficult for themselves.

Agents like us play an important part in profiling these potential tenants to the owners. Commission aside. We are the bridge for the tenants and the landlords. We have a job to do besides just introducing the units and getting the deal over the line. The good sense of responsibility and accountability separates a good agent and those fly-by-nights.

I am more curious if the banner of requesting the owners not to rent to the Africans, if at all legal and law abiding? Who sanctioned the move and did they seek the proper authority for execution before they do so? What would the impact be for the owners, the agents, the tenants and the nations?

Racists and racism is a strong word. We would avoid it at all cost if we could. There is no room for that everywhere. Think about our actions and what we can do to mitigate the issues before going down the path of branding ourselves as racists. And for the agents, please, even if you are representing an owner who doesn’t want to be associated with such tenants, at least, be more tactful when declining the offer. We all have emotions and feelings too.

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Our latest open house at Selekoh Tunku, Bukit Tunku last weekend

Selekoh-Tunku

What a weekend. We just had our latest open house at Bukit Tunku over the weekend and what an experience.  Weeks of preparations and arrangements finally paid off with a successful event. We would like to thank the office for the support, especially the Boss, Nieyko, Stephanie (our newbie support), Naz for your ‘cheerleading’ and all who came-by pre and during the open house.. Thank you so much!

And of course, the main figure here is Ms.Billie, my partner for this open house. Thank you for this opportunity, for me to experience my first Bukit Tunku open house.

We were all very excited leading to the day. Flyers, signboards, newspaper ads, and invitations. For me at least, it is not common to have open house around this area and open to all to look at one of Kenny Hills’ (before it was renamed to Bukit Tunku) classic bungalows. So, it is both a marketing and exposure experience for us.

The Selekoh Tunku address has some prominent residents lining up the street too. It would make a great neighborhood and furthermore, this is pretty close to the Jalan Langgak Tunku area – the happening place in Bukit Tunku. Fancy having a nice breakfast at the Kenny Hills Baker or having your lunch at the sumptuous Kenny Hills Bistro or just simply hop over to Sids at night for a quick alcohol fix? It’s just 1 min away.

Over the past 2 days, we had not many visitors or buyers. However, the quality of the visitors supersedes the lack in numbers. Most of them, when asked, came to know about the open house via the sign boards around Bukit Tunku. The interesting thing is, we do have keen individuals and some offers to bring back to the owner.  In fact, there was one who came back 3 times to view the unit! Talk about loving it. But of course, the negotiation is still in its early stage. We just hope for the best.

We ended the open house on Sunday afternoon and we have a total of 2 offers to be brought back to the owner. What an eventful 2 days and we got away with it even though we had it on a King’s birthday. Heh.

There you go. Our next chapter is already in the works and after today’s meeting with the team, boy, do we have a BIG one coming your way to Bukit Tunku very soon! So, stay close to this blog/facebook update and get to know more about what’s going to happen.

Ciao!

Good to know who is who and their roles…

Was a little busy for the past few months.  Been following up few low-hanging listing and would like to close these before my deserved trip to the North next week. Things have been kind to me lately and hopefully after our Bukit Tunku open house this weekend, it gets better!

Been running around collecting listing and meeting with owners recently and noticed that some if not all, are still a little fuzzy about the agents that are representing them. And to top it off, some agents (possibly newer ones) are also somewhat unclear about their roles. It is a good time to learn together now and I have just the infographic here to illustrate that nicely. Take a look, guys.

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So, just to summarize, a listing agent is the one representing the owner of the house/unit. If he gets a buyer and closes the deal by himself, he/she gets the full (2% commission – that’s our fee) from the sale price. And if a buyer’s agent is in the mix, the 2% get shared equally between the two. We call this a ‘co-broking or co-agent’ deal.

If a non-agent (means he/she is not officially registered as a REN/REA) is representing a homeowner and wishes to get something out of it, he/she is only entitled to a referral fee. Usually, these are the relatives or friends of the owner. Normally it’s a 10% of the total commission received by the buyer’s agent – although it may vary for different agencies. So in this case, the buyer’s agent somewhat act as a listing agent too.

Now, let’s go out and tell our owners, buyers and fellow agents what we can achieve together! If you wanna go fast, do it alone… if you wanna go far, do it together!


Infographic courtesy of http://www.Forbes.com | http://www.Redfin.com | PHA Realty

Malaysia 60th Independence Day

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This post is late! Gosh.. 1 more day to go. We are almost reaching the end of the month of August. And what does that bring us to..? Yes. It’s Merdeka time again! It is the 60th independence day for Malaysia since 1957. On the 31st of August every year, we Malaysian celebrates our ‘Merdeka Day (independence day) with a public holiday for all and usually a national parade of performances and activities in the central of Kuala Lumpur.

31 August 1957

On the night of 30 August 1957, crowds gathered at the Merdeka Square (Padang) in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 p.m. and joined members of the Alliance Party’s youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness.[2] On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.[3] The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of “Merdeka” by the crowd.[2][3] Tunku Abdul Rahman later gave a speech hailing the ceremony as the “greatest moment in the life of the Malayan people”.[2] Before giving the address to the crowd, he was given a necklace by representatives of the Alliance Party youth in honour of this great occasion in history, with a map of Malaya inscribed on it. The event ended at one in the morning the next day.

On the morning of 31 August 1957, the festivities moved to the newly completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet, and citizens.[4] The Queen’s representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence.[4] Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of “Merdeka!” seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played by a military band and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honour of this great occasion.[4]

The day followed with the solemn installation of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, at Jalan Ampang, and the first installation banquet in his honour in the evening followed by a beating retreat performance and a fireworks display. Sports events and other events marked the birth of the new nation.

I’m proud of my country Malaysia despite some of the ongoing frictions between the government and opposition and a certain fiasco that was blown out wide. But this country is well known for its peace and harmony and shall be forever seen that way for many years to come.

Why I liked Malaysia? The people of course! We are friends of friends of every race. The food! What you can’t find in Malaysia..? The places of interest – historic, sandy white beaches, highlands, Metropolitan, and forests… you name it! The culture – games, dance, food, performances and even the architectures. Finally… grateful that there aren’t any violent natural disasters (wishing all my fellow friends from Hong Kong a safe recovery from the recent typhoons Hato & Pakhar) to hit the country.

To those who are new to Malaysia or just arrived, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay and stay around for the celebration. There’s so much to do that’ll keep you busy the whole weekend! Avid Estates & The Fresco Apartment would like to wish Malaysia, A Happy Merdeka Day 2017!!

So, let us welcome 31st August 2017 with 3 cheers …. “Merdeka’… “Merdeka”…”Merdeka”!!


Merdeka details courtesy of Wikipedia

Wikipedia needs help!

wikipedia-use-education

Dear all my fellow friends and readers. Recently, Wikipedia is calling out to all its users/readers/contributors for some donation to their project which I personally think is pretty dire and deserve our highest of attention.

For the past 16 years, Wikipedia has been offering free online content (encyclopaedia) to everyone and have been the ‘go-to’ site for most of us in search of quick information. Although not entirely accurate for some ambiguous topics, most of the information by the public and anonymous writers are pretty close to its definition and would be a good enough source for anyone needing a quick understanding of the searched subject.

So, please do your part to contribute back to this wonderful project and more importantly, the society by giving a little spare change to keep this running.

The following link directs you to their donation page and its modes of payment:

Ways to Give

For the love of free information! God bless.


 

Feng shui and real estates

Feng shui, believe it or not, appears to be on many homeowners mind when purchasing their dream homes. Be it getting a bungalow, a terrace or simply a plot of land, feng shui play a big part in deciding whether the particular unit is suitable to the buyer in terms of liveability or prosperity it brings to the owners.

Most will not understand fully how it works when explained to them by the masters, yet tend to follow whatever that is thrown to them just to be sure that the opposite does not fall on them. Why do we believe in feng shui anyway?

What is feng shui (風水)?

Feng shui or fengshui (pinyin: fēngshuǐ, pronounced [fə́ŋ.ʂwèi] (About this sound listen)) is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. It is closely linked to Taoism. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English.

Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The feng shui practice discusses architecture in metaphoric terms of “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi.

There is no replicable scientific evidence that feng shui’s mystical claims are real, and it is considered by the scientific community to be pseudoscience.

Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass.

fengshui

House owners typically believe that a home is where they shall live and function throughout their tenure. Therefore, it has to be ‘spiritually’ compatible with their energies, making sure the house is free of bad ‘qi (氣)’ that could potentially inflict unwanted events to happen to the family. Hence, most of these home buyers would consult a master (feng shui sifus) to ‘feel’ the house and probably recommend certain adjustments before moving in.  Some would even suggest abandoning the purchase altogether. We will get to that later.

As mentioned earlier, most of us do not know much about feng shui. The rituals are passed on from generations and word of mouth. There could be certain coincidental cases where either a home owner suffered a sequence of bad events throughout or the exact opposite with the help of feng shui, and it became an omen to the rest that one should heed the belief against their ‘八字 – birth profile’.

There are many things revolving around feng shui and it is a complex representation of the Ying and Yang that one believes that would interconnect them with the forces of nature and relate them to one another.

A very basic understanding usually involve not having the toilet/washroom right opposite the stove/cooking area, placing bed(s) fronting the door or bathroom, having too many electrical items in the bedroom and so on..  But these are just the tip of what feng shui is all about. Even the cardinal directions of the house also play a part of good and bad feng shui for some. Really, as long as one believes in it, almost anything and everything poses a question to compliment its feng shui.

As a real estate agent, I don’t dwell too much on feng shui but sometimes, we do encounter stuff like this and mostly it doesn’t end up well for us (LOL). Some buyers or even tenants are particularly particular about whether the house is ‘harmonious’ with them and thus, a need to ‘feng-shui-lized’ the place before any transactions take place.

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For instance, recently we encounter a buyer who did a last-minute pull out from a purchase due to a bad review from his ‘reliable’ sifu. We also don’t really know why this was not performed before he placed the deposit for the house but in the end, the deal fell through. What actually happened u ask?

Well according to the sifu, the said house was not suitable for the buyer. That was the first hit. Why? The main entrance to the house is not perfect in feng shui sense. And it is not grand enough for incoming guests. Second, the kitchen is not spacious enough as it serves as an outlet for ‘food distribution’ around the house. Thirdly, the master bedroom ‘rest area’ (the bed area) is smaller than the ‘work area’ (wardrobe and shower area) which represents the owner toiling more than having his deserved rest.

Fourthly, the house is practically poor in its ‘qi’ distribution around the house. This is not a great ‘feature’ for wealthy businessmen – having bad ‘qis’ flowing around the house.

The final blow was that the house is facing a common pool. And according to calculations, the pool signify a potential ‘桃花運 – luck in love’ to the owner. Which again, does not bode well with the overall prosperity aura of the house to its wedded owners.

There you go. Deal off. Probably I may sound a little sour over the whole saga but say what you like. When negativity is uttered even in its slightest form bearing no solid proof that the house has no connection whatsoever with the potential owner,  it is also best said that our luck left us right there and then. It is cold and it is harsh, but when unseen forces come to play, we can only acknowledge the cruel end and be subdued by those who claim to foresee irrelative events, which also translates to their income with no remorse to their predictions, over other’s fortune.

Nevertheless, feng shui masters/sifus will always be in demand for some and they will strut their stuff when called upon.  And we agents, we can only do our part and to be as professional as we can and make sure our clients deserve the best home and the one that ‘complement’ them the most!

What is my 八字 again…? LOL


Feng shui quote courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui

Rhombus Bangsar – Luxurious defined

Was at Bangsar late Thursday evening for a viewing with a British expat. This time, it was the Rhombus, Bangsar. For those who are not familiar with this development, it is actually located along Jalan Penaga next to The Cascadium. It is one of Benéton Properties’ pride in Bangsar after their well received ‘Bangsar Peak’.

Do take a look: http://rhombusbangsar.com/

The building is one of the most contemporary and stylish ones you’ll see around the area. It is nothing short of looking imposing and the dark themed architecture made it looked almost like a modernised version of Barad-dûr tower from LotR : The Two Towers. The sharp and planate feature of the building also did enough to distinguish itself from the rest of the condominiums around it.

There are 25 units across 13 storeys. Yes, a PH on the 13th for the big boss. Rhombus is not one of those typical condominiums around Klang Valley where you can have multiple owners from the units. This is a not-for-sale establishment and the to-let can only be managed through Benéton Properties themselves. The rental starts at RM17,000 and goes up according to the level. Most of the units offer 180 degrees of KL view and it’s remarkably close to BSC (Bangsar Shopping Complex). A very good location for expats indeed.

Myself and the tenant were particularly impressed with the workmanship of the building and its finishing from each of the units we managed to view.  The lower level units are fitted with a more light-colored theme fittings and cabinets whereas the higher ones are with darker themed furnishing.  It also comes with an extra huge balcony, probably 10′ X 20′?. And oh, my tenant preferred the lower units.

She and the hubby would be back again soon to finalise the rental as they need to make an urgent trip back to the UK this weekend. Well, we will arrange the necessary and when they are back, we will be ready to conclude another rental for a satisfied tenant!

On a quick note, Rhombus also won itself the 2013 Malaysia Institute of Architects Gold Award (Multiple Residential, High Rise) and the 2014 FIABCI Malaysia Property Award for Building of the Year (Residential, High Rise).