Luxury condominiums

A hectic but satisfying day!

It was Friday 1:00pm and I’m rushing to Fraser’s Place KLCC to fetch my client for viewings in Mont’ Kiara. There were about 5 units to show and as soon I got him onboard the car, we headed straight to the first viewing. It was Kenny Heights Villa @ Sri Hartamas.

These villas are situated right behind Plaza Damas and part of Kenny Heights Estates. These are freehold units that were completed about 7 years ago.  There are only 49 units in a gated and guarded vicinity. The linked bungalows are really nice and the unit we viewed came fully furnished with a RM11,000 p/m price tag. It was a pretty good deal as the unit comes with modern fittings and furniture with a private pool on the top floor. Overall, the tenant liked it and took some pictures for further review. They could somewhat do better with some signboards leading to the estate as one may get confused around the area though.

Next stop, Sunway Vivaldi. This is one condominium around Mont’ Kiara that I’m more familiar with as I have a friend staying here and often frequent the place whenever there’s a gathering. However, I have no luck getting a to-let unit here so I have to get one of my closer agent friend to arrange one for us.  This is also a fully furnished unit with a RM 11,000k p/m price tag. It is a nice unit with the pool view. The tenant loved the condominium and quite impressed with the multi-tiered security. He shortlisted this immediately.

Next, we head to MK 11. This is a fairly new luxurious condominium around Mont’ Kiara. It’s only 6 years old and billed as one of the top-notch property in Mont’ Kiara. The sight of the building and its pool is definitely engaging. I’ve never really seen such pool design and it’s pretty eye catching I must say. The unit is priced at RM 15,000 p/m which is a little steep for a fully furnished. But, with everything in place and a unit with almost a 100sqft balcony, that’s what we need to pay I think.  However, the downside of this unit is, of course, the price and also, the owner is around and is currently occupied. Most of the stuff is there and it made the place looked stuffed. The tenant is somewhat unimpressed.

We headed to Lumina Mont Kiara which is about 1 min drive away – that shows just how many condominiums there are around the area. This is a penthouse and possibly one of the best looking units I’ve come across in recent visits. The asking price is at RM 12,000 p/m which personally, I think is quite reasonable. With all the high-quality furniture that comes with it, it’s a steal really. And it’s still negotiable. I was told the owner is quite a prominent figure too. The tenant is very impressed with the unit nonetheless. However, the facility and the walkways are quite a let down though.

Finally, we head to the last stop of the viewings – Mont’ Kiara Damai Resort.  I’ve always loved this place ever since my first visit here. It really does feel like a resort with its 8.7acres land and boasts one of the lowest dense residential with only 230 units. Although a little dated (completed 13 years ago), the place is undoubtedly one of the more quiet and peaceful locations around Mont’ Kiara, away from the highway and retails. However, the tenant doesn’t really fancy the resort type condo and we left after a great tour around the place by the enthusiastic owner. Great job!

After we said goodbye, it’s the most challenging time of the day… Friday evening + rain+heading back to KL = super jam! It took us an hour to reach Fraser’s Place! Gosh! It was my bad. The viewings went a little longer than expected.

But hey, he found what he wanted and I’ve done my part showing some nice units. Just wanna say thanks to all the owners and Donavan for arranging the viewings for us that day! You guys rock!

 

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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

Image result for really??

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.

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).

 

Unpleasant surprise during a viewing

This morning, while waiting for my next appointment, I received a call from my client, the house owner whom I’m supposed to meet with my buyer later. The call came in almost 1/2 hour earlier before the viewing and he told me that there was an offer made to him by another agent, who claimed that he know me.

The line wasn’t clear at that point and I was crossing the road while my client kept telling me that ‘my buyer’ and the other agent (I supposed my client don’t care much about who is who at this point) made a cash-buy offer. I was like…??? “Didn’t we confirmed the appointment/viewing 1/2 hour later?” I don’t think my buyer got there so early and made the offer without my presence. The house owner also told me the agent lowballed him with a ridiculous offer.

The agent then proceeds to get my client to sign an agency appointment letter for exclusivity. He was told to return with a better and more solid offer and also without having to sign the appointment letter.

When I got to the scene, my client showed me the agent’s business card and I told him I don’t know anyone by that name. This is indeed a blatant way to make up stories to confuse a home seller, just to have yourself an appointment letter and trying to go exclusive. Please don’t be so low fellow agents. If you need to, learn to do things the right and honest way. Don’t beat around and quote someone’s name if you don’t actually know them. When yu do this, instead of getting closer to the home seller, you are actually pushing yourself further away as you lose trust from them.

TLDR (too long didn’t read) version

  1. A roguish agent approach my client with an ambiguous cash offer out of nowhere
  2. Client called and informed me that the agent quote and knows me
  3. The agent suggest that my client sign an appointment letter with his agency for exclusivity with the promise of a cash deal
  4. Client declined and we proceed with the viewing

Although home sellers are for all to approach, it’s the ‘way’ how we do it separates the proper and the immoral ones. And, never, never quote anyone that you are not associated with – with anything.

Nevertheless, you can always come to Avid Estates to learn a few tricks on how to be a good and ethical estate agent! Cheers!

Advantages of an Exclusive Agreement with a real estate agent

exclusivity-to-do-or-not-to-do

“An exclusive listing agreement means that that brokerage, and the designated agent within that brokerage you choose to work with, is the only brokerage that can represent you in the sale of your home during the time frame listed in the agreement. What it means is that you do not have different brokerages and agents attempting to market and sell your home on your behalf.

You are working with one brokerage and one agent that represents, advocates, and markets for you. It does not, however, inherently limit where your house is listed on the internet, or how it is marketed within your community. That is chosen/decided/agreed upon by you and the designated agent you are working with.

This is why it’s so important to interview agents prior to listing and find out about their experience, their web presence, their reputation within the real estate community, their macro- and micro-market awareness, and their specific marketing plan for your property.

The bottom line is, an exclusive listing agreement does not inherently dictate how or where your home is marketed, only who represents you and by whom your property can be marketed. However, a non-exclusive listing agreement may block your home from being listed in certain real estate websites. As a seller, you want to know that you are being represented by one solid and reputable brokerage, and an agent that is best suited to market and sell your property.”  – Kevin Van Eck @Properties in Chicago, IL.

For properties owner:

When you come to the decision of selling your property, you can either list with multiple agencies or exclusively with one agency. If you decide to sell your property via an exclusive agent, you can only market and sell through the said agency as long as the timeframe of the exclusivity is effective. There are many benefits to list your property exclusively, some of these include:

  • You can be assured that the appointed agent will market aggressively with a personalized plan ensuring that your desired interests are kept in mind.
  • A closer and more through relationship will be extended between the agent and the client, which improves communication.
  • Greater potential for gaining higher quality leads.
  • Your property will be marked precisely to the market. This includes high-quality imagery; approved by the seller, correct market price and accurate property details.
  • When a property listing is exclusive, agencies will place more resources, effort, and money into pushing your property.
  • You will receive excellent marketing exposure, which may include:
    • Prominent positioning on the agency’s website
    • Featured listings on real estate portals
    • Quality photography
    • Detailed valuation on your property
    • Communication on market trends
    • Features in direct marketing campaigns (print & online)
    • Private events or open houses
    • Personalized property brochures
  • Your dedicated agent will respect your time and privacy in relation to communication and property viewings etc

 

For the buyers:

Buyers will likely agree to work exclusively with you if answer two implicit questions:

  • What are the benefits of working with one agent?
  • Why should I limit myself to just one agent?

Here are some answers:

  1. The exclusive agent can be objective about which properties to show because he or she will earn a commission no matter which one the buyers purchase. The agent, therefore, doesn’t have to sell any particular property and can concentrate on the buyers’ needs and wants.
  2. The exclusive agent will feel no pressure to quickly sell a property to the buyers before another agent does. This allows the agent to give priority to the buyers’ priorities and timelines.
  3. The agent will be clearly negotiating in the buyers’ best interests during the purchase and in the event, a problem should arise.
  4. Exclusive agents tend to watch for new listings more closely for buyers who are depending solely on them. When agents favor customers they can count on, those buyers find out about new listings sooner.
  5. Exclusive agents can justify investing more time in explaining the purchase process to buyers, and establish a close working relationship with them.
  6. When buyers call their exclusive agent about internet listings or for-sale signs they’ve seen, they will get all information they need from an agent who is not biased toward that particular listing.
  7. The buyer can be represented by their exclusive agent purchase if they purchase a for-sale-by-owner property, by stipulating in the purchase agreement that the seller will pay the buyer’s agency fee.
  8. Searching and choosing properties to see will be more efficient because the exclusive agent thoroughly understands the buyers’ needs and wants.
  9. The exclusive agent relationship is more comfortable for the buyers because they don’t worry about the agent being self-serving or pressuring them. The agent acts as more of a guide and advisor than as a salesperson.
  10. Being represented exclusively is a bargain for buyers when their agent’s commission on a listed property sale is paid by the seller.

The above illustrates some of the more obvious reasons why an exclusive appointment is beneficial to all parties, the owner, the agent and the buyer.

Let me know your thoughts if you’ve encountered anything similar from the above article.


Article sources from Kendal & Co and Jim Luger, CDEI of www.continuingedexpress.com