By VIKTOR CHONG firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasoned property agencies come together to showcase their commitment
DESPITE a storm looming over the property horizon, competitors and collaborators alike were all smiles at the StarProperty.my Real Estates Awards 2017.
Held on Aug 8, the event was organised by StarProperty.my to showcase the unwavering patience, commitment and stellar services provided by agents and agencies of the property market. These seasoned agents came together under one roof to share their tips for success as well as their opinions regarding the current economic climate.
Recipe for success
With experience comes an innate understanding of the crucial aspects 2017of the real estate industry.
Rina Properties Asia Sdn Bhd general manager Morgan Koh believes that the agent’s performance must always be measured.
“Our company’s agents must see numbers as a gauge for results and quality of service. Having satisfied customers will then improve our reputation. When we provide excellent service, customers will come back.”
Koh said his company focuses on training and educating agents to ensure that they have the latest updates, news and information from the market.
“We make sure that our agents are responsible for what they say and do,” he added.
Echoing this sentiment is Gplex Realty Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Christopher Liang. His company provides a 90-day jumpstart programme for new agents as well as weekly training and regular meetings.
“They should have intimate knowledge about real estate after the three-month training programme. Our agents are also given special incentives,” said Liang, who added that with its core value of professionalism, GPLEX aims to change the culture and image of the real estate agency as an average career.
Meanwhile, FLP Realty Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Fallon Loo was excited at winning an award because her company is relatively new in the industry. “Our company invests a huge lot in our people,” said Loo.
Affirm Plus Properties Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Hendry Lee believes that a good work environment is important.
But he said it is more important for agents to keep their promises when dealing with clients.
Mapleland Properties senior negotiator Juliana Teh said agents must have a pleasant disposition and dress well.
“Always serve with a smile and with passion. It is not about the money; it’s building relationship and reputation,” said Teh.
Homefield Real Estate Sdn Bhd special projects manager Ainal Maryam Zamzuri said that a lead agent must be knowledgeable and always be on the ground.
“Without experience, he cannot lead the team,” he said.
Polygon Properties Sdn Bhd associate partner George Loo reckons that a good leader must also know how to care for his team members. “When they need help, you should be there to teach them.”
Loo added that agents must have integrity and be sincere in their work. “Never hide problems. Some agents tell their customers that furnishing is provided when it is not.”
Polygon Properties director Derek Soh said that a supportive group leader is what a real estate negotiator looks for.
He believes that a good leader should bring the agents up to speed regarding their marketing, networking and career paths.
Greenfield Properties senior negotiator Jenny Liu echoed Soh’s comment. “The leader sets a good example from her work so that the team members will be able to emulate the results,” she said.
“What’s important is that we all come together and work hard as a team,” said Total Realty Sdn Bhd co-founder Kho Chng Guan.
The drive of passion
Dreamvest Realty Sdn Bhd co-founder Jeff Ong has faith in his people. “The key factor has always been our negotiators who have given us today’s results. Since we are all selling the same thing, it boils down to quality service to win this competition.”
Megaharta Real Estate Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Clement Ong says that quality is defined by the agency’s ability to create value. “We see the real estate agency as half business and half professional. A successful agency creates value for its staff and for the market at large,” said Ong.
Most of the winners attributed their success to the key factors of passion, integrity and discipline.
“You have to love this field if you want to last long,” said Homefield Real Estate Sdn Bhd director Munirah Mohammad who has been in the industry for over 28 years.
Huttons One World Sdn Bhd executive director Amenny Chua and Property Exchange negotiator Daniel Chieng expressed the importance of discipline and commitment.
“The team must keep on learning,” said Chua.
According to CBD Properties Sdn Bhd senior negotiator Jonathan Lai, a successful agent must be able to combine passion, perseverance and a healthy mindset in order to provide quality service.
“With focus and innovation, we will achieve good results,” said Property Hub Sdn Bhd senior vice president
Benjamin Tee who believes that the agency is more than a business because it also serves the community.
Optimism against all odds
Vivahomes Realty Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Alvin Foo sees most of the challenges coming from stiff competition among agencies for market share.
“The price per sq ft of properties is stable but the number of transactions has decreased,” he said.
Acknowledging that the market trend is going down, Foo believes that commissions should not be given out to win deals.
Vivahomes Realty Sdn Bhd senior negotiator Ng Hang Wai talks about having the right people.
“During a recession, we should focus on moveable products. In good times, we can get five out of 10 people to close the deal. In bad times, we can only get two out of 10 people. The fundamental importance is in getting the right person. You will have a higher chance of closing the deal,” said Ng.
Tech Realtors Properties Sdn Bhd director KT Chua says there is always a market for buyer and seller because everyone needs a roof over their heads.
“Many buyers are still making transactions, irrespective of commercial or residential properties, or even land for agricultural use. The best time to buy is when the market is soft; sell when the market is on a bull run,” said Chua.
Sharing this optimism is Gather Properties Sdn Bhd managing director Vincent Tan, who thinks that the market is not soft.
He explains: “It is just that the bank loan is a little tight at present. We need to filter through the customers and get the quality buyers.”
IQI Realty Sdn Bhd senior negotiator Jeff Lim commented on the surplus of buyers looking for a good deal. He said:
“Agents need to have a complete listing on hand so that we can give the customers more choices.”
CBD Properties Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Adrian Wang, however, advised caution. “Always adapt to the current environment. We need to change, train and gain knowledge to upgrade ourselves.”
He stressed the importance of cash flow as well as to be mindful of spending. “Spend on advertising to bring attention to the firm,” said Wang.
Supporting Wang’s statement, Tech Real Estate Sdn Bhd founder Alex Lee said: “If we can’t change the market, we change ourselves. That is what I tell my agents.”
Cornerstone Realty director of sales and marketing Wong Yau Long said: “In this challenging market, we stay ahead of the competition by coming out with creative ideas.
IQI Realty Sdn Bhd group vice-president Chen Tse Ping believes that there are certain aspects which are crucial to the agencies’ survival.
“If we are capable of combining good products, mindset and quality people, we can survive the bad market,” said Chen.
Upholding the industry standard
Property Hub Sdn Bhd negotiator Roshindar Kaur Dhillon is concerned about the issue of illegal agents. “The biggest problem that we have now is illegal agents. Companies who are in it for the long term must make sure that their agents are registered first,” she said.
CBD Properties Sdn Bhd team leader Sebastian Sam said the agent’s job is to help smoothen the way and close the transaction. “If the vendor is a little difficult to get through, we need to negotiate in such a way that both parties win,” he added.
In agreeing with Sam, Terence Tih of Tech Real Estate Sdn Bhd shares this learning curve: “There will be times when the client wants something. After complying with his request, the client will say that he wants something else. It is all about different clients and how to manage them,” said Tih.
“Never give up when you fail. Be persistent and try again. You will finally succeed,” said GS Realty Sdn Bhd negotiator Teammy Lee.
Some photos of the glamourous night