Joseph Chan, an award winner at the 2018 SREA, speaks of a love for real estate and working in service of the community
How long have you been a real estate negotiator?
My career as a real estate negotiator began in 2013, that makes it 6 years of experience. Since than, I've had no regrets being a real estate negotiator and it has been a life changing experience.
How did your involvement in real estate begin?
I actually started with an interest in real estate as a property investor back in 2008. The love of real estate investment was actually introduced by my late father Raymond Chan, who always believed that real estate investment would generate passive income and capital appreciation. I am glad that I started investing in properties at an early age and over the years I developed a network of real estate negotiators and we became friends. I was excited to see their journey and how their lives have changed, and I did not hesitate to join them to grab the opportunity. Every single journey starts with a single step, and since then it has been wonderful.
As a team leader, what kind of qualities should someone have in order to lead a team to success?
Being a team leader, we need to be visionaries – setting goals and directions for our team members. With proper direction and support, this will assist the team member to perform better in their daily activities so that they can achieve their targets. As a team leader, we also have to be constant motivators because being a real estate negotiator, we face a lot of rejections daily. We have to consistently ensure our team members to remain positive and excited by having constant communication and encouragement.
For someone who has some experience in the property industry, you must have some know-how and tips on how to attract clients. Specifically, how do you attract and engage with new clients?
I strongly believe in social media exposure, I regularly keep my Facebook and Instagram pages informative and I'm always excited to share my success stories and testimonials. Social media has allowed me to reach many clients and they are easily attracted after seeing my activities on these platforms. After successfully closing a deal, I will encourage my client to write a testimonial because these reviews would be a reference for new clients.
What sort of things should first-time home buyers consider? What are some of the things you would want first-time house buyers to know before beginning their property search?
First time home buyers should always check their financial health status before buying their first property. For example, their loan eligibility and the savings for a downpayment. When they are ready with those, that makes the scouting of property easier and they could negotiate better when they are confident of their purchase. Besides that, first time home buyers should also take advantage of the new first home buyer schemes introduced by the government which allow buyers to take advantage of full loans and discounted stamp duties. This will ease the first time home buyer who has limited funds.
Which part of the country would you say is the hottest right now? In terms of either/both primary and sub-sale transactions?
I would say Mont Kiara is the hottest area right now for both primary and sub sale transactions. It remains the top pick for expatriates and professionals because of the environment – it has international schools, family malls, established cafés, restaurants, and good security. Apart from that, Mont Kiara is located in a strategic location and is easily connected to the city centre and other township nearby such as Petaling Jaya and Damansara. Because of the international community, the developers there are building their new apartments with a focus on modern lifestyle concepts. This concept has attracted many Gen-Y buyers who are seeking their first home.
What part of the country would you consider to be your area of expertise? Why?
I am specialised in Shah Alam because I was born and raised in Shah Alam. I am very familiar with the history and culture of Shah Alam – which is a predominantly Malay area. That familiarity makes dealing with clients in the area easier as I understand their needs. Shah Alam is a Muslim friendly city, and recently, it has attracted many families from different states looking for an affordable home. Shah Alam has also attracted many developers because of the city's location between Klang and Subang Jaya, the growth in population, and the spill-over effects of growing populations in neighbouring cities have allowed them to consider Shah Alam because of the relative affordability.
In your opinion, what are the factors that influence the rise in house prices in Shah Alam?
The factors that are affecting the rise in house price in Shah Alam are the rapidly growing population. Shah Alam is known as an educational and industrial hub. It has attracted many families because Shah Alam meets their children’s and spouse's needs. Apart from that, Shah Alam is a city developed back in the early 80s, which make the city a mature area – as a result, children are also considering staying in Shah Alam as their families expand. As the population grows, the demand for housing increases – which will affect the housing price. Shah Alam also has many highways and decent public transport connectivity which make for convenient accessibility.
For rentals, how long on average does a home remain empty before being rented out in Shah Alam?
In Shah Alam, an empty home will normally remain empty for about one month – which is considered a high occupancy rate. The reason is that Shah Alam rentals are affordable, which caters for the mass market – especially for students, young families, and young working adults.
What was the biggest challenge that you have faced throughout your involvement in the real estate industry and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge in this career are the rejections on a daily basis. It was never easy when I first started because rejections will make anyone demotivated and disappointed. However, I have learned to overcome rejection by remaining positive and constantly working with the right people who will constantly cheer and support each other. It is very important that we go to our agency offices on a regular basis because it is there that we get our support and motivation from our seniors and leaders. If there are any issues, do share with them so that everyone can resolve the problem together as a team.
What was your biggest achievement throughout this career?
The biggest achievement of my career was winning the title of "Most Transacted Rentals" at the StarProperty.my Real Estate Awards in 2018. My hard work and determination paid off after 5 years and regardless of how tough the market is, I never give up and keep serving my clients. It’s the love of real estate that keeps me serving the community and helping property owners to find tenants. When you love what you do, the sales will naturally come because it is your passion and sincerity that the clients are looking for.
Read about other past winners of the StarProperty.my Real Estate Awards here.