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Property Hub – Guiding Lighthouse Shining Ever-bright

W_March Issue 45

Spearheading the Mission of becoming an Outstanding Agency

Property Hub was founded in 2010 by a few founding partners who are passionate in property, including experienced veterans as well as young and energetic property enthusiasts with the necessary skills. By staying true to the vision and mission, Property Hub has successfully maintained a high-level professionalism while dealing with the clients, and earned an excellent reputation in the market.

The agency started their base office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur and focused on high-end residential properties around Mont Kiara, Sri Hartamas, Damansara Heights, Bangsar and KLCC vicinities. Now, the agency has expanded their operation into other parts of Klang Valley as well as the city of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The executive director, Wan Choy Heng, started his career in 1989 as a valuation executive with Raine & Horne International Zaki and Partners Sdn Bhd. He launched a full-time career in real estate in the year 1995, and joined Property Hub in 2011, a year after it was established.

The Lighthouse Agency

“Since inception, Property Hub’s goal was to be the ‘Lighthouse Estate Agency’ in the neighbourhood. We wanted to be establish ourselves as ‘The Estate Agency’ at those neighbourhoods that we operated in. We believe in serving our clients in the utmost professional manner at every assignment, and strive to become the only ‘Advisor’ to our clients in every aspect of his property needs,” said Wan. To achieve these goals, the agency has formulated its guiding philosophy, consisting the vision and mission, as well as their motto of “Passion, Integrity, Teamwork.”

With the high aspirations, Property Hub has attracted various like-minded talents to be part of the team. “Our 3 offices namely the Headquarters in Mont Kiara, KLCC and Kota Kinabalu are running independently on its day-to-day operation by its respective management team, based on a common system prescribed by the headquarters, under the supervision of highly qualified registered estate agents,” explained Wan. Currently, Property Hub boasts a headcount of 128 full-time staffs, about 67% of them have been with the agency faithfully for over 4 years.

Overcoming Challenges

One of the biggest challenges Property Hub faced at the initial stage was to convince the new recruits to subscribe to the company’s core beliefs, and to march onwards with the vision and mission of the agency. As no real estate agency can operate without real estate negotiators, training and motivation is of paramount importance. “In our recruitment programmes, we emphasise on full time commitments, education with trainings, as well as career advancements,” reiterated Wan.

When the market was booming between 2010 and 2013, the market was plagued with illegal brokers and part-timers. Most candidates back then were those looking for a part-time vacancy with a view of making a quick buck out of the flourishing market conditions. Hence the recruitment for right candidates was a bit tough.

Nevertheless, Property Hub persevered and held onto the original belies of the founding partners steadfastly, and invested more resources into the grooming and strengthening of the existing pool of talents through regular in-house education and training programmes. The staff members were also encouraged to participate in external seminars and training programmes held locally and abroad. The intention was to grow their confidence and belief in real estate business as a long-term career.

Besides, Property Hub also grew their brand name continuously. One way to achieve that was by participating in the events, roadshows and seminars organised by The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA) and Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) frequently. Gradually, the efforts bore fruits and the business began growing from strength to strength.

Wan continued, “My fondest memory was the instant we won ‘The Best Residential Agency (Medium Size) of the year 2012’ in the National Real Estate Awards by MIEA. It gave us a great comfort and endorsement that we had done it right.” That award also motivated all the staffs to uphold their core values and beliefs in everything they do. Eventually, they won the same award again in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

To ensure that all the staffs are equipped with top-notch business knowledge and negotiation skills, the real estate negotiators are encouraged to attend the regular in-house Quick Start workshops. Besides, the agency also organises the 3-day Property Hub Success Course (PHSC), which is open to the public, which is accredited with 10 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points by BOVAEA.

The way forward

To better position itself for the future market conditions, Property Hub has drawn up a concrete 3-year plan to achieve greater success, for instance:

To achieve the status of Large Agency by MIEA standard by June 2017, for this purpose the total number of real estate negotiators will have to grow to 150;

To open 2 other branch offices within the years of 2018 and 2019, tentatively in Bangsar and Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur;

To double the headcount to 250 full-time negotiators by end of 2019. Previously, it took them 6 years to grow by about 120 staffs; but now with infrastructure, core team personnel and branding in place, it should take just half the time to grow by another 120 staffs.

Wan remarked that, real estate negotiators spend a lot of time dealing with people who are related to the subject property, for instance the owners, landlords, buyers, tenants, the appointed solicitors, bankers, co-agents and more. Therefore, the importance of possessing good inter-human relationship cannot be overemphasised. Besides, the positive mental attitude, the eagerness to help solving the clients’ problems, the willingness to learn the latest market updates, as well as the readiness to serve with honesty and integrity are all crucial in making the negotiator’s career a success.

Make informed decisions

On the market outlook, Wan recounted that, “We ended 2016 with no news of new policy forthcoming in 2017 to stimulate the slow property market. In the recently released National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) report, both the total number and total value of the property transactions recorded a double-digit reduction for Q3 2016. For Q4 2016, we generally do not expect to see much improvement either.”

Based on such conditions, Wan felt that the 2017 would not be an exciting year for property market. Having said that, he predicted that there would be many successful launches of affordable housing in 2017.

Wan further elaborated that, “I anticipate that the selling price of landed properties at mature neighbourhoods in Klang Valley with good connectivity, infrastructure and amenities to stablise, due to the high demand for owner occupancy. On the other hand, the rental market around new LRT and MRT stations will also be active, because of the improved connectivity.”

For those who are beginning a journey in investment, Wan strongly advocated that before getting into first purchase, one should learn about the market and identify the type of property targeted, to ensure that the targeted property is within one’s affordability. Wan shared that, “Invest your time to study the price movements of the type of property you are interested to buy at the targeted location. Challenging time or not, there are always an opportunity to get a good buy.”

When asked to elaborate on his belief that everyone should consider investing in property as soon as one can do so, whether it is for own occupancy or for rental gain, Wan stressed that, “I truly believe that property investment over a long period is one of the safest ways to accumulate wealth!”

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