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Raising The Benchmark

Success goes hand in hand with the highly competent, multiple award-winning GS Realty (M) Sdn Bhd real estate agency that has been operating since its inception in 2010.

Since then, GS Realty has grown from strength to strength to become one of the largest real estate agencies in Malaysia.

Today, the company has several branch offices and representatives spread throughout the country. It continues to operate on the principles of being generous to its high achievers while delivering value-added services to its clients both locally and globally via its international partners who are based in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Its corporate headquarters is strategically located in the easily accessible, fast-growing and high-density Fraser Business Park area situated close to the city’s central business district (CBD) in Kuala Lumpur.

To date, GS Realty has been the proud recipient of more than 10 coveted awards from various organisations and relevant authorities in recognition of its outstanding performance in the industry that spans close to a decade.

The latest few awards it has received include the Golden Eagle Award 2016 and Malaysia Model Real Estate Agency Award 2016.

GS Realty Sdn Bhd Director Dato’ Sri Nelson Kee attributes the agency’s resounding success to its ongoing commitment in setting the highest standards of quality excellence in real estate practice as well as its quick response to meeting clients’ needs.

“GS Realty has been recognised as one of the top real estate agencies in Malaysia. This is due to our agility in selling development projects much faster in comparison to other real estate agencies,” he says.

“We have six to seven teams comprising agents, team leaders, person in charge and coordinators to handle any single project. Hence, we are able to sell units quickly for our clients.

“On top of that, our agents are rewarded with higher commission as compared to those working for other real estate firms in order to motivate them to strive harder to deliver results and also improve themselves in terms of sales performance,” he enthuses.

SUCCESS FACTOR

Kee has been involved in the real estate industry for more than 16 years. Prior to this, he worked as an insurance agent for a few years and was highly successful in this specialised industry.

Later realising that a business opportunity awaited him in the real estate industry, Kee made the wise decision to invest his time and effort by venturing into the property line in 2000. He eventually founded GS Realty in 2010.

The company has since achieved exponential growth surpassing more than the RM10 billion mark in sales revenue within a year. Kee’s sterling leadership started creating a name for GS Realty as among the most outstanding real estate agencies in Malaysia.

Kee says his team has contributed immensely to his company’s success.

“They have been with me for over five years. I am thankful that they never gave up on me,” Kee shares heartwarmingly.  

The biggest challenge faced by GS Realty he adds was when its payroll system experienced a setback with errors related to incorrectly entered deductions affecting the agents’ commissions.

This problem caused the company grievances in terms of being unable to pay the agents’ commissions for almost a month while they endured a restructuring of the payroll system.

“During this setback, there were rumours circulating among our staff that our company was on the brink of bankruptcy,” Kee recalls adding that he was undeterred as overcoming failures is what drives him forward.

“Politicking among staff is common nowadays, especially when you have two thousand agents with over one thousand cases of Sales & Purchase Agreements (SPAs) to handle.

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

For someone who has experienced extraordinary success in running a real estate agency, Kee’s advice to others is humbling yet useful.

“We must be willing to work hard. This needs to be coupled with the willingness to share and reward deserving parties such as staff, Negotiators and partners generously.

“Indeed, you must be willing to learn as well as be responsible and dedicated.”

Kee affirms that these guiding principles will help one to reach his or her goals sooner or later in life. He is also grateful for the many milestones that his company has achieved throughout the years. The experience gained has taught him a lot about himself.

He maintains that his greatest achievement lies in his ability to assist his buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants to either own their perfect dream home or achieve profits or attractive rental for their real estate investment. In addition to this, Kee says the company completes all of its business transactions in the most professional manner.

“We believe that the core of our success and longevity lies in being a people-oriented business that deals with property.

“Therefore, building a relationship of trust with everyone is the key to running a good agency in real estate.”

Kee says he is glad to propogate the company’s mission of recruiting more property agents.

“We have been consistently recruiting 200 agents per month and our focus to provide opportunities to passionate, hardworking and aspiring young talents to excel in the real estate industry in order to achieve career success and prosperity so that they can be valuable contributors to society and the nation overall. 

PERSEVERING IN A SLOW MARKET

Due to the challenging and uncertain state of the global economy, the Malaysian economy also recorded a slower gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.2% last year as opposed to 5% and 6% in 2015 and 2014 respectively.

As a result of the stagnant growth, no sector is spared including the real estate sector. However, Kee says that GS Realty has been able to overcome this effect as 90% of its sales revenue is derived from selling new development projects.

“It is easier for us to sell new developments because developers are consistently promoting the right products to cater to the market’s needs,” he says.

Kee opines that as far as the property market is concerned, the most affected would be sub-sale properties that are affected by the cooling measures, rising unemployment and a weaker ringgit.

Kee shares that the challenge faced by homebuyers now is not just being able to find a good property at below market value as they also need to be able to qualify for housing loans.

“Getting housing loans approved has been a hassle since banks have introduced stricter lending requirements. Therefore, many unsold sub-sale properties have been left vacant for long periods of time.“

To benefit homebuyers at large, Kee suggests adopting different approaches in managing properties such as turning the property into an Airbnb business. He opines that Airbnb can help to increase revenue and also get great reviews for the property which will help to elevate its value when one decides to sell the unit.

Another benefit of being an Airbnb host is that one can choose the type of unit to rent out whether it is a room, shared unit or an entire unit. Additionally, one will have the choice of renting out a fully-furnished or partly furnished unit.

Dispensing his two cents’ worth to those thinking of buying a sub-sale property, he cautions buyers to check on the issuance of the certificate of completion and compliance (CCC) issued by the local authorities.

This is because it is quite common to discover that building works have been carried out without the local authority building regulations approval having been obtained beforehand. The reasons for this vary but range from ignorance of the law to a deliberate decision not to apply for consent when it is clear that building regulation approvals should not have been granted for upgrading works. 

HOUSING EXPECTATIONS

Rising home prices have added to the grievances of Malaysians coping with the higher cost of living which includes basic expenses such as food, taxes and healthcare. This has made affordable housing a key consideration for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak ahead of the next General Election (GE) that is anticipated to be held in mid-2018.

Kee’s advice to first-time homebuyers who are seeking to own a home is to check out housing development projects from Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd.

According to him, Aset Kayamas which was established in 2011 is today one of the biggest developers that has been contracted to build the Federal Territories Affordable Housing (RUMAWIP) as well as the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Project (PPA1M) in the Klang Valley.

Aset Kayamas’s primary focus is to provide comfortable homes that are founded on quality and affordability. The company’s mission is in line with the Government’s plans to develop 80,000 houses in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan for middle-income earners by 2020.

To be entitled for the RUMAWIP scheme, buyers must be Malaysians aged 18 years and above, and either be working or residing in the Federal Territory. Single individuals with a monthly income of less than RM10,000 or married couples with a household income of less than RM15,000 can  register for the project.  

“Several buyers have been fortunate to have been chosen from among the many applicants. RUMAWIP’s development projects are sold below market value and priced between RM280,000 and RM300, 000 for units ranging from 850 sq ft to 900 sq ft in built-up areas,” says Kee.

Although buyers cannot rent or sell for 10 years from the date of signing their SPA, this scheme will conclusively fulfill many first-time homebuyers’ wish to own a home and gain capital appreciation in the future. 

AFFORDABLE PROJECTS

When asked to share on which projects represent the main affordable developments in Kuala Lumpur presently, Kee cites Razak City Residences in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur as an example. The development whose location has been identified as where the Razak Mansion used to be situated will witness a public housing project being developed that will offer serviced residences with built-up areas of RM800 sq ft being priced at RM389,000.

Another affordable development project he shares is M Vertica located in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Standing at 50 storeys, the condominium is slated to be the tallest building in the area.

The units with built-up sizes ranging from 850 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft are priced from RM478,000. However, Kee opines that the pricing can still be considered as affordable judging by the better designs of the condominium.

“Both these residences are strategically located close to the city centre and are aimed at first-time homebuyers, young working adults and upgraders as the price is affordable and the size is reasonable,” enthuses Kee. 

NEW DEVELOPMENT

Kee says that new developments also known as primary properties are usually the first choice of new or young buyers because of the low entry cost of these new development projects. He shares that the minimum entry cost can be as low as RM1, 000 with most other costs such as legal fees and SPA being covered by the developer.

“From a buy-to-stay perspective, buying from the primary market gives one the privilege of choosing one’s preferred unit. This also ensures that everything within the property is brand new and buyers can be assured that everything is at its best condition.”

He adds that to stay competitive in the market, many developers also offer rebates and freebies to their purchasers. Also, upon completion of the project, the property is in move-in condition with any defects being covered with warranty from the developer.

Therefore, for first-time homebuyers who have limited savings to qualify for sub-sale purchases, this is likely the most feasible entrypoint for them to venture into the property market.

Furthermore, buying from the primary market may be beneficial in terms of higher potential for capital appreciation especially after the entire project is completed. This can be profitable from an Investor’s perspective. 

FUTURE ASPIRATIONS

While Kee is pleased with the group’s strong performance, he believes that there is still much more to be done.

“We cannot afford to rest on our laurels. When there is demand, we must be quick to capitalise on it.”  

Kee shares that the group is progressively stepping up its efforts to build the brand overseas.

“Our future plan is to become one of the largest and most professional real estate agencies globally and foray into international real estate markets such as China to bring in more foreign Investors into Malaysia,” he explains.

He adds that  the conglomerates such as Country Garden and Greenland Group are building residential and commercial blocks in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor.

Now the latest mega project, with strong Chinese interest and involvement is Forest City – a multi-billion-ringgit mixed-use development in Johor.

“Malaysia’s bilateral economic ties with China has encouraged many Chinese Investors to explore the services sectors including tourism, education, healthcare and wellness, information and communications technology (ICT) as well as e-commerce, among others.

As a professional real estate agency, GS Realty wants more foreign Investors to explore investment opportunities of buying properties in Malaysia in lieu of the current residential oversupply and weak property market sentiments.

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