Giving only the best

For most developers, handing over the keys to buyers is the endgame, but Datuk Eng Wei Chun believes in going further than that for customers of Orando Holdings Sdn Bhd’s projects.

“The success of a brand is all about how long-lasting it is, beyond the initial fanfare,” he said in an interview at the sales gallery of Orando’s current project, Villa Crystal.

The Orando Holdings managing director said the immediate community surrounding a development played a big role in determining that factor, citing well-established neighbourhoods such as Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar and Damansara Heights as examples.

“I want Orando projects to be able to have that kind of environment to live in.

“One method of achieving this is to ensure we only have residents of a certain quality,” said Eng.

He explained that this was done by making buyers sign a separate agreement, which essentially made it very costly for them to rent their units out to a group of people.

Among the conditions set out in the agreement would be for such owners to pay 10 times the usual maintenance fee.

Eng, however, finds that most of the buyers of the project are local “upgraders” (common property term used to describe current homeowners who are looking to move somewhere better), while only a small portion was booked by investors who are mostly owners of Orando’s previous projects.

He said the strong interest from local buyers, who also have the intention of making Villa Crystal their home, was good for the project’s long-term success.

“Many people say Malaysia has first-class ‘hardware’ but third-class ‘software’.

“We want everything to be top class, which means we must also have quality buyers who have first-class mentality.

“In our previous projects, we have seen how quality residents can lead to excellent monthly maintenance fee collection of up to 97%,” he said, adding that it meant that common facilities were kept in tip-top condition and residents were happy.

“Orando sets out to deliver three things in its projects – status, quality and appreciation.

“Status is something the right kind of residents bring, while quality is in ensuring the best standards in the project’s construction and finishing are offered.

“With these two things, the property price can only appreciate,” he said.

Currently, Villa Crystal is 30% done and scheduled to be completed in mid-2017.

The selling price is between RM589,050 and RM1,214,010, and the units have a built-up of between 107sq m and 150sq m.

Eng also gave his views on talk that the property bubble could be bursting anytime now.

“The bubble exists in certain areas, but as far as Kuala Lumpur is concerned, demand is still more than supply.

“These days, however, any developer’s immediate hurdle is the tightening of policies for loan approval,” he said.

Eng believes that the country’s economic direction and recent events would see this situation resolving itself eventually.

“There are many positive developments, including some announcements from the recent Asean meeting, continuing foreign investments in our bonds, the TPPA and the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project which I feel has more advantages than disadvantages. This includes increasing property demand,” said Eng.

Orando’s future direction, however, follows the same strategy it has employed thus far, which is to build in pockets of land in established neighbourhoods.

“Malaysia is still a developing country and there are many upgraders around, so we will focus on that market.

“We will also continue our style of focusing on one project at a time,” he added. - BY CHOONG MEK ZHIN (StarProperty)