[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 照片 Photo credit Hip Hip Management]
Take a drive around the city centre, and along the coastal highway, one cannot help but notice the rapidly changing skyline of Johor Bahru, Malaysia’s southernmost state bordering Singapore.
We certainly wished we saw the value of investing in real estate at a young age and many hugely successful people we know are now enjoying the fruits of their labour. It’s never too late to begin investing and planning for the future, but the sooner, the better, and this is true in real estate. Had we invest wisely in our twenties and bought a house, an apartment or whatever other types of property, especially in the period which started in 2010 and peaked between 2012 to 2013, our investment would have paid off big time!
In hindsight, investing in real estate while we’re young will carry benefits that can last us a lifetime. If we do our due diligence, be aggressive and keep our eyes and mind open, this will be a fun and rewarding path to success. After all, a property is a stable asset that has the potential to grow our wealth over the long term, if we get to know our potential investment location as well as we know our own home neighbourhood.
In today’s knowledge-sharing economy, many may know how to invest their disposable income in financial instruments or real estate, but few really practise the right strategies to optimise their return on investment. No matter how strong our financial knowledge, if we do not adopt creativity and practise the right attitude in our finances, our efforts may end up being wasted. However, with enough practice or the right professional advice, we’ll find ourselves being more aware of our investing efforts, which will then lead to a better financial outcome.
If we do not come from a financial background or do not have the time to spend on research, property investment can then prove to be daunting and tedious, but that doesn’t mean that we should just give up and leave our assets to the hands of God. By leveraging on professionals, we’ll be able to save a lot of time and get the necessary returns into our investment. This is where Michelle and Kelly from Hip Hip Management, recently awarded as one of the Top 100 Fast Moving SME’s in Malaysia, comes into the property equation.
As former engineers who took a risk in real estate despite doom and gloom predictions, Michelle and Kelly built their success on careful planning and risk management. Despite having only 6 years in the business, the young, dynamic duo has amassed between 15-20 properties each and we were impressed with their quick adaptation to the real estate industry and their growing and highly diversified portfolio. Most importantly, the ladies are now generously sharing their knowledge and investment know-how with seasoned veterans and first-timers like us!
HIP HIP IN NUMBERS
Begin with the end in mind
Owning real estate can be a lucrative investment, but it can also bring its share of stress, primarily when investing in an overseas market. From asset management, forex, taxation, the familiarity of the environment, to key collection, finding and screening tenants locally, maintaining the property, collecting rent and handling any issues that arise, Hip Hip aims to take away the tedious part of real estate ownership so that property investors into the local market can free their mind, time and energy for other endeavours while enjoying the benefits of owning their investment property here in the city. When a unit is vacant, Michelle and co. would seek out and work together with reliable partners or corporate home finders to get a tenant as quickly as possible, so that they would have fewer worries on adding more units in their portfolio.
Hip Hip, we have a “problem”…
It is common for homebuyers to get excited when we get our keys from developers, and we will generally want to start renovation so that we can move in or rent out the property as soon as possible. Many like us know the importance of inspection, but we do not know where to begin and what to look out for, and this is the time for Hip Hip to enter the picture. Upon taking vacant possession from the developer or after getting the keys to our new house, Hip Hip will conduct a systematic visual inspection and providing a comprehensive defects report of the unit with major and minor defects identified. “Many homebuyers do not know it is the responsibility of the property developer to deliver the house on time as per the specifications and quality stated in the S&P (sale and purchase) agreement,” Michele explained. “As there is a defect liability period of 24 months, developers will typically respond within 30 days and have to repair any defect or fault in a new house.”
After inspection, Hip Hip will provide repair and maintenance advice to allow us to plan and budget for renovations, including recommendations for remedies. A report will also be prepared on our behalf to submit to the developer to make good defects under defects liability claims before starting any renovation work. For the next 30 days, Hip Hip will follow up closely with the developer every week basis to ensure all issues are rectified on time. “In the event of a delay or unforeseen circumstances, we will provide alternative solutions, including sourcing for alternative contractors to get the work done. The developer will be notified in writing on the reimbursement so that we could all move on, as time is of the essence for our clients,” Michelle elaborated. “Concurrently, we will also arrange for our interior designers to work on the drawings and source for the necessary home decoration and furnishing during the 30-day warranty period, so that work can commence immediately upon rectification to get our property into the market, be it for long term rental or short term homestay.” By giving us the first-mover advantage, we stand a much better chance to beat the competition, given the (over)supply of similar properties that will soon flood the market. At the same time, Hip Hip can also conduct a background check on the prospective tenants through a request for CTOS report and other references to avoid a bad tenant day!
By allowing Hip Hip a free hand in working their magic, we can turn some of our vacant property into profitability with their one-stop-shop services. “In fact, some of our clients have never ever step foot into their own property, and they rely solely on our pictorial updates and monthly reports to manage their properties,” Michelle quipped. “Everything from the rental collection, housekeeping and maintenance can be accessed online, and soon with just the click of a button,” Michelle revealed with a wink!
Defect Checking & Property Inspection
Getting the key to a new house should be a very exciting experience. However, after we got into our new unit, we realise that the home we’ve spent a fortune for is not totally perfect as we initially thought. The truth is, nothing is perfect, and not all defects can be easily detected. Being property buyers and knowing what they want as a purchaser and caring about their property too, Michelle and Kelly will take “complete ownership” and certainly leave no stone unturned in this vital process which has been taken for granted or commonly overlooked by many.
Looking back at our own experience in conducting our own defect checking, our checklist was really amateur compared to how the professionals would go about with their job. From defective roofing and ceiling, structural deficiencies, faulty plumbing, dampness, leakages, electrical safety, slopes stability, retaining walls and drainage, safety, security as well as regulatory checks, how we wish help were available then to conduct our pre-purchase defects inspection, or subsequently, to inspect our property before the tenant check out. Better still, the team can also guide us on future improvements according to the defect report, provide renovation packages and monitoring the progress to reduce unnecessary delays and speed up the process to save time. Now, we could get professional assistance with Hip Hip only a touch away on our speed dial.
A firm believer that “all properties are meant to be comfortably livable,” Hip Hip also offers full-service home interior design and decoration packages. Being a critique of the one-size-fits-all approach, their team of professional and certified interior designers will structure an ID package, providing customized renovation plans according to our specific needs, taste, and budget.
Not sure how much to set aside for our next major makeover? Fret not, as Michelle and co are readily available to meet up, discuss and offer free quotes, covering a wide range of services from architectural tasks, landscaping to building custom furniture. Be it carpentry, electrical wiring, plastering, plumbing, painting, wet works, installing a water heater, installing sink and tap, installing toilet bowl, shoe cabinet, kitchen cabinet, kitchen countertop to just adding plaster ceiling, no job is ever too big or too small.
Tenant management is not exactly something new, considering Malaysians are very active in the property market, but Michelle notes that investment properties in the country are still mostly under-served. “If you are an absent owner, basically there’s no one looking after your unit,” said Michelle. “When you have multiple properties on hand, this means multiple tenants, multiple problems and multiple headaches. You need a strategy for how you’re going to manage these properties, and working with a property manager to help you out with the day-to-day responsibilities is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, allowing you to truly experience passive income at its best.”
Serving a clientele of 70% local and the remaining made up of investors from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia, Hip Hip also partners closely with group purchases and real estate investors club, with an eye on regional opportunities with potential service providers that it can work with in other countries.
Tenant Management Services:
- Tenant Room Viewing
- Check-in and Check-out
- Rental Collection
- Concierge Service
- House Maintenance
- Complaint Management
For more information, visit: Landlord & Tenant Management
From rental to AirBnB in Desaru
According to Michelle, their game plan is subject to the property’s location and regional demographics. “Taking Bukit Indah as an example, most of the residents are locals working in Singapore. Due to its strategic location, the place is ideal for long-term lease among resident expats, as well as viable homestay options for Singaporeans and visitors.”
Renting out the whole property or rent-by-room both entail risks and rewards. Although renting out individual rooms is typically far more profitable for the landlord, the hassle of managing multiple tenants can be time-consuming, but there’s always Hip Hip. Hooray!
In the case of Desaru, a group of investors from Kuala Lumpur bought four landed properties in one go, with three of the units being rented out within a short period. The fourth unit remained stuck for a while, before a brainwave to convert the whole house into Airbnb breathed new life to this idle unit. “In a matter of weeks, we managed to turn the place around by making minor changes to the existing design and have it listed on the website,” Michelle was beaming with pride. “Before we knew it, Airbnb proved to be an appetising venture because of the higher profit margin and quicker turnaround compared to traditional renting that the ROI (return on investment) actually outperform the earlier units!” We can imagine the immense amount of satisfaction from their KL clients, with possibly more referrals for Hip Hip to come!
From Duplex Studio to 2 Bedroom Suite in Puteri Harbour
The Midas touch continues in Puteri Harbour, where Hip Hip once again worked their magic to turn a duplex studio unit into a 2-bedroom duplex suite to up the cosy factor and space utilisation. “In fact, we received an enquiry before the unit was even listed and the tenant from overseas wasted no time in signing and securing the place for the long term after viewing,” said Michelle who couldn’t hide her delight.
With high-rise buildings now dominating our JB skyline and property market, it came as no surprise that Hip Hip is building and managing a strong portfolio of these properties. “From stylish urban lofts to tiny cabins with breathtaking views, amenities do matter to the travellers market, and property owners looking for short-term liquidity are quick and happy to capitalise on the Airbnb phenomenon, as opposed to investors of landed property with an eye for long term capital appreciation. With the property market suffering from oversupply, more Malaysians are turning to Airbnb to service their loans,” Michelle cautioned. “With the current property market downturn, many of these speculators found it difficult to sell or even rent out their units.”
“Incidentally, Johor tops the list of completed unsold residential units in an October 2018 press report, followed by Selangor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. This actually provides a golden opportunity for seasoned and savvy investors to enter the market,” Michelle reminded. “A vacant property is a waste of resources and tends to get “spoiled” faster if it is just lying idle, so turning an unused property into short-term rental accommodation could be one of the possible ways for us to cover our monthly mortgage while making extra income.”
With Hip Hip out to change the public’s perception of property investment through education, Michelle and Kelly will continue to enlighten us about various aspects of real estate, and how we can make multiple streams of income by making the most of our investment portfolio to work harder. What more can we say? Hip Hip hooray!
Hip Hip Management
📍 20-02 Jalan Bestari 2/2, Taman Nusa Bestari, Skudai, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor
📞 +607–207 5676 / +6011–5175 2583
💻 Hip Hip Management