Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Property investor turned multi-millionaire developer, by TheStar

Property investor turned multi-millionaire developer
Her path to financial success is an accelerated one. Within seven short years, Prudence Wong, group brand manager turned property investor turned property developer-cum-entrepreneur, achieved the exospheres (the highest level of atmosphere around planet earth) of success. Well, to her she might just be at troposphere (the layer of atmosphere closest to Earth), but to a fellow investor, she is certainly achieving the dream success of many.
A student of Milan Doshi, a property investment guru in Malaysia, nothing seems impossible for Wong. met up with the intrepid pint-sized Wong, who shared her success story and her first project as a developer (Qube in Shah Alam).
Tell us about yourself and your investment journey. How many years did it take for you to achieve financial freedom? Prior to investing, I spent more than 10 years working in a public listed pharmaceutical company and multinational nutritional company as group brand/product manager. Basically, my job entailed brand building and brand management. This was more than 10 years ago. In year 2002, I attended my first property seminar. It was Milan’s (Doshi) course; the first property course I ever attended. The first property I purchased was in year 2003. I did not purchase immediately. Actually, I was very gung-ho after the seminar. But after one to two months I couldn’t find the property that I wanted – my ideal property, you know, good price, good deal and all that.
When did you purchase your first property? I bought my first property during the SARS crisis time. I bought it from an owner who was from Hong Kong. That time, the SARS was very bad. So I bought a few units and I got my first unit 20 percent below market price and the rental yield was about 14 percent. My first tenant was from the Middle East. He stayed there, got married and two children were born there. Very Ong (prosperous) place for him (laughs). He stayed there until I sold it.
How much did you buy it for and when did you sell it? I bought it for RM180,000 in year 2003 and sold it for RM240,000 in year 2006.
At which point, did you become a property developer? At that time (year 2003), I did not resign. I still worked for two years during my real estate investment journey. I bought a lot of properties. Two years later, close to the end of year 2005, I met my business partner and we co-purchase properties. We bought shops and it was that time that I decided to go (into investing) full-time.
Prudent Prudence: “I have a system of keeping all my things. To me, information is money,” says Wong, the director for the development of Qube (which aims to be an icon in Shah Alam).
What types of properties did you purchase? Apartments and flats.
So you went for the low- and medium-cost ones. Yes.
Which areas were these properties at? Shah Alam, Ampang and also in Puchong.
Why did you select these areas? When I was a marketing executive for a telecommunications company, I was seconded to Shah Alam and at that time, this area (Shah Alam) just started (to develop). I also stayed in Shah Alam for about six years. So I know Shah Alam pretty well.
The other day, after I shared my story (at Juanita Chin’s ‘Secrets of buying from property developers’), more investors are coming into this area. I know of a few investors who only buy in Shah Alam. When I started a joint-venture with my partner, we decided to look at shops and also factories.
When I bought land one and a half years ago, I did not think of becoming a developer. I thought that maybe I should just open a furniture mall or something like ‘Asia Cafe’ type of outlet. Until one day, my friend said to me, “This is a fabulous location. If you don ‘t develop this land, it will be such a waste.” So that’s how I became a developer.
Flats, apartments, condos, shops, factories, bungalow land, land and now development – that’s my investment journey.
So your investment journey is about seven years so far? Yes, about there. I am still an investor. Every year I make sure that I buy, but not every month. Last time I used to buy every month.
How did you find the time and energy to do all that?! I did full-time! I have the passion to do all of these things.
So by that time, your passive income was enough to cover your expenses? Yes. The time my passive income can cover. So I tendered, I said “Sayonara!” That’s why I don’t encourage people to resign before their passive income can cover their expenses. The moment I can cover, I resigned and did full-time. In one day I could see so many properties, I was so happy (laughs).
What was the biggest mistake and best decision you made in property investment? The best decision I made; there were a few properties that were very run down. One of them was a hidden jewel. I turned it around, added value to it and it gave me triple or four times of profit.
Was it a commercial property? Yes, commercial.
Where were these hidden jewels? There were actually two. One was a rundown factory. I picked it up when it was in a horrible state. I touched it up and put up a good tenant. That actually gave me triple value. One bungalow; I bought in an auction. Until today, it still gives me very good rent.
You do a lot of property research. But has property investment got a lot to do with instincts as well? I would say that my instinct is pretty strong (laughs).
Some people can do all the research and can still make the wrong decisions.
For me, I would say that my research is both official and unofficial. Sometimes, I get report from valuers. Sometimes, I talk to the people, the locals. Then I would decide.
On average, how much time would you spend on research before purchasing? If it is a new area, I need about a few days to study the area and everything. Sometimes, like my neighbour (the shoplot beside Qube’s office-cum-showroom), I did not even see. I have purchased a few properties which I didn’t even see because I know the area very well. Sometimes, I even know which unit because I have been there before.
So if a place is good, you won’t purchase just one? If it is a good one, I will buy a few. But if it is not a good one, I will put it on hold because I always believe that good deals are always on the way. If I did not get this good deal, I will always get another. That’s what I believe. I don’t get emotional like “I’ve got to get it, I’ve got to get it!”. I just let it be.
What was your biggest mistake? There was one incident. I didn’t do enough research. I lost RM100,000, half of the 2% booking fee for a commercial property.
Was your best decision after your biggest mistake? Yes. Half the 2% deposit was gone. But I made up that money somewhere else. But of course, I feel sad that part of the deposit was gone.
Apart from sadness, what did you feel? Did it make you even more determined? It made me more careful; to do more research even though I did a lot of research.
What was the main reason for the error? I trusted the agent, who was my friend.
Why didn’t the deal go through? I found out something later and I pulled out. Sometimes, I have to cut losses. I would rather cut here and earn somewhere else. After I pay the 2%, only I went to do the research. Alamak! (Oh dear!)
In a recent property seminar (Milan Doshi’s property investment preview), you mentioned that you still keep thousands of property listings that you cut out from the paper until today. Why? Actually, Milan (from her first property seminar) asked me to make a book. All the thousands of listings I cut out are more like properties that I have seen. I have a software system of keeping all my things. To me, information is money.
Apart from Milan’s, which other course(s) did you attend? I attended a lot. Milan’s was the first one. I tried another one, Dolf de Roos, who used to be Rich Dad’s (Robert Kiyosaki) property guru. Another guy is Steven Molnar Australia/New Zealand, who has now become a friend. I read a lot of books - Renesial Leong, Milan. I also read a lot of Donald Trump’s and Robert Kiyosaki’s books.
Before you started in property investment, did you try a lot of other things? There is one business I have done which is very funny. You know which one? Selling condoms online (laughs).
Chic and contemporary: Qube’s interesting 548sq ft show-office
How did that work out for you? This was before Milan’s course, right? Yes, at that time my husband was in that line. He was working for a manufacturer. So I asked whether I can sell it or not and I went to study the condoms.
Then I set up an e-commerce store and I only made one transaction. Then I realised that the pricing is terrible because China and India can really throw prices. So I found out that trading is not my core.
How long did you do that? I think about eight months. Then I stopped and focussed only on properties.
Is that the only online business you have tried? Yes. I realised that property is better than online trading.
Did you attend any courses for online? I attended ‘How to make money in your pyjamas’. That’s how I met Nancy Ng (full-time real estate agent, property millionaire and project sales director of The Qube). I didn’t realise that selling condoms need skills too (laughs).
Do you have a particular go-to strategy when it comes to property investment? Always buy niche. Of course, one must look at basics such as pricing and location. I also look into Feng Shui as I believe in Qi energy. I always go for something very niche. I always go for places that are in high demand, but with less supply. I don’t like to fight with people. I always go for corner (lots) and I always add value to the properties.
How do you add value? Renovate the kitchen, add lighting; things like that. Sometimes, I redevelop the whole property and it all depends on costing versus revenue.
Tell us about your company and Qube. There are two partners in the company. I chose to develop in Shah Alam because I am familiar with that area. Qube will be officially launched in early August 2010. Qube is an icon in Shah Alam. It is in a very strategic location with high visibility. Qube is located at the north-west intersection between Federal Highway and the North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE Highway). It faces the Federal Highway and ELITE is on the left of the building.
Qube features a modern design and is an eco-friendly high-tech building. We call it the first high-end corporate office in Shah Alam. For the design, we are working with the award-winning team from PDI Design & Associates. We make sure that the building is chic and contemporary in both its exterior and interior. It is also designed according to the Feng Shui principles of Master David Koh. So, as you can see, the whole team comprises consultants who have more than 35 years of experience in development industries.
What are the types of build-up sizes? Qube features 15 storeys of business individual suites, three levels of retail and four levels of basement carpark. The office lots start from 548sq ft to the bigger size, which is 11,000sq ft for corporations, if they want to buy the whole floor. The fifth floor is reserved for bulk purchase buyers. Individual units are from 548sq ft to 2,379sq ft.
Tell us about the price per square foot. We are selling the units from RM423 per sq ft. The price might increase, as after the soft launch, we have sold 70 percent of the units. You are a first-time developer. Many people are naturally sceptical. Why shouldn’t they be?
I would qualify myself as an investor because I myself am an investor. So I would know what is good for property investment or ownership. I know what a buyer wants. In terms of knowledge, skill and developing, I have strong team and their experience adds up to more than 35 years. As a buyer, you want to get the best. For me, I know what the best is for an investor as I have managed more than 50 tenants in my seven years of investing. So basically I know what an investor wants and what a tenant wants.
When is the scheduled completion? In year 2013.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Penthouse for RM38Mil

Someone bought a penthouse for RM38mil in KL!
Binjai is the only condominium located on the 50-acre KLCC Park.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Binjai On The Park development in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) caused a stir in the property market when one of its two super penthouses was sold last month for RM38mil, making it among the most expensive homes to have been sold in Malaysia in recent years.
Some property consultants, such as Zerin Properties chief executive officer Previndran Singhe, believe that this is the country’s largest condominium transaction, although it has yet to be verified.
The buyer is a corporate figure who has been on Forbes magazine’s list of wealthiest people. On June 22, he bought the triplex penthouse, measuring 14,300 sq ft, on the 42nd floor of Binjai’s Tower B. The price tag of RM38mil meant the penthouse was sold for almost RM2,660 per sq ft (psf).
“The buyer bought the penthouse to stay. He fell in love with the 360-degree unobstructed view of the KLCC skyline right at his doorstep, similar to views offered by the likes of London’s One Hyde Park. He said Binjai On The Park was just like one of his other homes around the globe,” said Terri Har, marketing and sales manager of Layar Intan Sdn Bhd, the developer.
Layar Intan is 100% owned by KLCC (Holdings) Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas.
Binjai’s two 45-storey towers have a total of 171 units. To date, the project has recorded sales of more than RM600mil at an average price of RM2,600 psf.
Over the last six months, three other penthouses have been sold for approximately RM18mil. On a psf basis, the most expensive unit so far was a standard unit on the 38th floor, which was sold for RM2,900 psf or RM10.6mil.
With Tower B now sold out, what is left are mainly Tower A’s standard units, which offer 3,700 sq ft each. Binjai is the only condominium located on the 50-acre KLCC Park and is part of the KLCC development master plan.
“Binjai’s key selling point is the fact that every unit has an unobstructed view of the park, along with a spacious balcony,” said HwangDBS Vickers Research analyst Yee Mee Hui.
Said Har of Layar Intan: “Some 30% of our buyers are from Japan, Hong Kong, Britain and other parts of Europe. Most of our buyers are businessmen and corporate people who already have homes around the world. They appreciate Binjai as the only development in the vicinity with an unblocked view of the KLCC skyline.”
She added that most of the local purchasers bought Binjai units to live there or as homes for their children, while the foreign buyers treated the units as holiday homes or transit points. By The Star.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce TOP POST

Latest news
Datuk Khor Teng Tong lost by only 3 votes to Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Trying out MonaVie for my knee problem.

Well just sign up for the new so called MonaVie "Juice Of Life". I am taking the Green Bottle - Active for my knee problem. My wife will be trying the Purple Bottle - Original.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Najib's style further raises Chinese support

KUALA LUMPUR: Since taking office as prime minister a year ago, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has made various direct approaches to win back the Chinese support for the federal government.
Besides attending traditional events such as the Chinese New Year open house, his “walkabout” approach of going directly to the people has found a lot of favour.
Najib’s style is seen to be more appealing to the Chinese community, where a sizeable number had ditched the Barisan Nasional in the last general election in favour of the Opposition.
For example, Najib was the first prime minister to attend the assembly of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia or popularly known as Hua Zhong, the influential and prestigious umbrella body for Chinese associations, guilds and clans in the country.
“The prime minister’s visits to Chinese independent schools, temples, Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown in Petaling Street and officiating Hua Zhong’s cultural festival have portrayed him as a leader close to the Chinese community, close to the people,” said Hua Zhong president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah.
Pheng said Hua Zhong, whose members include some of the biggest movers and shakers in the Chinese community, felt that Najib’s 1Malaysia concept has wide acceptance among the Chinese community and it had so far impressed the general public.
“I strongly believe that as long as it (1Malaysia concept) is fully implemented by all, it would bear ‘big fruits’ (for Malaysia),” he said.
In line with his 1Malaysia rallying cry and spirit, Najib also made another unprecedented but heart-warming gesture when he arrived at Pandamaran, a former Chinese new village, for the national Chinese New Year celebrations in February.
These actions are seen as “giving face” or according respect or consideration to the Chinese community, and they augur very well because “giving face” is regarded as a key tradition in the Chinese culture, and more particularly so during an auspicious period such as the lunar new year.
“The Chinese community has a very positive image of Najib. Two factors have contributed to this: first is that he appears to be pro-active on day-to-day issues like health and transport. The Chinese like that very much,” said political analyst Prof James Chin.
Secondly, he said, a lot of Chinese people had completely lost confidence in the Barisan Chinese-based parties but Najib has been seen as a saviour in reaching out to them.
Chin said the only long-standing issue perceived by the Chinese community that Najib needed to tackle vigorously is the New Economic Policy (NEP), which is sometimes seen as a stumbling block in terms of fairer distribution of wealth and opportunities.
But he said the initial response from the Chinese community for the New Economic Model has been very positive.
“On the surface, they are quite happy as they are eagerly waiting for more details,” he said.
As Najib marks his first anniversary as prime minister Saturday, many political analysts believe that he will continue to be in touch with the people, including the Chinese community; feeling their pulse, listening to their problems and aspirations to drive home the point that he is an inclusive leader.
Najib is seen to be genuinely working almost tirelessly to accomplish a lot of things for the rakyat. But some analysts say that Najib still has to face the reality that there has been a generational shift in the Chinese political thinking as the community is more influenced by issues rather than loyalty to any particular party.
“The Chinese nowadays no more just interested in business. They are already looking at things from a wider perspective, especially the younger and middle age generation as their prime concerns are not only jobs and income but also their children’s education and future,” said another political analyst.
This explains why some Chinese voters even voted for a party which had been promoting its aspiration of an Islamic state in the last general election as well as several by-elections after that as they had adopted a different political thinking from that of their parents, he said.
“They have more options and these make them more independent in their political choices.
“Therefore, if Barisan wants to win big, it needs to win back Chinese support. The Chinese are very, very much issues-based. If you can deliver on issues, they will give you their support. If you don’t, then they won’t to give you the vote,” said another political analyst Datuk Cheah See Kian.
Some believe that after a year under Najib’s leadership where he introduced some radical changes and transformation plans like the 1Malaysia concept, National Key Result Areas (NKRA), Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and New Economic Model (NEM), there is an urgent need for him to produce results.
“People are hungry for implementation and end results. He has to provide quick results. Therefore, in his second year in office, he has to produce results out of the various strategies he has introduced,” said another political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian.
Producing end results aside, there is also other similarly important challenge that Najib has to address -- to put the house in order with regard to Barisan component parties in order to face the next general election.
“He needs the (full) team, not only from UMNO, but also all in Barisan. Najib has been seen as a popular leader as a result of his approachable outlook,” he said, adding that this had also been reaffirmed by the latest survey by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research.
The survey showed that “Najib is in a stronger position today than he was 12 months ago when he took office as proportion of Malaysians satisfied with his performance stands at 68%, the highest ever.” -- Bernama

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dato Seri Najib, PM, Malaysia

I have always wondered how Dato Seri would faired as our Prime Minister.
I would like to give him an A for his strong and fair administrative actions. He is able to turn around quite a number of policies and curb a lot of wrong doings. He is like a broom sweeping clean the dust and mess. He makes wise decisions and enable more and more people to believe in him and would want to strive along with him.
1 Malaysia.
The lifelong dream of Malaysia's 6th Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Hj Abd Razak, is a united, peaceful and prosperous Malaysia, with abundant opportunities for all citizens.

This is what I would like, we as Malaysians can eat, drink and play together. Just like old days, when we play Buah Guli and Gasing in the playground no matter what Race, Malay, Chinese, Indian or Singh. I remembered 2 goods friends Amran and Rajender Singh, we used to play Kites and catch Peacock fish from rivers and big drains.
Last but not least, overall Dato Seri Najib, PM of Malaysia, is doing tremendiously well in managing the Rakyat and Country.