Jonathan's First Step in Property Investment
As an employee of The Makeover Guys, I decided to buy the very service I sell every day. By the end of the makeover, I had an offer of RM 2500 which was more than 10% above the highest market rate (RM 2,200)!
But first, the back story....🧐
4 years ago when I was 28, having worked for a few years I wanted to start investing in properties. Prices were on the rise - a good sign to act quickly. After discussions with the family and a few mamak sessions with friends, I managed to secure an early bird offer on a 2 room, 2 bath unit at 28 Boulevard, Pandan Perdana thanks to my friend who was working for the developer.
I signed the papers, paid the deposit and didn’t really think much of it as the property was to be ready 4 years later. But little did I know that in the next few years, my property investing journey would totally change.
Fast forward to 2018, my younger sister introduced me to The Makeover Guys (TMOG), saying that they were a fun company with a good working culture. I was skeptical at first, but went ahead with the interview. Long story short, I was hired as a Corporate Clients Relations Manager, in which I handled developer accounts such as Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd and EcoSky,Ecoworld who worked with TMOG's furnishing packages.
Receiving Keys to My Property
June 2019 gave me a reality check - I got a call on Monday afternoon from 28 Boulevard’s developer office. They told me my property was ready and to come over and collect the keys. That's when I realised "Hey I'm a property owner! Now what?".🤷♂️
“How to get my property rented out?”
“How to manage/reduce my monthly installments to the bank?”
Fortunately for me, TMOG filled my head with the right property investing tips, which allowed me to do my own budgeting for my unit. Initially, I thought I’d need to spend quite on a King-sized bed, built-in wardrobe, 55” 4K Smart TV - those alone already racked up RM 40k! I was really disheartened from not having enough cash, and it didn't seem like the market rate of RM2,000 - RM2,200 would cover the costs over 2 years.
“Where can I find help?” 😢
Enter TMOG's Strategy Consulting Team, a department that advises property owners daily on how to maximize their rental potential and help with their cash flow plan.
After a few rounds of speaking with the team, they (Sin Yee and Ian) pointed out that I went a bit overboard with my furnishing ideas, and to keep my targeted tenants in mind (single working adults and Chinese expats). They could utilize the free shuttle bus to Sunway Velocity and MRT for work and leisure. Their analysis concluded that I didn’t need to overspend to get the rental I wanted - what a relief!
Their revised quotation was much more optimized; queen-sized bed frames, loose wardrobes, 43” 4K TV, and huge savings. The total amounted to less than RM28,000 which was a lot more palatable, AND I could use the tenant down-payment to offset a portion of the furnishing fee!
The Makeover 😊
With the budget set, we were ON! I went home that night excited, knowing my headaches were finally over. Now for the makeover, and I found myself wondering how the entire process happens.
I spoke to the Creative Team responsible for creating designs that fit my tenant profile. With TMOG's new partnership with Jotun Malaysia, they saw an opportunity to implement something new. Having understood by now that designs are an effective tool to achieve better rental yield, I trusted their instinct and happily opted for a ‘surprise me’ theme - this means 100% free hand to come up with designs they feel is best, and a free reign to test new innovations. As a result, my unit was one of the first to have 100% paint on feature walls with no wallpaper!
Throughout the process, the Operations Team sent regular updates and worked together with the Creative Team to advise me on some changes. For example, the second bedroom would be better off with a fan light - this is because the room is small and having a separate light with an overlapping fan blade causes ‘flickering’ shadows which is very uncomfortable for tenants. Also the 3-door loose wardrobe was revamp to a 2-door wardrobe for a more practical use of space, and saving me cost.
The unit was completed within 6 weeks, as per the committed 30-working day period. I remember being at home when the project’s designer Ryan sent me pictures of the completed makeover. I was so happy with the results that I immediately showed them to my wife - she exclaimed “Nice lehhh!”.
The free professionally-photographed images (attached) made it very easy to send to CozyHomes.my to help with searching for potential interested tenants.
My wife asked me one day at dinner, “How long do we have to wait before someone rents your unit?”
2 days after I sent the photos to CozyHomes.my, they called to tell me that there were 3 prospects arranged to view the unit! By the end of the day, I’d been offered RM 2,500 which was more than 10% above the highest market rate (RM 2,200).
Everything happened so quickly and I was very pleased with the results. The agents who operated at 28 Boulevard told me that many prospective tenants jumped at the chance to view my unit because mine was one of the few that was ‘ready to move in’. This meant that prospects could view, touch and see what they were actually going to get before committing.
Many landlords had preferred to secure a tenancy before doing any renovations, but this meant that tenants ran the risk of signing up and being disappointed later, as opposed to moving into the fully-furnished unit as viewed.
WHAT DID I 'MAKE' Of THE WHOLE PROCESS?
All in all, I was really pleased - the makeover was executed quickly and conveniently while I was busy at work, and thanks to the team I secured a tenant within 2 days of being handed the unit, AND above the market rental rate at that!
Thanks again guys! 🙏🎉
This whole experience taught me a lesson; although I was fearful at first of not knowing what to do with my property, everything turned out well, showing that worrying wasn’t going to solve problems. Stay resourceful and the solution will present itself.
Corporate Client Relations Manager