A few industry experts were more than willing to share their insights.
David Shieh, General Manager, REHDA Institute & weekend property investor
Carry out due diligence on developer’s track record
Conduct some field-work of your own by visiting at least one of the developer’s completed developments. You can secure the help of a realtor to schedule a unit viewing in the targeted residential development.
Determine how serious the developer is in property management matters
Study how the developer’s current property was managed in the first year upon the handing over of units to homebuyers. Although developers often engage third parties to handle the building’s management, they are the ones who ensure the hired property manager is doing a good job, besides being pro-active when it comes to rectifying defects. This gives you an insight on the developer’s corporate values and best practices, a good developer will not cut corners or evade responsibilities for the sake of higher profit.
Ascertain the difference between value-added facilities VS gimmicky features
Not all facilities being marketed by a residential developer is a boon for homebuyers. Sometimes having too many features could be a liability, as these would be too expensive to maintain over the long run. We have seen some developments boasting over 100 types of facilities, most of which are not practical or necessarily useful. The worse part it, homebuyers are the ones who will end up paying for a much higher maintenance fee that the original marketed amount.
Chang Kim Loong, Secretary-General of National House Buyers Association (HBA)
Sufficient amenities, facilities and supporting infrastructure
Developers who provide adequate amenities and facilities like playgrounds, schools, markets, community halls and even police booths are not only fulfilling the obligations imposed by the local council but also their social responsibilities to society. These developers are commendable as good corporate citizens. It enhances their image too. There are also developers who invest and build infrastructures first prior to selling their residential properties.
Attention to environment and existing neighbourhood
Responsible developers do not just depend on their buyers to pass around the word of their good reputation. No new project is an island - there are existing components all around such as neighbouring projects, trees, etc. A responsible developer will ensure that the existing neighbourhood is not disturbed by their new development. If there are complaints, e.g. cracks, landslide or floods resulting from the new construction, these are quickly attended to. They also ensure that the existing roads are kept clean and not littered or damaged from construction activities.
Encourages community living
Developers who encourage the forming of a resident/owner association are a welcome lot. Some even go to the extent of contributing monies for the formulation of a buyers representative group for a meaningful channel to voice grievances. An admirable few also provide meeting facilities and allocate a multipurpose room for the elected representative group.
Ar. Alice Leong, Honorary Secretary 2017-2018, Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM)
Honest Marketing – They walk the talk
When marketing the desirability of their project, good developers will be honest with homebuyers on what to expect upon completion. Should there be any delays in construction, they will be prompt and candid in informing their clients.
They are easily accessible
Availability is one of the main criteria taken seriously by a responsible developer, they are quick to respond to client’s queries and concerns and will not leave a purchaser hanging. In this day of age, it is almost entirely necessary for a good developer to have a solid online presence as well, as this is a testament to their willingness to connect with consumers.
They cover all bases
Another exemplary behaviour of good developers is that they will have solid relationships with various stakeholders in the industry including bankers, attorneys, equity sources, general contractors, civil engineers, architects, brokers and appraisers. This will enable them to assist their purchasers’ when necessary and ensures that these homebuyers’ interests are being well protected.
James Tan, Associate Director, Raine & Horne International
They go the extra mile
Genuine developers will provide useful community facilities, more than what is required by the local council’s planning guidelines. They also take the effort to engage in corporate social responsibility programmes or host community-engaging activities for the benefit of the rakyat.
They are problem solvers
These developers think of solutions which will benefit the masses – their residential products cater to various buyer segments, who have differing needs such as single working professionals, young couples and families. These developers also will try their very best to incorporate green and sustainable designs and features in their buildings to do their bit for the environment as well as to maximize homebuyer’s comfort and well-being.
They are visionaries
A great developer will have a forward planning vision and a keen eye in transforming bare plots of land into a goldmine for the development’s future residents - quality always trumps quantity; these developers will not hesitate to sacrifice space in order to create a wholesome and livable community instead of another concrete jungle.
Featured Image: Pexel.com