“How the property market has suddenly evolved: tips and tricks, pros and cons of a digitalised house-market”
Covid-19 pandemic and the “Great Lockdown” have brought us, humankind, to a sudden and dramatic change of habits and lifestyle!
Let’s have a look at how, when applied to house buying, this shift has and will modify our approach to the market. Above all let’s be aware of all the good and bad which are coming along.
When first-time or not experienced house buyers approach the market for their first big “Asset Purchasing” decision, be it offline or online, they should be very mindful of all the possible pitfalls they will, in one way or the other, be facing.
Major house buying risk-points, above all for the first-time players, are normally identified as:
- House developer’s track of record and financial stability,
- location and accessibility of the chosen house,
- price/value positioning in the area
- potential for capital gain/return on investment (ROI)
Nowadays, with our “social lives” being much less social than before, it’s definitely the right time to learn about all the available online resources, for house-search and house-buying, and how to use them to check as much as possible before making the final buy/don’t buy decision.
Buying a house is and will remain, for the majority of people, the biggest investment decision in their lives. As such, it shouldn’t be taken only based on listening to others’ opinion or advices but through an in-depth analysis which starts with who is the developer.
First thing first, let’s have a look at the website of the house developer and/or project. From here it should already be possible to understand if the developer is a first-time player or an established and well reputed one. Have a look at how many completed house projects has in its track-of-records, the look and feel of the previous house projects and so on.
From the website, our house buyer should already be able to link to the social media platforms of the developer and, there, it will be possible to check the reviews, comments, complaints and more from the public and previous purchasers.
Next places to pay a visit to, virtually of course, are the online property portals. From HiHome to Property Guru and from iProperty to StarProperty and Property Hunter for East Malaysia, just to mention few, make sure to spend some time in these portals searching information about the “house-wanna-buy” project.
Some of these portals are providing interesting comparison with “similar house projects” which help our house -seekers to judge the fairness of the project’s pricing, features and more.
Last compulsory stopover is at the Ministry of Housing website and, more precisely, at the blacklisted developers page here.
Here the visitors will find full and updated list of all errant developers which, in one way or the other, got caught breaking the law under the form of the Housing Development Act. Some of the wrong-doing are minor mistakes but, for sure, our home-seekers wouldn’t like to buy a unit from a developer with abandoned project history and the site above lists all of them.
Location and accessibility
The old property mantra, location-location-location, can easily be checked out by using another extremely practical online tool, Google-earth. Once the precise location of the house project of interest, using either satellite or map, switch Google-earth to “street view” and have a digital drive through in the area nearby the project.
Check which amenities are actually available in the area, the “look and feel” of the neighbour, accessibility to main highways or public transportation and more. Google keeps on updating its maps and satellite views but always remember to check the bottom right side of your screen to see how old the imagery files are.
For popular locations, which by definition are also property hot spot areas, the updates are in most cases recent. However, if you’re studying new developing areas you may find out that the imagery files are actually 3 or even 4 years old in which case, unfortunately, the house buyer is recommended to physically go and have a look.
Smart house seekers could also use all these digital tools to make sure that the building orientation is good, windows facing north and south are always the best choice not from a metaphysic science point of view but from the practical one of not having the house heated up like a microwave by the morning or evening sun.
Lastly, is always good to check the “supposed to be” best view direction of the unit, to avoid unpleasant surprises of having the view blocked by what is in the proximity or unpleasant panoramas by the time you will really open the window of your new unit.
What I mean here is to check presence of industrial areas, cemetery, close distance to highways or LRT/MRT lines transiting by few tens’ meters away from the building and so on. Use these tools as much as possible! They are totally free, and remember that a picture says one million words.
Must Apply Propenomy for Great ROI and Capital Gain
Talking about location and accessibility, allow me, as Propenomist, to highlight the importance of searching and understanding what is and will be happening in the areas nearby the chosen location. What I’m talking about here is, the economic development and the growth path that happened in the surrounding areas during the past 10/15 years.
You can still use the digital tool above, Google-earth I mean, which allows you to have satellite views history of at least 15 years. A good complement to the above is to have a look at the very famous Ho Chin Soon Research maps which will give you a great deal of information on accessibility, amenities, facilities and more!
Understanding and following the growth path of property developments in the area where the “wanna buy” house is, will provide precious information when the time comes to forecast potential Return On Investment (ROI) and capital gain.
Compare, Contrast & Calculate
This is an interesting process which will allow our house hunters to better understand the pros and cons of their desired unit together with its important USP (Unique Selling Points) which, in future, will contribute to raising the value of their asset.
First thing first search online some of the neighbouring properties, possibly from primary market (new projects). You can do this by using any of the on-line portals mentioned above. Best is, most of them are actually proposing alternatives within the search function making the “compare-contrast” analysis much simpler for all house searchers.
What needs to be done, for a proper compare-contrast analysis is to identify all the similarities and the main differences in terms of offerings (features within the house project, amenities, distance from schools, hospitals, public transportation and so on).
During the many years of house projects studies, market research and so on, Propenomist has elaborated an easy-to-use template to make the compare-contrast analysis a walk in the park!
Great new for all ProSales and ProFix readers and followers, we managed to have Propenomist consent to distribute his template to whoever is interested in it! Drop a comment below to have a copy of the template and we will send it to you. It comes with a full “how-to-us-it-instruction-file”.
On-line house buying procedures
Once the on-line research and related comparisons have been completed our house buyer is now ready to proceed. Online once more, is possible nowadays not only to visit the virtual sales gallery but also discuss with an agent or house developer’s representative, check availability of units, understanding the house purchasing procedure, check the loan eligibility and finally, providing the developer is a ProSales client, start the actual buying journey.
Nowadays, the whole house buying process has been made seamlessly easy through a digital transformation which has changed how we were all used to invest or buy in real estate. Have a look here and here to better understand the impact of digitalization on house buying process and ask us in case more information might be needed.
There is really much more that could be said on the future of the property market within the digital transformation accelerated process which is undergoing nowadays. The Malaysia Propetch Association could be a good reference and knowledge platform for all those professionals, real estate negotiators, investors and first-time home buyers interested in knowing more on the digital future of properties.
About The Author
The opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author, Dr Daniele Gambero.
Dr Gambero has been an expatriate to Malaysia from Italy, since 1998 and has more than 35 years of real estate experience. He is the co-founder and group CEO of REI Group of Companies, the Co-founder of Propenomy.com and the deputy president of the Malaysia Proptech Association.
In the past 10 years Daniele, as international and TEDX speaker, has engaged several hundreds thousand people talking about Property, Economy, Propenomy, Digital Marketing and Motivation. He is also a bestselling author and columnist on several magazines and main stream media. You can reach him directly through his LinkedIn page here