Do tell us about yourself and highlight your experience in the real estate industry.
For over 19 years, I have immersed myself in the real estate industry and like many, I started off as a rookie realtor. During my journey, I discovered that there is more to selling properties than open homes, cold calls and paperwork. At the end of the day, all that matters is the interaction and connection with your client – it is about selling them homes, not houses.
After gaining invaluable industry insight and establishing a solid networking connection, my partner, Eric Yap and I made the leap to start off VivaHomes in 2006. The key takeaway that I have gleaned from my 2-decade long career is this – never underestimate the magic of teamwork. VivaHomes’ core strength lies in its ability to establish and maintain a solid relationship with the majority of the developers in Malaysia and our Asia-Pacific counterparts. We often leverage on each other’s strength for all business matters including asset management, information technology development, event management as well as training programmes.
Our simple objective is to revamp the conventional business model in Malaysia. Hence, my favourite mantra – “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. To walk far, walk with a team.”
What is the brief history of VivaHomes? How did it all begin and what are some of the company’s milestones?
At the point of VivaHomes’s inception, we only had 10 real estate negotiators in the team. Over the years, VivaHomes has rapidly grown to be an industry leader with 12 branches scattered through the Klang Valley and backed by a 600-staff strength. The agency’s continuous growth is testified by the increase in year-on-year transaction value since 2012. Last year, our annual transacted value surpassed RM1.5 billion; it was RM200 million in 2012.
We have also won numerous industry awards which acknowledge VivaHomes’ efforts in delivering quality, great service and innovation. Some of the recognitions received in the past few years were Most Dynamic Real Estate Agency Award, Agency Of The Year (Titanium) and Visionary Real Estate Agency, garnered at the iProperty.com’s Agent Advertising Awards.
Having been in the real estate agency industry for the past 11 years, how does VivaHomes strive to remain at the top of the game?
At VivaHomes, apart from having a strong management team and dynamic workforce, we recognise the importance of being ‘different’ in order to sustain growth. As such, we implement and practise the following strategies:
A “people first” approach
Understanding that the heart of our business lies in the people, we go all out to provide comprehensive service and support to our internal agents, external clients as well as all of our business partners. The agency’s strategies and initiatives revolve around generating maximum value for each individual within our scope of business.
Building long lasting corporate value
The corporation nurtures and upholds values of honesty, commitment and ethics in everything that we do. From the hiring of new agents, servicing clients or forming an alliance with business partners, we ensure the highest level of integrity is practised and observed. This is essential in building the VivaHomes brand name and cultivating the necessary trust for lasting relationships.
Innovation and constant improvement
In today’s fast-paced industry, change is the only constant. Hence, we encourage continuous learning and improvement in all aspects, especially over the quality of service, processes and procedures. This makes us more dynamic, vibrant and agile, all which are necessary in order to maximise value for our clients at all times. We also embrace the spirit of innovation by encouraging entrepreneurial growth among our negotiators through a supportive career promotion framework and new branch openings. By doing so, our reach spreads further, faster and far more effectively.
A company’s greatest asset is its staff. What do you do to ensure your negotiators remain motivated and continue to excel in their job?
We always give a clear direction to all of our staff from the top management team to agents. We practice a fair and transparent commission scheme and there are no double standards as everyone is given equal opportunities to thrive and move up the corporate ladder.
All agents are properly trained and given the relevant support and mentorship from the moment they join VivaHomes. This motivates agents to unleash their potential and achieve the impossible. We also believe in effort recognition and continuous motivation – branches and agents with outstanding performance are rewarded during our annual gala dinner. Besides that, our project team members are entitled to a prestigious overseas trip upon fulfilment of certain criteria, thus giving them the kind of experience that money can’t buy.