indepth

Running a condo like a luxury resort

It is easy to fall in love with Quayside Seafront Resort Condominiums. Pleasing to the eye, the exclusive 21-acre development — comprising three phases of condominiums — is kept and managed like a luxury resort hotel.

Located on Penang island, Quayside is developed by Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) at the developer’s flagship development of Seri Tanjung Pinang.

The condominium development consists of seven towers built over three phases, offering a total of 1,246 units. The three phases are Quayside Seafront Resort Condominiums, Andaman at Quayside and 18 East at Andaman. The development was completed in 2016 and is now under the management of a joint management body.

Its most outstanding feature is the expansive 4.5-acre water park that offers pools, waterfalls, water slides, water cascades, fountains, sandy beach lagoons and spa pavilions. The water park was conceptualised by Geyer Coburn Hutchins of Seattle, one of the world’s leading landscape architecture firms.

The development also has a clubhouse offering a host of recreational facilities and a 700m seafront promenade. Security-wise, there is a multi-layered sophisticated security system as well as a 1,068m perimeter wall with fibre sensors.

“With a development of this magnitude, Quayside has a 104-member-strong management team that provides 24/7 maintenance support 365 days of the year,” E&O senior general manager for property management Eira Skelchy tells EdgeProp.my. There is also a 21-member team of cleaners to keep everything spick and span. Their efforts are reflected in the recent EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards 2018, where Quayside Seafront Resort Condominiums was crowned the Gold winner in the below 10 years multi-own strata residential category.

Residents play their part as well by embracing green and sustainable living initiatives such as having recycling bins for household waste, a facility for the disposal of electronic and electrical appliances and a composting site, as well as initiating a community herb garden.

“We also ensure that all works by mechanical and electrical contractors are supervised by our in-house maintenance staff to ensure the services are up to mark,” says Skelchy.

Meanwhile, E&O group marketing and sales senior general manager Wayne Wong emphasises that a well-managed property positively shapes the impression of potential buyers and tenants. Indeed, the present owners and residents’ appreciation of the property is reflected in the low turnover rate of residents — a mere 1.21%. The occupancy rate of Quayside stands at 88% while the service collection rate is close to 100%.

“As you walk the grounds, you can appreciate how well Quayside is taken care of and kept running like a five-star hotel. More importantly, you get a sense of the living environment that residents enjoy,” he says.

The condo units here have seen healthy capital appreciation. At its first launch in 2009, a unit at Quayside was priced at an average RM732 psf. In 2015, a similar unit on the secondary market has seen an average transaction of RM860 psf, up by 17.49%. The latest tower launch in 2013 touched RM1,782 psf.

Wong adds that effective property management is vital in ensuring that completed projects continue to live up to their intended brand promise and value proposition. 

“A well-maintained property is an advertisement of the lifestyle that we deliver through our properties, which goes a long way in attracting quality tenants and enhancing rental yields,” he says. 

Considering the upkeep required for the project, the management has to be prudent with the budget set. “To give you an idea of the extent of the maintenance required for Quayside, there are 342 CCTVs, 33 lifts, two ‘genset’ rooms, 24 water tank rooms, seven low-voltage rooms, the 4.5-acre waterpark, the 1.4 km jogging and cycling path and more!

“Clearly, a sizeable budget is required to keep everything running in tip-top condition while maintaining the resort-feel of the space. The onus is on us to support the joint management committee (JMC) in ensuring that the budget is utilised prudently.

“For instance, the management has been using in-house maintenance resources, which has saved us thousands of ringgit while the standard operating procedure is for a minimum of two quotes before works and services are awarded or purchases are done,” offers Skelchy.

“Over and above this, it is the close relationship that we have with the property management team that has contributed to the prudent budget utilisation,” says Quayside JMC chairman Leong Wai Hong. “Our criteria for excellence in managing a residential property may be summed up as the five Cs — competency, commitment, compliance, communication and comprehensiveness,” he adds.

Residents can be rest assured that any problems and feedback can be communicated to the property management team easily via email and WhatsApp group chat, which facilitates quick responses and decisions by the JMC, Leong says.

“For the most part, our residents are aware of the ‘house rules’ and understand that a condominium is a shared property, but there may still be a few demands that we cannot oblige.

“Simple gestures go a long way to help resolve disagreements, such as inviting the complainant to our office to discuss the issue over a cup of tea and to find workable options wherever possible. Our golden rule is to always act professionally,” says Skelchy.

Ultimately, the residents must be happy. To further achieve this, there are pedestrian crossings and traffic management for the residents’ school-going children, buggy service for the elderly and physically challenged and a 24-hour assistance to owners and residents in emergency situations such as kitchen fires, civil disturbances or power outages.

“It is an honour for the team’s efforts to be recognised by EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards 2018. This will motivate us to uphold our present high standards of service as we strive to raise the bar. We are very grateful to have the continued support of the Quayside JMC, without which this achievement would not have been possible,” Skelchy concludes.

This story first appeared in EdgeProp.my pullout on May 11, 2018. Download EdgeProp.my pullout here for free.

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