Developer clears unsold units by adapting products to customers' needs

PETALING JAYA: Its personalised service and social media engagement with customers have helped property developer Oriental Interest Bhd clear off some unsold units from its projects in the current market downturn. 

As the property development industry became more competitive and as more young staff joined the company, the developer had decided in 2018 to create a new brand approach called Myra focusing on new homebuyers. 

Myra takes a personalised approach in serving its customers in order to best know and meet their needs, said Myra head of marketing and branding Ken Goh.

“As we build a relationship with the customer, we get to know more about them. This helps us develop the right product for them,” he added.

One could step into a sales gallery and be interested in buying a high-end product that has everything he or she desires without knowing that they could ill-afford such an expensive property. 

“We have encountered some homebuyers who thought the selling price is only what they need to pay to own a property. They have no idea about the calculation of interest rate for the housing loan, legal fees, stamp duty for the strata title transfer and the maintenance fees that they will need to pay in the future. We hope to educate them even before they sign on the dotted line,” explained Goh.

“We want to know more about our customers and hope to make the process of owning a property a happy one and not land them in agony,” added Myra general manager of sales and marketing Wendy Lim.

To achieve the objective, instead of offering product information, the sales personnel would instead ask buyers more personal questions such as whether he or she is married; how many children and where are the children studying; where they shop for groceries and others. Their responses can help gauge their financial capabilities and the kind of property they need, not want.

The Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) enquiry service is also available for interested buyers. It serves to help homebuyers have a better understanding of their financial strengths.

“If the CCRIS report shows that the interested buyer is heavily in debt, instead of selling our property, we would advise him/her to reduce certain debts before trying to submit their loan application or place a booking with us,” noted Lim.

Myra also gathers feedback by talking to buyers or interested purchasers personally to understand their concerns.

This approach has helped OIB clear some unsold units in certain projects that are completed such as Seroja Hills condominium in Salak Tinggi, Selangor which has seen the remaining 50 units sold when the sales team came up with a new homeownership package after talking to prospective buyers.

“The moving-in cost was their main concern as most of them do not have the budget for renovations and necessary electrical appliances. Hence, we repackaged the product into ready move-in units with no extra cost needed to own the house, and it worked,” Lim said.

The company also used the same method to understand customers’ budgets and space utilisation. The information collated has helped the developer create products at a suitable price.

Myra currently has four townships under its belt – Myra Saujana in Dengkil, Myra Meranti in Puchong along with Myra Alam in Puncak Alam and Myra Putra in Desa Pinggiran Putra, with more projects on the way including Myra Gardens in Rawang and Myra Vista in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi.

In February this year, the company unveiled the third phase in Myra Alam offering 52 units of terraced houses with selling prices starting from RM480,000. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 outbreak and the ensuing Movement Control Order kicked in March 18, disrupting the launch.

“It was a bit tough initially. Fortunately, we had moved our operations online two years ago. Even working remotely, we were still able to shift our marketing focus from physical to online.

“Social media and messaging application engagement with customers is a must. We also use other ways to introduce our products such as videos. These actually helped to maintain our sales. We actually received 89 bookings through virtual engagement in April and May,” said Goh.

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This story first appeared in the e-Pub on June 19, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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