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Moving the property management industry to the next level

MIPPM panel

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): Malaysian property managers should reinvent themselves and enhance their capacity to meet increasingly high market expectations, said DBKL property management and valuation department’s commissioner of buildings (COB) head Kamarulzaman Mat Salleh.

Speaking as a panellist at a forum titled “Taking Malaysia to first world property management practices” at The Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers’ (MIPPM) inaugural conference in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 19, Kamarulzaman said MIPPM is doing the right thing by providing training and creating awareness on the importance of professionalalism in property management,” he said.

He noted that property owners today know their rights and their expectations from property managers are higher than in the past.

On regulating the industry, Kamarulzaman said the COB may consider compulsory registration for property managers in future.

“We are thinking of issuing licences to property management companies. It will help the industry self-regulate, improve and be disciplined. Of course, we have many things to consider if we want to do this. This is just a thought,” he said.

Another panellist Exastrata Solutions Sdn Bhd chief consultant Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin agreed that property owners are smarter now and property managers have to step up to the plate.

“We have all noticed that clients (property owners) are more clever now. It is time to take up the challenge to improve quality before the gap between (property management) capacity and (market) expectation becomes too far apart,” Adzman said.

To close the gap, panellist Sunway Group general manager Julian Cheng Jew Keng said leadership from organisations such as MIPPM plays an important role in leading the industry in the right direction, not only in improving the quality of property managers, but also to educate the public on the importance of property management.

“We often hear about maintenance fees not being paid, but as a property owner and developer, we believe that if we provide the right product, we can avoid many such problems,” Cheng said, adding that the maintenance fee collection rate at most Sunway projects averages around 93%.

“This result is attributed to the right product planning. We involve the management team when we carry out project planning. We believe there are complaints and problems when residents are not satisfied with the service that they paid for. As a developer, we should try to satisfy the residents by providing the right product. This is something we can and should do.”

Agreeing with Cheng, Singapore Association of Property and Facility Managers president Dr Lim Lan Yuan said: “Strata management is actually human management. If that is done well, you will have less complaints”.

He also suggested that Malaysia improve on its its strata management regulations by reviewing the strata management acts of neighbouring countries. “In Singapore, when we first started, we reviewed Australia’s New South Wales’ Act,” he said.

Also participating in the forum was partner at Pretam Singh, Nor & Co Datuk Pretam Singh. The forum was moderated by MIPPM president Sarkunan Subramaniam.

TheEdgeProperty.com was one of the media partners of the event.

This story first appeared in TheEdgeProperty.com pullout on Oct 21, 2016, which comes with The Edge Financial Daily every Friday. Download TheEdgeProperty.com pullout here for free.

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