Part 1 - Agile Property: Building Towards the Future
Mr Chai Keng Wai, CEO of Agile Property Malaysia reveals the formula that has helped the company establish a strong foothold in the local property market.
What exactly defines success in the realm of property development? The short answer will always be a proven track record and strong creative focus on servicing the needs and wants of the market. This winning formula is never created overnight as it takes years, sometimes decades, for a developer to establish itself in a competitive market.
In the case of Agile Property, it has already begun to reap the rewards of success despite arriving in the Malaysian market just five years ago. It has already embarked on two highly-coveted projects in the country and is already looking to expand its reach in the country, and possibly the region, in the months to come.
But make no mistake, its accomplishments should not be passed off as a fluke. Agile Property is backed by a solid reputation as one of China’s largest and most successful developers. First established in 1985, the company has grown extensively across the Chinese market with a diverse portfolio of property development and management, as well as hotel operations and property investment.
In 2014, the company expanded beyond its shores by establishing a branch office in Malaysia. Fast forward to today and Agile Property has already delivered two highly enticing projects on local shores in Agile Mont Kiara and Agile Bukit Bintang. Eager to find out what Agile Property is slated to bring to the market, we spoke to Mr Chai Keng Wai, CEO of Agile Property Malaysia to uncover the secret to the company’s success and what the future holds for the company.
It’s interesting to note that Malaysia is Agile Property’s first overseas market. What specifically convinced the company to branch out here?
We chose Malaysia out of the other Southeast Asian countries because it is more stable and has a lower entry level. Many mainland Chinese also know and recognise the country. There is a huge Chinese population here, our culture is well maintained, the language is not a barrier, and it’s got good food and weather.
What has been the company’s greatest challenge?
We’ve been in the Malaysian market for less than five years and we’re still relatively new. So I would say that has been one of our biggest challenges. We’re established in China and we’ve got a huge database to leverage on, but Malaysia is still a new ground for us.
How did you overcome this?
We knew that we had to first gain recognition in the country. That was our first objective. We first set out to localise ourselves and adopt local strategies with incorporation of innovative approaches from our overseas experiences. So far, we have already achieved success in two segments and received recognition and awards in our relatively short time here.
Let’s talk about your two existing projects in Mont Kiara and Bukit Bintang. Who are you targeting for these developments?
Well, first of all, these two projects are located in very prime locations. As such, we have no worries about digestion from the local or foreign markets. We have a huge database of millions of existing home buyers in China, but I’ve made it a point to ensure that we do not rely too heavily on foreign sentiment. Right now, we have a healthy mix of customers from both spectrums for these developments.
How has the response been for both projects?
I am glad to say that our Mont Kiara project is almost sold out. We are still maintaining one block which consists of only 16 units. We are holding on to that until the right opportunity comes. As for Bukit Bintang, we have launched two thirds of the units so far and achieved almost 70 percent of sales.
Continue reading Part 2 of this article for the rest of Mr Chai Keng Wai's interview on Agile Property