MAH SING’S SUCCESS LIES IN ITS ABILITY TO KEEP ITS FINGER ON THE PULSE OF THE MARKET
BY Chris Prasad
Given its elevated position in the upper echelons of the development industry, it is sometimes hard to imagine that Mah Sing Group Bhd has its roots in plastic manufacturing. Yet, that core aptitude to mould substance into something tangible, purposeful and valuable has translated well in the property industry, propelling the company’s brand to a household name.
Indeed, the nation’s built landscape has benefitted considerably from Mah Sing’s decision to venture into the development world in 1994, and over the past 23 years the company has provided homeseekers across the peninsula with lifestyle-elevating residential options at an affordable cost while investment hunters were quick to latch on to its prime commercial projects in strategic locations.
At the heart of it, success has come with the company’s ability to understand market trajectory, identify and engage in promising opportunities early, offer quality properties at an attainable price, and ultimately, allow its investors to reap the rewards when these assets appreciate.
Mah Sing is a developer with its finger on the pulse of the market, and consumers know it. This is evidenced by the large customer base they now boasts across major cities in the country and the brand loyalty it has garnered in the form of repeat customers.
Interestingly, this is a customer-relation environment that the company engineered for itself from the beginning, driven by the early adoption of an underlying business ideology: to make premium properties attainable to a wide spectrum of property seekers, and to utilise innovative financial campaigns to make ownership easy and more affordable.
Today, that outlook has not only resonated well with home buyers but its efforts have also won recognition on both the domestic and international stage. In recent years, Mah Sing has been consistently acknowledged as one of the top five developers in the country by The Edge Property Developers Awards 2016.
In the current challenging market, however, serious questions are being asked about how the big property players will fare in a prolonged period of soft market conditions. On that count, it is important to recollect that Mah Sing actually came into its own at the height of a previous economic storm that battered the country – the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
According to Mah Sing’s Group Managing Director Tan Sri Dato Sri’ Leong Hoy Kum, it was Mah Sing’s commitment to its guiding principal of innovation and an acute focus on market demand that steered it through troubled times and delivered success against the odds.
“We ventured into property development 23 years ago, and since then, we have established our brand as Malaysia’s leading property developer at the forefront of building quality and prime commercial projects in strategic locations. This has been achieved by staying true to our vision, which is making premium lifestyles attainable and luxury affordable,” Leong said.
“Innovation has always been the key to the Group’s success, and as a group, we always look to offer something more to our buyers. More than just building homes, we provide innovative solutions that are tailored to ease the passage of home ownership and campaigns that enable buyers to purchase their dream homes.”
Leong said the company puts strong emphasis on good customer service and the delivery of quality homes, as it understands that its customers are ultimately Mah Sing’s best advocates.
Not long after the turn of the century, Mah Sing began to rapidly rise as a force to be reckoned with in the development arena. Over the years, it has proven it versatility and expanded its portfolio to encompass medium and high-end residential and high-rise properties, Grade A office buildings, retail developments, Small office Home Offices (SoHos) and large-scale prime commercial projects.
One of the company’s most notable projects, Leong said, was the Iconic Series, which has served to raise the brand’s profile considerably.
“We are very proud of our Iconic Series of developments which have changed the Klang Valley skyline and enhanced the value of their surrounding landscapes. These projects have been recognised for their revolutionary design and exceptional quality,” he said.
To date, the Iconic Series includes The Icon in Jalan Tun Razak, M City in Jalan Ampang, Icon Residence in Mont Kiara and Icon City in Petaling Jaya.
Refreshingly, even as Mah Sing evolved into a major player on the landscape, it continued to stay true to its ethos of providing attainable prices and added value for property seekers.
It continues to offer a diverse range of products and reaches out to an expanded market with compelling financial schemes.
This commitment has boosted its popularity, reinforced the brand’s identity and provided a steady stream of demand for its products.
Current endeavours, for example, include the “Luxury Made Affordable” campaign which promotes affordability via an easy entry scheme and a buyer-get-buyer referral scheme.
Additionally, Mah Sing has been promoting its M Club membership, where members get benefits such as priority invitations for its launches, event updates as well as its M Care post delivery services such as providing assistance for sub-sale, leasing, interior design and renovation and more.
Currently, there are more than 36,000 M Club members and that number is steadily growing.
Despite the challenging market last year, the company managed to garner healthy take-ups for its 2016 launches.
Among the success stories were Cerrado Residential Suites Tower A and B in Southville City in KL South; the Final Tower of Lakeville Residence in Taman Wahyu; and the Greenway double-storey link homes at Meridin [email protected] Malaysia in Johor. All of these enjoyed rapid take-up rates of more than 80 per cent during their respective launch periods.
The positive response, Leong said, was largely due to the affordable price range these projects offered.
“Aside from a strategic pricing point, we also focused on developing good sales campaigns. In conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, we launched a CNY campaign, where customers can claim special bonuses from RM888 to RM18,888 on top of any sales packages when they purchase one of the Group’s 12 participating projects; Southville City in KL South, M Residence 2 in Rawang, D’sara Sentral in Sungai Buloh, Lakeville Residence in Jalan Kuching and Icon [email protected] Jaya as well as projects from other regions such as Penang’s Ferringhi Residence 2 and The Loft, Kota Kinabalu’s Sutera Avenue and Johor’s Meridin East, Meridin BayVue, The [email protected] and [email protected] Pelepas,” he said.
“We will continue introduce innovative campaigns on a regular basis so that buyers are aware of the possible methods they can utilise to finance their home.”
Despite the current market sentiments, Leong said property is still seen as the best hedge against inflation and many buyers will be willing to invest if there is a good offer on the table.
In the coming year, Mah Sing anticipates that the marketing will be challenging due to global and domestic uncertainties. However, it said the long term demand for property in Malaysia will be supported by a young population demographic, conducive interest rates, continued GDP growth and the irreversible trend of urbanisation.
“Mah Sing will continue to focus on end-user demand for beginner homes, driven by young demographic, continuing new household formation and stable labour market conditions,” Leong said.
He added that the nation’s public transportation infrastructure, which includes the High Speed Rail (HSR) as well as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Trail Transit (LRT) extensions, will also have a positive impact to property industry, especially within Greater Kuala Lumpur.
Mah Sing’s D’sara Sentral project in Sungai Buloh, located across from the Kampung Selamat Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, has already benefitted from this with strong buyer response as the overall development recorded a total of 81 per cent take up rate.
With more than 800 people employed by Mah Sing, the Group focuses on the well-being and growth of its people.
“Mah Sing’s success has always been about the success of the team. It is their hard work and dedication that has made Mah Sing the established company it is today and earned us our many wins. We understand the significance of human capital. Hence, we are committed to nurture a diverse, versatile and dedicated talent pool for the further development and growth of the Group,” said Leong.
The Group also has a Mah Sing Sports Club, where it takes the lead in encouraging a work-life balance with a number of sporting and fitness activities as well as social gatherings such as movie nights and festive celebrations.
Mah Sing’s efforts, on various fronts, have hardly gone unnoticed as it has garnered over 100 domestic and global awards for its performance, corporate governance, product design, concepts, innovations, and quality.
Its recent nomination as Property Developer of the Year by the award committee of the Malaysian Property Press Awards 2016 suggests that there is more to come.