A comfortable, beautifully designed living space with immediate availability and a no-fuss homeowner are every tenant’s dream
by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by TMR FILE
BEING a tenant today is no easy feat as it sometimes involves difficult landlords, broken down cheap fixtures and a whole lot of problems that are legally triggering for some.
A comfortable, beautifully designed living space with immediate availability and a no-fuss homeowner are every tenant’s dream.
With this objective in mind, CozyHomes (The Property Guys Sdn Bhd) launched its brand in early 2019, hoping to tackle the property market with its unique services.
Its managing partner Vincent Lim (picture) said tenants are often the unmerited community because owners want to use minimal cost for renovations or decorating, but maximise rental prices.
“It is unfair to tenants, especially since there is nobody to look after them, while rental charges remain high. This is something we have been noticing for a while now,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.
Lim said there will be a huge gap between rising property prices and household incomes, backed by the fact that millennials prefer the flexibility that they would not get with owning a home.
“I believe the future will be renting rather than buying. Millennials prioritise freedom and flexibility these days and do not want to commit to mortgages or large financial commitments.
“Also bearing in mind, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that a large percentage of employees can actually work remotely, which means that you do not need to be tied down or be in the country to work,” he said.
Lim said from the time the brand was launched, CozyHomes has dealt with over 500 designer units to date, with some 200 units on its website currently available.
“When we say designer furnished, we look at it from three points of view. First is the use of walls, whether they are painted or covered with wallpaper. Secondly, lighting is very vital to a home and needs to send out a warm, inviting feel to it. The third is the decorations used in the house and if they blend in well with the furniture and colour scheme.
“The units are scattered across Kuala Lumpur (KL), but mostly focused in the Klang Valley. We emphasise on long-term rentals initially, but as we began to notice flexibility being pursued, we entered into an agreement with owners to allow tenants to rent for three, six and nine months, as well as a year and two years,” Lim said.
He added that tenants come from Malaysia as well as overseas.
“About 50% of tenants are local with some from other states (excluding Selangor) that have to work in KL, while the rest are actually foreigners from England, the US, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Japan, Korea and China,” he said.
The brand also looks after homes that are owned by foreigners, as most of its expertise is utilised vastly.
“About 80% of owners are local, but 20% of them are from Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
“It is good business for us because they do not know anything about the local market nor have contacts, so tapping into our database really helps. In fact, we welcome foreign owners,” he said.
According to Lim, despite the rental market slumping due to Covid-19 this year, CozyHomes has not been affected by this trend in a major way.
“In April, we saw 32 units being rented out and it caught us by surprise. We also realised that it was because real estate agents could not do their job in showing homes because of the Movement Control Order. CozyHomes, however, had been showcasing homes virtually through a 3D Tour for the public,” Lim said.
The tour is open to the public for viewing and has been successful so far.
“With the tour, you are seeing the home exactly the way it is, so there are no fake pictures or misguided information given to people looking to rent,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lim expects the property market to bounce slowly, but is optimistic it will recover one day.
“We are hopeful, but we do see more future in renting. And to flourish, CozyHomes has a few short-term goals.
“One of them is to expand the team. We started off with two people and now we have six in the team. The aim is to keep a lean team of eight people and mitigate job scope and responsibility.”
Another goal is to move into a fully digitised area in the next three to six months.
“Right now, a lot of the processes still involve manual work, so we want to go vertically deep into this aspect,” he said.
The brand’s long-term goals include expansion plans into other states in Malaysia and abroad.
“Before Covid-19 hit, we were looking into Johor Baru, but we had to halt this. We are definitely keeping this in mind.
“Another plan is to venture into overseas markets, whether it is on our own or in collaboration with experts in the country,” Lim noted.