Seven hundred meters from the Petronas Twin Towers stands Park Seven Condominium. Developed by Selangor Dredging Bhd, the seven 20-story blocks contain 105 units, with each floor having only one unit. The promoter calls them “bungalows in the sky”. But in addition to providing low-density habitation, the design also incorporates aesthetic carvings and allows for ample ventilation and light in and around the buildings.
The property was completed in 2008 and is managed by SDB Property Management Sdn Bhd, which reports to SDB Properties Sdn Bhd, the owner. This is not the first time that Park Seven Condominium has entered the Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards, having won bronze in the 10 Years Multiple-owned Strata Residential category in 2018. This year it competed in the 10 Years and Above Multiple- belonging to the Strata residential category, winning silver.
Managing an older property is certainly not the same as managing a new one, and maintaining a property that has discerning residents requires special attention.
“SDP has been managing Park Seven since its vacant possession 12 years ago,” said Toh Keng Hong, post-development manager of SDB Properties. “Park Seven has many expats and retirees, who expect the place to feel like a resort.”
Peter Quah, business unit manager for SDB Properties, said Park Seven Condominium is mostly occupied by the original owners and there are rarely transactions in the development.
Moreover, the condominium is also one of the first residential buildings in downtown Kuala Lumpur to withstand earthquakes, he says. An unusual addition, some might say, but must have been a welcome feature, given the tremors from seismic activity that have rocked KL’s buildings over the past few years.
Additionally, the developer has also ensured that all building materials used are of the highest quality, “left exposed as much as possible in their natural state – for example, unpolished wooden floors are used throughout. development ; and polished marble is used in the living areas of each unit”.
For the east-west facing areas, low-e glass has been installed to reduce heat exchange and a double-volume leisure terrace of over 36,000 square feet on level 1 provides plenty of leisure space for residents. to take care of their physical and mental well-being.
While all of these facilities and design aspects have provided many people with a vertical home, maintaining them is key to longevity. Based on readings from December 2020 to November 2021, their collection rate is currently 96%. Quah says residents are encouraged to make online transfers with standing instructions, and about 60% of residents already do so. The other mode of payment is by check and there is no cash collection.
Toh says, “We review and revise our fee structure every five years to ensure that in 10 years we can support the building with our sinking fund. The maintenance fee including sinking fund is currently 40 sen psf per month. »
In 2019, the management carried out an audit of the building which highlighted that the building was structurally stable with minor defects, which were repaired or rectified. Management continues with regular preventive maintenance and building maintenance activities.
In addition to keeping track of their schedules, Toh and Quah point out that residents make sure management knows when something is wrong around the property by giving “feedback” to the management office. Toh and Quah treat complaints as feedback, which helps them better serve residents.
“We want to build a community, so that residents are safe and feel comfortable,” Toh explains.
In addition, he believes that the good working relationship between the management company and the property management team has contributed to the maintenance of the building.
“The members of the management society play an important role. They are the original owners. They have been there for 12 years so they know what they want and what we are planning. Whatever we propose, it can be discussed… And they are very united. It helped maintain property values,” he says.
Go the extra mile
A unique aspect of this project are the stone and copper carvings which provide an aesthetically pleasing environment. However, these objects are not easy to maintain, and Toh and Quah say careful planning is done to ensure their preservation.
Toh adds, “The challenge is maintaining the stone. It can change color and it is very heavy. Over the past 12 years there have been a few minor issues. We also appointed a good quality cleaner and landscaper who advised us on how to maintain the stone and copper carvings.
Apart from the general upkeep and maintenance of the building, Quah believes that going the extra mile is also very important in property management. He gives the example of a faulty refrigerator that caused a minor fire in the property.
“A refrigerator that dispenses ice cubes caused a small fire. We fixed the problem. It was a corrective measure, but what is the preventive method? said Quah.
Quah (left) and Toh say an M&E audit will be carried out at the end of the year or early next year to look at the installation of charging stations and solar panels
“We worked with the developer to liaise with the refrigerator supplier to verify all units that use the same brand of refrigerator and the part that needed to be replaced was replaced. We also negotiated with the brand that if the refrigerator needed to be replaced, this would be done at a cheaper rate.
Toh says, “The unit sat unoccupied for over a year, and after a few months the [Movement Control Order] has been implemented. We had to work with the owner’s relatives, who could not return from overseas. Once we solved the case, we wanted to know what was the root cause. The Bomba report said it was the ice maker. We wondered how many owners use the same brand of fridge? We found that there were over 20 units using the same fridge. We informed the owners of this potential malfunction and assisted them accordingly.
Quah and Toh believe that negotiating with the refrigerator manufacturer helped add goodwill and value to the services provided. These issues and others along the way are incorporated into maintenance standard operating procedures to ensure that a problem can be prevented from going from bad to worse and being expensive to repair or replace. Other ways to cut costs are to do as much as possible in-house, using technology like JaGaApp to help communicate with residents and book facilities.
Toh and Quah (third and fourth from left) with (left to right) Kathy Fong, Editor-in-Chief of The Edge Malaysia, Editor Emeritus and Chief Awards Judge Au Foong Yee, Publisher of The Edge Media Group and Group CEO Datuk Ho Kay Tat and City & Country E Editor Jacqui Chan
Plans for the property include a mechanical and engineering (M&E) audit to be carried out at the end of the year or early next year to verify the building’s energy performance and efficiency.
The promoter also plans to install a charging station due to the increasing use of electric vehicles. That’s one of the reasons he scheduled an M&E audit, Quah says. The audit will also cover the installation of solar panels, which will be used to light the common areas. The upgrade of the elevator is also planned.
Maintaining an older building is no small feat, but a long-term view with solid finances certainly helps maintain value.