Landlord, how to make Realtors give priority to your unit. Report written: September 20,
Everything was right for this Costa Rhu, Livonia Condo.
- full waterfront with sparkling clean
waters of the Kallang River immediately seen on entering the
living/dining room, the master bedroom and one other bedroom,
- partial waterfront views from the
other 2 bedrooms,
- attached bathrooms in 2 bedrooms (not
- balcony bigger than usual Costa Rhu
- 4+1 (in demand from Caucasians),
- 2,200 sq. ft (good size),
- facing North (therefore no afternoon
sun), thereby rooms are cooler and there are savings on air
- 8th floor ("8" is lucky
for Cantonese Chinese),
- unobstructed view of river, beach and
green trees. The Merdeka bridge in the distance, Indoor Stadium on left
hand side and no massive buildings of Suntec City city views as in the
- no Benjamin Sheares bridge cutting
the living room views in half or facing other apartments,
- no expressway traffic noise,
- no construction noise,
- no immediate neighbours from the
master bedroom which has corner window units with clear waterfront
- 41 power and TV points, concealed and
of great importance for Internet surfers.
- air-conditioning in the kitchen, from
the utility area (rarely if ever installed by any Landlord of Costa
- extra matching French kitchen
cabinets which were sourced with great difficulty,
- re-positioning of Singapore Cable
Vision in master bedroom to take advantage of the waterfront view as the
Developer has positioned the point such that the bed faces the walls,
- electrical point fixed above the
fluorescent light and mirror in the bathrooms (rarely if ever installed
by any Landlord of Costa Rhu) for hair-dryers and shavers. The
Developers of this Condo do not provide such points and it costs money
to install them, away from the marble walls,
- more storage space in cupboard along
hall way with hidden compartment above shelving,
- winter clothes storage possible in
the cupboard mentioned above,
- quality bathroom accessories like
glass shelving not put in by the Developers,
- bidet hoses in the bathrooms
(uncommon in any new Condo in Singapore although older expensive ones
- mirrored wall in the private lift
- brick-like flanking of the left and
right sides of the above-mentioned mirror in the private lift lobby,
- a real mariner's lamp in the balcony,
now using electricity,
- quality curtains,
- cushions on bay windows provided for
sitting and viewing water by Caucasian prospects,
- prompt response from the Landlord to
any realtor for viewing,
- keys available for collection from
- good humour and personality of the
Landlord working as a partner with the realtors,
- "Owner" advertisements in the Straits
Times, attracting all Singapore realtors.
Rental asked $6,000 in the last month
but other Landlords have been renting from $4,000 to $6,000. Many offers
of $5,000 and >3 offers of $6,000 within last few days. Differentiation by
providing quality and more than value-for-money should attract offers
higher than $6,000. Yet no closing for over 3 months. Why? It is a
"I don't like this brick-walled flanking
of the mirror," said Mrs F when told by the Asia USA associate that it
costs the Landlord a lot of money to install this and that no Landlord in
Costa Rhu will do so for the private lift lobby wall. The bricks
make the wall look special.
"I do not use email or the Internet,"
said fifty-year old Mr F told the Landlord when shown the extra 41 power
points and telephone points. "He deals with human only" as he is a human
resource manager and has a personal secretary. Money spent on this points
down the drain!
"The electrical points in the bathroom,
absent in all Costa Rhu units since the Developer does not install them,
will be good for your shaver, " said the Asia USA associate, referring to
the beard and sideburns of Mr F. "Sorry, no use for me. I use scissors to
trim them every 3 months!"
"Your wife could find the points useful
when using the hair-dryer," suggested Asia USA associate. "She does not
use any hair-dryer as she has cut her hair short" the husband replied.
"The air conditioner in the utility area
will cool down the maid's area," said the Asia USA associate trying to
sell the advantages. "We don't need maids," stated Mr F. However,
the kitchen could receive the air conditioning too, countered Asia USA
associate. None of the expensive upgrading seems to be necessary.
"Will the bidets be of any use? " asked
the Asia USA associate of Mr F. "We are British and we don't use bidets"
"The Landlord is a responsive and highly
recommended. He is a professional, being a lawyer" said the Asia USA
associate. "Look, love, we have the worst kind of Landlord - a lawyer"
exclaimed Mr F to his wife.
Calling the Landlord to provide
reinforcement, Asia USA associate said that the Landlord was not
practising litigation which is a fact. "I am rusty in litigation, having
specialised in international business" said the Landlord.
Some of the advantages mentioned above
were acceptable though. It was high-pressure selling for this second
viewing. The choice unit for Mrs F was the ground floor unit taken by
Mr F wanted some private discussion with
his wife. Both agreed and Mr F shook hands with the Landlord. Rental
was $6,000 without the refrigerator, washing machine and dryer. The
cheques arrived within 3 days and the lease was stamped. The Landlord felt
he had a higher net income since he needed not supply the appliances. He
was glad that the Tenants had no children, hence less wear and tear of the
On receipt of the cheques and lease, the
Landlord paid the agency commission immediately, without the need to ask
for invoice (which was given later). What better motivation for any
realtor than prompt payment on signing of the lease agreement as agreed in
the Letter of Intent? You can be sure that his properties get first
priority as there is so little hassle getting payment, unlike most
Landlords in Singapore!
Note: All agents try not to deal
with Landlords who delay payment or worst, disappears overseas for months.
This applies to all service providers. In 2000, the Tenant renewed
the lease for another two years as he had a good relationship with
the Landlord. The Landlord had to decide whether to increase the
rent or retain the existing tenant with no loss in rental income. He
chose the latter option.