Halim Bin Osop is the Central Region recipient of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) – PropertyGuru Top Online REN 2016.
The Tough Beginning
Life was not easy for me in the beginning. I was born in Ipoh, Perak and my parents had a total of seven children. I was the youngest of them all.
We struggled mostly. I sat for SPM in the year 1988 and was working part-time to support myself and my family. Right after that, I enrolled in a Polytechnic to pursue Business Studies.
In my teenage life, I tried many jobs. Amongst them were as a factory worker, cashier at restaurant and marketing job at a supermarket. I tried to do whatever job I could to support my family.
I got married in the year 1997 when my situation was slightly stable. In the same year, my wife and I bought a house together in Ipoh for our own stay. But things turned otherwise later when I was unable to serve my monthly loan installment during the economy downturn in the year 1998.
That was the worst time of my life! My house was about to be auctioned and I know I had to do something about it. Hence, before the bank could auction my house, I tried to find a buyer myself and sold the house successfully.
It was a big relief once I sold the house. I was able to settle my debt with the bank and managed to make some profit at the same time. At that point, I realised the opportunities real estate industry offers.
Moving for Better
It was the year 2000 and my life started to get better for good. Right at that time, one of my lawyer friends in Kuala Lumpur encouraged me to move to KL to explore the opportunities available.
Hence, I moved and started exploring the jobs available. Along the way, I ventured into the real estate business. I started slow, learned the business and became a certified negotiator in the year 2006.
Becoming a real estate negotiator was a not an easy job, especially in KL. The competition was high, which was so much different from the property market in Perak. I struggled to cope and the market was mainly dominated by a certain people.
During my struggles, one of my colleagues introduced me to PropertyGuru. I’d heard about the portal before but had yet to give it a try. Hence, I met the sales personnel and started advertising on the website.
I subscribed to the beginner level and was quite surprised to receive a high number of leads. Later on, I upgraded myself to the Professional package. I also purchase Ad Credits constantly to re-post my listings and spent around RM10,000 per year.
Even though it seems like a big amount, yet it was totally worth it as I received a high return on investment. I was also assisted well by the PropertyGuru staffs who offered help whenever needed, despite urgent requests.
At the same time, I observed my clients and found out that almost all of them are the loyal followers and users of PropertyGuru. Some even told me that, PropertyGuru is the first thing that comes to their mind when they have property related doubts or while searching for a preferred home. Knowing this, I started using the property portal continuously and my career grew immensely over the years.
Despite my struggles in the beginning, I persevered; and PropertyGuru worked as my biggest pillar to help me succeed.
I learned the basic trait a negotiator should have to survive, which is to be humble all the time and befriend everyone despite race and gender. Meantime, being honest and reliable will help to retain the clients. These were the vital key notes that I learned during my early days in KL, which helped me to improve.
In the same year, I bought a house again in Puchong by forking out a down payment of RM50,000. It was a relief to finally buy a house as it was necessary, especially for my child.
My Happy Ending
My life transformed from worst to better due to the opportunities I’ve explored. If I had maintained living in Perak and had not moved to KL, I doubt that I would have come up this much in my life.
Now at the age of 40, besides my career as a real estate negotiator, I have also developed a passion for property investment. Right after buying my first home in Puchong, I bought another nine properties. My properties consist of a terrace home, while the rest are apartments. I believe that this is just some of the many properties I will buy for investment purpose.
In terms of my career, I have received many recognitions from my brokerage Diamond Realty. However, this is the first time I’m receiving external awards and I’m more than glad to be the recipient of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) – PropertyGuru TOP REN (Central) 2016 award.
I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends, clients, colleagues and most importantly PropertyGuru.
Mangalesri Chandrasekaran, Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email email@example.com