Entrepreneurs Derek Soh and CJ Hah set up Polygon Properties Sdn Bhd in 2017 to make a difference in the real estate industry. In an interview with Top 10 of Malaysia, Soh and Hah share on how they aim to change people’s lives by prioritizing agents’ education and development programmes, providing value-added management services to customers, and building homes for those in need.
Derek Soh did not inform his parents that he quit his job in Petronas to be a real estate agent. The Co-Founder of Polygon Properties had returned from the United Kingdom (UK) after completing his Masters degree in International Business Management and had only worked for the oil and gas company briefly before he decided to strike out on his own in the real estate industry.
“I come from Segamat and the real estate industry was not so fancy ten years ago. There were no real estate agents or negotiators in Segamat back then except brokers – you know, those old uncle types dressed in short pants,” laughs Soh.
But Soh persisted with his dream. He did not have any financial support during the first six months as a real estate broker, but relied on the very minimal saving he has left from his time in the UK until he struck his first property deal about four to five months later.
While Soh quit his full-time job to be a real estate broker, CJ Hah ventured into the industry on a part-time basis while working full-time as a banker.
The calm and poised female director who is also the Co-Founder of Polygon Properties shares, “I studied Business Information Systems at TAR College but I had always wanted to be in the sales and marketing line. After seeing my friends doing well in real estate, I had decided to do the same by working part-time at property sales galleries.”
“I spent every weekend from morning till night at the sales gallery. I made cold calls and consistently followed up with customers. Within three months, I sold six shop lots, and I resigned from the bank immediately!” says Hah.
Following that, Hah purchased her first home in Ipoh and another in Kuala Lumpur (KL). “I told myself to give real estate a chance and if I didn’t succeed, I could always go back to banking. But after buying two homes, I knew that my income as a banker would not be able to finance that comfortably. As such, I decided to do real estate full-time,” she reveals.
“Real estate today is challenging, unlike ten years ago – agents have to work harder than before. That is the reason why we focus heavily on education, training and development programmes for our agents. Polygon is not only a place for agents to make money but like a university as well to acquire knowledge and build skills related to wealth, people and entrepreneurship,” says Soh with excitement.
“We have a 30-day Million Dollar Realtor Programme for our new agents who are coached by six experienced leaders on how to close a successful deal within a month. We are not worried if our agents become smarter and more successful than us as a result of our development programmes. In fact, we would be concerned if they don’t grow,” says Soh
Hah adds, “Our experienced leaders contribute a lot of their time and effort to work as a team – like a family. Our leaders operate with a mindset to grow and to empower each other. Also, we implement the sharing culture in Polygon because we believe that trust and sincerity are fundamental in this industry. That makes us very professional in what we do.”
The dynamic duo aims for Polygon Properties to be a professional real estate company in every aspect. Hence, they recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to introduce Polygon Customer Care Programme (PCCP) which provides real estate management services to customers from renting and selling processes, renovation solutions to maintenance works.
“We do not want to be a direct-selling kind of agency. We want to assure our customers get proper after-sales services through PCCP,” explains Soh.
In addition to agent development and customer care, Polygon also believes in giving back to society. The company will be rolling out its “One Year, One House for One Family” charity initiative in 2019 to build a house for those in need in order to inspire and help people who are faced with poor living conditions each year.
Its professionalism and strong people-oriented culture has enabled Polygon Properties to work very well with Tier-1 property developers in Malaysia. It has agency branches located in KL, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, and looking to expand to Melaka, Johor, and other major cities in Malaysia in the years to come. Currently, Polygon Properties has already set up an office in Guangzhou, China which marked its first international expansion.
“We want to be a leading & trusted professional real estate agency in Malaysia, and we are keen to expand globally to China, Bangkok, Jakarta and Hong Kong as well,” says Hah with a sense of determination in her voice.
“In order to succeed in the real estate industry, you need to know your purpose and vision, and be self-driven and persistent. Take ownership of your own success. By doing so, you would be able to develop further and to overcome challenges faced in the industry,” quips Derek.
“Have a strong heart too,” says Hah with a smile.