Real estate agency CEO writes book that reveals everything about the industry

By PRIYA MENON priya@thestar.com.my

The real estate industry has always been regarded as a shrewd industry but one man is out to clear the misconception of the age-old profession.

“Real estate is not about selling properties, it is all about people’s emotions,” said Reapfield chief executive officer Gerard Kho.

Kho said every property they sold might be the biggest asset the owner has had with many stories linked to it.

“Some may be selling their properties after a spouse passed away while newlyweds may be purchasing a home to begin a new chapter in their lives, so it is all about their emotions,” he added.

Known to be a people-oriented person, Kho started his journey in real estate 12 years ago in Sydney after he graduated from Sydney University.

After two years of working at the Darling Harbour Sydney, he moved on to own two real estate agencies and after seven years decided to venture overseas.

Kho focused on Asia and never gave up his Malaysian passport because he always knew he would come home when the time was right.

Four years ago he decided it was time and bought a master franchise from a real estate agency in Australia.

His job was to look out for groups to join the agency and that was when he met the founder and president of Reapfield David Ong.

Ong wanted Kho to join Reapfield and expand the organisation.

“My role was to develop the group and we have grown from 480 negotiators to 940 today. I did not have any strategy but focused on adding value to the negotiators and business owners to be more productive.

From there, we were wondering what was the point of adding value to the organisation without an opportunity to share it with people out there.

“That’s when we decided to write a book,” he said.

Kho and Ong wrote Thrust, a book that reveals everything about the real estate industry.

Kho said it was an opportunity to enlighten the people out there especially since it was no longer a part-time job but a full-fledged career that came with responsibilities.

“Hopefully, it can help change the industry and protect the consumers. The best way to do that is to train the people doing the transaction. We know we are playing a small role but hopefully we can elevate the field to make people understand that it is a credible industry,” Kho added.

While the book is targeted at people in the real estate industry, he believes that anybody who has bought or sold a property can relate to it.

To ensure that it appeals to the general public, they have included anecdotes from some of Reapfields negotiators and agents. The book also features some of the challenges the negotiators face on a daily basis.

“It is still early to find out just how well it is doing in the market now since we just launched it some two-and-a-half months ago. But we have had people call us, wanting to join Reapfield,” said Kho.

Those looking to get Thrust can purchase it for RM27.90nett at Bookfest@Malaysia 2012 that will be held from Aug 18-26 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Kho will also be present at a ‘Meet and Greet’ session on Aug 18 from 3pm to 3.45pm at the Stage, Hall 5, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Thrust is also available at all Popular outlets at RM30.90nett.

Article extracted from The Star Online (Saturday August 11, 2012)