This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on July 17, 2023 - July 23, 2023
A view of the Petronas Twin Towers above tall trees and lush greenery is what you get when you are in the lobby of The Binjai On The Park. As one of the earliest residential developments in the vicinity, it is probably the most expensive high-rise condominium development in the country. It has offered residents 24/7 concierge and buggy services to and from the twin towers since its handover in 2010.
“We started with a high standard and we need to keep it up,” says Tan Kim Seng, chairman of The Binjai On The Park’s Management Corporation (MC), referring to the management and maintenance of the development. Owners of such an exclusive project would demand the highest standards of management and maintenance.
The effective management and maintenance of The Binjai On The Park is the result of the professionalism of and working relationship between the owners and the property manager, Henry Butcher Malaysia (Mont Kiara) Sdn Bhd (HBMK). The partnership led to the development being a Gold winner in the Strata Residential category at EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards 2017.
This year, not only did it retain the Gold award in the 10 Years And Above — Multiple-owned Strata Residential category of The Edge Malaysia Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2023, it also went home with the Editor’s Choice Award for Malaysia’s Outstanding Sustainable Residential Strata Development.
HBMK managing director Low Hon Keong says stability and consistency are very important for The Binjai On The Park.
“In managing a high-end residential development like this, we treat everyone like a VVIP. Safety and security are of utmost importance. The Binjai area is home to many [of the] who’s who [of Malaysia]. To them, it is not about how much they spend, it is about the priority items to spend on, and for the MC and management to continue maintaining and improving them.”
He adds that the MC’s strict adherence to the by-laws contribute to the effective maintenance and management of the building.
The commitment of and swift response from the MC is also important. Tan notes that the bi-monthly MC meeting with the property manager is always fully attended, which allows the MC to analyse the building’s issues and make decisions quickly. “We are able to carry out the maintenance before the worst happens and we are always ahead of the curve.”
MC secretary Chong Chow Mei notes that there is always maintenance and she reiterates the importance of fixing defects before they get worse.
“With HBMK, they report what needs to be done and all … it is a thorough job, so they will alert you before anything major happens. We try to settle the defects before they become big. We take their advice and that’s how we handle the ageing [of the building]. [For other changes,] we change according to what we need,” she says.
To further enhance the efficiency of the overall maintenance and upkeep of the development, The Binjai On The Park relies on the Building Automation System (BAS), a software that allows holistic monitoring of all M&E components in the development. Via BAS, the maintenance crew is able to set, check and monitor the status of M&E components in each of the blocks accordingly.
Low reckons that good management and maintenance of a building go beyond just the hardware. He explains that a good relationship with the MC and owners is important in property management.
Communication is the key as the smooth operation of the development depends largely on constant updated communication with all key stakeholders via WhatsApp. In total, there are 17 active WhatsApp groups to cover communication with regard to maintenance updates.
“Hardware is one thing because we have the necessary hardware, but a soft touch is even more important. We work closely with the committee members and we have a good understanding of what they want,” says Low.
The 24/7 concierge and buggy services continue to be offered after 14 years. The on-demand buggy service is just a phone call away and the waiting time is not more than five minutes. These buggies are replaced every four to five years. Meanwhile, the concierge service aims to assist the owners at any time.
Tan says the development has two buggies in operation: one in the daytime and the other at night. “No development in Malaysia has this service and it is the status of this condominium. Also, there is no development anywhere in the world with a park right at your doorstep.”
Due to its location, The Binjai On The Park attracts a number of foreign residents. Low explains that before they move in, management gives them a briefing on the by-laws, house rules and local culture to make their move to a new country easier.
The Binjai On The Park organises festive parties every year as a community event for owners to get in touch with each other. These events also serve to introduce local culture to the foreign residents there.
The Binjai On The Park has undergone some upgrades, especially after the pandemic. One major change is the licence plate recognition at the ingress and egress points of the development, says Tan.
The project was proposed by HBMK in view of the need to increase security in the development. It commenced in October 2020 and was completed the following month at a total cost of RM150,000.
“Then last year, we did a major upgrade for the gymnasium and aerobic room. Previously, they were in one space … it was small and congested. So, what we did was we took out the gymnasium equipment to put them in what was previously a yoga room that was underutilised,” he says.
“This idea came from the feedback of the residents. Now, we have two rooms — one for the gymnasium and the other for aerobics, with state-of-the-art equipment. We immediately saw an increase in usage.”
The Binjai On The Park has just embarked on a repainting exercise, which MC treasurer Lim Yee Li says was delayed due to the Movement Control Order. It will refresh the façade.
It is a risk for The Binjai On The Park to make another submission for judging this year, having won the Gold award in 2017. Nevertheless, it has maintained its standard over the years, making sure its maintenance status is on par with the best of luxury residences in the region.
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