Thriving on customer loyalty
Tanming Bhd has kept a low profile, although it has been in the property development industry for over 30 years, with hardly any publicity for its property launches. And unlike other developers, it prides itself on not building any showhouses. Instead it thrives on customer loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion.
To date, the company has developed over 7,590 homes with an estimated value of over RM1.6 billion mostly in Balakong, Cheras and Puchong in Selangor.
It has amassed an impressive total landbank of about 1,500 acres in Selangor, of which 532.2 acres are undeveloped.
Tanming has no plans to ease off on new launches and has lined up a series of residential and industrial developments, with a total gross development value (GDV) of RM1.68 billion, up until 2013. These are to be launched from this month mainly in its strongholds.
In fact, after decades of building affordable mass housing, the developer set its sights a little higher eight years ago, starting off with semi-detached homes priced from RM500,000 and moving on to bungalows that cost more than RM3 million.
Most of Tanming’s developments are outside the Kuala Lumpur city centre, which, it says, is in line with the company’s policy of developing homes within a 20km radius of the city centre but not further than Rawang and Kajang.
At the helm of Tanming is Mejar (B) Tan Pau Son, its founder and executive chairman. Tan, 67, had joined the Malaysian army as a cadet in December 1964. While serving in the army, he studied accountancy and was a part-time lecturer at TAR College from 1973 to 1980. He retired as a major in 1977 at age 33.
Tan’s involvement in property development began while he was still in the army. He was assigned to a team tasked with finding a property developer to build homes for army personnel in Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. With his army days behind him, Tan and a few of his friends bought 40 acres of land in Taiping, Perak, for RM10,000 an acre. After converting the land use from agricultural to residential, the friends sold the land at RM50,000 an acre and with his share of the profit, Tan founded Tanming in 1979. He has not looked back since.
Tanming started out with its flagship project, Taman Taming Jaya in Balakong, in 1986 when the area was still a rubber estate. The 230-acre development, comprising 2,269 residential units, 523 factories and 63 shops, was completed in 1998 and has a population of 12,000.
It is impressive the way Tan rattles off the figures, remembering every detail of both the company’s completed and ongoing projects, right down to their built-ups and pricing.
He says his biggest accomplishment was receiving a certificate of appreciation from the Taman Taming Indah Residents’ Association in 2005.
“As a developer, we must take care of people’s hard-earned money and emphasise safety, quality finishing, design and location,” he tells City & Country, adding that homes should not be located near road junctions or in congested areas. Tanming also ensures that its houses come with good basic infrastructure such as roads and streetlights.
The Pearls and Golden Pearl
In Bandar Sungai Long, Cheras, Tanming will be launching bungalows with a GDV of RM545 million. Its bungalow projects in Taman Taming Mutiara 2, Taman Taming Mutiara 3 and Taman Taming Indah 2 — with a GDV of RM230 million, RM140 million and RM175 million respectively — are expected to be launched in phases in 2Q and 3Q2011.
The Pearls at Taman Taming Mutiara 2 covers 25.5 acres and offers 77 units of modern and contemporary 3-storey bungalows. It is a low-density project with about 3.8 units per acre. The freehold bungalows come with seven bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and an extra room that can be used as a children’s playroom or library.
The bungalows come in three designs: Akoya Pearl, South Sea Pearl and Tahitian Pearl. Their land areas range from 7,020 to 14,935 sq ft while their built-ups are from 6,898 to 7,004 sq ft. Prices start at RM3.38 million.
Each bungalow has an alarm system, a solar heater system and 50ft-wide landscaped meandering road that leads up to it. A covered car porch that can accommodate four cars is another feature.
The guarded development features perimeter fencing, a guardhouse, CCTV surveillance and 24-hour security patrol.
Amenities that are close by include a Jusco shopping mall, shops, schools, including an upcoming Chinese school, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Sg Long Golf Course and Club and a medical centre.
At Taman Taming Mutiara 3, will be its Golden Pearl project spread over 20 acres of freehold land and offers 95 units of 3-storey bungalows, 19 of which are located on Malay reserve land that will be jointly developed by Tanming and the landowner, a Malay businessman.
These units have built-ups of 3,506 sq ft and land areas ranging from 4,003 to 8,111 sq ft. Prices start at RM1.88 million.
Each unit has six bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a utility room, wet and dry kitchen, solar heater system and high ceilings for spaciousness and better cross-ventilation.
Tan says some 60% of both projects was taken up before the official launch. Earthworks have started and the projects are scheduled for completion in 1Q2013.
According to Tan, Phase 1 of the first of the Taman Taming Mutiara series was sold out within 18 months of its launch in September 2007, as was Phase 2 which was launched in November 2008. Both phases consist of 142 units of 3-storey semidees and six 3-storey bungalows.
“The project was completed in September last year. The homes were launched at RM638,000 but their prices have now gone up to RM1.2 million, which must make the buyers very happy,” Tan observes.
Taman Taming Indah 2 comprises 156 superlink houses and six bungalow plots with a GDV of RM155 million and RM20 million respectively. The company is planning to sell the bungalow plots so that buyers can build their own homes.
The prices of the superlink homes and bungalows/land plots have yet to be decided but the properties will be launched by 3Q2011.
Tanming has some 120 acres in Bandar Sungai Long, which will all be fully developed with the completion of Mutiara 2, Mutiara 3 and Taming Indah.
“We have no problems selling our projects,” says Tan. “We sell with our track record, through word of mouth and to repeat buyers.” Tanming usually delivers its projects within 20 months, he adds.
Lion Group and SHL Consolidated Bhd (commonly known as Sin Heap Lee) are two other established developers in Bandar Sungai Long while Lum Chang Group recently ventured into the area with a gated and guarded development.
Metro Homes director See Kok Loong says the market in Bandar Sungai Long has been seeing price increases of about 20% to 30% in the past one year. One of the reasons for the price hike is that Bandar Sungai Long is located in Cheras, a mature township with key public amenities.
See says the average property prices in the area will rise further as more gated and guarded developments come up here.
“[There are] limited landed properties available in Cheras … [those] closer to the city, like in Taman Segar, have higher values — about RM2 million for a semidee. [The] proposed MRT line is expected to have a station in Cheras, which is positive for the residents and real estate here.”
With the supply of landed homes running out in Cheras, new residential developments are coming up in Bandar Sungai Long, which is on the fringes of the township and where land is still available.
Improving Bandar Sungai Long’s accessibility is the 37km Kajang SILK Highway, which is connected to other major highways.
More developers, says See, will be developing in Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang and Semenyih as land here costs less than in areas closer to the Kuala Lumpur city centre. There are also large tracts of more than 200 acres here that are suitable for township developments, he adds.
Beyond Bandar Sungai Long
Other than its projects in Bandar Sungai Long, Tanming has several developments in the pipeline in Puchong, Kajang and Ampang.
In Taman Meranti Jaya in Puchong, it has already developed a total of 851 factories and terraced and superlink houses.
The company will be developing another 35 acres of land there, putting up 46 units of 3-storey shops, 90 superlink houses and 29 bungalows, with a combined GDV of RM205 million. The superlink houses have already been launched.
Also in Puchong, Tanming is building the Putra Industrial Park (GDV: RM400 million) on a 360-acre site of which the developer owns half. The industrial park will take up 100 acres.
About 59 detached factories with a land size of one to two acres each will be launched in 2Q2011. Plans for the remaining 260 acres have yet to be firmed up.
Another project that Tanming will be working on is located at Kajang Hill. This 56.5-acre development (GDV: about RM285 million) will consist of 189 bungalows and is expected to be launched in 2013.
“The smallest bungalow in the project will be 60ft by 85ft,” Tan says.
The developer also owns 10.2 acres in Kajang Country Heights for the development of 23 bungalows (GDV: RM100 million) to be launched in 2013 as well.
In the Sering Ukay neighbourhood in Ampang, Tanming has about 10 acres on which it will build 32 bungalows. The project, to be launched in 2013, will have a GDV of RM150 million.
Tanming also has land in Sabah and Johor which it is considering turning into tourist hot spots.
“We are planning tourist attractions on a 243-acre tract in Sabah, which is a 60:40 joint venture with Majlis Agama Sabah, and 200 acres in Johor. We are looking for a joint-venture partner for the Johor land,” says Tan, adding that the latter landbank is located on an island near Changi, Singapore.
“The land in Sabah and Johor was bought a long time ago. If the time is right, we will develop or if there is a good offer, we will sell the land or do a joint venture.”
Besides property development, Tanming is involved in quarrying and sand mining on a 245-acre site in Kuala Langat, Selangor.
This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 850, Mar 21-27, 2011