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Previndran Dato’ Sathurgasinghe

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MIEA Specialized Category Award 2010 and MIEA Real Estate Agent of the Year 2009

Formed on Valentine’s day 2002, Zerin Properties has since grown to be among Malaysia ‘s leading real estate mergers and acquisition team with offices in Singapore , Sydney , New Delhi , Jakarta and London . Their high-profile deals spans from the sale of Four Seasons in Langkawi to Intercontinental in Hanoi.

Founder and CEO of Zerin Properties, Previndran Dato’ Sathurgasinghe was bestowed the 2010 MIEA Specialized Category Award for securing a joint venture agreement to roll out 44 hotels in Asia valued at RM688 million. He was also the recipient of the MIEA Real Estate Agent of the Year Award in 2009.

Congratulations on your winning streak! You’ve won MIEA Best Real Estate Agent of the Year in 2009 and now the Specialized Category Award in 2010, how does it feel?

Overwhelming. Winning it the first time was already a great feeling, what more for the second time!

What’s your secret?

Love what you do. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows over here, but in the long run if you love what you, that’s the fuel that keeps you going and going till you succeed.

Your expertise seems to point towards ‘big’ commercial properties, any particular reason for your focus, besides the big bucks?

It was never about the money, I got into this business mainly because of my education and past work experience in the hotel industry. Actually, to be frank, we also have a strong team dedicated to the residential property market. Our focus would be something like: Firstly, corporate (offices and malls); secondly, corporate hotels (buying and selling); and thirdly, private wealth (residential sector).

What are the pros and cons unique to this category of properties, from an agent’s point of view?

In general, it may seem effortless but there’s a lot of hard work involved in the initial stages. Every deal is different and we learn a lot from each one. Also, it’s exciting to meet the different people that we come across. The challenge a lot of the time lies in trying to prove to yourself whether you can make it happen.

How do you source for buyers or takers in this somewhat niche property category?

We create a marketing plan for each property, and from there we identify the right channels to reach our prospects.

You have closed deals inside and outside of the country, and you have offices in Singapore , Sydney , New Delhi and London . Based on your exposure abroad, how well does Malaysia fare from a global standpoint with regards to the property market?

I think we need to highlight the good aspects of our country more; there seems to be more controversial topics afloat at the moment. We have good real estate laws that promote property ownership among locals and foreigners; these are some of the strong factors that should be highlighted.

Any good advice for your competitors out there?

We are too small to have any competitors. But to my fellow Malaysian agents, I think we all need to step up a notch, in terms of our knowledge, service standards, training and so on.

Who else, in your honest opinion, do you feel deserves to win the Specialized Category Award, if you were not in the picture?

Within Zerin Properties, I would vote for Francis or Hari. Out there, it would be Mr Sarky of Knight Frank for the Shell leasing deal they closed.

“We have good real estate laws that promote property ownership among locals and foreigners; these are some of the strong factors that should be highlighted.”