Hey Feng Shui Master, does my home have good feng shui?

I get this pretty often. As a professional feng shui master, I always feel the need to take this question with all the seriousness I can gather. Following up, I always post several protocol questions: What do you see around you? Where is the nearest water body? Are you taller than your surrounding buildings? Are you sitting on higher or lower ground? What is the direction of your house? By the time I’m done with these questions, most are half asleep. Others just stare blankly – seemingly overwhelmed.

Usually, these questions are not taken into consideration when buying or moving into a new home. However, most of us understand the importance of good feng shui. This is where the mismatch (and my headache) begins. Many clients come to me after buying a house (without paying attention to their house orientation) and want me to give them the best feng shui possible (I hope my fellow professionals are listening). Simply said, it is not possible. However, if there is one thing that I absolutely need everyone to pay attention to, it is the direction of your house.

What direction? The main door?

For something so important, there is definitely too little knowledge. Okay, I admit there’s some ambiguity regarding this. And no, the main door is not always the way to determine the orientation of your house. I take the most logical approach and I hope that appeals to you too.

First off, let me explain to you why the main door is not always the most accurate guide for the orientation of your home or office. Some houses have weird or rather unique designs if you like, especially with architects trying to outdo one another. They are definitely not making my job any easier. Some even have their main doors sitting right at the back of the house.

Regardless, let me share the most surprising secret with you: I always use the largest (main) façade as a guide. We live in a different era where main doors are not always situated at the most obvious locations. So if a building is facing a certain direction with the main door tucked away in another corner, I’ll still go with the building’s main orientation. That, to me, is the right way of doing it.

 

So which orientation is better?

At the most basic level, there are eight directions: north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest. Each represents one of the Five Elements (Water, Fire, Earth, Metal and Wood). In feng shui, luck cycle changes once every 20 years. As luck cycle, like the stock market, is cyclical; what goes up must come down. In the last luck cycle known as Period Seven (1984 – 2003), east and west-facing houses enjoy tremendous feng shui support. However, the luck of east and west-facing houses starts slipping away since year 2004.

With that in mind, northeast and southwest are directions that enjoy the most feng shui support in Period Eight (2004 to 2023). Following that is the north and south. To make my job easier, it is always better to deal with houses that enjoy good luck cycle. Suitability is another factor that we consider by identifying favourable direction with the element that complements you.

In conclusion, I strongly suggest that you speak to your feng shui master. Does your home enjoy good feng shui? Well, I certainly hope that the direction you have chosen is correct and I will help you worry about the rest.

 

 

 

iProperty Puts Safety First

Nayati Moodliar's Safe Return to his family.

 

In the month of May, the world, in particularly Malaysia joint in the celebration in knowing that 12 year-old NayatiMoodliar was safely returned to his family unharmed, after being abducted and held captive for a week. While the celebrations continued and police worked towards capturing the perpetrators, the nation was once again shocked by the news of two female real estate agents that was raped and the other murdered within 24 hours last week.

 

In a report by New Straits Times recently, it was stated that barely 24 hours after real estate agent Chen Choi Mooi was found murdered in Batu Dam, Gombak, another real estate agent was stripped naked and tied up by her “prospective clients”. She was however successfully rescued by police, who was alerted by auxiliary policemen, who had been tipped off that the victim was held captive at a condominium in Mont Kiara.

 

We are deeply saddened by the news and would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Chen Choi Mooi and to the other victim, it is our hope and prayer that you will be able to overcome the trauma and recover from the ordeal.

 

As such, we would like to urge all agents, regardless whether you are a male or female, to take all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. We have outlined some safety tips here – Being Safe Matters – Tips and steps to be safe on the job.

 

Please remember that the smallest bit of prevention goes a long way in ensuring your own personal safety. Be safe!

 

On a different note, I am extremely happy to highlight that our year-to-date results in all the four countries in which we operate in have reported astounding growth.  

 

iProperty.com.my continues to be the clear leader in Malaysia and was also recently ranked the world’s 3rd most dominant portal when compared to other competitor portals by Property Portal Watch. The Malaysia business has and continues to achieve many milestones over the course of 2012.

 

In the first quarter of 2012, GoHome.com.hk has also successfully extended its lead in Hong Kong. The website continues to outperform other local real estate portals with the highest traffic, user and listing figures, making the most effective online advertising platform for local real estate and living sectors

 

Moving on the Indonesian market, we have also seen tremendous growth in both our portals, rumah123.com and rumahdanproperti.com, which we acquired in August last year. iProperty.com.sg continues to be the equal market leader and has established a clear position as a trusted source for information, property intelligence and buyer insights, in Singapore.

Another piece of exciting news that I wanted to share with you, was that we have expanded our family! The iProperty Group will soon be in Macau via the acquisition of vproperty.com, the country’s leading property portal. The acquisition extends the reach of the Group in the region with the Macau based portal being managed by the iProperty Group’s GoHome.com.hk business.

 

The portal currently generates revenue from local real estate agencies and property developers. It receives 50,000 consumer visits per month, generating 500,000 page impressions and has 60 registered agents as paying subscribers.

 

The success we achieved here, and continue to achieve, could not have been possible without your continuous support and believe in us as your trusted voice in all things property related. Thank you!

 

Have a great week!

iProperty Group to Acquire Leading Property Portal in Macau

iProperty Group Ltd, owner of Asia’s No. 1 network of property portal sites under the iProperty brand (www.iproperty.com), today announced that it had agreed to acquire vproperty.com, the clear leader in Macau. The acquisition extends the reach of the Group in the region with the Macau based portal being managed by the iProperty Group’s gohome.com.hk business.

Macau's Leading Property Portal vproperty.com is the clear leader in Macau and currently generates revenue from local real estate agencies and property developers. The portal currently receives 50,000 consumer visits per month, generating 500,000 page impressions and has 60 registered agents as paying subscribers.

With a population of 500,000 Macau attracted 28,000,000 visitors in 2011, 65% of whom are from mainland China. Macau is experiencing extraordinary economic growth with GDP increasing by 21% in 2011 powered by the gaming and entertainment industry and lies at the heart of the Pearl River Delta area.

iProperty Group has agreed to acquire vproperty.com for USD300 thousand in cash upon completion of the acquisition. This acquisition will be paid for using existing cash reserves.

Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of the iProperty Group said, “Following our success in making gohome.com.hk the leading property portal in Hong Kong, we see the Macau based vproperty.com as a natural extension in the region. This provides us with clear market leadership in both Hong Kong and Macau allowing us to offer advertisers a more compelling proposition and providing us improved access to property investors from mainland China. It’s the world’s most dynamic region and the acquisition of vproperty.com provides us with an expanded footprint and presence”

“vproperty.com will continue to maintain its local presence in Macau and  work with local real estate agencies and property developers providing them online advertising solutions but will now benefit from the management and direction that will be provided by our Hong Kong based team operating gohome.com.hk. vproperty.com already has key customer including Jones Lang LaSelle, Century 21, Centaline, Ricacorp, Engel and Volkers and Savills and we look forward to growing the business in combination with gohome.com.hk and the iProperty Group network across Asia” Di Gregorio commented.

 

About iProperty Group Limited (www.iproperty-group.com)

Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, the iProperty Group (ASX:IPP) owns and operates Asia’s No.1 network of property websites under the iProperty.com umbrella brand.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Company is focused on developing and operating leading real estate Internet portals with other complementary offerings in Asian markets. It currently operates online property portals for consumer and business needs in the markets of Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore, and has investments in India and Philippines. Most of its sites are ranked first in their respective markets.

Along with 18 property websites around the region, the Group’s portfolio also includes the first comprehensive regional commercial property website, CommercialAsia.com, as well as a regional property exhibition business and a Malaysian monthly property magazine.

 

 

iProperty is the talk of the town in all countries

What if I told you we were giving away a house for free? What if I told you that winning that house was as easy as 123? And no, we are not pulling your leg! On Labour Day, the team in Indonesia, Rumah123.com, launched the biggest online marketing campaign ever to be held online. A campaign that is set to give one lucky Indonesian an opportunity to win a house worth 500 million rupiah! Now, isn’t that something to shout about?

Well, we certainly got the town talking and visitors flocking through our site to participate in this extremely hard to resist contest. So, if you are an Indonesian citizen, don’t be left out! Submit an entry NOW here! You could just be the lucky winner to move in to a brand new home!

 

In Malaysia, thousands of people are making their way to the iProperty.com Expo 2012 at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre. Held from the 4th – 6th of May, the Expo features Malaysia’s Hottest Properties under one roof and it’s the only place for property buyers and investors to find irresistible deals on the latest developments in town. So, if you are on the hunt for that next investment or in the search for your dream home, then head down over today. The EXPO is opened from 11am – 8pm.

 

We look forward to seeing you there! There will even be lucky draw prizes worth over RM700,000 waiting to be won!

On a different note, we’re proud to have launched our newly revamped ThinkProperty.my website! You can now post your property for sale/rent for FREE and participate in our very popular property forums where you can ask and discuss your thoughts and opinions.

We are also the talk of the town in Hong Kong with the formation of strategic cooperation’s with key leading developers. The formation of these strategic partnerships with leading developers solidifies GoHome.com’s position as the clear market leader in Hong Kong.

Moving on to Singapore, the 5th International Property Expo which was held in the Marina Bay Sands from the 20th – 22nd of April was hugely successful. Consumers walked away with great deals and developers were extremely happy with the turnout and success of the event.

On a separate note, I was extremely happy to hear that Nayati Moodliar, the little boy who was abducted on the way to school last week, has been safely reunited with his parents. I can only imagine the anguish and trauma that the little child was put through. I was happy to read that he is well and high in spirits. You are brave boy and your courage is certainly to be admired!

Have a great weekend!

Top 5 Interior Design Trends

Less conventional Asian homes play with colour and reflect the personalities of the occupants. Image courtesy of Thinkstock.

What are the up-and-coming trends in the world of interior design?

As an interior designer, being constantly asked this question pushes me to stay updated on current trends of living spaces, as well as to envision interior trends five, 10, and maybe even 20 years down the road.

Interior design is alive. It constantly evolves over time, reflecting living standards, affluence levels and lifestyles. If you are looking to give your home a fresh new look, do read on for five of the hottest interior design trends shaping the way we currently live. I personally anticipate that they will continue doing so way into the near future.

Trend #1: Stepping off the beaten track

Less conventional Asian homes play with colour and reflect the personalities of the occupants. Image courtesy of Thinkstock.

Less conventional Asian homes play with colour and reflect the personalities of the occupants. Image courtesy of Thinkstock.

People are consciously moving away from more conventional designs. A more adventurous consumer is emerging—someone not afraid of introducing new ideas into their homes. In Asia, this means using new colours and materials in homes, instead of sticking to safe and common colours like neutrals, whites and dark browns. Leaving personal marks around the house is a quick way to make it look less like a showflat and more like a home.

Trend #2: Going green

Besides cost and aesthetics, another factor you might like to consider is environmental impact. An increasing number of consumers, well aware that their interior design decisions could affect the environment for better or worse, are showing a growing preference for sustainable options when choosing materials and finishes. These clients seek out better suppliers and contractors who can provide them with excellent sustainable alternatives. If you are renovating your floors, avoid natural stone tiles such as Carrera marble or silver travertine. Instead, opt for manufactured tiles with similar attributes.

Trend #3: Sourcing for storage solutions

With the world population on the incline, shrinking living spaces and congested homes have become a common sight. In Singapore, for instance, shoebox units are gaining popularity. Living in small homes means a need to carve out personal living spaces from the clutter; this can be done through the use of better storage solutions in the home. For those with a few extra dollars to spare, companies like IKEA and Howards Storage World can provide you with interesting, well-designed storage solutions. Another tip is to look out for multi-purpose furniture and installations, such as coffee tables that can store newspapers and magazines, or bed frames with pull-out drawers.

Trend #4: Living under one roof

The ever-rising cost of home ownership has spurred an emerging trend of multi-generational living. With larger households, the different lifestyles of the young, the old, and everyone else in between are now housed within the same residence. Interior designers have to take into account these multiple—sometimes clashing—lifestyles when coming up with designs. Multi-functional space planning is also growing in importance.

Trend #5: Integrating technology into design

Living in the 21st century, it is not surprising to see more homes introducing sophisticated designer technology, especially in the areas of audio-visual entertainment and security enhancement. Both you and your designer should keep abreast of such emerging household technologies when deciding to incorporate them into your renovation plans. This ensures an enhanced total living experience.

These top five design trends will certainly enhance the overall sensory experience in your home. Do take them into consideration the next time you decide to renovate.