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Penny Cheung – Manager, Hong Kong office

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Penny Cheung

As the first and only London property rentals company with a network of overseas offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and India, property investors often ask us how our London and international offices work together when they are so many thousands of miles apart. So we asked the manager of our Hong Kong office, Penny Cheung, to reveal a little about how she makes it work.

Q. Penny, can you give us a little background to the Hong Kong office?

A. The Hong Kong office was our first international office to open in 1995 followed by our Singapore operation in 1998. Around 28% of the company’s clients are from Hong Kong and looked after by the team here. The office also works with investors from mainland China, Taiwan and from Japan, which account for another 11% of our client base. So in total, we take care of 39% of the company’s landlords.

 

Q. And how did you begin your career in lettings?

A. Well, I spent 10 years in hospitality management, working for the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel group. I loved my time there, and especially enjoyed working with people. I joined Benham and Reeves Lettings in 2011, working alongside Louise Ng, and I found that my ‘people’ skills were a real asset. After all, this job is as much about people as it is about property! When Louise left the company I took over as manager and, together with my team – Isabella and Karen, we offer a full property leasing and management service for clients who own investment properties in London.

 

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Penny speaking at a property investment seminar in Hong Kong
Penny speaking at a property investors seminar in Hong Kong

A. It’s probably a cliché but every day is different and I love that. One day I might be meeting a client to discuss the management of their new property. I might be meeting our directors on one of their regular trips to meet clients in Hong Kong or assisting with our ever-popular Property Investors Seminars. I can also be found hopping on a plane to visit our London headquarters, catching up with staff, increasing my training or visiting new developments where our clients have bought properties.

I love sharing my knowledge of the London property market with our clients and adding a personal touch to everything we do here. I think our clients appreciate our help and one-to-one knowledge of their investment. It’s a fast-paced business and London is such a vibrant place with new rental ‘hotspots’ emerging all the time and that definitely keeps us all on our toes.

 

Q. What do you think is your most important attribute?

A. I enjoy working with people and I hope this really comes across to clients. I’m methodical and organised too but for me I think clients really appreciate that my team and I contact them regularly to let them know what is going on with their properties – they know they can really trust us to manage their portfolios. We are proud of the good relationships we have built with clients over the years – some have been with us nearly 20 years. Working with a landlord long-term and helping them build a successful property business gives me real satisfaction and it’s always humbling when they tell us that they value our advice and service.

 

Q. What services do you provide to Hong Kong property investors?

A. We do lettings in the whole of London and offer an end-to-end service which starts with recommending people if you want to buy a London property for investment purposes and of course all our in-house services which include pre-lettings advice, a snagging and handover service, full lettings and property management, furnishing packages, a refurbishment service and our tax return and accounting services. Basically, we cover A-Z of property investment and everything in between. Take a look at our corporate video for more about what we do.

Q. The Hong Kong office is expanding – how do you ‘spread the word’?

A. Well, about 60% of our clients come to us after being recommended by an existing client. Personal recommendation is the most effective form of marketing we have and we are very grateful for it. Many read about us in the London and South East Asian press where we are often featured. New clients also instruct us at our investment seminars which are well attended as they provide a valuable insight into the latest property news from London. Our next seminar is in March in case anyone reading this wants to attend.

 

Q. What doMain you think Hong Kong clients value most about having a local office?

A. I like the way one client referred to us as “a safe pair of hands” and that we provide seamless communication. Clients appreciate that we speak Cantonese and Mandarin as well as English, so communication is always easy and in their own time zone.

Owning a rental property on the other side of the world can be daunting, especially at first. What if there is a problem with a tenant and they don’t pay their rent? Or what if a pipe bursts in the middle of the night and it needs an emergency repair? Our clients know that using advanced in-house techology, we can liaise quickly with our London team to take care of all day-to-day issues so they never become a problem.

I think what sets us apart is that we have specialised in lettings and property management for nearly 60 years so we know how to take care of everything. We believe that this is one of our greatest assets – clients really trust our expertise and experience.

If you would like to read some of our company reviews, click here.

 

To contact Penny and the Hong Kong team, click here.

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About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.

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