This past year I’ve had the chance to meet and develop friendships with some really cool people. One of them is Sam.
Some time last year, Pierre introduced me to a guy who wanted to know more about social media. When I eventually met up with Sam, it turned out that we had actually met once before. His Dad and my uncle are friends and we once bumped into each other at a restaurant.
Sam’s family owns a property developer called Ken Holdings that Sam helps to run. He’s smart, humble and a really easy guy to get along with, so we somehow clicked and before I knew it I was hanging out with Sam’s group of friends who surprise surprise… turned out to be all property developers too. I was the odd one out… the only non-property developer of the group. Through this new group of friends I learned a lot about the property industry in Malaysia. I never used to understand what the difference was and how property developers sought to differentiate themselves, but over time I did.
Sam’s family company Ken Holdings for example differentiates itself in building “green” buildings. Buildings that are not just beautiful but energy efficient. When he first told me about it, I thought having a “green building” just meant having big windows so you can let the light in and having solar panels on the roof or something. Over a Bak Kut Teh lunch he took the time to elaborate. He told me how lots of little details mattered… like even which direction a house faces (against the sun). An ideal house doesn’t have to bear the full brunt of the heat from the sun but still enjoys the light that the sun brings into the house (so you don’t have to turn on lights during the day).
Some few weeks ago, Sam asked me along to visit one of his favourite developments though. It’s called Ken Bangsar.
He brought us up to the penthouse there which he says is the highest residential unit in the entire Klang Valley. The view there was gorgeous. I wish I had a picture of the view but I was so captivated and distracted by the beautiful view and the apartment that it didn’t even occur to me to take any pictures.
I did manage to get a couple of pictures of the penthouse I visited though. This ladies and gentlemen, is what the living room of a penthouse I can’t afford looks like.
Notice the huge windows. It’s so bright in the apartment during the day that you hardly have to turn on any lights.
The penthouse had 3 floors, each with really really high ceilings. It had beautifully furnished rooms and a private pool
The way the building was designed made the corridors really windy too so the elevator lobby didn’t have to be air-conditioned or anything. It still felt really cool up there. Sam is really into green stuff like that when they build any of their buildings. The pleasure of meeting all sorts of people from different industries is that you get to learn a bit more about different businesses. That I realize is something I enjoy: Learning how other companies work. In this past year, I’ve met people who’re property developers, plantation owners… even specialized cleaning companies or owners of businesses that made loads of money but you never imagined existed. The sad thing is that few of them are on Twitter, blogs or even Facebook. So I don’t get to follow them as much. So whenever I meet them I try to get them to at least start Tweeting.
I convinced Sam to tweet and now he tweets at @SamCS10. So if you’d like to see what a property developer’s life is like… you can follow him here. Hint: They play a lot of golf.