Be it buying, selling or renting, Fukuoka Properties’ streamlined real estate business is the go-to place for meandering your way through Fukuoka’s property market.
Lead by Singaporean Annie Ho, the company’s smart, enthusiastic and driven founder, Fukuoka Properties offers a complete set of integrated real estate services all under one roof to facilitate purchasing, renting or selling property in Fukuoka. It targets both a foreign and domestic clientele with an increasing number of Westerners eyeing up the attractive investment opportunities in Asia, in addition to a large, ever-expanding client base in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Fukuoka Properties team in the Fukuoka office
Established to offer a “systematic platform” to streamline real estate services available in Fukuoka, especially for foreigners, Fukuoka Properties is a Fully Licensed Real Estate Business Agency (#17991) with partner companies based in Hong Kong and Singapore. This comprehensive real estate service takes customers from buying, right through to selling, and also provides a string of fully furnished rental offices under the ‘Ideal Offices’ name.
The strong, trilingual network of administrative lawyers, judicial scriveners, tax accountants and insurance and labor specialists available through Fukuoka Properties means that all clients can be certain that they will receive the best possible service. With a wealth of experts at their fingertips, Fukuoka Properties can assure clients that their needs will be catered for by the most appropriate expert. From visas to company registration to land disputes to insurance, Fukuoka Properties covers it all.
If you’re intrigued by Fukuoka’s increasingly appealing property offerings, here’s a run through of what Fukuoka Properties offers in three simple stages:
Purchase => Management => Sales
The first phase is buying. Fukuoka Properties meets clients, either face-to-face or through video calls, in order to gain an understanding of each individual’s investment criteria. Customers are offered regular easy-to-read property recommendations and benefit from additional services such as transportation, a tour of Fukuoka and accompanied property viewings, at no extra cost. (For larger investments, such as commercial investments or the purchase of entire buildings, Fukuoka Properties will need to be in direct, more intensive communication with the investor before they can make any recommendations.)
Fukuoka Properties’ website boasts an extensive range of listings but customers can approach Fukuoka Properties with an advertisement they have seen elsewhere or even simply with a picture of a property they are interested in. The team will take over from here and investigate the opportunity further, keeping tabs on any properties that is on the investor’s watch list but may not yet be on the market.
The Fukuoka Properties team, which is fully competent in Japanese, English and Chinese, then negotiates the sales and purchase transactions and deals with all paperwork. The team prides itself on maintaining prompt, direct communication with the clients so they are always completely clear about the buying procedure. Although greatly aided by the team, customers still feel in control of their purchase no matter where in the world they are based.
Additionally, a recent tie-up with the United Overseas Bank allows investors to make further use of Fukuoka Properties’ services to secure financing for properties. The current minimum loan quantum starts from properties above ¥20 million and Fukuoka Properties anticipates more financing options to be available in the near future.
The second phase is property management and reporting. This very important role involves:
1. Finding tenants to fill vacant apartments and calculating the costings for potential applicants and advertising for the owner
2. Sending a monthly ‘rental payoff report’ to the owners and assisting tenants with any problems during the tenancy period
3. Preparing the necessary checks for the ‘moving out’ procedure, negotiating with tenants to safeguard owners’ interests and preparing for refund of a tenant’s excess rental or deposit, if applicable
Prospective tenants are found through a combination of in-house advertising efforts as well as outsourcing to other local agencies to secure suitable tenants as soon as possible. This process involves suggesting an appropriate market rental rate and explaining rental criteria such as a deposit and ‘gift money’, which is very important in Japan. Fukuoka Properties prepares the vacant property for viewing and performs a due diligence check on potential tenants as well as handling all necessary paperwork and calculations when tenants change.
With a large foreign client base, many investors are often not entirely aware of Japanese property customs, such as the need to change wallpaper and tatami flooring every time the tenants change, even if they are in good condition. As part of the Property Management service Fukuoka Properties works closely with clients, contacting them quickly and directly to inform them of necessary proceedings to ensure all decisions are made swiftly and effectively.
With insider, on-the-ground knowledge, Fukuoka Properties is able to offer the best deal for all involved, especially with regard to Property Maintenance. If an air conditioning unit needs replacing, Fukuoka Properties knows exactly how to get value for money and quick installation, ensuring both the tenant’s quality of living, and the investor’s wallet are both well looked after. The emphasis is on playing fair, so that both tenant and investor are quickly and equally satisfied.
When a tenant vacates an apartment, Fukuoka Properties ensures the all-important “check-out procedure” is completed correctly, with clear communication. A committed property manager is crucial to safeguarding the interests of foreign owners. The Property Manager assesses the condition of a property and should any damage be found, liaises with tenant and owner to reach an agreement. As such, any disputes are settled amicably with both parties confident Fukuoka Properties have addressed concerns responsibly and in good faith.
Furthermore, with offices in Hong Kong (led by Julian Chau) and Singapore, one very practical advantage of Fukuoka Properties lies in the arrangement of remittance of owners’ rental income on a regular basis at a very low telegraphic fee. With local companies and local bank accounts in Hong Kong and Singapore, rental monies can be grouped into lump sums and sent to Fukuoka Properties’ local bank accounts and then individually channeled out to owners at very minimal cost. This saves owners between ¥4,000 and ¥6,000 for each and every remittance done through this method: a small initiative which makes a huge difference.
Finally, the third phase of the investment: exit strategy.
A developed real estate market is one in which there is vibrant activities in both buying and selling, with ample liquidity in the sales and purchase. Although currently about 80-85% of its business is in purchasing, Fukuoka Properties is competent at selling too. Sellers are presented with three scenarios: an ‘okay’ situation which is the minimum amount needed to sell the property for in order to break even (excluding the rental earned during the period of ownership), a ‘good’ situation based on market research and a comparison with other similar properties, and a ‘very good’ situation created by taking a risk, elevating the price and being open to negotiation. They are thorough and transparent in their dealings so customers understand the exact nature of their investment.
Director Annie Ho is currently focusing her business on Asia. Hong Kong, China, Singapore have very limited value for money property available for investment purposes however, Fukuoka is becoming a popular place to invest due to its up-and-coming status as a city, and it’s very ‘livable’ quality. It has a steady and growing influx of residents from both Japan and neighbouring China and Korea, giving it a huge advantage in terms of human resources.
Annie Ho also believes that the prefecture benefits greatly from enthusiastic and open-minded City Mayor Soichiro Takashima, and the pro foreigner government who is daring to make changes, try new policies and encourage foreign business to make Fukuoka more foreigner-friendly.
Fukuoka Properties and its clients believe that anyone who comes to know Fukuoka will see the charm of this energetic city which is fast becoming Japan’s gateway to Asia and the rest of the world. Clients and tourists alike regularly tell Fukuoka Properties that they can envisage themselves living in this city; it is a place where one visit simply isn’t enough.
Tips for a Small Mansion Value Buy in Fukuoka
Fukuoka is currently attracting a lot of attention for its market for small studio condominiums. Below are some hot tips from Annie on how to quickly pick up a good buy.
• Look for a property built from 1990 onwards
• Aim for a minimum size of at least 18 m²
• Choose a location which is within a 10-minute walk of a popular station
• The net yield should be at least 6% to 7% (gross should be about 9% to 10%)
• Aim for a property that costs between ¥5 ~ 7 million and meets all of the above criteria
In Japanese real estate, ‘first come, first serve’ is the name of the game, as priority is given to the first to submit an offer letter. Speed and decisiveness play a vital role in grabbing a good deal in these small studio type of apartments, which usually gives a higher yield compared to bigger apartments and which are popular with tenants.
Fukuoka Properties aims to be the #1 international platform for all investors in all dealings involving real estate in Fukuoka. In the near future, Fukuoka Properties is pleased to announce it will be opening a flagship office in popular, trendy downtown Tenjin. This new base will ensure Fukuoka Properties becomes a staple of the city, supporting foreigners inside and outside Fukuoka and building a strong and stable bridge between the local Japanese community, investors and foreign residents. Fukuoka Properties store can ensure you integrate into the Fukuoka life smoothly and happily, with its association with language schools and network of accommodation options.
As investors, we want to invest our money in lucrative places, with good future prospects and political and social stability. As individuals, we want to put our cash in places which capture our hearts and minds. In Fukuoka, you can do both.
For more information, contact the Fukuoka Properties team. They can be reached anytime via their website, email, Whatsapp, Line, Webchat or Skype.
Office: 090-260-9733 (Japanese)
Mobile: 090-8409-2888 (Japanese)
Mobile: 090-1340-1888 (French / English / Japanese)
Mobile: 080-3984-6888 (Chinese / Japanese)
Singapore (English / Chinese):
Hong Kong (English / Chinese / Cantonese):
Want to learn more? Read more on Fukuoka Property’s official website and affiliated business home pages:
Advertorial report by Hannah Smith for Fukuoka Now, July 2016.