EdgeProp only makes money from FundMyHome commission, boss explains

EdgeProp Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong speaks during a public forum on FundMyHome in Petaling Jaya November 18, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
EdgeProp Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong speaks during a public forum on FundMyHome in Petaling Jaya November 18, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PETALING JAYA, Nov 18 — EdgeProp Sdn Bhd’s chairman clarified today that the company would only make profit off commission fees from successful property sales on its FundMyHome platform, similar to other property sales portals.

Its chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, during a forum this afternoon with members of the public, clarified where their expected revenue would be made from when the scheme is officially launched.

“I make money like any other property platform; if you sell the property, you have to pay me a commission.

“In the first round, the property developer sells the property and they pay to the agents; they pay to the platform,” he explained, referring to FundMyHome.

The scheme is an initiative by EdgeProp which allows first-time house buyers pay 20 per cent of the purchase price, while institutional investors such as banks pay the remaining 80 per cent of the purchase price for a share of future profits if the property value goes up and with their 80 per cent share buyable after five years by the buyer.

The scheme hit controversy when it was launched just two days after Budget 2019 and drew criticism from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, among others, over its launch timing.

Najib suggested that it smacked of insider knowledge as the scheme was launched as though the company already knew it would be announced in Budget 2019 while Kadir said it exposed the government to suspicions of cronyism.

Tong had previously rejected claims that FundMyHome opened the private initiative to risks that could lead to a subprime crisis, though he said it did not currently need regulatory approval as only institutional investors were involved for now.

Tong then added that he was confident of making some profits from the scheme, albeit sounding slightly apprehensive.

“I think we will make enough money, I don’t think we will make huge money, but we will make enough money,” he said.

Tong also explained how the vision of FundMyHome was also introduced as an attempt to reinvent the local property market.

“I think the idea behind it was not just about selling property, but we are trying to facilitate and change the [property] ecosystem that exist in Malaysia,” he added.

Today’s session held at the Sheraton Hotel here saw a crowd of around 400 attendees participate in the forum, where Tong was asked questions on the scheme and its effects on buyers and property developers.

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