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NO one can predict the future with certainty or accuracy. Unless one had a crystal ball, this would be an impossible thing to do. The best anyone can do is to make an educated guess with whatever data in hand.

Property professionals are no different. We don’t have crystal balls either. There is no way we can predict the future with certainty. So each time you read about a property expert predicting what will happen in the coming year, it is mostly an educated guess work.

These are certainly not random stabbings in the dark. Most property consultants would make calculated predictions after analysing mountains of data. Of course, with years of practice, you begin to develop a kind of spider sense and you will get a sense of where the market is heading. But this sense is by no means definitive.

It is not easy to predict where the market will head in Malaysia. Data is sketchy at best and even, when available, is months old. The National Property Information Centre is probably the best “to go” place for property data. But even their data is sometimes three to six months old. This makes any accurate analysis difficult.

So, how do property consultants predict what is going to happen? They take all the data they have, analyse it and compare it with similar data over the last few preceding years. From there, it is easy enough to see some form of pattern on where the market is heading. Based on this analysis, taking into account the incoming year, the consultants then make a deduction on how the market would perform in the near future.

Of course, if you speak to 10 different people, you will probably get 10 different opinions. And that’s fine. Every person is different. You are not going to get two people with the exact same opinion. Predicting these things are not an exact science. It’s really an art form, tempered with knowledge, data, experience, gut feeling and instinct.

So, as an investor, what do you do? Speak to the right people. The person you choose to represent you in your property investment journey is important. Don’t just pick anyone. Remember, there are people who claim to be property consultants without having any credentials.

Your property consultant should be a practising estate agent or valuer registered with the board of valuers, appraisers and estate agents. He or she should have already been practising for several years and should be able to share his or her experience to your benefit.

What if they are brand new? Should you then not use them? No, of course not. The enthusiasm that a newbie brings to the table is something money cannot buy. Just make sure they work for an experienced, reputable firm. This way, whatever experience they lack will more than be made up by the experience and resources of their company.

Choose your estate agent with care and they will be able to continuously bring value to your property investment journey.

Until then, happy hunting and may the force be with you.

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