Lia Choi blazes the trail with an ethical approach in the property sector!
Allow us to introduce our pioneering member Lia Choi from Marybow Property who is changing the game in the world of property after suffering at the hands of unscrupulous landlords and agents!
How did it all begin, what’s the story?
My business was launched because of a painful personal experience. When I was a tenant, I was taken to court by a rogue agent and landlord, two years after leaving the property concerned. It was alleged I had caused excessive damage resulting in loss of rent. Knowing this to be completely untrue, I foolishly represented myself in court, believing my innocence would quickly see me winning the case. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It took 18 months to prove my case, during which time I suffered great mental and physical stress.
This experience proved to be a pivotal moment for me. I was compelled to discover whether other tenants live in fear of their landlord or agent, and if there are landlords who are being deliberately misled by unscrupulous agents. The agency world is as archaic as the energy industry that I’ve come
from, and crying out for better customer service and transparency.
I became an entrepreneur because of the gap in the private rental sector to provide an ethical service, operated by a young, ethnic minority female.
I wanted to do something tangible for my community in East London, so in October 2014, I took the plunge and launched my independent business, Marybow Property.
With the many legislative changes in the private rental sector, I am seeing more independent estate agents leaving the sector. This means there are fewer companies trying to run the business ethically and with care for individual clients and properties. We are determined to stay our course to uphold our three values – Trust, Integrity, and Transparency – and be the best independent estate agency in East London by providing unmatched customer service.
What do you love best about your neighbourhood?
I live in Bow because it has a village-like feel. It’s not as busy as Stratford or Mile End. It’s an oasis of calm. It has some fantastic shops and Victoria Park, which I love!
How would you like members to work together in 2020?
I would like members who don’t have a shop to get together to network and support one another.
Why did you join the Guild?
I joined because I live and work in East London and part of its attractiveness is the diversity and the social fabric in this part of town. The Guild is fighting to keep this uniqueness and I want to support it as a resident and a local business owner.
Why do you think other people should join the Guild?
There is strength in numbers and the goals of the Guild are relevant to all of us!