educates housing agents on how to be successful in real estate.

Location: Singapore

Veterinary surgeon at Toa Payoh Vets, Singapore and operator of a Singapore housing agency,

Saturday, May 14, 2005

SURVIVAL SECRETS FOR HOUSING AGENTS - Be open-minded and always follow up immediately

SURVIVAL SECRETS FOR HOUSING AGENTS - Be Open-Minded and Follow Up to succeed

"He can't afford the Costa Del Sol condo," my associate told me over the phone when I asked whether he had followed up on the expatriate whose landlord had given notice of not renewing the lease when it expires in June 2005.

The expatriate was renting a 2-bedroom The Bayshore condo. The expatriate had been living in this condo for the past 6 years and rental is now around $2,000 or less. His unit on the 27th floor in Tower 2A had the most breathtaking sea view.

From the balcony, one could see the planes angling upwards at 45 degrees to the sky as they fly off from the Changi International Airport to the blue skies. Green trees dotted the large piece of land flanked by sandy beaches. On a clear day, blue waves lapped on the beaches.

At night, stars sprinkled the black blanket and city lights of the time-harried Singaporeans going to work or back dotted the road with amber lined street lights on the left side of the balcony far below. It was the starry night in this condo that he had fallen in love with a big-eyed Singaporean girl, ambitious and career-minded. I thought they would get married but the different religions and the need to convert to one party's religion forever separated them, I guessed.

I told my associate that this single would take a similar condo or a better one with such good views. His present rental was around $2,000.

"I read in the Straits Times that the Developer of Costa Del Sol was renting directly," I told my associate. "That means there is no need to co-broke." Co-broking means sharing 50% of his commissions with another agent who has the property for rent. Developers and owners give 100% of the commission directly to the housing agent.

This associate had been in full-time work for at least two years. I was thus shocked that he made such a statement without having met the prospective tenant and had not been able or had not followed up on my tip to contact this expatriate whom I had serviced 6 years ago.

Planes lift off at 45 degrees towards the heavens, ships dotting the calm blue waves, fresh sea breezes brushing your cheeks. At night, romancing a big-eyed tanned Singaporean girl under the starry, starry blanket above. The expatriate stayed in this The Bayshore condo for 6 years. Now, the Landlord wants him to go as the condo will be for sale.

"Costa Del Sol with seaviews may cost more than The Bayshore condos," I said. "But this expatriate has prospered in his business in the past 6 years. He just loves high floors and a similar beautiful sea view and sea breezes. You have never met him. How do you know he can't afford a higher rental condo?"

We must have an open mind. We cannot pigeon-hole a prospect just because he (or she) had resided in a $2,000 condo. No doubt, the prospect will not rent a $5,000 condo. However, if you can show him value-for-money condo, say, at $3,000 rental per month, he can afford it. His company may pay as he contributes at least a million dollars of profit to that company. I know because I have had kept in touch with him over the years.

So, what is an extra $12,000 rental to pay to him when he can bring in $1,000,000 of profits to the company? He is the cash cow of the company. He builds up the Asia Pacific business for this software company. He has negotiating power for high performance. Staying power. He is a proven race horse.

In other words, housing agents of must change their mind-set of thinking that all expatriates have a limited budget. To be successful, be receptive to new ideas. Every prospective tenant is different. To succeed, be open-minded. Most important, to follow up fast and get to meet the prospect. To know what he wants. To offer value-for-money. To be the first to meet him. Keep phoning if he is overseas and has not returned your calls. You know what makes his heart tick faster from my description. If not, view the picture I have put up in this webpage. Get a similar Costa Del Sol condo for him. He will gladly pay a higher rental. If you are nimble enough and capable or lucky enough to find him what he wants. Just like what I did 6 years ago before.

From May 2005, associates must phone me, before I phone you up to ask you what's happening? If associates receive my e-mail about handling a case, they must phone me on the same day. Preferably in the morning not late at night as I send e-mails usually before 5 a.m.

Then, I know you really appreciate the cases from and not be distracted by your other activities. And most important, you really want to succeed in your choice of profession. Real estate can bring you $10,000 a month easily and that is from one of my top performers.

$10,000 for a much shorter hour of work compared to working for a corporation and getting bossed around or playing office politics. In any case, few Singaporeans can hope to earn $10,000 a month except for those with considerable years of experience and able to take the high stresses in the Information Technology field. So, follow up. Don't be narrow-minded. Have hunger in your belly.

If you have no fire in your eyes and are not willing to work hard, how can you be a successful housing agent and grow your own business in this cut-throat competitive high cost Singapore?

Dr Sing Kong Yuen
Education tips for housing agent


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