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,

Friday, May 27, 2005

SURVIVAL SECRETS - Frequent communications and updates



1. This is a letter from a prospective client of

2. I have high-lighted what the other side thinks of you (the housing agent) in bold letters. Somebody unprofessional who does not even provide reports or feedback? Who could not be bothered with an exclusive marketing contract even to let the client know what's happening to his property being marketed? Unfortunately, this is a common scenario of many housing agents.

3. I have given some answers to his queries. See below.

Thanks a lot for your email and the link to your company website.

Here’s our situation: We purchased this flat about 10 years ago(it locates
at corner, but no lift at that level), and left Singapore 7 years ago to US,
the flat has been leased out since then. We started marketing our HDB flat
in February this year; Our current housing agent was incharge of hiring
contractors to clean the house etc. and has been working on marketing our
flat exclusively for nearly 90 days and still cannot make it. He never shows
us any of the advertisement for our flat, we just doubt about his marketing
ability and started losing our confidence in his work.

Right now, the condition of the flat may not exactly as nice as the pictures
show after 7 years leased out, I believe. I think the wall and bathrooms may
need re-paint. Also, we have some personal stuff in the small room, other
than that, it's move-in condition.
Here’re some questions hope you could help us,

1) What's your company's marketing strategy? What's the media your company
usually put the advertisement on?


1.1 Regular but affordable advertisements in the Straits Times on Wednesday and Saturday, but CLIENT PAYS for the Straits Times advertisement upfront and gets the bills and invoices as well as weekly reports. If client is unwilling to pay, let us know.

1.2 Internet advertisements at 2 national agent-subscription websites
1.3 Internet advertisements at at website front page.
1.4 Flyers in the neighbourhood and word of mouth.
1.5 Open house on Sunday afternoons may be planned depending on situations.
1.6 Other methods as situation permits.
1.7 Co-broking is actively encouraged to close sale very fast.

2.1 Exclusive marketing contract for 90 days.
2.2 We accept genuine Sellers. They are usually realistic and not asking for high prices. Better not to handle cases deceiving Sellers that their unrealistic prices are attainable and then tell him the bad news. Don't handle cases where the Seller is in "no hurry to sell, but just testing the market."
2.3 Property marketed must be in good condition. New coat of paint, repaired defects and clearing of rubbish. If the client is not willing to make the residence marketable, we should not take in such properties as we are wasting our time.

2) Usually how long does your company need to sell out a flat?
Varies with the market demand and the Seller's expectations of selling price. As short as 1 week and no sale if the property is in poor location or exposed to main road traffic noises or some unfavourable conditions.

3) The valuation report($188K) for our flat was made at early March, it will
be expired at early June. Do we have to re-do the valuation again? Our
bottom line price is 185K, how do you think of it?

Needs new valuation report payable by the Seller. Bottom line price from June 2005 depends very much on the valuation report as the HDB now clams down on an illegal practice prior to the first quarter of 2005 to inflat the selling price to get a higher loan.

4) We need a power of attorney (PA, maybe with partial power because I'll be
back to Singapore personally to attend the second appointment at HDB to
close the transaction at the final stage) to sign related HDB documents on
behalf of us, are you willing to be our PA? If yes, could you email us a
copy of your photo so that we can "see" you?

First impressions are important. Try and get a professional photographer to take a decent picture of you. I prefer that lady agents do not display low cuts or sexy soft looks and that the men do not show beards, side-burns or moustache. Look professional rather than look highly sexed.

5) Is there any sole agency agreement we need to sign, could you please
email me a copy of it?

YES. However, qualify the Seller first and go to the ground to check out the property first. We don't want to waste our time marketing un-sellable properties as time is of the essence. We don't earn a cent till we close.

Dr Kong Sing
May 27, 2005


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