The current pandemic has given me a lot of time to reflect. With the partial lockdown in Singapore and no viewings allowed, it has given me the time to review my writing and the people I have met in the process.
I have been in the property line for more than 13 years. For those thinking of joining – I can tell you this is a tough industry. Our knowledge needs to be regularly updated, rules and regulations are always changing and our prospects and clients are becoming more savvy.
And best of all – your sales commissions will only come in 3 to 9 months later! No such thing as a regular pay cheque mentality here.
Writing these blog posts have oriented and given me direction as I shift my identity towards being a consultant rather than just a purely buy/sell/rent agent.
Here are 5 things I learnt in the process:
#1: The Importance of Reinvention
Right now there are a lot of calls for those in the workforce to continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge.
As property agents – we CANNOT avoid this. We are only as good as our last deal. We have to consistently up our game and skillsets.
So in order to improve my competitive advantage – I embarked into writing and sharing my insights as a way to differentiate and stand out from other agents. I have to thank my division leader Stuart Chng for inspiring a group of us to take action to share our knowledge in the form of a blog and a website.
Right now, you might see a lot of agents writing articles but about 2 years ago – only a handful were doing it.
Over time, as I gained more visitors and readers – I also received more enquiries from people who are are unsure or confused on what to do next especially in regards to their property.
More importantly, the content that I write is based on my years of experience which I share through various stories and anecdotes.
In a world where customers are overwhelmed with marketing clutter – it is important that us agents can cut through the noise through relevant and real insights.
Being on the ground – dealing with tenants, owners, buyers, sellers and other agents – we become too focused on the offline processes. But online – that is where our customers and prospects are who are searching for answers.
So if I have to reinvent myself as a writer and consultant – let’s go for it.
It was uncomfortable and I got cold feet many times along the way.
In the beginning I had the fear of:
- being rejected,
- being criticised ,
- articles not well received by readers
- articles not written well
Those were the thoughts that running through my head at that point of time. But I know the market are hungry for valuable and useful insights – not just hype and sales pitches.
#2: People Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
One of the interesting things that I always noticed was this – there is a significant number of people who are clueless on the impact of the various government rulings and policy changes.
There is a lot of underestimation on the impact of:
- CPF Accrued Interest
- Depreciation of HDB & private properties and
- Insufficient retirement planning
- ABSD and TDSR
I can understand the ignorance because we are all busy with our daily routines and activities. Very few people take the time to sit down and just understand the significance of their own financial figures.
But the truth is – you must do it for the sake of your own future.
I have witnessed too many cases – even those who think they are actually savvy – but made a lot of mistakes in the process. And the saddest thing – all these mistakes are actually avoidable!
All these painful situations could have actually been easily avoided if there was some forward planning in place.
But because there is a lot of fear in talking to a potentially pushy and salesy property agent – a lot of people hold back and stop themselves from even scheduling a meeting.
This makes me sad but I can understand. Who wants to subject themselves to a high-pressure sales situation?
This is why I take great pains to make sure anyone who setups an appointment with me does not feel uncomfortable discussing their property issues with me.
That being said – it is also important to be upfront on the challenges or issues you might face so I can clearly understand your context.
I make it a point to highlight that I will never push or pester you after any meeting.
So feel free to book a no-obligation consultation with me.
#3: Having Money Does Not Make You Wealthy
I used to work with someone who has a net worth of more than $100 million. That is nine figures of wealth.
Not 7, not 8 but NINE.
One of the most important lesson I learnt from that work experience was that having money does not make you wealthy.
But having the ability to make money, through net income generating assets such as businesses, investments, or even just your own skills – that is what makes you wealthy.
That was their daily focus – figuring the best ways to generate the most value and then extracting out that value.
While having liquid cash stashed in various bank accounts means you have a lot of savings – it also means you have accrued a lot of opportunity costs.
Those savings could have been working harder for you – had they been parked into a better performing asset like stocks or properties.
In a fiat economy like ours – money is just a tool to move wealth around. It is subject to inflation, devaluation and sentiment.
Inflation is a silent killer. Consider that chicken rice used to cost $2.50 less than 10 years ago. It can now easily cost $3.50 to $5.
That’s why it is so important to educate ourselves and ask for help if we are not sure.
#4: Not Asking For Help
Asking for help is not always easy. Even for me.
But I realised whenever I asked for help – my knowledge grows and so does my income!
Asking for help from experienced leaders in the real estate business allowed me to tap on their expertise and nudge me into the right direction.
The internet has made it really easy to learn a lot of skills online without ever talking to a person. However, that can only take you so far.
Thinking of accomplishing a challenging goal? You might doom it to failure – if you’re not willing to acknowledge you need help.
It means admitting to someone who knows more… that you know less.
It’s also the only way you challenge yourself and get better.
If you’re not asking for help, you might not be challenging yourself enough.
Don’t let it become a potential regret in the future.
#5: Solving new problems with old ways of thinking are no longer useful
We now live in a brand new world of social distancing, high technology and a highly educated society – in a pandemic world.
Don’t let a serious crisis go to waste. It is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
You can go through life seeing everything from your perspective, which varies widely depending on your particular life experiences and current situation.
But that will mean you will always get the results you always have gotten.
Explore and seek out new solutions or perspectives to find alternative solutions.
Because what you can see is useful but it is also limited.
Remember that we can only see so much – so it is important to not become the only smartest person in the room.
Consider the experience of the blind spot in your car. You decide to change lanes and so check your rearview mirror to make sure you have plenty of room to merge into the oncoming traffic. However, just as you start your move, a car you were not aware of, pops up, seemingly from nowhere.
This is an experience every driver has had. It is disconcerting and a little embarrassing. Why? Because we realise with a shock that the mental picture we had of the cars on the highway is not identical to the actual situation.
It takes a while to settle down again and regain confidence in the accuracy of our mental map.
The experience of suddenly becoming aware of what was formerly a blind spot is shocking and disturbing.
Explore your own blindspots in your property portfolio before it becomes shocking or disturbing and resulting in no way out.
In my process of writing and creating value for my readers – I understand the challenges faced by the various people I met.
That has expanded my mindset and my toolkit to help them overcome their problems and achieve their financial goals.
Vision without execution is merely hallucination.
Have questions, doubts or simply wish to say hi? Drop me a whatsapp message or contact me via the form here.