How real estate agents coped with the new realities of the real estate market

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A Savills expert said the market has become increasingly international in outlook.

Apart from client demands, real estate agents in Singapore have also had to contend with changes in the real estate industry, including the market being driven more by global challenges such as inflation, rising interest rates of interest and the pandemic.

To keep up with the new realities, ERA Realty Division Manager Jazreel Lim said she needed to change her mindset and the way she approached her clients.

Lim said she became “a new agent” again and worked to further expand her sphere of influence when she struggled to sell in the first quarter of the year due to historically low inventory.

“In any market, referrals are usually the best source of leads… Simply put, if the fish aren’t biting, I have to go where they are,” she told Singapore Business Review.

According to Lim, she was only able to negotiate at least four houses in Q121, but in Q222 she had none. During the same period, only 1,825 new private homes were sold in Singapore, down 47.8% from the same period last year.

“I was freaking out to see such a stark difference, but I think as estate agents we always have to stay calm. We have to understand that we can’t change the market, so what we can do is is changing our mindset and the way we approach our clients,” said Lim, the youngest among SBR’s most notable real estate agents under 40 for 2022.

When approaching clients, Lim said it’s important for real estate agents to educate their buyers about the market and its conditions.

“As long as we are able to educate buyers and help them with their decision-making, it will help build their confidence. [into buying properties]“, said Lim.

Lim said she educates her buyers by painting them a “correct picture” of what the market looks like, showing them charts and numbers, and even helping them plan properly.

Along with educating shoppers, Lim said it’s also important to understand their needs.

Savills Senior Director, Investment Sales and Capital Markets, Yap Hui Yee, echoed that sentiment, adding that understanding what clients really want and providing tailored services based on their needs is the secret of the company. success in the real estate industry.

“There is no easy sale in the real estate market. The key to a successful sale is a combination of preparation, planning and understanding the market and your client’s needs and wish list”, said Yap, who has been recognized as one of the experts by Singapore Business Review. the most notable real estate agents under 40 for 2022, advised.

“Providing dedicated service with a good old fashioned personal touch,” she added.

For buyers, Lim advised them to “buy on budget and need,” instead of timing the market.

“Inflation, high mortgage rates and record house prices are reducing housing affordability…waiting may not be a viable option as there are unlikely to be any significant price improvements or interest rates. I think trying to predict what might happen in the next year is not the best home buying strategy,” Lim added.

embrace the world

Another reality real estate agents had to deal with, according to Yap, was that the market was becoming increasingly international in its outlook – whether marketing to overseas buyers or acting on behalf of Foreign customers.

“Real estate has always been seen as a local phenomenon…but with the influx of international capital, it’s almost impossible for real estate brokers to live in a vacuum and shield themselves from global influences,” Yap told Singapore Business Review.

That’s why, she said, it’s important that real estate agents “now look beyond the local and embrace this new global reality to ride the waves.”

“That’s not to say local isn’t important – it is and always will be – but factors such as a strong international reputation and political stability have solidified Singapore as a safe harbor for wealthy investors. to navigate rough seas,” added Yap.

Admittedly, she said embracing this new reality and strategizing to expand her reach globally was a challenge – but luckily she had colleagues from different regions who helped her have a more global clientele. extent.

“There’s a saying that while what you know is important, who you know may be more relevant,” she said.

“I have worked closely with Savills counterpart offices and colleagues to expand my regional network. In the various regional offices, we work hand in hand to ensure that we have an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of capital flows,” she added.

Yap said her broad global reach, coupled with “original thinking,” was what led her to successfully sell the House of Tan Yeok Nee national landmark in the space of three months.

“Thinking outside the box, we started imagining the space and exploring other potential uses, such as a café, private clubhouse or art gallery. Buyers appreciated the research and breadth of knowledge demonstrated through our service, and ultimately they loved what we offered,” she said.

“When I landed the exclusive appointment, I knew that I would leave no stone unturned. I tapped into every possible network to expand my pool of buyers, issuing press releases to Chinese and Hong Kong media in addition to our Singaporean media,” she added.

Yap sold the National Moment to an Indonesian family for around $85 million in March 2022.

Yap hoped Singapore would fully reopen borders and other markets like China and Hong Kong would follow so she could meet face-to-face with customers residing in those areas.

“In today’s increasingly competitive market, this can be a particularly difficult landscape to navigate because global customers are almost always mobile customers. The best way for real estate brokers to do this is to meet the needs of international investors by approaching everything with creativity and careful attention to their needs,” she said.

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