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Bouquets for property agents

Elaine Ng Chau Peng of OrangeTee & Tie

Elaine Ng of OrangeTee & Tie feels that agents have to conduct estate agency work with their heart and understand their clients’ needs. (Image: Elaine Ng)

Elaine Ng Chau Peng of OrangeTee & Tie goes out of her way to serve her clients. In one instance, she was contacted by her landlord-client’s tenant to help with a storage water heater that had burst in the middle of the night.

Although an agent’s responsibility typically ends after the property is handed over to the tenant, Elaine shared that she believes in providing the best service to her clients. She thus steps in to help her clients resolve issues that arise during the tenancy period.

Elaine had helped her landlord-client to rent out her condominium unit to Dr Terada, a Japanese expatriate. Elaine told CEAnergy that Dr Terada had called her at midnight one night to ask for help - the storage water heater had burst and flooded one of the bathrooms in the condominium unit.

Elaine quickly contacted a plumber and rushed to the apartment with her husband. Upon stepping into the bathroom, they were greeted by the sight of water gushing out from the false ceiling and walls. Thankfully, the plumber arrived not long after and resolved the issue.

Dr Terada was so impressed with Elaine’s service that he wrote in to the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) to praise her for being “patient, dedicated, and considerate”.

Apart from this, Elaine has also helped her client to source for and replace faulty electrical bulbs and uniquely-designed lightings.

“My clients rely on me to get things done so I have to be resourceful. If a landlord is overseas, you don’t want to inconvenience him/her so you will try to help,” she added.

Dr Terada, who has since moved back to Japan, said that Elaine had also helped with the return of his security deposit from the landlord. “I highly recommend Elaine to anyone, especially foreigners [who are] unfamiliar with Singapore's housing policies,” said Dr Terada in his email.

Elaine said, “Foreign tenants are not familiar with Singapore and may not know what to do when they face problems. Therefore, I try to help them as much as I can.”

Elaine, who has been in the real estate agency industry for 20 years, said that she decided to join the industry because she finds the job interesting, and loves to meet and interact with people.

Over the years, Elaine has striven to keep up with the changes in the estate agency industry. She leverages technological tools for her marketing efforts and is not afraid that her job will be displaced by technology.

She said, “Agents can provide personalised services and they can help their clients with their property transactions.”

When asked to share what she considers as important attributes of a good agent, Elaine said that a good agent must be honest and helpful. “Agents have to conduct estate agency work with their heart and understand their clients’ needs,” she added.

Reflecting on what motivates her to continue in this industry, Elaine said that it is the passion for her job that keeps her going.

“Retirement has never crossed my mind. I have my own pool of clients and they keep me going. When somebody appreciates you, you feel happy and satisfied.”

Serence Playford @ Lim Ching Peng of ERA Realty Network

Serence Playford of ERA Realty Network believes that perseverance is key to completing a property transaction. (Image: Serence Playford )

“Perseverance is key to completing a property transaction. If you are focused, resourceful, and determined, you will be able to get your client’s unit off the market in the shortest time.”

This is what Serence Playford of ERA Realty Network always bears in mind when she facilitates property transactions for her clients.

Serence shared with CEAnergy that when she was a freshly-minted agent five years ago, a couple had engaged her to rent out their walk-up apartment located in Bukit Timah area. The development had no facilities and was located next to a busy road. Also, Serence was not the sole agent marketing the unit and faced competition from other agents.

Instead of giving up, she soldiered on and managed to secure a tenant after arranging at least 30 viewings. Serence eventually became the couple’s preferred agent to work with until they sold their property in an en bloc deal in the middle of this year.

The couple, Mr and Mrs Yeo, complimented Serence for being hardworking and trustworthy. Mr Yeo shared that he had no time to attend to his tenant’s needs due to his work commitments. Serence not only helped him to source for furnishings for the unit, she also arranged for the installation works.

“Serence is friendly and approachable. Working with her is a joy. She is not only responsible, she goes out of her way to get things done,” Mr Yeo said in an email to CEA.

Serence said that she is willing to go the extra mile for her clients because they are appreciative of her efforts. “Seeing their smiles warms my heart,” she added.

To provide value-added service for her clients, Serence shared that she constantly challenges herself to pick up new skillsets and technological tools. She subscribes to various web applications that provide in-depth, up-to-date property market information and analysis.

“You will need to advise your clients accordingly, let them know about the market conditions, the recent transacted prices of the properties within the vicinity, and so forth. These are necessary information to help them in their decision making, be it buying or selling a property.”

Over the years, Serence has had her fair share of challenges. In one instance, she was tasked to sell a condominium unit where the remaining lease was less than 60 years. Through her resourcefulness and perseverance, she managed to sell the unit within two weeks. “Being customer-oriented, determined, focused, and good in negotiating certainly helped,” she added.

To be a good property agent, Serence believes that it is important to have integrity, good market knowledge, a positive mindset, and the right attitude.

Serence said that she is motivated to upskill herself to provide good service to her clients. “Be it market news or the latest technology, there’s always something new to learn every day. Most importantly, when my clients are satisfied with my service, I get a sense of achievement. This is what I find most rewarding in my journey as a property agent.”

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