In this series entitled Agent Success Stories, we sit down with agency leaders to find out their side of the story. From their humble beginnings to the challenges they have faced on the road to success, we learn that a career in the real estate industry is one filled with boundless opportunities – if you know where to look.
Coming from a humble background, Jasmine had to step up to support her family after her O levels examinations. She spent her younger days balancing between studies and working part time to help bring up her two younger brothers. Her hardship early in life motivated her to work even harder, with her goal to achieve financial freedom and to comfortably support her loved ones.
Throughout her career, she discovered her flair in numbers. After identifying her strength, she started planning a career path that could capitalise on that to financially support her loved ones. Eventually, climbing up the corporate ladder as a Finance Manager.Despite her comfortable lifestyle, Jasmine found herself getting less satisfaction from her job after motherhood kicked in. After returning from maternity leave, she started questioning the inflexible routine of a desk bound job and craved a work-life balance that would give her more time with her family. This sparked her interest in a career in Real Estate, where she had previous experience in mall operations, handling lease tenancies, and tenant relationship management during her role with a private asset management company.
Her tipping point was in 2018, when postnatal depression kicked in, and a close colleague left to become a Real Estate agent. Her decision to follow suit was not easy, but she knew it was necessary in order for her to get a career that could better help her balance between work and family. It took her over a year and three tries to finally pass the exam and within an hour of receiving her RES results, she took the plunge and submitted her resignation letter. This was how strong her faith in Real Estate was.
From Zero to Hero
Like all new agents, Jasmine had to start afresh in the Real Estate industry. Despite the steep learning curve, she was quick to adapt as she spent the majority of her time attending various training and show flats to learn as much as she could. With her willing attitude, core strength in financial and mathematical literacy, she was able to transit smoothly into the property industry.
She leveraged on her strong network of friends and colleagues from her corporate background, and took the unconventional route of investing into social media. With that, she managed to generate leads within the first night of becoming a Real Estate agent. This helped pave the way for her first deal that was closed within her second month, and the many record-breaking deals she closed thereafter.
Unlike other agents, she started recruiting within her first year, and successfully inspired her two new agents along the path of being Realtor-preneurs. Alongside with them, they managed to join the ranks of achievers in the prestigious Diamonds by ERA club in their second year together, a network of 6-figure and above income-earners within the company. Today, she stands as a prominent role model for both mothers and Real Estate agents and has gone on to achieve seven Top New Manager Awards, three Diamond Awards, and three Top New Achiever Awards in 2020 alone.
Asking Questions From the Heart
Jasmine’s specialisation falls within wealth creation, helping many families progress from HDBs to resale private condominiums and new launches.
During the initial meeting with new clients, she would sit them down for a self-introductory session where she would ask questions to better understand their needs and intention of purchasing a property. She believes in fact finding and asking questions to help her build a better understanding of her clients’ needs while establishing a stronger rapport with them. Thereafter, she will draw out a customised plan and timeline that best suits their situation and budget.
According to Jasmine, “We often assume we know what the client wants. But you’ll be surprised by how much more you can learn and discover about your client when you ask questions from a place of genuinity. This way, you can really aid them in making the best property decisions for themselves.”
The whole upgrading process can be daunting for many families, especially within a sea of new launches to navigate around. Jasmine would often help filter out relevant new launches that best suit the lifestyle and budget of her client. Jasmine believes in helping her clients find properties with the right elements and frameworks that they can potentially gain from. It is also important to plan exit strategies for the properties her clients purchased, charting visual graphs to map potential capital gains of new launches, and comparing them with other resale properties her clients might be eyeing. This gives them assurance and confidence for their next property move. She emphasised that the right property move can propel a family ahead financially.She adds, “It is always important to maintain a sense of transparency with your client. If a client is keen on an older condominium that may not earn them profit, it is important not to agree with them for fear of losing the sale, but to provide them more choices that will actually benefit them.”
For instance, she had a client whom she was marketing to sell their newly MOP HDB, and had wanted to purchase a bigger resale flat. Knowing that the resale value of older HDB typically declines as the lease runs out, she navigates them towards purchasing a new launch which her clients are already sitting on paper gains even before key collections.
Achieving Huge Milestones in Family and Work
The biggest change since joining the industry was her relationship between family and work. Jasmine finds herself most grateful for the support of her husband. Together, they agreed they would work around each other’s schedule and spend an equal amount of time with family. “That really is the beauty of the job. The freedom and flexibility in working hours have helped me come a long way in terms of balancing my family lifestyle, as well as excelling in a career which I am truly passionate with.”She is truly grateful to her then close colleague and now mentor, Clement Cheng, who inspired her to join the property industry. Watching him set an example on his transition from the corporate world to real estate gave her the courage and motivation to join the real estate industry. She is also grateful towards her Division Director Alex Lim. She sees him as a selfless leader with great foresight and wisdom to guide and train agents, both new and experienced. They had both proved to be a prominent source of inspiration for her success today. “I am a very strong believer of good energy. Here in the Preeminent Group and Alex Lim Divisions, the culture of camaraderie where both achievers and leaders are open to sharing information, definitely helped me grow in this industry.”
Building a Brand through Social Media
Jasmine found herself facing a tough time when she first entered the industry. While figuring out a balance between family and work, she was quick to find new means of time blocking and working out a routine that best suits her. With her strong social media presence, she was able to rely on her circle of influence to pull in new leads. She would often post about her work on social media, showcasing properties she visited, how she helped her clients and their property progression journey to ignite curiosity and awareness. By doing so, she hopes to share her knowledge and credible information to her network of friends who may not be so open to approach a real estate agent, but have questions regarding the property market.She was also able to keep engagement high and inform her followers about new launches. Furthermore, becoming the go-to property agent amongst her friends and network as they continuously seek her property expertise to best advise them when making property decisions.
For new and aspiring agents – what advice would you give them?
Jasmine urges all new agents not to give up when first entering the industry. “In my first year, I entertained thoughts of giving up and returning to the corporate world when I had zero sales for five months straight. The dropout rate in this industry is extremely high. If you truly aspire to enter this industry and succeed, it is all about hard work, trying out different prospecting methods, and finding the right business model that works for you. Sometimes, that might involve constantly learning new skills, calibrating your mindset and fine-tuning yourself along the way, and that may take you a year, if not more to find that sweet spot.”
Being a strong believer in positive energy and how influential one’s environment can be, she prompts all new agents to not give up before finding success. “When you are in the right environment with equally like minded people who seek to achieve, you’ll be in the right frame and mindset to achieve anything you want.”