When the Circuit Breaker was enforced on 7 April 2020, many property agents worried about how they could continue closing sales without conducting any physical viewing.
After all, properties in Singapore are minimally a six-digit receipt and it had always been a norm to have physical viewings before your clients sign the contract.
Today you’ll hear from 3 Agent Partners – Mark Wang, Shawn Tan and Karen Lim; all of whom have earned their successes despite the odds and continued to emerge victorious in these unprecedented times.
Keep Upgrading, Stay Updated and Remain Focused
With a trunkful of faith and a deep breath, Mark left the engineering industry and embark on his journey as a real estate agent just mid 2019.
However as we all know by now, COVID-19’s wrath reached Singapore’s shores early in 2020 and left many agents (Mark included), uncertain and worried about what to do next.
However even through Circuit Breaker, Mark continued to thrive and successfully closed multiple deals.
“Always in uncertainty, growth happens.”
– Mark Wang, PropNex (Aaron Wan Division)
Empowering himself with his very own three-pronged approach, Mark continued to stay competitive and relevant as an agent.
1. Shift our mindset to upgrade our skillsets
Since physical viewings weren’t an option, Mark chose to pile up his schedule with online courses that’ll help increase his knowledge and relevance. His agency and division leader both conducted regular training to help recalibrate skills that’ll be needed during this time, but alongside Mark continued to invest in himself by even attending external courses; like those you can find on PropertyGuru Academy as well.
“(They’ll) prove to be useful once the Circuit Breaker period ended,” said Mark.
2. Show your customers they can trust you
“We must never forget that our clients rely on us to keep abreast of the latest news, especially during this period.”
As property agents today, your capabilities have extended beyond sales to be more consultative. It has become even more important for you to keep your clients updated on market and price changes and adjustments to government directives.
Mark also strategically looked at his client list and zoomed into focusing on those with immediate needs, handling them with urgency, efficiency and care. This allowed him to build trust with his customers, which in turn allowed him to encourage them to take bold steps and even expanded his own clientele.
3. Don’t just look at your agency and clients for growth; look at yourself
Mark shared that part of his ability to stay focused despite the pandemic was his personal drive to reinvent his business practices, readily reaching out whenever he needed help and to adopt a positive mindset through it all.
Through this, he found the time and resources to take a step back to review his practices and helped him to craft new materials that can serve him even better after the Circuit Breaker.
Take Up the Challenge and Focus on Your Clients
“Many believed that no one would commit to a big-ticket item like property without being able to view it physically”, Shawn shared.
This rang true at the beginning of Circuit Breaker, but through the resilience and adaptive skills of property agents like Shawn – the ‘new normal’ was born.
“There’s an importance in persisting (for your clients), especially during such trying times.”
– Shawn Tan, PropNex (Aaron Wan Division)
Shawn shared his struggle over one particular deal that started from the first day of Circuit Breaker Phase 1. This meant alongside the usual negotiations and coordination, Shawn was greeted with extra difficulties of successfully closing the sale.
It was a promising listing and seemed to be the dream landed property of Shawn’s buyer, and it was almost like a fairy tale – only that Shawn’s seller wasn’t agreeable on the price. Even after the buyer upped their initial offer significantly.
Seeing the disappointment from the eyes of his buyer, Shawn seemed to be supercharged with persistence and determination to help both of his clients. Through countless late-night calls and re-negotiations, Shawn finally tasted the fruits of his labour when the seller saw the genuine interest of the buyer, and they eventually agreed on a price.
At the beginning, Shawn embraced technology to help gather leads and interest, “With the help of technology like V360 Virtual Tours and being able to post them up online on PropertyGuru, it gives agents a sense of security to be able to allow virtual viewings of the unit even during the midst of this pandemic.”
However, at the end of the day, true success comes from how agents are guided and how they serve their clients. “In Aaron Wan Division, we always believe in the importance of putting our client’s interest first, before anything else.”
Don’t Be Late to Embrace the Change
Many senior agents tend to shy away from digitalisation and choose to stick with the more traditional ways to generate leads and close deals. However, the same doesn’t apply to Karen.
Despite the challenges of digitalisation and COVID-19, Karen beat the odds and continued closing multiple sales and rentals even during the Circuit Breaker period.
“No matter what age we are, we should choose to continue learning new things”
– Karen Lim, PropNex (Aaron Wan Division)
“Honestly, the transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing is really challenging for me,” Karen shared. But that didn’t stop her!
During Phase 1 of Circuit Breaker, Karen accomplished an awesome feat by learning to create and edit simple videos and she even learned how to use Zoom to present to her clients.
Here’s a saying that Karen believes in,
“The capacity to learn is a gift,
the ability to learn is a skill,
the willingness to learn is a choice.”
Now that she has empowered herself with technology, Karen has been able to do even more viewings than she normally did before Circuit Breaker.
We’re currently in times like never before; there’s no previous references to fall back on, no historical lessons to pick up from – as we’re writing history itself.
Every single day you continue charging towards success, every single time you connect with your clients despite circumstances; you’re persisting and blazing the way for a newfound tomorrow that we all look forward to together.
PropertyGuru is honoured to be a part of this with you, Agent Partners! And we hope to continue standing united with you, through it all.
We’d like to give a special thanks to Mark Wang, Shawn Tan and Karen Lim for taking the time to share your stories with us – it’s heartwarming and amazing to hear such stories from you.
Till next time, please continue to stay safe!
P.S. Remember to keep our Post COVID-19: Property Viewing Checklist handy with you, if you’re resuming your physical viewing activites! Check it out here.
– PropertyGuru Team