99.co Agent Success Story: Beatrice Ng’s Secrets to the Singapore Market

In an insightful conversation with Beatrice Ng from ERA, we explore her meteoric rise within Singapore’s real estate industry, her unexpected advice for investors in this market, and the unique challenges and strategies that define her success.

Today running one of the Top 8 rated divisions within ERA, Beatrice Ng entered the world of real estate seeking the independence of self-employment. As she puts it, “I wanted to challenge myself by being self-employed, because being self-employed requires a lot of discipline.” Her passion for luxurious properties and the allure of Singapore’s thriving real estate market fuelled her determination to succeed in this business.

For Beatrice, the turning point came when she saw a friend doing remarkably well in the real estate industry. Her friend’s success served as an aspirational example, and she decided to take the plunge herself, stating, “I thought, why not give it a try?”

For those looking to invest in property, Beatrice’s advice offers a fresh perspective that challenges conventional ‘buy low, sell high’ wisdom. She posits, “My advice is, in Singapore, you have to buy high to sell higher! Today’s high is tomorrow’s low.” This approach might seem counterintuitive, but it aligns with the unique dynamics of the Singaporean real estate market.

Beatrice emphasises that in Singapore, undervalued properties are exceptionally rare. The market’s strong demand and limited supply contribute to the ever-increasing value of properties. “Here, there’s no such thing as a ‘cheap’ property,” she explains. With this understanding, the key to profitable investments, according to Beatrice, is to buy from developers and hold onto the property for as long as possible to maximise appreciation and return on investment.

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Beatrice Ng says she relishes the challenges of self-employment.

However, Beatrice offers a word of caution. While the potential for lucrative returns exists, she reminds investors that not all properties in Singapore guarantee profitability. When selecting an investment property, clients must seek out homes that have unique selling points, such as proximity to reputable schools or efficient transportation. These attributes can significantly influence the property’s market value. Nevertheless, Beatrice reiterates, “It’s certainly not guaranteed that all properties in Singapore will make money.”

Navigating the complexities of working with foreign investors and expats in the Singaporean real estate market presents its own set of challenges. While language barriers rarely pose a problem, due to the widespread use of English and Chinese, other factors come into play. Notably, the recent surge in the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) has presented a significant hurdle for foreign buyers. Beatrice acknowledges the impact of these policy changes, explaining that they have led to a decrease in foreign property purchases.

This increase in ABSD, doubling the stamp duty for foreign buyers from 30 to 60 percent, has had a notable cooling effect. While this has deterred some foreign investors, Beatrice remains optimistic about the future. She believes this cooling will be temporary, and Singapore’s stability will continue to attract investors from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. As an experienced real estate agent, she’s well aware that market dynamics are often subject to short-term fluctuations, yet the long-term prospects for Singapore’s real estate remain strong.

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This high-performing realtor is confident foreign buyers will soon return to the Singapore market, despite the recent ABSD increases.

One of the noteworthy challenges in Singapore’s real estate market recently has been rapidly rising rents. Expats in the city have been significantly affected by this surge, with many paying between 50 to 80 percent more than their previous lease, Beatrice notes. The result has been a shift in demand for more cost-effective housing solutions, as expats seek out accommodations that better align with their budgets. “They are right-sizing, looking for locations that meet their needs while keeping costs in check,” Beatrice says.

Beatrice says for renters, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. “The good news is that rental rates are stabilising, but they may not return to their previous lows.” Perhaps the lesson here is that the real estate market, much like life, is dynamic, and adapting to changes is a necessary skill for both agents and clients.

In an industry where transactions are often emotionally driven, Beatrice says she goes to great lengths to ensure clients make level-headed decisions. She advises understanding the client’s needs and ultimate goals, updating them on the latest market conditions. She asks, “Are they buying for personal use or investment? What is their exit plan? I emphasise long-term planning and advise clients accordingly. I show them market data, trends, and potential pitfalls. By educating them, I help them make informed decisions.”

Beatrice says for any agent, “Successful negotiation is essential. When representing sellers, I highlight the unique aspects of their property. For buyers, I focus on the property’s unique selling points rather than just price and location. It’s about helping buyers understand the value of a property. A successful negotiation is one where both parties are satisfied and feel they’ve achieved their goals.”

Beatrice Ng with her trophies
Offering the advice to ‘buy high, sell higher,’ Beatrice notes that Singapore’s real estate market differs from that of other countries. “Here, there’s no such thing as a ‘cheap’ property,” says this much-awarded agent.

Staying updated with market trends and industry developments is something a good agent must devote time to staying on top of, given the dynamic nature of the real estate market. Beatrice highlights the importance of understanding government policies that impact the market. She says these policies are often announced in the middle of the night. “Fortunately, the next day, my company, ERA, conducts seminars to explain these policies to agents and consumers so that we are always up to date,” Beatrice says.

When bringing properties to market, Beatrice finds property platforms are highly efficient, but she says it’s important to embrace new approaches and innovative methods as well. She highlights the importance of video marketing and a strong social media presence through platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. High-quality photography and videos have become standard in luxury property listings, Beatrice says, and this attention to detail is vital to attracting potential buyers.

Beatrice’s advice for those starting in the real estate industry is straightforward: “Work hard and network as much as you can. Building relationships is crucial in this industry.”

Beyond career and financial security, Beatrice’s definition of success revolves around client satisfaction and family happiness. Striking a balance between work and family life is her ultimate goal. As she puts it, “Success, to me, means both my clients and my family are happy. I strive for client satisfaction in their property transactions. Maintaining a balance between work and family life is also important, as the support of an understanding family is invaluable in this industry.”

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