first get to know him, (let’s call him Carl) he wanted to sell off his condo. The property was located at a good location, what perplexed me was that it was in the market for very long before I took over the job.
I really wanted to help this client progress and reach his goal to reinvest his stagnant funds into another asset.
I shared my honest views and more often than not, such views are not really what client wanted to hear, but needed to understand.
The views I shared have the potential for me to lose the business, but it was necessary if I truly want to help him. I was blessed to have someone trusted me and gave me the chance to execute the plan.
When the property is sold within 2 months, we embarked into the journey of acquiring the right property for his goals. I asked Carl specific questions so that we can his end objectives laid out. I ask questions like what other liquid assets he has, what kind of liabilities he have and what he foresee will have in the future, he preference on what type of property to invest, how long he wants to hold the next assets… then I think he sensed where am I driving at.
Carl: To be honest with you, I have already allocated all my funds the way I want it, I have $xxx in CPF, $xxx in stocks, bonds, deposits etc and I am just looking for a property asset to invest in
Me: Wow, that’s great! You know, I like to ask these questions because I do not wish anyone to put everything into one asset because frankly once you invest in a property, there is a holding period you need to consider, in that period, if you need the funds, liquidating may not be a wise option. But I truly happy for you that you have done your equity allocation and thanks for the trust in me.
Carl: Yeah, let’s summarise what am I looking for, I would consider any good opportunity that is around $2mil property. So perhaps you could help me look out.
Me: Sure, let me share with you the market perspective, real estate cycles and Singapore growth areas, with these the search can be zoomed down to an area. Let’s use a logical and effective Top Down Approach (hyperlink) to identify which area we should be looking for.
Carl: Wait a minute, I actually saw this ad on the newspaper regarding a HDB shophouse in Ang Mo Kio, I’m pretty interested in this auction.
… After some research
Me: Oh, this unit have GST, if you are keen will have to go down to auction on 230pm Tuesday. If you successfully bidded, you will have to place deposit and go straight into S&P. But may I understand why are you looking to invest in this?
Carl: I think shophouse is a good invest considering they are limited supply
Me: I do agree to some extent, but also I must say for shophouses, there are more things to consider than just location, catchment frontage and so on, and you are familiar with the place. This previously was a bank. Corner unit, just basing on these, sounds good. But further detailed analysis needed to be done are things like who will be your tenants? The second floor is residential, rental won’t be fantastic. How extensive the renovation will cost? What about existing neighboring tenants there? Can your tenant give good consistent rent? With how business doing nowadays, what will be your thoughts?
Carl: … … I guess we need time to have more insights actually.
Me: Yup, indeed, the key is if you are buying for investment, u must already have an idea what kind of tenant will take up and is the market outlook supporting it. My personal opinion is just by the uncertainty of demand from tenants & second floor residential, returns wise, getting a good residential property could be more straight forward and more expectable returns.
Carl: I have to agree with you, commercial properties does need more consideration, it is a good investment for others but may not be for me.
Me: yes yes! Very important in investing is to have an Unique Strategy Customised to Yourself. How about let’s go together to URA to walk one round, with the future plans mapped out, you will u would have a good grasp of Singapore future outlook.
…After the Visit…
Carl: Thanks so much for your time today, I did not even know such a thing exist before, it’s an eye opener, could bring my kids over someday!
Me: Let me share with you that after some detailed planning and strategy brainstorming, I have zoomed down to ONE development in District 1. It is perfect for you because of the goals we discussed the other time
Carl: Wow, so specific, only one?
Me: Yeah, one! I can’t find another more suitable one. We can look at 2-3 more but I would say that they would only be for purpose of having option, they ain’t even close or good enough for comparison.
Carl: I can feel the conviction of your belief! But is it a Resale or New Launch?
Me: It is somewhere in between, you are getting directly from a developer but you do not have to buy off plans or wait for it to build.
Carl: I do think now that residential properties is the way to go for me. Having said that, I still think existing resale properties are better value. Was just discussing with my wife and we think it’s very important to find a place which has a large margin of safety in asking psf.
Me: Can I share a concept with you? Regardless what you invested, there will be a black out period you are not looking to sell, this period whatever happens, price go up or down, you should not be concern. Do consider how long is your black out period and it’s Rentability- is rentability (rental demand) growing? This is different from Rental yield. More people that will rent your property is more important than how much your property can rent.
Carl: Let me discuss with my wife, it seems there are more and more things to discuss
Me: Any market cannot be taken lightly. Sometimes I feel it’s not the market, it’s the age, as we grow older, we have to make solid decision. Time and age is more important factors to consider.
Carl: Meanwhile if there are any good deals available let me know.
…After some time…
Me: Hi Carl, good day to you! We are organising an Educational Talk on the developments and future growth in the Greater Southern Waterfront, I think it will be very beneficial to you and your wife. Are you able to make it?
Carl was a client when we met, has become a friend now, has doubts about the development I introduced from the start, and he spent a reasonable amount of time considering it. While waiting, I reconsidered my recommendation and see if there are other more suitable ones, every time, I’m more convinced that this is the right one. This, again, would cost me the deal as he may just buy other property from someone else.
But when the right thing has to be done, it has to be done. It has nothing to do with me whether closing or losing the deal. When one is speaking with the intention to help someone, there is no fear.
As time progress, Carl also did his research, keep asking the key questions again and again, making sure he will be making the right decision, and it pointed to the same property I recommended. I’m very proud of him because he debated and challenged my views and advice, and eventually he reached his own answer.
The day arrived where we all come together to confirm the investment. While waiting I spent some time of my own being mesmerised by the building’s architect which really serenades me, as I took time to be grateful and recall back the journey I have with this friend.
The beautiful fruit has ripened from the intention of developing myself to a competent advisor through ethics, patience and being truthful.