FOR ASIAHOMES REALTORS
from Asiahomes Internet
Kind To Pets: Eye injuries are emergencies. See your vet
We already have a
realtor - RETAINED CORPORATE
understand the practice of Singapore realtors," Mrs
Robinson raised her voice in exasperation after a futile
telephone explanation from me about the exclusive rights
of the corporate realtors retained by a multinational oil
company. "I feel like a ping-pong ball!"
She had phoned me after receiving my email to her husband
saying that I had 5 Camelot condos and would be pleased to
show her and her husband.
"I have XXX as my realtor. I don't need any realtor!!" she emphasized to
me, as if I was hard selling her my services via email. I presumed that XXX,
being a brand name realty firm was what she trusted and
she had encountered nasty unforgettable experiences with
smaller firms when she relocated to Singapore four years
ago. Or that she was brand conscious.
I tried to mollify her, "Your husband phoned me and gave
me his email and mobile telephone number to let him know
whether I have Camelot condos for rent. He said XXX had told him there were no
more units at Camelot and asked me to contact him if I had
any. As his mobile was not on, I emailed the five listings
to him." I usually phoned rather than emailed
A one-line email saying I have 5 listings and when he
would like to view. I got an angry voice instead.
Why was I the urban cowboy hustling her husband when she
obviously did not need any other realtor, having the top
How did Mr Robinson know about me when I did not advertise
Camelot in the Singapore Straits Times?
Mr Robinson must have used search
engines for "Camelot Singapore" and contacted
me through the internet at www.asiahomes.com.
That is the beauty of the internet. It levels the
competition, I want to believe.
To test it for the reader's benefit, I now clicked on www.google.com
and key in "Camelot+Singapore". The results on
Aug 21, 2002 at 5.54 am showed www.asiahomes.com
webpage ranked as No. 1 as follows:
Searched English pages for Camelot+Singapore.
Results 1 - 10 of about 5,470. Search took 0.17 seconds.
1. 0410ASingapore Camelot condos, rental properties, Singapore real ...
... Upscale Singapore condos - Camelot by Kallang River Camelot's bay view units
are in great demand. Rentals from $9,000 - $10,000 in May 2002. ...
- 32k - Cached - Similar pages
1238Singapore Camelot, Aspen Height condos, rental properties, ... 1238Singapore real estate, Camelot apartments, HJ Heights condos, houses, properties, property, real estate, for expats relocating to Singapore by Asia USA ...
- 21k - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from www.asiahomes.com]
I can understand wanting the best firm to service Mrs
Robinson. I would want too myself if I could afford the
best. This is the real world where human resource managers
will outsource to the top realty firms for their
expatriates. If anything goes wrong, the managers can say
that: "XXX is the top firm for you. What more do you
expect?" If they retain a small firm, they may
get embroiled in office politics and be perceived as
inefficient or worse, to practise corrupted
I had to keep my cool as I knew Mrs Robinson would prefer
not to talk to me if she had a choice. This was one of my
In any case, out of courtesy, I emailed Mr Robinson saying
that XXX had contacted me, after his wife had phoned XXX.
He was obliged to use XXX and that he should have no
problem seeing 5 units of Camelot 2 days later.
3 days later, Mr Robinson phoned me saying that XXX did
not show him two units and presumed that the 8th floor
units had been rented out although I had told him that the
8th floor was available at $8,500 2 days ago.
I explained to him that I could not co-broke with XXX as I
was already co-broking the unit with another realtor. By
co-broking, we shared 50:50 of the commissions. If XXX
comes into the picture, it would be 25:25:50 but I doubted
that XXX would want 25% when she could get 50%. If I
had direct owner's listings, I could still co-broke with
XXX and she would get 50% of the commission. Mr Robinson
now understood the system.
"We already have a realtor," Mrs Robinson
reminded him in the background. Her loyalty to XXX was a
rare trait in this dog-eat-dog realty world of expatriate
tenants who use multiple agents. I admire her for that.
"Why not ask XXX to find out more about the 8th floor
herself?" I propose. If she was unsuccessful, then,
maybe you can approach your Chief Executive Officer for a
waiver of this tightly controlled regulation to enable you
to use outside realtors?"
Mr Robinson is a very polite and gentle man. It is so nice
to talk to him and to understand his situation and needs.
XXX had already shown him 3 units of Camelot and that was
better than zero. I hope he would select a nice one
amongst the three units.
No doubt, I would not close this deal, but the feedback
from Mr Robinson regarding his Landlord, his existing
condo and his situation was very valuable money can't buy
information that would help me be more nimble in this
business competing against the retained corporate
What's the morale of this story?
If you listen to what the customer wants, keep your
cool when provoked, you can learn much more about your
business than what books and mentors can teach you. You
learn about the practices of your competitors from the
horse's mouth (the prospective tenant) and you will
definitely be better prepared to be successful in your
real estate business. Who knows, Mr Robinson may
refer an expatriate friend to me. We always live
Article contributed by firstname.lastname@example.org