estate Niven Road, Blair Road shophome educational stories for asiahomes.com realtors,
excerpts from "The
Internet Realtors, Singapore", sponsored by AsiaHomes Internet.
She's got emails
She was single, fair European lady. She knew what she loved. A Singapore unique home
with three bedroom and a backyard for her gentle Great Dane. Not the fanciful condos
with marble flooring and lushly landscaped swimming pools and mirrored gyms.
A shophome near the downtown Orchard Road would suit
her. Her office would be in Clementi, at least 30 minutes by taxi but she did not
mind. However, most rent from $6,000 and timing must be right. Her rental budget was
Should I take up this case knowing that the odds were against me and I would have no
income? This was a challenge and we went house hunting for
$4,000 unique homes
There was a Blair Road shophouse renting for $4,500. The co-broking realtor said that an
offer of $4,500 had been made and whoever gave him the good faith deposit first would get
Well, she could not be expected to decide within 24 hours. She had to ask her office human
resource manager to about the procedures and to ask for more rent.
"Bryan would agree to whatever I choose," she said. Therefore, there was
no need to wait for Bryan to come to Singapore to decide.
"I could send him the images of this house within 3 hours," I said. The
significant other would at least have seen what he would get. Digital cameras are
worth their weight in gold for a rental realtor dealing with international clientele.
The next day was a fine Sunday morning. Bryan had no objections. The co-broking
realtor had agreed to let us have a second inspection and we met him first at another
unique apartment at Bugis area. This apartment was a unique apartment above a
shophome but it did not set her heart fluttering.
"Frankly, I had received the good faith deposit," the co-broking realtor said
when we asked him to proceed to the Blair Road shophome. He would not want to show
us the place. He was confident that he would close the case. Unfortunately, time
proved him wrong.
"What an unethical realtor!" Cecilia said to me. "Using me to bid
against the other expatriate so that he would rush in the good faith deposit."
She thanked me for the house-hunting and said she would be flying back to Europe tomorrow.
I asked another associate to follow up as I was unsuccessful. The associate had
thought of a Niven Road shophome which might be available. The rental was
within Cecilia's budget of $4,000.
I drove by Niven Road to show Cecilia the restored shophomes located near the Little India
neighbourhood of Serangoon Road. Neat houses with 3 bedrooms on a quiet Niven Road.
She was in love.
No viewing was possible on a Sunday morning and anyway, the Tenant did not want to show
during Sunday. On Monday, Cecilia had no time.
It was right for my associate to follow up as she had the idea. What do I mean by
"follow up?" It meant tracking her to Europe by her mobile phone and by email
and fax. It meant spending money on trunk calls without a guarantee of success.
I don't blame my associate for not willing to follow up to Europe. The Niven
shophome was not seen by Cecilia. It was tenanted and the Landlord had a letter of
Why throw good money away? Every cent counts for all of us. We had our
overheads and had to be selective. Large expenses was a big issue. Over 99% of
the prospective tenants don't pay us for house-hunting. We had to qualify prospects
and Cecilia appeared to be a hopeless case.
However, this was a prospect with a single mindedness. She knew what she wanted.
There was nothing to offer. Was there?
I emailed to her. Sent her digital images. "Do you like the Niven
shophome?" I asked in my email. She said yes. But the unit was
already given an offer and the Landlord would not accept another offer nor a higher offer.
I left my telephone number just in case the offer did not go through. No
point doing so, said the Landlord. He was sure of the outcome as was the co-broking
realtor of the Blair Road shophome. Once the good faith deposit was received, it was a
foregone conclusion. The case was closed.
"The company would put me up in a hotel for one month and I would have more time to
check out housing," Cecilia emailed me. Her dog would have to come to Singapore
Time proved the Landlord wrong. The other expatriate wanted a fully furnished place at the
same rent. He had heard that Singapore Landlords were desperate. Therefore,
extract the most from a Tenant's market when the Tenant was king.
I was given a second chance. I phoned Cecilia but her mobile phone had been given
up. She got email from me. "You would have great difficulty finding a
shophome with a $4,000 rental budget in the month given to you," I advised.
"Take the Niven Road shophome. There is a great demand from many single
Sounds like a high pressure selling. "The last unit, no more available. If you don't
take it, somebody is waiting to rent it"
A hard sell? No wonder realtors are not respected.
It was an opportunity of a lifetime for these singles and couples without children.
Usually creative people, not the ordinary folks we imagine.
But this was the true situation and Cecilia would have done her research well too.
"Make the same offer but on a partially furnished basis," she replied. She had
not seen the house interiors but I would send the digital images.
The Landlord accepted the offer. Happy days were back again you would think.
"The good faith deposit would be forfeited if the prospective Tenant does not sign
the tenancy agreement which will be given after the Landlord has received the good faith
deposit with the Landlord's Letter of Offer" the Landlord said.
If there was no good faith deposit, the Landlord would be open to other offers. So,
what to do now? We got a draft copy of the tenancy agreement and there were no
objections. Except for one.
"No pets allowed," said the Landlord's tenancy agreement. It was now a
hopeless case. All the work done for nothing. What a dog's life it was for a
The Landlord said that neighbors would complain about the dog being a noise nuisance.
Was there a solution? Cecilia's dog was a quiet type. A homely type.
But better than a good security alarm system. He was the real alert guard dog.
She would feel safe with him.
The Landlord said that if Cecilia signed an undertaking letter to remove the dog if there
was complaints, it was all right. She agreed.
The tenancy was to commence soon. The dog was being shipped. The Landlord said
he needed a week more to rectify the defects. Cecilia got mail from me. Just in time
to stop the shipment.
She had not seen the interior personally. It was all images and though they looked
good, it was not the same as being there.
What happened if she didn't like Niven Road
conservation shophomes? Was she a fickle minded career woman?
The skylight brought in dull natural light on this dark and cloudy morning when we
inspected the house. A big thunderstorm was brewing. Raindrops were falling
down the Niven Road. The house looked darker and most Caucasians want
She liked it. It was what she wanted. I felt relieved and was glad. This
case could have been lost if it was not followed up by emails. Lot of emails to her
and the human resource department manageress. Emails saved a lot of time and
expenses. Hard to believe? Try it and you will understand.
Tips for new www.asiahomes.com Realtors
This case study showed that you need to have a positive mental attitude to follow up on
hopeless cases if you want to be an internet realtor catering to prospective expatriate
clientele. You have got to learn how to use the email and digital cameras. And to
know about FTP (file transfer protocols) to send the images to a webpage if you don't want
to email images directly. So many frightening new things to learn. So little time.
Maybe a willingness to spend on trunk calls too?
You Got Tenant, Shophome Owner?
Looking for Tenants is like winning a war.
You need to know where your enemies can be found.
You need to advertise in www.asiahomes.com
where prospects interested in Singapore properties
are likely to be found.
Why not place an affordable internet ad
to contact prospects direct and save you
a few thousand dollars in agency commission?
Telephone +65 9668 6468, E-mail email@example.com
26 Oct 2002