OrangeTee & Tie recently welcomed David Huan Associates to the Navis Living Group (NAVIS). The 4 key leaders in this move have a total combined real estate experience of more than 90 years. They are:
Mr David Huan, Senior Associate District Director
Mr Sebastian Cheng, Senior Associate Group Director
Mr James Wang, Senior Associate Director
Mr Ben Woo, Senior Associate Director
99.co invited these 4 veterans, who have just joined Jason Hew Associates, to share their experience in navigating the industry, and what made them take this leap of faith.
David Huan: open and generous knowledge-sharing is the way to go
This year marks David Huan’s 31st year in the industry. He still clearly remembers how the early days were. Recalling how at one point, David Huan Associates grew to about 200 agents, he remembered how he slowed down on the recruitment as he firmly believed in ensuring and screening that fellow associates joining him had integrity, character and accountability.
He says, “I look for character, I don’t want to have incidents of agents cheating buyers. We focus on looking after the needs of our clients, not on putting commissions first.”
Coming from a military background before making the career switch to property, David upholds himself to a strict moral code. His one piece of advice for agents is: “Don’t learn the tricks, but know the tricks so that you would not be tricked!”
He laughingly recalls with great precision and clarity that when the CEA was formed on 22 October 2010, he was probably one of the happiest agents around, because he wanted the market to be regulated.
David is proud of the open, supportive culture he cultivated in his team. “There is no selfishness between us. We are all ready to share, younger agents could ask seniors who aren’t their ‘assigned’ mentors, and these seniors would answer them as if they were their own mentees. We like to keep an open culture.”
Evidently, David is a man of his words, and his colleagues see that. Of the 50 associates moving over to NAVIS with him, 30 of them have been with him for more than a decade.
David sees the move to NAVIS as an exciting change, saying “this is the time to move, there’s no limit to growth”. He is confident that he and his team would benefit tremendously from the strengths of NAVIS. Going forward, he hopes to continue guiding newcomers, with the goal of identifying and grooming more leaders within the group.
James Wang: Growth-chasing with his new move
In his 24 years in the industry, James Wang has built up a strong background in leasing, across a broad range of sectors from industrial, to private residential, to sales. In 1995, he joined David Huan. More than two decades later, they are still working together.
He is in high spirits about this new move. James acknowledges the significance of new IT developments within the industry, and identifies that as an area he would like to learn more about. Greatly looking forward to learning as much as he can in his time at NAVIS, he firmly believes that industry professionals like him have to constantly upgrade themselves in many different ways in order to provide the service that they do, and also to move with the market.
Looking back at his time in the industry so far, James has this one piece of advice to newcomers: “This is an industry with a lot of challenges, one has to have a lot of mental power to overcome them.”
Ben Woo: Collaborative learning helped him learn the tricks of the trade
Ben Woo has two decades’ worth of experience under his belt, having joined David Huan in early 1999. His passion for the industry and enjoyment he has doing his work is what keeps him going to this very day. He works with mainly private residential property in the prime areas, in sales and rental for districts 9, 10, 11 and 15.
With much warmth and fondness, he recalls that the best aspect about working with David and the rest of his team was the sheer amount of dedication David showed for his team. He mentioned how David frequently ran a lot of training programmes in which colleagues came together and participated in knowledge sharing.
As such, when David moved to NAVIS, Ben naturally decided to accompany him. Ben’s great respect for David’s leadership style is clear: “He has always been very generous in sharing what he knows, and we learnt a lot from him”.
Speaking about the move, Ben is keen on learning more of the IT side of things, and recognises that as a key strength NAVIS has.
Sebastian Cheng: hands-on mentor hoping for new guards to keep him on his toes
Sebastian Cheng has spent 19 years working alongside David. His great respect and trust in David’s decision-making is evident – he recalls how when he and his fellow associates moved to NAVIS, they moved before they even saw the presentations made by the group, as they based their choice in deep trust for David’s decisions.
Although they’ve been at NAVIS for barely a month, he’s noticed that OrangeTee is an “agent-centric” place, and is pleased to find this in the culture here, as he firmly believes that a company that cares for the agents is a company that grows.
And as for what keeps him going?
Sebastian boils it down to being involved with helping and interacting with younger agents. He says: “It helps to energise you, and keep you on your toes!” He enjoys mentoring newer members of the industry, and is big on on-the-job training.
Whenever Sebastian has viewings, he likes to take newer agents along and show them the ropes through on-the-ground research and learning about concepts such as comparative market analysis.
Sebastian sees his move to NAVIS as a fresh chapter of growth, feeling that he and his team mates can tap on the expertise of NAVIS’s younger colleagues and learn new things from them. At the same time, he hopes to continue teaching and mentoring new joiners to the industry, sharing from his wealth of experiences.
Reflecting on these veterans’ entry into NAVIS, Jason Hew is confident that everyone will gain from this move: Not only will these seasoned professionals get to benefit from NAVIS’s technology and tools to continue to grow themselves and their work, NAVIS will inherit a solid team of old hands who have weathered the ups and downs of the industry over the decades.
We are deeply inspired by the passion that these agents have for their careers, and their desire to continually learn and evolve. We wish them all the best in their new endeavours!