A prolific leader and integral member of the Powerful Negotiators group, 99.co speaks to Dominic Lee (Head of The Luxury Team/PropNex Realty) about his trail-blazing success in the real estate industry.
What were you doing before you joined the real estate industry?
I was in the insurance line for close to four years.
Why did you enter the real estate industry?
If there’s one thing I’ve been blessed with, it’s definitely the gift of closing sales. Besides the insurance industry, other fields I considered were the real estate and automobile industry. As a natural progression of things, I entered the real estate industry as I recognised the opportunity for exponential financial returns if I worked hard and gave it my best shot.
When did you join the industry?
My first foray into the real estate industry was in 2001 when I joined the now-defunct First Tree Properties. Subsequently, I moved on to McDowell Realty Network. As the saying goes, third time’s the charm – I joined PropNex Realty in 2006 and have been with them ever since.
What was your breakthrough point thus far in your property career? Can you share a bit more of what happened?
Joining PropNex in 2006 was the gateway to my next level of success; it led me to many highs in my real estate journey. In addition to the structured training and courses offered by the agency, I was also given the opportunity to participate in certain key projects in the high-end condo market. I sold close to 50 units at Marina Bay Residences and garnered sufficient transactions to cross the million dollar mark in sales in 2007.
Do you have a specialty in the real estate market?
I have taken to zooming in on high-end properties and working with clients in the luxury market. I am very lucky to be able to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the finest agents under the Power Negotiators umbrella. Together, we are the Luxury Team – we specialise in marketing luxury projects, especially in prime districts such as D9 and D10, as well as Sentosa and the Marina Bay area. I like to lead by example by closing as many deals as I can, so that other members in the Luxury Team are inspired to emulate the same level of success.
How would you describe the property market now? What changes do you expect in the near future?
The Singapore property market has been experiencing a downward trend the past few years. However, I believe that that there’s a silver lining looming in the near horizon. A good indication of a rebound can be observed by taking note of the prices and volume of properties transacted in the Core Central Region (CCR).
In 2016, prices in the CCR increased by 2.75% while the transactional volume increased by 52.5%. I’m fairly confident to say that we are already in the rebound phase based on the real estate performance in the CCR.
More often than not, you have to look at transaction volume in addition to the price index when analysing property trends. An outlying sale transaction can skew the price index, while transactional volume provides a more holistic reflection of market sentiment.
What do you have to offer to people who join your team?
More often than not, people approach me to join my team. I work best with agents who have had experience in the private residential market. Let me put it this way, if you’re a raw diamond, I can “polish” you till you shine with the brilliance and clarity of a flawless diamond.
What can you share about Martin Modern, the new GuocoLand project you have been marketing?
Martin Modern is a project in a class of its own. Developed by GuocoLand, whose projects are synonymous with quality and best-in-class standards, this luxury D9 condo project is the first of its kind to dedicate 80 per cent of its total land area to a botanic garden-like landscaping, with more than 200 species of plants and over 50 species of trees and palms.
The architects behind the project have done an extraordinary job in terms of maximising usable space in each unit. For instance, the master bedroom can accommodate a king-sized bed while other individual bedrooms are large enough to fit in a queen-sized bed. This is a rare feature not often found in other new developments.
Good planning and foresight on the part of the architects have resulted in efficient layouts that are big on space while keeping overall floor area low, thus resulting in units that are priced within a reasonable quantum. For those who enjoy cooking and entertaining, Martin Modern has dining suites equipped with a full service kitchen. Residents can cook up a storm and host their guests at these dining suites.
How did you prepare your team members to market Martin Modern?
We came up with a comprehensive presentation deck before hand in order for all agents to familiarise themselves with the unique selling points of Martin Modern. I hold very high expectations for agents under my charge – they should be able to deliver with conviction the marketing presentation on Martin Modern with their own prospective clients.
One important factor that sets my people apart from other teams is our stoic belief in the development we are marketing. We believe that Martin Modern is a very good product – from the development’s unique features to its competitive pricing for a D9 condo. From experience, I know that as long as we personally believe in the project, half the battle is won. Clients instinctively know that we’re coming from a place of wanting what’s best for them.
To date, we have closed about 50% of all units sold at Martin Modern since its launch in July. I have the honour of working with The Luxury Team who are determined to win together and push ourselves beyond what we think we can achieve.
What advice do you have for agents who have just started their real estate journey?
Treat your career in real estate as a business, and not merely as a sales job. The main difference in doing so is that if you regard it as a business, you will invest in various aspects of your business in order for it to do well. Marketing yourself and the listings you have in your inventory requires a certain amount of investment. If you take full ownership of your real estate business, I guarantee – you will reap the fruits of your investment in time to come.