It would come as a surprise to our readers that Nicholas Huang and Dawn Cher, a rising power couple in the real estate industry, did not begin their careers as real estate agents. There were many people who were surprised that they had started their careers in the financial services and investment industry instead.
Marrying real estate acumen with astute investment advice
Before his now 8-year stint in the real estate industry, Nicholas began his career as a financial planner, helping his family, friends, and clients to protect and preserve their wealth. Over time, however, he realised that the insurance products he was selling were not the most effective tools to build wealth. Instead, through conversations with his friends, he discovered that investing in properties was in fact the more effective way to grow wealth. With that knowledge, he then decided to take the plunge and join the real estate industry.
Similarly, Dawn is a prominent content creator in the financial services and investment industry, focused on helping a new generation of people to save more and invest better. Interestingly, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Singapore, she noticed that those people who had purchased stocks were now cashing out on the bull run and investing their profits in real estate instead. She realised then that she could use her strong understanding of the financial markets and wealth management to help potential clients better manage their entire investment portfolio. It was then that she decided to join her husband, taking the RES exam in 2021 and passing it on her first try.
As an invincible couple agent, Nicholas and Dawn have set themselves apart with their combined expertise in real estate and investments to offer holistic advice spanning a client’s entire investment portfolio. After all, a client’s assets typically consist of other asset classes aside from property such as stocks, endowments, or gold. Between the duo, Nicholas focuses on advising on real estate properties, and Dawn focuses on assessing the overall portfolio of their clients, including analysing how the government’s monetary policies could affect their clients, and what actions they can take to ensure their desired financial outcomes. For example, there was an instance when a client asked them if he should liquidate his stocks to invest in real estate. Dawn was quick to caution him against taking any rash actions, instead, she offered him the pros and cons of doing so at present market conditions to prevent any future regrets.
Tapping on a breadth and depth of expertise for success
Together, both Nicholas and Dawn pack a punch with their combined expertise in asset progression and wealth preservation. They provide value-added services in helping clients to recalibrate their entire investment portfolio to better suit their needs. As real estate can sometimes be the largest asset of a client’s investment portfolio, the duo helps clients adopt a long-term view of their real estate investments and ensure that they make good progress on their real estate investment journeys, including the purchasing of multiple properties and continued asset progression.
For Nicholas, he continues to keep abreast of developments in urban policy and its effect on the market and the different districts. With these insights, he can adapt to the changing market environment and meet his clients’ needs, including advising them on how to progress to different property types. On top of this, he also regularly meets with real estate industry experts and experts in other industries such as law firms and banks, to gain a more holistic understanding of how his clients could be affected. For instance, he has learned through his meetings with banks that clients can sometimes make suboptimal decisions about financing their property purchases. With these insights, he can spot warning signs and provide the necessary guidance to his clients.
For Dawn, although real estate property is a relatively new area of knowledge, she has since learned about its intricacies through her RES course and weekly meetings at Huttons. This, combined with her knowledge of stocks and cash investments, has allowed her to glean new insights that then become educational content for her social media and blog. “Even if I can’t serve them all, I can still educate them all”, she says.
With such a broad and deep expertise, it is no wonder that Nicholas won 3 Platinum awards in 2021. “It was extra special because it coincided with the birth of my 2nd child! It also validated the struggles we faced during the time of Covid-19 restrictions, and when many people had doubts about whether they should continue investing in real estate,” Nicholas shares.
It is certainly a viable career for the duo, as their stellar reputation has given them many referrals from clients, allowing them to support their families and even extended families. The real estate industry, after all, is a people-centric business, and the duo prides themselves on being able to walk with their clients through their respective journeys as investors and to help them prosper. Nicholas is also thankful that Dawn has now joined him in the real estate industry, as she is the investment guru of their family, helping him better understand investments, and allowing him to provide better advice to his clients. Nicholas is also grateful to his mother who helps prepare food for him even when he arrives home late at night! And finally, he thanks his leaders Rex Tan and Fendy Lee of Huttons, who have been supportive in fine-tuning his industry knowledge, and giving him a different perspective on the future of the real estate industry.
Rising above the challenge and proving their mettle
The Covid-19 pandemic was certainly a difficult moment for the duo, as it changed the game for the entire real estate industry. With the rapid digitalisation of the industry, the tried-and-tested methods of in-person advertising were no longer viable. For Nicholas, he had to learn a whole new set of skills such as digital marketing, video production, home staging and effectively using paid ads such as Facebook Ads. There was a lot of trial and error along the way. It was good then, for Nicholas, that Dawn had decided to join him during this difficult period and learn together as a couple.
We asked the duo if they had any advice for young agents who have just joined the exciting and dynamic real estate industry. They shared that it is important that agents are committed to the long-term and see themselves as developing a professional career as agents. Additionally, they also stressed the importance of being nimble and resourceful. “Find a good mentor. Make the effort to do your research and learn from the successes and setbacks of other experienced agents. It’s not always about the success stories. Sometimes the important lessons are the failures and mistakes!”
Looking to sell your property?
Whether your HDB apartment is reaching the end of its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) or your condo has crossed its Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) window, it is always good to know how much you can potentially gain if you were to list and sell your property. Not only that, you’ll also need to know whether your gains would allow you to right-size to the dream home in the neighbourhood you and your family have been eyeing.
One easy way is to send us a request for a credible and trusted property consultant to reach out to you.
Alternatively, you can jump onto 99.co’s Property Value Tool to get an estimate for free.
If you’re looking for your dream home, be it as a first-time or seasoned homebuyer or seller – say, to upgrade or right-size – you will find it on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co.
Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.
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