The Story Behind Mind Your Property
Hi! My name is Susanna Wong and I have been in real estate since 2006. Almost 14 years of my life in real estate!
During this Circuit Breaker, a few friends asked me what I am doing for my work when physical viewing is not allowed. I replied to them that I am working on my property blog.
It is the perfect time to be building up digital assets when I have some time on my hands (Even though I do not have a lot of time what with home schooling my older daughter and chasing a 1 year old toddler around the house haha).
To let you know more about myself, I have decided to write an article more about my life's journey and how I found real estate and decided to come back to it.
What Led Me to join the Real Estate Industry?
Fresh Mass Communication Graduate to Real Estate Agent
I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia) with a Degree in Mass Communications and also Diploma in Mass Communications from NgeeAnn Polytechnic.
Growing up, I had a keen interest in becoming an actor or a radio deejay as I was outspoken. My parents said I can even be a lawyer since I like debating with them.
After graduating in 2003, the job market was not good after having come out from SARS. Lots of companies were not giving opportunities to fresh graduates.
Most jobs required at least two years of experience. I only had worked as an intern at Mediacorp Radio at the time.
After working for free for almost six months in a production company and then another few months at an event company, I got a job at The Arts House at the Old Parliament in Marketing and Venue Sales.
After two years of working there, it was an immensely interesting job as I got to meet different advertising and public relations companies handling product launches as well as couples planning to get married in the Arts House.
My parents were looking for a new house for many years back in 2003-2004. We could not find anything suitable. But my dad noticed that the real estate agents showing us the places are earning a tidy commission from selling the properties. He asked me to consider real estate.
I was fascinated because at the time, my salary was only $1600-$1800 gross per month and it was barely enough to cover my monthly expenses. And I also wanted to start my own business eventually.
You see, my father is a business owner and a successful entrepreneur. I look up to my dad very much. I aspire to be like him one day.
I went to find out more about real estate through a business network meeting (BNI) over breakfast one day. I met a realtor from DTZ and I decided to get started a few months later in 2006.
A Dream To Be an Entrepreneur
After working for 5 years in real estate, I met my husband in 2011. I have been hesitant to start my own business as I was comfortable in real estate even though it had been a long time dream of mine to be an entrepreneur. He encouraged me to pursue my dream.
One thing that I loved about my husband was that he pursued his passion in the arts. He is talented in drawing and making 3-D (three dimensional) models. He has worked in gaming companies as well as taught animation at University level.
With my husband's encouragement and eventual involvement, we decided to set up a company to make cold pressed juices. You can read more about why we decided to choose cold pressed juice as a business here.
Challenges I Faced as an Entrepreneur
After almost 4 years running the business with my husband, we felt it was not suitable for us and our marriage. The four years was a very difficult time between us as we had to see each other day in and day out and we had a child in that period of time.
My husband, Roger, and me when I was
5 months pregnant with Sophie
It was a lot for us to juggle. Business, Marriage and Parenting. We did not know what to focus on and we had no time for our daughter as we were always so stressed out with the business and worrying about the finances.
My husband almost drained out his savings even before we embarked on our business as we took a while to set up plus he was looking for a job at the time before we started. The finances were not making sense. And this took a huge toll on our marriage as well.
Even though when I was in real estate, the greener pasture was setting up my own business. But now, the greener pasture was real estate. And I was readily willing to jump back into it.
With me being a mother, real estate is very suitable as it affords me flexibility. Time spent with my daughters is so precious watching them growing up.
But winding up my business was not easy. I still had about a year on my shop rental and we had put in so much money in its renovations. I also had a central kitchen and online business. We decided to look for someone to buy us out.
The whole process took more than a year. We approached our major clients, our competitors and finally even considered selling the business in parts. The machines we had, our database, our online business or our customer database.
Finally we found someone who took over everything. In the process of finding someone to take over our shop lease, I met my current manager, Carol.
Carol is so kind and whole hearted in helping me that I decided to start afresh by joining her in Savills. And later on when she moved her team to Navis in OrangeTee, I moved together with her team.
Carol with my daughter, Sophie and myself at a Chinese New Year gathering
Return to Real Estate
Having maintained my real estate license throughout the time I was running my own business, I was thankful to not have to go through the examinations. As a real estate agent, you have to complete a few hours of training to maintain your license.
After selling the business, I did not immediately return to real estate. I was experimenting with Forex as well as applying for a full time job in F & B (Food and Beverage). I got a job as a Assistant Manager in Les Amis managing their dessert shop.
After working for a few months, I discovered I was pregnant with my second child and was spotting. I decided to enjoy my second pregnancy and tendered my resignation.
Working in F&B again but as an employee made me realise how good being a real estate agent is. I had to start working on the first day Chinese New Year in 2018 and my work is based on shifts. Sometimes I ended work at 10pm. And I had to work on public holidays as well.
After giving birth, I was so busy juggling my baby and my older child, working was the last thing on my mind. And I kept thinking I don't want to work on weekends and weekday evenings (to do viewings) as I wanted to be with my children.
I kept looking for other businesses to do. I attended an e-commerce course as well as tried to study more into forex and did direct selling as well. None of them worked for me.
All this led me back to Real Estate. Being a real estate agent gives me the flexibility that I require so I can be with my children and there is no limit in earning potential. That is very important as I need to provide for my family.
My daughters, Sophie, 6 and Sage, 2
Mind Your Property Website
I started actively working in real estate in February 2020. Mindyourproperty.com was set up around end of March 2020.
My aim with the website is to be able to share real estate insights and be a reliable source of information when you decide to make an investment or buy a home for your own stay.
I have written the following articles that may be helpful for you or your friends:
I understand that the advice provided on our site might be general and may not be specific enough for your situation. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss anything relating to your real estate investments.
The real estate industry is highly competitive with many agents fighting to get the highest commissions. I believe that the client's interest should come first before anything else and I believe in providing an honest service that meets the client's needs.
Mind Your Property hopes to provide factual and accurate information that is engaging and exceptional at the same time. We also want to recruit more like minded people to join our team.
There are thousand of agents out there and I want to be an agent who provides service with a heart. I believe in being earnest, having integrity and going the extra mile.
During this Covid-19 outbreak, physical viewings have ground to a halt. However, I will still be able to present your property in an attractive, virtual way that can sell.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss further.
Schedule a time with me if you want to have a free one-time non-obligatory Property Wealth Planning (PWP) discussion.
A PWP consultation includes:
- An in-depth financial affordability assessment
- Highly relevant investment insights
- A clear and customised investment road map for your real estate investment journey ahead.
About the Author, Susanna Wong:
I am a realtor based in Singapore since 2006 and I am passionate about helping others find their dream home or find financial freedom through property investments.
My father is a successful businessman. My dream is to be financially free through running my own business. I started my own cold pressed juice business in 2014 and have since returned to full time realtor work in 2020.
For the past 14 years, I have dealt with a variety of properties, ranging from HDB rentals and sales to transacting Good Class Bungalows.
I have two lovely daughters, Sophie and Sage and they are my reason for working hard and living to be better each day.
When I am not busy dealing with properties, I love spending time with my family and relaxing over a cup of iced white coffee.