The #HighlySoughtAfter Talk Show

12. How to stand out from your competition and stay top of mind – Melvin Lim

May 25, 2021 Eric Feng
The #HighlySoughtAfter Talk Show
12. How to stand out from your competition and stay top of mind – Melvin Lim
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of #HighlySoughtAfter, I had a chat with Melvin Lim, the CEO and co-founder of PropertyLimBrothers Team – one of Singapore’s most well-known real estate brands.

He also founded and spearheads the backbone of PLB's in-house Media Team, which is dedicated to crafting unique angles for each client, putting the 'real' in real estate. Melvin was also two-time Millionaire Realtor in PropNex for the year 2019 and 2020.

His property videos have already garnered over 49 million views and his team hit a record high of 379 property sales over two years. So how did PropertyLimBrothers stood out from their competition and stay top of every Singaporean’s mind?

What I enjoyed most about my conversation with Melvin is PLB’s unique customer-centric approach and focus, as opposed to focusing on their competition. This has allowed PLB to achieve the best outcomes for its clients and become top of mind with its customers.

Well, Melvin is in the house so let’s find out!

Hint: Listen in at 20:44 where Melvin shares 2 principles that helped PLB stand out from their intense competition, as well as a mindset hack to outpace your competitors and become top of mind with your dream customers.

Also listen out for Melvin’s answers to the following questions:

  • Have you always wanted to be a real estate agent? – 00:55
  • PropertyLimBrothers is a well-known name here in Singapore. If you ask anybody, they will know your company. I’m curious to know what were some of the key inflection points during this last 14 years that have led to the success today? – 03:32 
  • The real estate market is very competitive here in Singapore. There are 30,000 real estate agents and I was told there are approximately 30,000 transactions a year in Singapore. In 2019 and 2020, you and your team achieved 379 transactions. What did you do to stand out from your (intense) competition? - 19:27
  • What is your creative process when it comes to marketing a property? – 28:35
  • What are some of the mistakes a realtor should avoid when it comes to marketing a house? - 36:00
  • Do you think personal branding has a place in the real estate industry? – 42:53
  • There is so much information out there on how to be a good realtor, how to market a property. I’m curious, why is it that everyone hasn’t caught on yet? - 48:30
  • If I’m a new agent, how can I find a niche today? - 53:15

If you want to keep in touch with Melvin, you can reach him on Instagram @melvin_propertylimbrothers, or PropertyLimBrothers @propertylimbrothers. PropertyLimBrothers is also on YouTube @princebu.

Free bonus: If you're a realtor and would like to learn how you can leverage on the power of social media to sell properties without running ads, check out my new free training:

https://www.knownlovedrespected.com/freegameplanforrealestate

Read these books to become highly sought after in your own industry -> www.pickericsbrain.com

Thank you for listening to this episode of #HighlySoughtAfter! 

If you enjoyed this episode, please help me hit the ‘subscribe’ button if you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or hit the ‘follow’ button if you are listening on Spotify. 
 
I would also love to hear your biggest takeaway from this episode! Here’s how: take a screenshot of you listening to #HighlySoughtAfter and tag me on Instagram. My handle is @ericgoesglobal. This way, I can personally thank you!

Eric Feng (Host):

In this episode of #Highlysoughtafter, I had a chat with Melvin Lim, the CEO and co-founder of PropertyLimBrothers team, one of Singapore's most well known real estate brands. He also founded and spearheaded the backbone of PropertyLimBrothers in-house media team, which is dedicated to crafting unique angles for each client, putting rail in real estate. Now, Melvin was also a two time millionaire realtor in PropNex for the year 2019 and 2020. His property videos have already garnered it over 49 million views, and his team hit a record high of 379 property sales over two years. So how did PropertyLimBrothers stood out from the competition and stayed top of every Singaporean's mind? Well, Melvin is in the house, so let's find out. Now Melvin, I have to ask you this question.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah.

Eric Feng (Host):

Have you always wanted to be a real estate agent?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. Hi, Eric? So I didn't even know this industry exist. So I have always been doing a lot of different part-time jobs when I was young, a lot of sales related stuff, being in the retail line. And my very first job was actually as a prison officer.

Eric Feng (Host):

Oh my god, prison officer to real estate agent.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah, that's right.

Eric Feng (Host):

That's a very big jump.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah, so as a prison officer under the Ministry of Home Affairs, that was my very first full-time. And in fact the dabbling into the prison officer space happened after I drop out of my uni, after year two university degree. So I completed my uni during that three years as a prison officer. So I think the transition happened because during my third year as a prison officer, I happened to chance upon a friend and he shared with me that he's in the real estate space, he just started off as a first year realtor. And that got me interested, and-

Eric Feng (Host):

What did he say about the first year that got you interested?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. So the very first thing because I was very young at that time, I was already married, I also had my first child. Well, he shared with me how he's always showing houses, meeting people every day, doing sales. And of course, as a very young person the key is that he mentioned that he's clocking five figures a month. Right. So being a prison officer, back then it was a very stable job, I got into the job because I wanted a very stable income. I wanted to get married young. Immediately after three months as a prison officer, once I got my three-months payslip, me and my wife we got our first HDB property.

Eric Feng (Host):

Very efficient.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So we got married very young, had our first child at a very young age. And when he mentioned about the few key things in sales in real estate, and then of course, the chance to have no limit to your income, that was the key thing that struck me.

Eric Feng (Host):

[Stroke 00:03:06].

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And it resonated because since at a very young age, I've doubled always in doing door to door sales, selling credit cards on roadshows during my uni days, doing the retail stuff. So the connection that I have a chance to do sales really gave me that renewed interest to see whether I should dabble into this industry.

Eric Feng (Host):

Fantastic. Now I have another question, the PropertyLimBrothers, right?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Eric Feng (Host):

Has been a well-known name here in Singapore. Right. If you ask anybody, they will know your company. What I'm very curious to know is, what was some of the key inflection points during this last 14 years that led to the success today?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. So I started full time during 2007. Yeah. So you're right, that's about 14 years back. Back then when I came up from my full-time job, I still remember, the very first thing was there were a lot of objections from my friends and families. They were all saying that, "Hey, you already have a very stable job. As a prison officer, by default, you can go all the way to 50 years old." But back then in my third year, I was also offered the position of in placement to a senior officer. So my parents were saying, "You know you already have your first kid, why don't you just stay in this very stable career?" 

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And I learned a lot of things during that three years, because the most important thing that I took out from that job is that, I get to interact a lot with inmates and we're doing a lot of rehabilitation. So the conversations that I have every day, it really grew me as a person. Although there was some part of the job that I didn't like, because I believe that in every profession there'll be some portions that we like, some portions that probably we don't like.

Eric Feng (Host):

A hundred percent.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So they're very mundane tasks, but they're also very interesting learning points. Yeah. But I think the very fast thing that... the key inflection point was that, when I came out I realized this is a whole new industry, I have zero experience. My friend back then, I joined him. So he became my immediate manager, he was about one year in the industry. But he was also pretty new, but he's very helpful. He was always there for me, but that particular '07 period, I still remember the very first week when I entered into the office. The industry was so different from now, because everybody looked at this young guy as a competition.

Eric Feng (Host):

Oh.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. And I entered into this company together with my current business partner Adrian. So we resigned together as prisons officers, we joined. And the feeling that we get is that, people were just thinking that anyone that joins the industry is a competition, and nobody wants to share anything. And so the first week we were alone and we tried to build rapport with a lot of the old [boys 00:06:08] in the company, and through the years, of course we met friends. But I still remember the culture was that, people are usually a little bit more apprehended and they see-

Eric Feng (Host):

Scarcity, right?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes, that's right.

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So there was this particular incident I remember, I saw this very experienced agent close a deal, and they were chatting about with the other old boys. So me and Adrian was trying to ask him, "Hey, how do you close this deal? Is it okay to share with us maybe your tips because we're very new, we just one month. How do we get clients and stuff?" So one of them told us, "Okay, who is your manager? Go ask your manager?" And then he turned around back. That was the kind of culture back then, and sometimes we would ask them, "How did you close this deal or that deal?" They'll say, "Oh, it's by luck." And it's a one sentence kind of stuff.

    So when we look back from now compared to the past, I think that now is fantastic because there's so many ways to learn things. People have become more open. Nowadays, you can learn so many things for YouTube. There's enormous amount of trainings in real estate agencies, and I think the culture has really changed through time for the past 14 years. So the very first inflection point was about, how do we become independent? And coming off from a job to become a solopreneur, the independence, and being humble, at the same time being very thick skinned to land on the ground, knocking on walls. That grew us very quickly into a more mature person. So the very first point is that, I think the shift towards independence. Second point happens during the year 2010.

Eric Feng (Host):

Three years later.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Three years later. So three years later, we were three years old as a realtor. We started to realize that, "Hey, it's not really just about selling real estate." Because our initial impression is that when you become a realtor, all you need to do is to sell houses, right. But three is in the industry, we realized that this is not just a sales person job, it is a business because the business has so many different portions. The first place as a brand new agent or even as an experienced agent, how do you consistently get people to want to let you sell their houses? That's the very first question. How do you consistently attract people to contact you and say, "Hey, I'm looking to buy or invest in property. Can you help me? Can provide me with advice?" So we realized that lead generation is a huge chunk of the business, because even if we are very good, let's say for example, we have knowledge. We have expertise knowledge, and we are really good at a job, but how do we attract people to want to seek our services?

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So lead gen, we realized was a huge chunk, marketing the property is the second huge chunk, thirdly is how do you build a system within this business? So we realized that the second inflection point is that we need to run it as a business, because if we want to have longevity, we want to play the long game, we want to be very good for the customers. We need to have a very sustainable growth, and at the same time, there's also the part at the three years mark that we realized that a lot of our colleagues in realtors, they always have this very up and down cycle in sales.

Eric Feng (Host):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Up and down, meaning that at a lot of times their sales picked up in a certain month, and that's the time where they have a lot of listings to sell. That's a time that they have a lot of buyers to serve, but the moment they finished closing those deals, their sales drop. And when their sales dropped, that's the time that they start to realize, "Hey, I don't have any listings anymore to sell, no buyers to serve these two months. Okay. Let me do some marketing."

Eric Feng (Host):

It very reaction based.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes. And it's always a up and down kind of [crosstalk 00:10:07].

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Let me do some prospecting during my spare time. So there's no consistency and we realized that's not even just for new agents, it's even for very experienced agents until today. That was a shift in our mindset on-

Eric Feng (Host):

Wow.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

... running of the business. Third point was 2012, that's five years in the business. I suffered a burnout, that burnout event basically made me to start to think more about life. And that was also the year that I had my third child and I was already dad, three kids, stable family, but in 2012 that burnout happened because I was chasing success too much. So being very young, ambitious, I have this thing from childhood that I always want to prove to people that I can make it, right.

    So perhaps it's during my younger days conversations in the family. My parents were great parents and we come from a medium, low income family. My dad is a sole breadwinner. So my dad is always a very hardworking responsible guy, but the conversations at home as me and my siblings grew up, has always been revolving hearing about money, right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Parents will always say, "It's very hard to earn money. Don't spend too much, in future when you grow up, just get a stable job, save more money." So it's always about money.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So on one hand, we see our parents being very hard-working, my mom is a stay-at-home mom. On the second hand, we see that they struggle with the money topic, although they do their best to provide for us. We are very thankful and they've always been for the family. But we just felt that as you grow up always hearing about money topic, you start to grow up with the fear that, "Is it because money is a big thing that you have to overcome." Second thing is that, we need a lot of money, right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So we grew up with that thing, even for my siblings as well. So that 2012 event happened because I was chasing a lot of success. I wanted to prove to people, so I started to buy expensive Watchers, change to a luxury car, and then I suffered a burnout. And that burnout was a state whereby there was a point that I was very afraid to pick up my phone, because my phone was ringing non-stop and just felt like, "Oh, I'm spending so much time at work." It's like 14, 16 hours. My wife was not happy, I don't see my kids, I have that guilt feeling as well.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So that happened. And that was also a turning point in my life, because I suffered a very heavy lesson, and that lesson was because of a very wrong mindset on integrity, right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest): // I think this is a very good audio hook for our podcast. Use this as our audio hook. But also make this our IG audio note 1. 

So we have shared this always with our team about integrity, and that's how this integrity gave birth to our current brand, PropertyLimBrothers. Our tagline is RealEstateWithIntegrity, because of the past experience whereby we were looking at this business, we were looking at our customers with a very wrong kind of perspective and lens. In the past, 2007 to 2012, we're always looking at customers as walking commissions.

Eric Feng (Host):

Dollar sign.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Dollar sign, like this customer is worth 10,000, this customer if I close is worth 20,000, this customer is worth 30,000. So I think when that happens, the motive of doing the business is wrong, because it becomes a part more of like, "What can I get out of this deal?" Not for the part of, "What problems and value can I solve for the customer?" 

Eric Feng (Host):

Right.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So the lenses were wrong, we were also doing some practices in the business that I think was not correct, because in those days it was the cowboy days of real estate. So we suffered a very heavy penalty, we got a fine. Thankfully, we're okay and there was no repercussion, but we paid a fine. Technically that fine erode our bank comes to zero, mine and Adrian.

Eric Feng (Host):

Oh, my God.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So whenever our current agents tell us that it's very hard to do what PropertyLimBrothers is doing now, it's very hard to film, it's very hard to create content. We will share with them this experience that we started from zero in 2012, 2013. Because 2012, 2013 with three kids, a family, I have a house, and we technically started from zero. There was even six months that I couldn't pay for my car installment, and I didn't dare to tell my wife. Right. So that lesson was a shift in our lenses in the way how we look at customers, and that was also the year that we were saved. Both me and Adrian, we became Christians. After that, we came to the new faith. And right now in PropertyLimBrothers, actually, a lot of the values were inspired from the Bible. And we wanted to run the rest of the business with integrity. So that was also the year that we told ourselves, that we'll dedicate this business to God. And we believe that this business has given by God, but the brand has not evolved yet. 

    So the fourth inflection point, which is the last one, it was in 2016. We were having a drop period from 2012 to 2016 after that incident, but we were very happy because we started to do things the right way, treating every customer the right way. And some times we earned very low commissions, but we're very happy doing the deals. Sometimes I needed to do room rentals to survive. Right. But therefore it was a great, I would say detox for me, it was a great recalibration. 

    And then in 2016, I think it's also partly because of the shift in the way I look at customers, that we started to realize that the Singapore market is lacking something. And we're thinking... we're always asking ourselves, "What are sellers missing out when they sell their properties? What are buyers missing out when they sell their properties? What kind of problems are they facing? What are the gaps that they have?" And then we started to realize that in Singapore, it seems most of the way that a property is sold, is through just taking photographs, and then putting it on portals. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Sure.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So we realized that it's a very passive space, which works but as portals grew, which is a good thing, we still use portals today, but there are like 80,000 listing on any portal.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

How does the listing stand out? Right. And do we want to have a wait and see approach when it comes to helping our sellers, and then we just started that first video home tour with a presenter format. So the very first video was in 2016, we sold that property in 30 days through the video. The buyer, when she came she said that, "I saw a video while I was having coffee nearby on a sponsored ad." And she viewed this house and she offered. Right. And we did a second one for a condo, we did a third one for land, and the buyers all came through videos and-

Eric Feng (Host):

And back then video marketing was not heard of?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

It was not heard of

Eric Feng (Host):

In 2016. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And video marketing was rampant in the U.S. right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Got it.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So I started looking at the U.S. guys, the realtors, they're doing the video content and all that. And there were already people doing video in Singapore, but they were doing more of a penning version with music, but nobody appears in the video.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct. Right.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

No presenter-

Eric Feng (Host):

Kind of version.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

... format and we started to realize that, this is a chance for us to make the property very mobile, because we can then bring this property viewing experience and we can then pump it into people's phones. And everybody was having this thing with them. Right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And in the past, we used to do a lot of mailers to your door, but this is now your new home. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly. Your mobile phone and Melvin's actually holding on his mobile phone for this who are listening to this podcast. Right?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And that's the best way for us to make the property mobile and I can decide where I want to show the video on your phone, depending on where you are, what you're targeting, and stuff like that. So that evolvement from 2016, 2017 started the entire space, the media production, digital marketing, and stuff like that. And I still remember back then 2016, 2017, a lot of our colleagues and friends in the real estate space were saying that, "Why do you want to go through so much trouble to film, and then put in subtitles and put in music. Why don't you just list it on the portals and sell it? Why do you want to go to the extent?"

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct. How did you reply?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And we're saying that, "We just want to see what are the ways that we can bring out the uniqueness of every property for the seller. And we just want to try this, we just want to see whether it will work for our sellers."

Eric Feng (Host):

And I feel that the reason why you came up with this idea is because of the mindset shift.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes. 

Eric Feng (Host):

If you think about it, if I'm thinking about my commission, I will never come out with this idea, because I want to be able to sell the house with least amount of effort.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

Right. But because now you're seeing it as I'm solving a problem for the customer, therefore you do whatever it takes to solve that problem. And then you came up with this idea. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And this is because we never looked back.

Eric Feng (Host):

It's brilliant. So those of you are always thinking about how to innovate, I guess Melvin has just given you the answer. The way to innovating is to be problem-focused, to look for the next problem that you are excited to solve for your customers and come up with brilliant ideas. And the next thing you know, you'd be a trendsetter in your own industry. Right. So now Melvin, in the later part of the podcast, we're definitely going to ask you a little bit more about, how do you market a property, right? How do you do it on video? How do you tell good stories? So those of you who are listening to the podcast, stay with us in this podcast, because we are going to go into that in the middle segment. Okay.

    Now the title of today's podcast is, how do you stand out from your competition and how do you become top of mind? And I just want to give everybody a little sense of this real estate market, at least in Singapore. In Singapore, there are 30,000 real estate agents, and I was told that they are about an average of 30,000 transactions every year in Singapore, which means that every advisor, every agent has one transaction. Right. Which means it's so competitive, right. So I did some research, I found out that PropertyLimBrothers, two years ago, that means 2019, 2020, they had 379 transactions. Okay. That's a lot of transactions compared to an average agent. In fact, a good agent will be able to have about 12 transactions to 20 transactions a year, but the team had 379. So it was very clear that you have done something right, you are standing out in this market. So please tell us, right. What do you do that made you stood out from your intense competition?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

I think like what Eric just mentioned is that, the shift was towards the solving portion of what are some of the key problems that sellers always face. So sellers and buyers has always been our key target audience on the people that we want to serve. I think that shift really helped us to come from many different angles on seeing what can we add in terms of the value chain. So we believe in this aspect about having that mind share positioning among consumers, and adding so much intense value that the moment they want to seek help in let's say, selling a property or buying a property. The first person they will think of is PropertyLimBrothers. That has always been something that we emphasize a lot.

Eric Feng (Host):

So value stacking.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Value stacking. So value stacking means that is a long game, because in terms of the things that we're doing daily, there's a lot of value stacking, even in the content that we produce. So sometimes when we produce an investor series whereby we chat about property topics, we share tips on YouTube and stuff. Similarly, a lot of people will say, "Hey, why do you want to go to such extent to produce all this content that don't have a call to action."

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. So in fact, a lot of our content do not have a call to action, and the key reassurance is because we believe that we want to add an enormous amount of value in the space, that anybody that is even not ready to sell their property, to buy a property, they get education out of that.

Eric Feng (Host):

Right. They learn something from it.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

They learn something, yes. And we believe that is a long approach that we have, and we enjoy doing that. I mean, we have already been doing that one-to-one with customers sharing tips, how do you invest in properties? How do you sell? And stuff like that. But how do we do it in a way that the content is evergreen.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. And scalable.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Scalable, and I think that the key strategy is being content-focused. Number two is that, to always know that we need to be the expert advisor for our clients, because being the expert advisors, then it molds us into knowing what is the next thing I need to learn in order to help my customer better. And we don't want to be at stagnation mode, We always want to know that we need to be the expert person that our clients will want to seek. How do we gain more knowledge? How do we do more research? How do we analyze more? How do we see things from different angles? How do we find out what is the best product type in terms of the property space to invest in 2021 and things like that? 

    So we want to be the expert advisor, but at the same time, how do we use this knowledge to benefit more people and not just going about doing transactions year after year, but at the same time creating content, sharing with more people, having that long game mindset. So I think the way that we stand out is really content driven and expert advisor focus.

Eric Feng (Host):

Positioning as an expert-

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes.

Eric Feng (Host):

... by deepening your knowledge, or predicting... Looking at what's hidden in the future and go figure out the solution before even your customers realize it's a problem.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah, that's right. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And talking about this competition portion is that, this has always been a topic in the real estate, is I think in every industry, right? People always say, "How do you stand out from your competition?"

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly. Yeah.

// Ryan - this entire segment is perfect for Facebook video.
Headline: THIS IS WHY YOU MUST IGNORE YOUR COMPETITION
// end with my line on pp 32: You focus on your competition, you get anxiety. You focus on your customers, you get satisfaction.
// the underlined part is the hook you insert in front of the facebook video

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And sometimes my own associates, they will ask me, "Oh, you see this competitor is doing this, that competitors doing that and stuff like that." So our approach has always been that... In actual fact, we spend very, very little time. I would say even for myself, I spend almost zero time looking at our competitors. The key reason is because I've learned through the years that, it is better for me and our team to focus on mental energy, to focus on the customer. Right. Because the-

Siri:

I'm not sure I understand. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Sorry, he is not sure he understands, so you have to repeat and elaborate. What do you mean by that? When you say not putting mental energy on your competition?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. [crosstalk 00:25:35]. 

Eric Feng (Host):

But that's awesome.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So yeah. I think the mental energy is important, because where we place our mental energy dictates your perspective, dictates your direction for your business, for your life. And I've seen this so much in 14 years, usually business people or entrepreneurs, or even realtors, if they place their full mental energy just looking at what our competitors are doing.

Eric Feng (Host):

That's right. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Sometimes it tips the skill from success modeling towards anxiousness. So there's a key difference between modeling what is working among your competitors versus having a sense of formal anxiousness. So you need to know that tipping skill, because modeling is a fantastic thing, right. So we all learned about NLP and stuff, modeling, just seeing what works and then modifying it, or maybe how do you learn at a very fast pace. But I think sometimes overdoing it, if you're always looking at what our competitors are doing and stuff like that. It creates perhaps a sense of anxiousness that, you also want to do the same thing, or you want to catch up and you lose the focus on your customers. 

Eric Feng (Host):

So true. And some of what works for your competition may not work for you, because they all share very different values. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

So the method might work for them, but it's using a way that will not be aligned to your core values.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So as we were growing the team for the past three to four years, we have always been emphasizing man after man. Let's look at what our customers need, because these are always changing.

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Let's look at what are the gaps in our customer service, in our videos, in our content, and what is the feedback from this customer? Have you gotten a review from them? And how can we do better for the next customer? So it has always been driving the team's mindset to look at the client instead of the competition. That's what we believe in. 

Eric Feng (Host):

This is beautiful and that actually gives you an unfair advantage, because you are way faster in predicting new problems because your customers know best. Right?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right.

Eric Feng (Host):

Because they will tell you the problems and you'll solve it. Well, this is fantastic. And personal story, there was a period of time that... I'm also a very naturally competitive and ambitious person, right. And so our normal way is look at what your competition is doing and then go do it or I'll do it better, but it really created anxiety. Early in the morning, I will follow them, and then I'll look at them on Facebook or Instagram, and it creates... There's no happiness, there's no peace, no rest, and I felt like I'm just always playing the catch up game or the chase game. And even if I win, I never really feel happy about my win because I'm always thinking about what's next. It's so amazing that whatever that you focus on right, becomes your reality. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

You focus on your competition, you get anxiety. You focus on your customers, you get satisfaction. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

My God, Melvin, I want to give you a big hug, this is such a big takeaway for me, man. And for anyone listening to this podcast, it's amazing. And by just doing... I'm getting goosebumps right now. Let's go back to tactical now.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right.

Eric Feng (Host):

So we've talked a lot about strategy, inflection points.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Correct.

Eric Feng (Host):

I'm really very curious to know, what's your creative process when it comes to marketing a property?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So it evolved, it all started with just doing a video, being the presenter and the home tour. We were scripting our script, we were scripting the plus points, the USP. So we're doing very short videos initially about two minutes, three minutes kind of video. And then we started realize that not all homes are ready for filming, because everybody, I mean, my home, I have four kids and my home is always cluttered. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Right.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So I'm always telling my wife, I always help people to declutter, stitch up the home, make it beautiful, but my own home is... it's okay because my kids are still young, I'll let go- 

Eric Feng (Host):

And you're not selling your house anyway.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

I'm not selling my house. Okay. So we started realizing that not all homes are ready to be filmed, and being on video it shows out, I think 10X of a home, because video shows everything, right. Compared to photographs, you can edit a little bit here and there.

Eric Feng (Host):

Absolutely.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

I mean, my guys, if they want master out the [complaint 00:29:42] number for land and property, it takes them two hours just to master out the moving frame. Right. And there's a lot of hardware that goes behind video editing. So we started to realize that, "Hey, we need to help our clients to firstly, declutter their home." So the educational partners would come in, and then of course there were a lot of objections at the start. Our clients were saying, "Hey, you know that I have kids and how do I declutter?" So we created guide books-

Eric Feng (Host):

Oh, okay.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

... showing them some videos, how to declutter efficiently for filming first, and they'll sort of ask us, "Okay, does decluttering have to happen for the whole three months when you market the place?" And we have to share with them tips on how to live a more minimalist for the next three months and stuff like that. 

Eric Feng (Host):

This is the first I'm hearing this guys.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So of course we share with them a very practical tips. I mean, even if you have kids, all we need to do is on a surface, not much tough. Right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So we send the examples and things like that. Secondly, is we went very heavily into home staging, right. So now about 99% of our properties that we sell, are all done with home staging. That means is-

Eric Feng (Host):

What's home staging?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Home staging means that we come in, if there are sort of furnitures that we think that it does not suit the property, we remove it, we extract it, we put it in storage, we pump in our own furnitures.

Eric Feng (Host):

What? You pumped in-

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So we pump in-

Eric Feng (Host):

Guys, this is value. You're solving a problem for us. Okay. Keep going. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So which is the key reason why when a lot of buyers, they come to see the place or when people look at our videos, they say, "Why are your properties always so beautiful?" Right. So it's because of home staging, and home staging is not a new thing. It happened in the 1980s, about 40 years back in U.S. right. So it started in U.S. and then the popularization of HGTV and stuff like that. But it's only in the last three years that Singapore picked up, and then now Asia and Malaysia also picked up home staging. So it's a very key component, because the very key reason when you visit show flats that developers are selling, because when you buy a new launch condominium.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yes.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

When you get your keys three years later, it is an empty house? 

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

You get the wardrobes done, kitchen cabinets, the air cons are done, but technically there are no furnishings or no furniture. But why is it that when you enter a show flat, it's beautifully renovated internally. It's because home staging is such a huge visualization tool to the eyes of the consumers.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

It's been proven in some statistics that the moment a person enters into a home, the first eight seconds they're really emotionally and subconsciously deciding, is this place for them.

Eric Feng (Host):

They imagine themselves in that place.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

They imagine themselves. And we don't want to let clutter, we don't want to let shady pin wall, because maybe you have lived in a place for 10 years. There's some patches here and there. We don't want to let all these small little things affect the visualization process of a potential buyer. And there's been so many properties that we sell, because with home staging, you need to remove it when the property transaction is completed.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yes.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Buyers they are all very savvy, they know that the home is stitched up with beautiful furniture. They know that there'll be buying an empty home with fittings and fixtures, but they still love it because when the right finishes are placed, the space expands.

Eric Feng (Host):

True.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

You can imagine, "Hey, is this place suitable to put a six or eight seater dining? Is this place suitable to put an L-shaped sofa?" And the buyers appreciate that, because they feel that there's effort placed in the marketing.

Eric Feng (Host):

It's precisely why I love Ikea. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

The Ikea always give me, I mean, sometimes your whole house looks just so flat but the whole idea-

Melvin Lim (Guest):

It's inspirational.

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly. We can visualize before. So I got it. So you do the [mariecondo 00:33:19] and then after that you do the staging. And what else come after?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So after that whole process of, we call it pre-marketing prep work. Once home staging is done, storage is done for the furnitures, and our owners they get to live in that property for the next three months with the new furnitures. Right. And our team will come in. So our immediate crew will come in, our photograph comes in, we come in and do a virtual tour which is a virtual mapping, and then we come in to film the home tour. So three groups of people usually comes in on the same day, we take about four to six hours, photograph, virtual tour, and video filming. And it all happens on that same afternoon or morning.

Eric Feng (Host):

So efficient.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And then once it's done, we go back and produce a content. So at the same time during that period of producing the content, we start to list the property up on the portals first.

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And then once the video is out, it goes onto the social media platform, we run a digital marketing campaign, sponsors and stuff like that. So the whole process involves the whole team and is about prepping contemporary production, but before the prep work, we do the story boarding. That means we try to find, what are the USP of the property? What is the angle in terms of research and numbers? 

Eric Feng (Host):

What does it mean by research and numbers?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Research and Numbers means that we want to talk about a lot of analysis within the video content itself. So when a buyer look at our video content, they get to see the analytical angle like, "Why should I buy this property at this price range? How are other properties surrounding this condo performing? Does it make sense for me to buy this property? And if I were to buy this property, what are the numbers in terms of my monthly installment?"

Eric Feng (Host):

So the quantitative aspect of the house?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right.

Eric Feng (Host):

Not just the qualitative, the visuals?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes, because buying property is mainly four. Firstly, it has to make sense logically, do you want to stay in this location? Secondly, your budget must make sense. Thirdly, you must be emotionally connected to this property, floor plan, lay out, the fencing, how many bedrooms is needed and stuff. And the last thing is that, wherever a buyer walks out of the property, they will go back and do their homework. They always go back and analyze, check the valuations from the bank, look at the monthly installment, see whether are they overpaying, look at their last transaction. So there's a lot of quantitative aspect that runs through a buyers mind. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So it's about putting that whole process into the video content.

Eric Feng (Host):

So that it makes it easier-

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right.

Eric Feng (Host):

... for them to buy with you.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

So now Melvin, now that you kind of lead the way in property videos and you have a system to doing that. And obviously I'm sure a lot of real estate agents come to you and ask for help. So we start to see a lot more creativity.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

Right. I mean, I'm sure you remember this real estate agent that was singing a song, that sell a property, right?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Way before that, I know of someone who used a [inaudible 00:36:20] song as well. So all this is great, but I like to hear your point of view, right? 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

What are some of the mistakes that a realtor have to avoid when it comes to marketing a house?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Okay. When it comes to marketing house... So back to the point about the video creation portion. I think it's wonderful for the industry, which is also the fact on why three years ago we started another production house, to create real estate videos for all agents in Singapore. So basically that's an independent house that my partner is running. It does real that videos and-

Eric Feng (Host):

Interesting.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Similarly, when we started that, my peers were saying, "Why do you want to start a production house that helps your competitors?"

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct. So that was your USP?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. So now I have two production houses. One is within PropertyLimBrothers that only does production for our customers. The other one is that production house, it's an independent house that does things for the whole industry.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. So my mindset has always been, how do we create more impact in the things that we do? Even when I'm doing this, how do we create impact in different ways and not just in my own business, but how do we do that for the industry in a whole sense? 

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And I think we will definitely evolve into everything video in two years time, because it's a natural phase for marketing. Right. And Seth Gordon always says that marketers spoils everything. Right. Because when something works, everybody wants-

Eric Feng (Host):

They start doing it.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

... to do it, and it's a natural process for businesses. And so my message is that, I always tell myself, let's adopt a very open mindset. It's great because having more people doing it, it also gives us a form of self check on how can we do it better?

Eric Feng (Host):

You level up the whole playing field for everyone.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And we would just constantly do it better and better, that's what we tell our guys. Back to the question is that-

Eric Feng (Host):

Mistakes.

// This is another powerful Facebook video! Let’s do it too. 
Headline: AVOID THIS MISTAKE WHEN SELLING A PROPERTY
Underlined text is the video hook

Melvin Lim (Guest):

What are some of the mistakes that I think realtors will want to avoid is that, the very first thing that I've noticed is the mindset and the back motive for wanting to do the video. Right. So for example, let's say you're helping your client, and your client requested that you do a video home tour. I think the very first mindset that we need to adopt is that, am I doing this video home tour truly for the sake of helping myself to seller to sell this property, or I'm doing this video home tour, in hope of attracting new customers? 

Eric Feng (Host):

Oh my God. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah, because there's a lot of mindsets behind this thing. So when I was doing videos starting from three, four years back, a lot of my peers came to me and said, "Hey, Melvin. I also want to do video." So I will give them tips and I show them how to do... Do you need to put in subtitles? What kind of music do you choose? What kind of scene do you... Where do you stand in all that kind of stuff? So but I realized that some of the mindset back then that people had was that, "I want to do a very good video because I want to attract new customers." And the motive was not to sell that home. 

    And I realized that the moment you have this wrong perspective, either the home won't sell, or you will not do a good content or in the long run, you will lose up, because if your motive is truly just to sell the house, I can share with you that the video will look fantastic because you will think of ways and means to bring out the plus points of the place.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct, because your focus is the house not you.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes. And your focus is to let the house shine. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. The focus is really to make sure that buyers are attracted to this house, that this house will sell. And so you're creative angle we'll come in from there. But if you are placing your creative and go on attracting new businesses, then you will be basing a lot on you. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Very true. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

And you feel stressed doing it as well. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Very true. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So I think that's the very first thing. Second thing I think to look at is performance anxiety. I mean, especially if somebody is doing video for the first few times, they always will have a form performance anxiety about how people look at them. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Yes.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

What will my audience and friends say about the video in the comment section? 

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

How will people think of me? And I think when you look at the camera lens when you're filming, if you can imagine you're talking to a real person, to a real buyer that's physically coming to view the place, I think you will do well. Right. Because you're just talking to a buyer that you have been doing it for so many years, you have been selling properties for so many years. You just try to imagine you're talking to a real person, that's one. Number two is that, doing a video home tour is hard work. You have to prep to memorize the script, memorize your key points. You have to go through the edit with your editor, you have to be there, you have to sweat, you have to... After that, there's so many edits that [inaudible 00:41:20] dig dong a little bit with your own creative. And then the video is out, and when the video is out, just the content, you have to spend money to make sure that somebody sees this content.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct. You're going to advertise it. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

There's a lot of hard work, and I think this is a good thing. So a lot of realtors feel stress about doing videos, because they're very stressed about this whole experience itself, but I wish I had done that. What you are doing is a good thing for your customer.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Because they're doing a huge extra step.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. Over and beyond. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And you don't have to worry about what people talk about you, because at the end of the day, you took the extra effort to create a content for your client. You're doing a good thing for them, you don't have to be fearful about what other people are talking about you. Whatever comments or nasty comments that comes up about your English and stuff, I mean, even today I have broken English and stuff and I always have nasty comments here and there, but I think at the end of day, if we can just remind ourselves that you're doing a good thing for your customer, you'll be fine. Right. And there's a lot about how you think, how you internalize that.

Eric Feng (Host):

That sort of mindset is so important. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

It's very important.

Eric Feng (Host):

Because if I put myself first or I care a lot about what people think about me-

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah.

Eric Feng (Host):

... more than I care about what people think about the house, then those critics will affect me. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Because my starting point is already wrong. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

This is so beautiful. I think that your advice doesn't just apply to realtors, but really any one of us who needs to be on the video, that the intention is so important. Am I really creating this video to educate, to elevate, to encourage, or am I really just using this video to self-promote myself?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes.

Eric Feng (Host):

I think it's super important. Now since we're talking about self-promotion, right. Do you think that personal branding has a place in the real estate industry? Because one of the common conversations I get a lot is that, "Oh, no need. We just need to make sure we focus on creating a good marketing video, sell the property [inaudible 00:43:07]." People don't really care about the property agent. Is that really true? What's your thoughts?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. Very good question. Being as a realtor in the real estate space, the realtor is part of the product. So I was just sharing this story about me buying my first car with my team. Right. So back then, when I exited from the prison service as a prison officer, me and Adrian went to buy the same car. We went to buy the same Toyota Vios, right. That incident of purchasing my very first car taught me a lot of things, because as a consumer, I walked into a Toyota show flat, Borneo Motors, I still remember. I walked out 45 minutes later, because the sales person allocated to me was... and back then because I was very young, I was like 26 years old, and I wasn't so bulky, I was little bit more thin and stuff like that. So when I walk in, I got a feeling that sales person didn't really treat me as a customer in a sense that, he was thinking, "Can you really afford a car?"

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly. He did what a lot of people... What you mentioned just now, which is people see human beings as a dollar sign, how much are you worth? 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. 

Eric Feng (Host):

And I'll treat you according to how much I think you can bring the money back to me as well as the company.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. And after that experience, I was asking questions and he was not really answering me. It was one word question and stuff. So I just felt that the level of customer service is very low and I exited from the show flat. I went back to the same show room, Borneo Motors, one week later and I specifically asked for different sales person. So the manager allocated me a lady, I still remember, the lady was in her 40s, right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Her level of customer service is perfect, and she is really so enthusiastic, she didn't even care that I'm wearing Bermuda's, she didn't care about how much I earn. She was just showing me everything about every car and I bought the Vios from her. And when I was filling out a form in one of the table, the manager kind of asked me, "How was your experience and everything?" And I happen to find that she's a top sales here.

Eric Feng (Host):

There you go.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And I think that's so important, because at the point of entering into the real estate industry, I realized that the sales person actually forms a huge component of the product, because I might not go back to Borneo, but I really wanted to buy the Vios, because that's all I can afford. Right. And I might just change to Nissan, for example, because of the sales person. And can you imagine if I would have gone to Nissan, Borneo would have lost a customer for their car because of the way the sales person behave or the way that the sales person look at their customers. So I realized that, salespeople are actually part of the product, because there's been so many times that... Even when people buy houses, they are being turned off by the behavior of the person presenting the home, or maybe they are offended in a certain way on how you answer questions and things like that.

    So coming back to personal branding, I think the very first thing is to realize that we form part of the product that we represent. We form part of the house that we're helping our sellers to sell. So personal branding is definitely important. Personal branding on social media of course, is what is important right now, and I think it depends on what aspect are we dabbling into. For me personally, I'm naturally not a social media person. My account was dead for so many years, it's only when we started PropertyLimBrothers that I realized the power of social media, and we want to use this platform for good for our customers. And that's also the time that I started to be a little bit more active on my own personal accounts. And I realized that at the end of the day is definitely important, because nowadays, everything is so fluid, transparent, it's all connected. Consumers want to know who are the real people behind the realtor, right?

Eric Feng (Host):

Right.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

They want to know, "What I see on screen, is it the real people on your daily life?"

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly.

// This is a good audio hook, very short and sweet. We can use this for audio note 2. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Are you the same you or are you putting up a front? Right. So I think people also want to know, "Who are you as a real person?" How many kids do you have? What kind of lifestyle do you have? So I think more or less it's important, it's connected for me, because naturally I'm an introvert, right. So I'm not very active extroverted, I would say that I'm more of a situational extrovert. So basically, I think personal branding is important. and the most important is to be the real you, whether in business or in your own personal space.

Eric Feng (Host):

So true. It means that the core of your personal brand is your authenticity.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes. 

Eric Feng (Host):

All right. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. 

Eric Feng (Host):

And what makes you stand out? At least from what I've learned from you today, what makes you stand out is when you put your customers first, and that when you put your customers first, they will return the favor and put you first. And this is beautiful, my biggest takeaway. So we're wrapping up here.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Okay.

Eric Feng (Host):

I'm really curious to know, Melvin. You said that there's so much information out there on YouTube, on how to be a good realtor, how to market a property, but I'm really curious. Why is it that not everyone has catch on yet? Why has the level not gone up?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah, that's a great question. I think that a few different key points, maybe I can summarize into three different components. The future of real estate is evolving so quickly. In fact, it is an escalation of what has happened in the past. For example in the past, if I talk about content, basically all we can do is limit it to what can we print on mail lists, that's the content. If we talk about distribution, is about how many mailers are you able to send to households? That's distribution. So if I escalate now to today's content, content is so beautiful because you can do it on static photographs, you can do it on videos, and that's content creation. And distribution now has been so beautiful because there are so many social media platforms for you to distribute your content.

    I think in order for somebody to do very well in the real estate space is firstly, to adopt the marketer's mindset. That means we are not just transactors, because in the past real estate agents has always seen themselves as transactors. That means they are transacting deals.

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. Like a broker.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. They're brokers, but-

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. A middleman. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Now it has evolved into a marketer kind of mindset. That means as a marketer, if you put on and adopt that mindset, how do you see things differently? How do you see a property differently? How do you market it creatively? How do you infuse solutions to solve it? For example, if let's say this property is very oddly out, how do you come up with a new floor plans after you discuss with the architect, the builder? And so how do you propose it to the buyer, to have them to visualize, "Hey, if you spend 50,000, that's what you can do with this house, if you buy it later."

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So I think the adoption to be a marketer's mindset is very important. Secondly is, I think we are shifting into a very analytical mode, because going back to the first point, just being a transactor.

Eric Feng (Host):

Correct.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That will be disrupted eventually, because when everything comes on full stream with tech, internet of things, things like that, the transactor mindset will be disrupted. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Absolutely. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And if you do not put on a mindset as an analyst, as a researcher for your customer to provide data, to provide perspectives on how you see data based on statistics, should you invest in this project or this project? How will this project likely perform in the next three to five years? So I think it's being the marketer mindset. Secondly, is being the analyst mindset. And I think the third thing that is very important at a core is that, we need to have the patience, because patience is a great killer for realtors. Why do I say that? Because we have been through that ourselves, in the past when we see this agent doing well maybe in this space. Like this agent is doing so well selling Sentosa Properties, right. We also want to do it. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Yes. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Then we see this agent doing so well selling shop houses, right. We also want to do it. And if it's about hopping here and there, then you don't have a core. And I think it's about having that level of patience to develop your niche, develop your core, and letting as many people know, what are you good at? How can you help them solve their problem? Letting your key audience and community that you always talk about know how can you really value add to them? So I think it's having that patience to develop that core.

    And most of the time a lot of realtors, they like to hop around different markets. They like to hop around different audiences, and through hopping around maybe after five years or eight years, they don't have a niche and people don't know what they're good at. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yeah. And I think it's about playing that long game, knowing that whatever you do today, you will sow the seeds two, three years later. Having that patience to sow the seed, and marketing and businesses is a lot like a farming game, right. We're all like farmers, we sow seeds without having the assurance whether the sun will shine tomorrow. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Exactly.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Right. And it's about sowing the seed now, having the harvest one, two, three years later.

Eric Feng (Host):

And trusting the process that if you're always doing good for your customers, you'll end up getting more in return.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

That's right. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Now as a follow-up question. Right?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Hmm.

Eric Feng (Host):

Because I think a lot of young people are going to be listening to you and they'll appreciate where you sit, because what you're trying to say as an analogy is don't be a small fish in a big sea, right? A big sea represents the entire market opportunity, but to be a big fish in a small pond and to dominate and to find a niche. The question then is, how can they find a niche? Now let's reverse the whole process.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes.

Eric Feng (Host):

You came into the industry 14 years ago and people just say, "They did it out of luck." They say, "Go talk to your manager." So let's flip the whole question around. Now, if I'm a new agent and I come to you and say, "Melvin [Coco 00:53:49], tell me, how can I find my niche?" Let's use that as the last question. How would you help them?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Sure. I think a fantastic question. The very first thing is that in the first year, try everything. So the very first is about exploring, trying everything. So we did everything, I mean, we did room rentals, we did shops, we did retail space, we did HDB apartment. We were selling so many HDB apartments, condominium, small size, big size, land and properties, factories. It's like we did every single thing and we took a very long route. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Yeah. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So new realtor don't have to take our route, because we [inaudible 00:54:31] and we were exploring so many different markets for a good 10 years. So I think the very first thing is that in the first year, explore everything, find out what is firstly the key audience that you enjoy serving, right? Secondly, is what is the asset type, what is the property type that you enjoy doing. Right. And you have a passion about in terms of finding that USP for that particular type of property. So for example, if you love to do commercial properties, what do you love about the commercial property? What kind of angles and is it because you love the way that people can invest without ABSD and stuff like that, or if you really love land and properties, is it because you appreciate architecture? You like the different types of land and property in different parts of Singapore. 

    And I think it's to really explore that during the first year, and then by the second year or maybe the third year, if you have not found, is to take a leap of faith to go into that particular niche while you are slowly, I would say weaning off the other parts.

Eric Feng (Host):

Hmm.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Because I think at the end of the day, consumers are looking for experts.

Eric Feng (Host):


Melvin Lim (Guest):

Yes. And they're looking for example, if I have a lender property, so who are the lender property experts that I can engage.

Eric Feng (Host):

So true.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

If I have an office space in CBD, who are the office CBD experts in the real estate space that I can engage. They are looking for that specialist. So I think taking a leap of faith to go into the niche is very important, at the same time of course it is difficult because you need to survive while we find that niche. And so balancing that and building systems along the way as you're continuing to do that lead gen. But I think that the leap of faith must happen, but of course, a leap of faith takes wisdom, because you have to make sure that this niche has that amount of transactional volume in the market, for more longevity.

Eric Feng (Host):

That's true.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So I think it takes a combination of wisdom and faith and things like that.

Eric Feng (Host):

So beautiful. I mean, I just want to on behalf of the young realtors, thank you that you did not choose to be like those people that you met and you stepped up and you change and you leveled up the field. As a final question, what's new for you then? What's your next step for yourself?

Melvin Lim (Guest):

So 2021 is all about, how can we continue to do micro innovating in terms of looking at the entire process that our client will onboard with PLB to the completion of selling their home successfully, and how do we continue to elevate the whole experience plus any gaps that we see? So we call that micro innovating. Macro innovating is about, how do we have a broad based approach for the entire local real estate market, which is the key reason why we set up our [POV 00:57:26] insight team. So it's a research arm within our team that we have specialized people to analyze data, come up with research papers every week. And then how do we use that value add to our consumers. 

    On a broad based approach looking at 2021, 2022, what are some of the places that we can invest in? What are some of the properties that are picking up the capital growth path or where the rental place and things like that. So there's macro and micro. On people's basis, this is also the year that we rapidly growing our people internally, we are also looking for like-minded people to join our team because we want to expand. And we believe that expanding with like-minded people in the sales team, in the media production team, it creates more good value for our customers. So we believe in continuous growth, and putting in a lot of time on training our people, making sure that customer service continues to do better and better. Picking up the analysis mindset to our people, and training everyone to be marketers, and analysts, and yeah. That's the three things we are doing.

Eric Feng (Host):

Busy, busy, busy.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Busy, busy, busy, busy like yourselves.

Eric Feng (Host):

But with the intention of serving your customers and now the industry as well, and that's brilliant, that's beautiful. I just want to thank you Melvin, for taking the time to have a chat with us. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Thank you for having me here.

Eric Feng (Host):

I'm sure a lot of listeners would love to get to know you.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Sure.

Eric Feng (Host):

Where's the best place to reach out to you.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Just go to our YouTube channel, PropertyLimBrothers. We are on Instagram same PropertyLimBrothers. My personal IG is Melvin_PropertyLimBrothers. So it's very easy to find us.

Eric Feng (Host):

Very easy to find you guys. 

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Or go to our website, propertylimbrothers.com. 

Eric Feng (Host):

And for those of you in Singapore, if you're looking for someone to market your house, I think you now know who to pick. All right. Thank you so much, Melvin.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Thank you, Eric. Thanks. 

Eric Feng (Host):

Bye.

Melvin Lim (Guest):

Thanks. Great.