Happy Lunar New Year!

To all fellow realtors and every readers of mine a very happy and prosperous new year! May The Year of Ox in 2009 bring you good health, fortune and luck! Here’s something to share from Matt’s Yahoo property group.

Flickr credit: Code N

  • Opening windows and/or doors is considered to bring in the good luck of the new year.
  • Switching on the lights for the night is considered good luck to ‘scare away’ ghosts and spirits of misfortune that may compromise the luck and fortune of the new year.
  • Sweets are eaten to ensure the consumer a “sweet” year.
  • It is important to have the house completely clean from top to bottom before New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year. (however, cleaning the house after New Year’s Day is frowned upon)
  • Some believe that what happens on the first day of the new year reflects the rest of the year to come. Chinese people will often gamble at the beginning of the year, hoping to get luck and prosperity.
  • Wearing a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.
  • The night before the new year, bathe yourself in pomelo leaves and some say that you will be healthy for the rest of the new year.

As the hokkien saying goes… HUAT AH!

Best Buy from eBay in 2009 – GPS Receiver for $1

I know it’s absurd but it’s not suppose to cause any commotion. This might be my best deal buy from eBay ever.

A Holux 236B GPS Receiver for a dollar?!

This is what I did! HTC Touch Pro has this lagging problem with their internal GPS. The problem isn’t known yet whether it’s got to do with the ROM, Radio or the hardware.. To avoid the lag, I have an ex Holux Slim 236 (Version 1) which works perfectly but always drop its Bluetooth connection with my HTC Touch pro easily.


I’ve bid a dollar from sralls and got it from him with full box and accessories. Beaming my way home with the receiver successfully working with my Touch Pro, the B version definitely holds and works better in terms of blue tooth performance.

Well, you can’t totally say that you can’t get good buys at all nowadays on the internet ;)

At least I got mine. *Scuttles for the next $1 bid in eBay.

Real Estate Tycoon Commits Suicide in the US

Recently there have been a number of high profile people committing suicide in the States, particularly tycoons which has to do with the real estate industry and are especially affected by the Madoff Ponzi scandal. Whether there is any links between the number of suicide rates to the crisis are unknown till 3 years later, the problem with statistics.

CHICAGO: – The head of one of the largest real estate auction houses
in the United States was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted
gunshot wound.

Mr Steven Good, chairman and chief executive of Sheldon Good &
Company, joined a growing list of high-profile casualties of a global
economic crisis that has already claimed the lives of executives in
Europe and the US.

High-profile casualties like Mr Merckle aside, there are others who
are unknown or less well known, but no less tragic.

Last October, Mr Karthik Rajaram, a 45-year-old unemployed financial
consultant in the US, shot his wife, mother-in-law and three sons
before turning the gun on himself. In a suicide note, he wrote that
he was broke, having incurred massive stock market losses in the
financial meltdown.

Mr James Altucher, a hedge fund manager and columnist, in a
thoughtful and sombre piece in the Financial Times on Tuesday, said
he had heard in the past two weeks of two people who took their
lives: One was a 27-year-old stockbroker with two children, and the
other, a cousin of a friend of his, a hedge fund manager also with

Source – The Straits Times

With housing slumps and people facing foreclosures in our America counterparts, I can’t help but think especially for the elites who has never suffered such defeats in their life before (assuming crisises has at least hit them twice in their life, and this would be the worst) how mentally damning it is to accept such a big blow and carry on with their lives.

Again, people of such calibre would have thought money is everything. My condolences.

Happy New Year 2009! New Year Resolution Time!

You know it usually never happens, but I’ll make it simple for myself and everyone to know what I’d be planning to stick my guns to with my brand new mind mapping techniques which I think should work before I hit 27 this new year in August.


I’m a firm believer in a good balance of everything. Again, this hasn’t been happening in 2008 and as a result, I’ve gained like 6kg in a short 6 month span. Err. It’s not healthy of course.

The Singapore government has always been quite supportive of sporting events holding here. We have the few cute events that’re coming up, namely the Singapore Biathlon organised by Navy, Sundown Marathon by Adidas which I have already registered for. That will drive me to keep my procrastination down and go for constant trainings in the gym and pool for the 1st half of the year ;)

Also, Men’s Health kicks butt!


Keeping track of my spendings in 2009 systematically. With this I have Pocket Finance Diary for my HTC Touch Pro which will allow me to export to CSV for any other personal finance softwares. I’m thinking of MS Money/ Quicken to my arsenal.

It simply works, but I have to keep up the momentum, else the habit will eventually fade away 2 months time (Don’t you find it’s tough to keep up with resolutions? lol)

Social Web 2.0

I have a couple of web publications which I have to keep up for 2009. One of it would have to be this personal blog which I’d be focusing on touching the sensitive Singapore and the rest of the world’s real estate news; tips and tricks and my rantless rumblings. I would try to be driving this blog for a Alexa ranking of under a 100,000 and try to increase Google PR of this blog to a minimum 4 by April 2009. Apart from driving traffic, I’d be regularly using my twitter account and visiting forums for more news and update myself. It’ll be for the best for my customers to keep in touch with me with a mailing list to let them know what’s happening too.

Timeline set is decent and realistic. Just stick to the gun of updating this blog regularly for minimum a post for 2 days, get to know new netfriends doing the same thing and exchanging links, I should be able to do it.


Not forgetting keeping up with my friends of mine since the secondary school days, IRC and colleagues till now. Balance life should consist of hardwork, good health, good financial and mental state as well as a balanced social circle of friends whom you haven’t and will not forget. I’ll be sticking to our guns for this 5 keys for 2009.

What’s yours for this year?

An Unethical Agent on the Prowl

Daniel’s Yahoo D-Agent group is definitely a good place for Realtor’s to share their listings for quick matches. With over 1,000 fellow Realtors, a daily digest of listings would be good for you as an agent to match your listing for your clients.

Something caught my eye, and I suppose things like this happens from time to time when you deal with rotten agent colleagues.

Dear Friends,

just encountered one unethical agent.

His name is ******. He called asking for info
for one of my units and require more information.

After giving him all the information i have, he
requested for me to send him the floorplan.

I emailed him some pictures of my unit but unfortunately,
i do not have the floor plan so i explained to him nicely.

He msg me at least 3 times asking me for the floorplan
which i politely explained that i do not have, so does
the owner.

Finally he msg me:” forget it….”

And when i tried explaining further and offering to help,
he replied :” stop sms..”

I ran a search on his number and realised he is an agent.

His telephone no: ********** Please save this to prevent people like
this to take advantage.

I don’t see any reasons why this agent would want to sabotage another person, but things like that happen from time to time.

Shame on you. Not as if Petric owes you a living. Maybe we should have a blacklist for agents who gives other fellow agents trouble and just don’t deal or co-broke with them.

Knight Frank Singapore Business Conference – We Are Real

Knight Frank - We're the Best

The conference in Fullerton Hotel was pleasant. Not a hit, but real pleasant.

Most of our Knight Frank Realtors were present, good colleagues Jimmy, Meng and Sean too. It’s a good gathering session which started off with a motivational talk from Nanz Chong, the founder of One.99 shop that went bust in 2003.

She was okay. At least she had an edge with failures that made her stronger, which I think her words actually made sense. I’ve heard better motivational speakers but hers was relevant and concise enough.

The best speaker of the day was Dr Billy Kueek, a real motivational speaker who knows how to catch your attention. Pointers were derived from experience and he made his studies before coming to give a presentation. He deserves the thumbs up of the day even ask compared to Dr Tan Tee Koon, runner-up. It’s always a knack when your presenters actually don’t make use of any paper references when they’re talking about their stuffs.

They know what they’re talking about. At least they come prepared.

Tony unleashed the new potential web 2.0 stuffs that he has made out for all Knight Frank agents. In all honesty, at this virgin stage, we wouldn’t exactly know how Google Adwords targeting niche words, buying multiple domains and engaging Mondarlezo for listing would help much. I’m seeing it from a point as an ex-Internet marketeer when I have experience some form of success in recognition and internet traffic rankings. The effort where I can see is placed mostly would be placing all the new and existing projects, this would definitely be a tough nut to crack.

It takes more than that to bring your site up to be a leading Realtor tool. Sorry for the flaming, but I don’t see the point of blogging your products. A particular agent mentioned about blogging her listings in her blogs, but again, it shouldn’t work this way.

I’ve seen Fred Teo’s Serangoon Garden blog, blogging about the area, the history and the culture. That’s a good line we can start off with. With additional help from REAL/ SEAL web, adding a huge big link on the blog portal to his listings would be probably the correct way since it’s aesthetically clean and should attract different kinds of guests when he’s blogging about the area which he has a niche in.

A site can only be successful with its usefulness relevancy, a huge multiple relevant backlinks, and optimized for SEO. Knight Frank is edging its way towards it.

I’ll be transforming this little space as soon as I can in the next few days to what I think a Realtor’s site should look like with Realweb so I don’t have to engage my programmer to custom the site dynamically for property listing.

It wasn’t a bad seminar experience indeed.

Google’s Way of Countering MSN/ Yahoo Search

Just tried to install the new version of MSN Live Messenger and accidentally clicked on most of the default options to have MSN Search set as default when I was pleasantly surprised with some Google dialogue box coming out from nowhere.

Google’s way of countering

Well, since I’m not so much of a Microsoft fan in terms of search, it saved me the time to switch Google back to default, but don’t you ever wonder why programs gets bigger in size in terms of megabytes when you install them with new upgrades?

Privacy will be the next big issue in the future as with our most common used programs studying our online habits. Pfft. Not that I’m not happy with Google axing MSN search in this way. It’s another whole big issue with ‘Legal Spyware’.

Commission Structure for Real Estate Agents – Is It a Sin to Ask For More?

Most Singapore realtors (real estate agents) works on the recommendations from Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) to quote their service fees on a successful closure. You can download a copy of their guideline from IEA’s website here.

There’s this grey line which most agents when comes to co-broking may face if its a small rental deal. The guideline is as such, should the rental per month be lesser than SGD $2,500, the Realtors in charged can collect commission from the tenant as well. To make it easy, co broking agents will collect from their own client (aka, the Realtor acting for tenant will take his share and the other Realtor acting for owner doing vice versa)

But have you ever met agents who don’t wish to co broke and even if they do, asks you to take your service fees from your tenant even if it is more than $2,500?

Plenty of agents out there mind sharing their commission and wishes for a direct client to come connect to their ads, but realizing that they can’t do it fast, asks for the tenant Realtor to work for free. While it seems fine and feels right, it’s not at all! When we’re talking about acting ethically for your owner, you should not in any way reject co-broking cases or even ask for the other side to collect commission if it is not under the guidelines. For all you know, you’re rejecting tenants that are willing to pay even a higher commission that your direct cases.

Its never ethical to collect more than you should. And we wouldn’t want our customers to complain that we aren’t professional when it comes to our fees. Why worry about having not enough commission when you spoil your reputation and risk customer satisfaction on your performance?

Any Use Cutting And Pasting Newspaper News on Blogs?

It’s disappointing to see people just plainly cutting and pasting property news from our national papers or even Business Times to their own personal blogs. Why would they want to do that. Yes, it’s purely news from our papers and nothing else.

Quoting an article to show the views would be good. You mean you’ll need to do some kind of archive for property news in Singapore for a reference in case Straits Times website collapses?

Weird people. And you’re probably infringing copyright of their authors even though you’re quoting the source if you really don’t know. It’s good to have a motive to blog, but to just lift, cut and paste.

Might as well just scrap the sources instead. People who have no passion to share shouldn’t start a blog at all.