Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore
Amidst the backdrop of a view that overlooks the Greater Southern Waterfront, Sentosa island and beyond, Jeremy Lim, group district director at real estate firm Huttons Asia, shares that he has lofty ambitions, for not just himself, but for the collective.
In an interview in one of the penthouses on the 60th floor at Wallich Residence by GuocoLand, Lim says he aims to be regarded as an authority in property matters one day.
Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore
As it is, Lim already has an impressive portfolio that serves the high net worth market comprising high net worth individuals (HNWIs) or high net worth families.
His portfolio of transacted properties reads like a list of exclusive addresses in a Rolodex. These include New Futura on Leonie Hill Road, Wallich Residence, The Avenir at River Valley Close, Marina One Residences and Gramercy Park on Grange Road.
Lim has also transacted several conservation shophouses, including the ones that have housed Michelin-star restaurants in prime Districts 1 and 2. Districts 1 and 2 cover the Boat Quay, Raffles Place, Marina, as well as Anson Road, Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar areas.
Conservation shophouses, which have gained popularity in the property market in the past five years, is one of the areas which Lim excels in.
The asset class has seen over $1 billion worth of transactions year-to-date in 2021.
These shophouses were built mainly between the 1840s and the 1960s, and are chock-full of history, culture and, of course, nostalgia.
The buildings are usually around two to three storeys high with a sheltered “five foot” way in front.
Conservation shophouses are limited in Singapore, with only about 6,500 units available at present.
Most of them are located in prime Districts 1 and 2, where demand is extremely high among locals, foreigners, high net worth individuals (HNWIs), funds and family offices.
While some shophouses are slated for residential use, many of them are being used as offices, food and beverage (F&B) as well as commercial spaces. In fact, shophouses have become popular offices for law firms, design and, or advertising firms, as well as fitness gyms due to their flexible operating hours and unique ambience.
The private courtyard of one of the shophouses Lim’s transacted. Photo: Jeremy Lim
An impressive record
To date, Lim reveals that he has transacted $160 million worth of property in 2021 alone. The figure, he says, is a personal record for him. It is also possibly a record for Huttons as well.
But he isn’t one to rest on his laurels.
To be sure, Lim is already looking forward to his next goal: to be “the agent every HNWI or investor thinks of” when transacting their properties. He also wants to be seen as a property consultant to his clients as well.
“People take advice from doctors and lawyers seriously when it comes to their health and legal needs. I hope to change that narrative for property agents too, in that property agents should be regarded as authorities in their field,” he says.
Times have changed, Lim elaborates.
“It’s no longer about upselling your client anymore, and we don’t just sell for the sake of selling these days,” he shares. “Agents now seek to give their clients the most appropriate advice possible, advice that helps them achieve what they’re looking for.”
“Agents now attend a lot of courses just to get their license renewed, much less to attain a property license,” he adds.
So far, he has assisted his clients in earning profits through undervalued properties, or properties with potential for them to buy or invest in.
Sometimes, Lim even helps his clients work out their finances in order for them to be able to afford their dream home.
The interior of a shophouse on Craig Road that Lim’s transacted. Photo: Jeremy Lim
“I am very particular about getting the best returns for my clients whether buying or selling their properties,” he says, which is a trait his existing clients can attest to, and one his future clients will appreciate.
“I am able to provide them with the assurance that I am doing my best by them. In that sense, they also trust that I am able to deliver,” he adds.
The early years
Lim made his foray into the industry in 2008 as a 23-year-old, after working as a medical salesman for three years. The decision to go into property came as he felt the commissions as a salesman did not commensurate with his actual sales target and workload.
The industry wasn’t a career choice Lim’s parents, who he describes as traditional, would have chosen for him.
In school, Lim achieved straight distinctions for his ‘O’ levels, and enrolled into a polytechnic to study biomedical engineering, something which was sure to give him a stable income when he graduated.
When his parents learned of his decision to become a property agent, they were naturally worried about the lack of stable and consistent income.
“When I was younger, I was playful and not as motivated to do well in my studies. Therefore, my parents were worried that I was not going to be able to feed myself as a sales person without basic pay,” he says.
Life as a property agent wasn’t that smooth sailing, Lim admits.
In the early days, he remembers how he had to take public transport everywhere to viewings. From his home in Bedok, he would take the bus to places like Lakeview Estate in Upper Thomson Road, and Dairy Farm.
At the time, Lim felt bad that his family had to suffer with him.
“Being at my lowest point has motivated me to do better,” he shares.
Thirteen years later, Lim is the proud father to three daughters.
While some savour material success, Lim prefers to gain recognition in the eyes of his loved ones.
When asked about the highlight in his career, Lim remembers the year when he hit his first million dollars in sales. That was in 2018, after a period of having no leads.
During the awards ceremony, his eldest daughter, then three years old, presented him with a bouquet on stage and declared “Daddy is my number one!”, a move which touched him to tears.
Lim’s mum’s opinion matters, as well.
“Gaining her recognition means I have made it. Having awards when I’m top in sales are great and all, but hearing my mum tell me she’s happy for me, is something I really treasure,” he says. “At the end of the day, chasing material success can only last for so long. I just want my parents, my spouse and my children to be proud of me.”
A team player
Today, Lim now leads a team of 160.
The team itself is a branch under Rex Tan, who is now the chairman of the agency development committee at Huttons Asia.
As at August 2021, the team has transacted properties worth several million dollars, a feat he attributes to the team’s strength in marketing.
According to Lim, the team is highly proficient in digital marketing, Facebook marketing in particular.
“At this level, everything is simply about marketing. Our team is one of the best in marketing among property agents,” he says. “We were one of the first teams among the property agencies who started promoting our services and properties through Facebook marketing. Till this day, we don’t outsource our marketing. We are also proficient in Google Ads, perhaps as good as or better than a third-party vendor.”
On his role in the industry, Lim is focused on ensuring that his clients get what they want.
The way he sees it, his experience in the luxury and commercial market, as well as his dedication to achieving the best outcomes for his clients, keeps his clients – including the HNWI – coming back.
“I am able to provide them with the assurance that I am doing my best by them. In that sense, they also trust that I am able to deliver,” he says. “Our job is to ensure our clients are happy with the service we provide. When they benefit, I see it as a job well done.”
For more information about the listing, please contact:
Contact Jeremy Lim l 88581212
Group District Director (R017809A)
Huttons Asia Pte Ltd