Redbrick Mortgage Advisory is honoured to interview Mr. Adam Wang, Key Executive Officer (KEO) of FER Properties, a franchisee of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Singapore. As KEO, Adam runs the daily operations of the agency and has led his close-knit team for the past 20 years.
Adam also wears another hat as the President of Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA). With more than 5,000 members in this leading industry association, Adam works closely with his team and different stakeholders across the real estate sector to understand what agents are lacking, and to ensure they stay relevant in today’s age through upskilling and digital adoption.
In September 2021, Adam had also co-founded Alliance Connect, an alliance comprising of 42 real estate agencies and over 700 salespersons. Adam positioned Alliance Connect as a marketing platform for medium and boutique-sized agencies to pitch for marketing rights to new developments. This creates a larger presence and is also a refreshing way to reduce stagnancy in the industry.
Q: Where do you stay and what do you like most about your estate?
Adam: I like my residence at Punggol as it is located right next to the LRT station, which is 3 stops away from the main Punggol MRT station. Additionally, 2 of the 3 side gates of the development lead directly to park connectors. This is appealing to me as I frequently take walks along the park connectors.
Q: What are favorite food items in your area?
Adam: There are 2 restaurants that I frequent. The first is Fatpo, which serves fusion food in exceptionally large portions. The next is Frienzie which allows me to relax and chill by the riverside. The live band also adds to the enjoyable ambience. Both restaurants have indoor and al fresco dining options as well.
Q: How was your property search like when you bought your current home?
Adam: I started my search in the Northeast as there were many exciting developments. Together with my wife in 2010, I purchased my first Build to Order (BTO) flat in Sengkang. When my matrimonial flat had fulfilled its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), my wife and I felt that it was the right time to upgrade.
We considered between 2 options – either an Executive Condominium (EC) or a mass market condominium. After looking at the market sentiments, I realized that ECs had a lower entry point. The development would also be newer, which was a plus point.
Q: Did you have a good experience with your property agent? Or did you DIY?
Adam: I had a very good experience with the developer’s appointed agency. The agent gave us personal advice and guided us on which stack and unit was better. Being a real estate veteran, I had my own views, too. Fortunately, we were on the same page with the agent. Hence, the whole experience was very smooth. We even became friends after the transaction!
Q: Which camp did you belong to: Fixed or Floating? Why?
Adam: In general, I don’t belong to any particular camp. Rather, I believe that we have to look at the interest rate and environment at that point in time. If you were to ask me 2 years ago when COVID just started, I would advise anyone, including myself, to go with floating interest rate loans because interest rates were low and moving down quickly in 2020. However, the economy has since picked up. In 2022’s context, I would suggest going for a fixed interest rate loan if possible.
Q: Where is your favorite estate in Singapore?
Adam: My favourite estates are Upper Thomson and Yio Chu Kang. It’s where I grew up and stayed for nearly 30 years. I like them because it is located near to greenery and nature, especially near the Lower and Upper Pierce Reservoir. Due to the nature of my job, I look at built-up property at work every day. It is quite nice to be able to go home and bask with nature.
Q. Are there any new launch or projects that you are eyeing on?
Adam: My wife needs more space, especially for the kitchen where she enjoys baking. We are considering upgrading to a larger 4-bedroom HDB unit within Punggol.
Q: Which is your favorite corner of your home?
Adam: My balcony. It is the coolest part of my home where I can take in the sounds of nature while I enjoy the breeze.
Q: Are there new reno trends that you are interested in?
Adam: Truth be told, I have never engaged an interior designer before. Personally, I am drawn to a minimalist lifestyle, where everything is clean and simple.
Q: Who/What is your best investment decision so far?
Adam: I would say purchasing property is my best investment decision. I don’t have time to look at the market frequently, so I tend to steer clear from shares or cryptocurrencies. I used to own 2 commercial properties, which I have sold and made high profits. I chose to invest in commercial properties as it is less tedious to manage than residential ones. There is no additional buyer stamp duty (ABSD) for commercial properties and carries a different set of responsibilities.
Q: What/Which tool do you think is best to grow wealth or generate multiple streams of income?
Adam: Similarly, property is the easiest for me because I understand the market well due to the nature of my job. I also don’t have to monitor the property every day and I know when to let go or switch to other properties to optimize my portfolio.
Q: If you could relate the wealth creation journey to a ride in a theme park, which would it be?
Adam: While I haven’t been to a theme park in a while, I would liken this journey to a merry-go-round. While buying low and selling high is on everyone’s minds, I am not a high risk, high return person. Thus, I won’t go into new forms of investments such as cryptocurrencies or NFTs and would prefer to stick to property which is a good choice for me.
Q: If you could turn back time, what would you have done differently 5 years ago?
Adam: I would have invested in another property rather than my current one. I am a practical person and if I could turn back time, I would have purchased an old 99-year leasehold condominium and wait for the collective sale to be called. New estates, such as the one I am currently living in, won’t have a chance to en-bloc.
The old school train of thought would believe that buying freehold property is better. However, through the years, I noticed that 99-year leasehold properties en-bloc much easier than freehold property. Because of its decaying lease, all owners want to offload as soon as possible. On the other hand, for freehold property owners, if they can sell it off at a good price, they’re likely to let it go. Otherwise, they will simply leave the property as a legacy for their children.
Q: Can you share a piece of advice for real estate agents?
Adam: For real estate agents, it is very important to stay innovative and professional. Most importantly, do not give any form of advice to clients without concrete evidence. We have to constantly evolve with technology and the economy.
Traditionally, agents have been selling and not marketing properties. What I have noticed with frontrunners is that they understand how to do the latter. Rather than just purely selling a product, they create awareness and inform clients on what benefits it entails.