5 hard truths about being a property agent in Singapore no one tells you, Lifestyle News

5 hard truths about being a property agent in Singapore no one tells you, Lifestyle News
5 hard truths about being a property agent in Singapore no one tells you, Lifestyle News

Everyone has an agent good friend whom they’ve recognized from secondary college/military and is now seemingly main a glamorous life.

It’s virtually a parody by now that a profitable agent shall be driving a BMW/Mercs/Audi, together with the common social media postings about month-to-month awards and each day closings.

And after all, who can overlook about the cliche images of the luxurious watch captured over the automobile steering wheel (you simply cannot miss out on the model), and an overused caption like:

“There are no secrets and techniques to success. It is the results of preparation, hard work, and studying from failure.”

But this is the reality.

Being a property agent isn’t a mattress of roses like what social media appears to painting.

As somebody who’s labored with each side of the equation, I can inform you that issues will not be what they appear on the floor.

For nearly all of brokers on the market, life as a property agent isn’t a straightforward one.

So in case you are contemplating actual property as a profession (or simply assume that brokers are all incomes an excessive amount of), I’ve determined to pen a piece in the present day on the cruel realities of being a property agent in Singapore.

Here goes: 

1. Not each agent is incomes sufficient cash to spray champagne in the membership

It’s all the time straightforward to see the attention-grabbing headlines of brokers making six to seven-figure incomes in a yr (some even in a month). But the reality is that there are a lot of others which are struggling that you just simply do not hear about. 

It’s the identical as what you see in soccer. It’s pure to imagine that every one footballers are wealthy due to all of the information of their million-dollar contracts posted on-line. But in precise truth, there are a lot of, many different footballers in the decrease leagues who’re barely scraping by. 

The actuality is, that almost all brokers actually don’t make such stratospheric quantities. 

Let’s do some basic math. 

In 2021, there was a whole of $76.4 billion in residential gross sales (and thoughts you, this was a good yr). Take away en-bloc gross sales for the yr and you may arrive at $75.2 billion.

To be much more correct, let’s divide the gross sales by the kind (new launch and resale) in order that we are able to account for a increased fee for brand new launch properties.

I’ll assume a mean of two.5 per cent fee for a new launch, and 1 per cent for resale transactions.

And so if we go by that, the entire commissions can be $1.147 billion.

While that appears like a boat load of money, let’s divide that by the variety of brokers to see what we get.

According to CEA, as of Jan 2022, there was a whole of 30,399 brokers. Split that $1.147 billion and also you get to $37,731 yearly wage per agent. 

That’s hardly sufficient, is it?

Okay however we all know that not each agent is energetic, so maybe that is not very correct. According to a latest BT article on energetic brokers, it was steered that the variety of energetic brokers might be as little as 9 per cent.

But let’s attempt a extra beneficiant method right here, and go along with the 80/20 rule – so I’ll assume simply 20 per cent of brokers are energetic. 

Divide $1.147 billion with 6,080 brokers and also you get $188k every year per agent. 

Sure, that now appears like a very engaging determine. (But let’s not overlook that you just nonetheless need to account for a lot of prices, which is in level 4).

So sure, whereas engaging, it is hardly a wage that enables one to purchase a luxurious sports activities automobile and have a rotation of APs and Rolex’s both. 

And keep in mind, the determine is more likely to be a lot decrease because the numbers shall be very skewed by the highest earners. 

Judging by the figures launched by ERA Realty Network the place the median gross month-to-month fee earned by their prime 300 property brokers reached $11,686 in 2015 – our determine of $188k is certainly fairly an optimistic one. 

(Let’s additionally not overlook that 10 per cent shall be taken off to pay the property company). 

2. You are by yourself

Being a actual property agent is one of these jobs the place you get what you place into it. Sure, there are these brokers that may coast by because of the connections that they’ve constructed in their earlier careers, however by and enormous, it may be a very lonely job as it’s a cut-throat trade. 

There are, after all, groups on the market with crew leaders that attempt to foster some camaraderie however that is few and much between. 

You’re extra probably hear of circumstances of backstabbing and preventing between brokers for shoppers.

Agents: how a lot would you pay for this?

Don’t be shocked if an agent is de facto pleasant with you on the floor, however tried to undercut a take care of a consumer behind your again.

After all, with regards to cash, something goes. 

3. No longer a 9 to 5 life

There’s all the time a notion of those that got down to be their very own boss. Now, you do not have to take heed to anybody however your self, it is an own-time-own goal life, and also you management once you work. Right?


If you wish to obtain outcomes, you will be working nonstop – seven days a week.

It’s hard to scale an agent’s enterprise as you’re actually the face of it. Your shoppers need you to be representing them, and you may’t actually get away with employed assist as that is what shoppers interact you for.

During the times of the week, you possibly can typically be inundated with paperwork, crew conferences, advertising and marketing endeavours, prospecting, and negotiating on gives. After working hours it is for viewings and exhibiting shoppers round.

Weekends? They are your bread and butter, and that is when an agent is their busiest. Naturally, that is the time when your shoppers are probably the most obtainable, so that you’d need to work round their free time, not yours.

The similar factor goes with public holidays, you principally have none. Your shoppers want you after they want you, and as a lot as you’d wish to be in management of your working hours, it is simply not potential.

Answering calls, replying to emails or WhatsApp is one other complete job by itself. You cannot precisely delegate replies to a chatbot, and replying rapidly is one thing that shoppers count on. Dinner with associates/household is typically potential, besides past bites of meals you’re virtually glued to your telephone.

Which is why for individuals who wish to turn out to be a property agent as a result of get to be your individual boss and work versatile hours, certain, you are able to do that.

But for those who deal with it as such like a facet job, you would be paid like one too. 

4. Income could be very inconsistent, money movement is hard

This is a huge however very underrated level. Many brokers overlook that actual property is de facto like operating your individual enterprise. And have you learnt the quantity one purpose why companies fail?

Cash movement points. (In truth, 82 per cent of the time money is the principle purpose).

Think about it. 


Unlike different jobs, if you wish to earn greater than a respectable quantity as an agent you have to cash to fund operations. Marketing is a big value in the present day, and except you’ve a broad community from earlier careers, it is an expense that you need to pay for to prospect for brand new shoppers. 

This can differ, however in a nutshell, you’ve flyers, FB/IG/TikTookay/Google/YouTube advertisements (that are getting uncontrollably costly attributable to demand), classifieds (for those who promote landed houses), property portal promoting prices, video advertising and marketing, and social media campaigns. 

Some brokers can spend greater than $10k a month on varied advertising and marketing channels, and for those who aren’t cautious along with your bills this turns into detrimental (identical to any enterprise)

There are additionally operating prices like handphone payments, petrol, and transport-related prices to assume about.

Of course, there are others too (like insurance coverage and well being care), however for the sake of retaining this transient, I hope you get the concept.

But the actual downside right here is that you do not have a regular paycheck. Many folks low cost that the cash comes in very erratically for brokers.

You might shut two or three offers in one month and really feel on prime of the world, however not shut something for the subsequent few.

With issues just like the December 2021 cooling measures which are out of your management, some brokers could have confronted the primary quarter of 2022 with zero gross sales. If you’ve a mortgage, a child’s schooling to save lots of up for, and automobile loans to fund – this may be extremely irritating. (Hence why as an agent, you need to be prudent and never assume that you may be making hay on daily basis).

For instance, for resale properties, the fee can come in three to 6  months later. For new launches, this may be six months to 12 months. In some circumstances, it may even be as much as a yr later.

Can you think about getting your wage solely a complete yr later? How do you probably plan on your personal life and bills?

5. Hard work and being honest would not all the time consequence in a reward

I suppose some could describe this level as a two-way road, however some newer brokers could also be shocked at how folks can simply drop you want a scorching potato. 

Sometimes even for those who’ve genuinely tried your finest to teach your consumer and do the best factor for months on finish, some shoppers can simply go away you in the chilly for an additional agent that gives a kickback on the commissions.

Even if it is months of labor of exhibiting them round on weekends, doing the numbers and evaluation, it appears that evidently many individuals do not worth that in the present day. You can do the whole lot proper and put a ton of effort in, but when individuals are supplied a technique to save – they may usually take it. 

Many folks do not take into account the period of time that is put into every house looking course of. 

For instance, I’ve heard of some circumstances the place the agent has been serving their consumer to search for a house for 2 years!

Sure, not each weekend is spent on them, however add all of the viewings and analysis and consultations up and typically the fee that you just earn on the finish of it’ll hardly be justified by the hours that you’ve got put in. 


(Especially throughout a scorching market akin to this, and the vendor agent shares 0.3 per cent of the comm with you). 

Here’s a style of among the work that we’ve got put collectively for shoppers:

Unfortunately, there’s no such instrument to compile costs at such a micro stage, and this was painstakingly put collectively in order that the consumer might have a straightforward comparability. 

Can you think about placing in many hours of analysis, just for the consumer to drop you on the final minute when it is time to really decide to a buy?

And as a lot as property brokers have themselves responsible for the destructive stigma the general public has, many occasions it is also conditions akin to this that can make even a good agent flip into one that solely seems out for themselves. If you have gone by means of three shoppers in a row that you’ve got accomplished hard work for, however they’ve chosen to chop you out on the finish unfairly, what would you select to do for the subsequent one? 

Final Words

I suppose this actually is the truth for a lot of different industries on the market.

It’s identical to the hawkers in Singapore. (*5*) all the time need issues to be cheaper, however no one thinks about how hard a life it may be. (This is a fairly fascinating take).

The actuality is, not everybody can obtain a consequence like Hawker Chan, and most hawkers are simply struggling to get by.

If you’re pondering about a profession in actual property, it is undoubtedly not for individuals who prefer to take a backseat.

For those that are keen to persevere to place in the hard work, time, and energy – it may be a financially rewarding profession.

Just concentrate on the struggles, and pitfalls earlier than embarking on the journey.

This article was first revealed in Stackedhomes.

https://www.asiaone.com/way of life/5-hard-truths-about-being-property-agent-singapore-no-one-tells-you

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About the Author: Amanda