Have You Found A Passion In Your Life? Or Are You Still Pursuing It?
How you became a property agent?
This is the most frequently asked question whenever I reconnect with old friends. Some were surprised, others asked out of curiosity knowing that I had been bustling with wedding artworks for almost half of my life.
I would usually answer them with something cliché; since my husband is in property line, I might as well be in the same line to support him.
Those who knew me well surely doubted my decision. They would pester me with more questions like, “But that was your passion, you left everything just like that? Or What a lost opportunity, I thought you were doing well?”.
Anyway throughout the years, there was a thing or two which made me choose not to talk about it further.
So, what caused me to be here now?
Let Me Tell You a Story
As soon as I graduated, I started a small business in my hometown Jakarta. That business was not related to my academic degree at all, but something I love. It was a wedding accessories and decoration shop where we provided a one-stop service for wedding essentials.
My parents were surprised with my choice because I was considered too young for this business. Besides, they hoped to see me getting a job related to my academic background rather than ‘playing’ with arts and crafts.
Besides, how I got to know to do all these? Well, I personally think that’s the perks of being a right-brained dominant. You could be creative and artistic without much efforts done. All I did was just turning a hobby into a business at the right season.
What I like about this business is, because it serves niche market. Competition was not so tight and stressful. Realistically, your business existence depends very much on your own talent. As long as you have the ‘gift’ and keep your consistency to be creative and productive, you are good.
I met my husband who is also my partner, Felix, in 2007 and we exchanged vows in the same year.
Since then I lived in between two countries. My life was practically 6 months in Jakarta to settle my works and the other half in Singapore to be with him.
Sometimes I must stay longer in Jakarta especially in wedding months due to more workloads. Felix knew that our early stage of marriage would have to be that way as he understood that at that point of time, I had a workshop and 5 shops to manage.
As part of our plan that I should be more settled here in the future, I started to bring in my designs to Singapore. The response was better than my expectations, our products penetrated well into the local wedding market. Besides securing a number of dealers, I also got the chance to work with some renowned brands.
Everything went as planned until our daughter arrived and as she grew up, the need to bring her to Singapore could no longer be delayed.
Due to some pregnancy issues I felt more comfortable staying with my parents, and that was the reason why our baby was born in Jakarta. She lived there for three and a half years under my parents’ care until it was time for her to come to Singapore to study.
I was faced with a situation where I had to choose between her and career.
You can put your plan on hold but you can never put your child on hold.
I gave my daughter priority and that means, business must come to a stop. As a mother, I was glad that the three of us were finally together as a family but at the same time began to lose directions. From a highly productive life down to an unproductive level caused me a heavy mood swing.
How About You Becoming an Agent?
Life as a full-time mother was pretty challenging, in fact I never thought it could be so depressing, as if I was hitting rock-bottom. That was the time when Felix asked if I would consider joining him as a property agent. He had this thought for a strong reason, not simply because I was ‘out of job’.
He believed that, having an eye for detail and degree in banking and finance, I would be his great partner in doing sales as it involved a lot of paperwork and calculations.
It took me a while before I decided to take the RES course. To wrap things up, I passed the exams, got my license and joined him as a part-time agent in 2014. My rookie days as a property agent were kind of ‘freaking me out’. I was ‘allowed’ to see more on the ugly side of the business either from clients or agents.
It was disheartening though as I was actually trying to be passionate about my new career. That was the period when my friends called me a secret agent for being resistant to work discussion because it reminded me more on disappointments.
After a not-so-productive five years as a property agent, I decided to take a break for a while for some soul searching to see if within the next two years I would join back.
Another Door Opened
In early 2019 I accompanied Felix to an event called ‘Navis night’ at OrangeTee and Tie to explore some new possibilities in his real estate career. It was a mind-blowing evening that he made a decision to cross over without having any doubt. As for me, I was not ready to be on board again but promised to shorten my break to one year.
Long story short towards the end of 2019 I got back my license but this time with a different feeling, I have a better motivation. I do not behave like a secret agent anymore as I found a place where finally I see real estate career from a different perspective.
I used to have a sceptical view that all agencies are the same, but now I realized that if you have a vision, every agency will be very different.
I am not going to lie that I only had a little bit of passion when I first became an agent, that being said, it does not mean I did my job irresponsibly. I had never compromised my professionalism in serving clients. As much as I could, I tried to do my best and please them with my work.
But I have experienced that with passion, not even a single day in 19 years of business made me feel like doing a job or even going to work. Every day I felt like I was just doing a hobby but getting paid!
Without passion it is hard to persevere and at this stage, this is not something that I wish to happen. Thankfully I am now at the right place, at the right time, with the right people. The training, technology and ambience, they all give me positive vibes and courage to step out of my comfort zone.
There is Always a Silver Lining
There is one thing I really like about being a property agent, I get to view many houses and show flats. My late grandfather was an architect, perhaps it is the reason why I have a strong interest in houses particularly interior design.
I remember the days of watching him planned the construction and designed the interior of beautiful and unique houses with music at the background.
My late grandfather and I were connected in many things. People said I am more influenced by him than my own parents, which I think is true. We both love artistic things, music, singing, as well as playing the instrument. My biggest regret about him was, I could not see his last moment as I was in Singapore to pursue my study.
I feel this specific interest has been helping me to spot nice houses and eventually become my strength especially in serving buyers. Most buyers I worked with before would love the homes I recommended, from the layout, interior and condition.
Moreover, I enjoy putting myself as a buyer and always feel excited whenever my fingers run through the listings.
Who is My Current Motivation?
I asked myself sometimes ago, if I were to do the impossible and I would, for whom I’d do it? The faces of my loved ones started to flash in my mind.
I saw my parents, my husband then stunned at the reflection of my daughter. I came to understand that she is the main reason for whom I am willing to go extra miles. This little kind soul indeed has captured my heart since the day we met twelve years ago.
I took a huge step for her before and I will still do it again.
How Do You Know That You Have Found Your Passion?
Is there any sign? Is it the inner voice telling you that for the very first time in your life you know what you want?
May be it does not really matter. May be it is all right to give yourself a chance for something labelled as ‘the only option’.
I have discovered that as long as I am opened to learn new things and surrounded by positive people, there is a hope to push forward.
But still and all, I do hope you have found your passion. If you are still pursuing it, I wish you will find it soon.
Whatever you water grows. Translated… whatever you pay attention to and focus on, gets bigger. Attend to what you want, not what you fear or despise.
~ Dr. Henry Cloud
Do you have something to share? I will be very happy reading it if you leave your comments below. Thank you for reading, till then!
Lina Halim is on a mission to assist you in reaching your real estate goals.
As a Senior Associate Director with OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd, she takes the time to listen and understand your unique needs, only to plan and tailor a custom strategy that will help you acquire the specific property assets.
Never a fan of high pressure tactics, Lina centres her business on being committed, sincere and genuine with her clients.
She uses her real estate experience and property market knowledge to scope out only the most fitting opportunities for her clients.
Be it a need to get the right buyer or seller, she always put the client’s interest and ultimate goals as her priority.