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Special Feature
Aric Lim covers all bases with a diverse set of skills
April 28, 2023
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How entrepreneurship influenced his success

In 2011, Aric Lim started his real estate career with a bang, closing a record $28 million Good Class Bungalow (GCB) sale. Despite a decade in the business, Lim shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, Lim again made headlines by brokering a staggering $38 million sale of an entire floor in Suntec City.

Consistently closing property deals with wealthy and affluent Chinese clients, Lim has solidified his reputation as one of the best in servicing this lucrative segment.

Those curious about his achievements might assume it is his Midas touch with ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI). But Lim, now a senior division director at Huttons, attributes his consistent success to entrepreneurship.

He prides himself on having a unique and diverse set of skills — acquired through his entrepreneurial endeavours — which he believes has helped him serve clients and win real estate industry accolades.

New challenges

A computer science graduate with programming chops, Lim looked ripe for a good career in the IT sector. Instead, he started Mediafreaks in 2003, a digital animation company, with a few friends, marking his first foray into business. Even during his early days with the company, Lim’s versatility and willingness to take on new challenges were apparent.

“Although I was a project manager in Mediafreaks, I not only performed technical duties, but I also did sales and worked with clients frequently”, Lim says. “This included dealing with established advertisers like Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather and Dentsu.”

Managing key accounts for industry leaders at a young age, it is no surprise that Lim is not fazed by working with big names and ultra-high-net-worth clientele. Lim also travelled to China for work, exposing him to the mainland business culture. “In 2004, I was working in Hangzhou because we collaborated with the Media Development Authority of Singapore to do animation projects and cartoon series in China,” he adds.

Those experiences allowed Lim to develop a foundation of valuable skills like sales, communication, resourcefulness and problem-solving. It impressed him with the importance of relationships, speed and reliability for Chinese clients.

As he transitioned into real estate, Lim recalls applying the same traits in securing his first major deal. “I had a client interested in buying a GCB in Chee Hoon. So, I did some digging and discovered that the unit’s owner was a doctor”, he adds. “I managed to get the address of his clinic and showed up as a patient just to pitch him my proposal.”

Impressed by Lim’s unorthodox approach and persistence, the owner entertained his offers and, after several follow-up visits, accepted a bid of $28 million — at the time, a record sale in Chee Hoon.

“I told the doctor I had a big headache as my client wanted to buy his house and that he was the only one who could cure me,” Lim says. “I’m happy to say, however, that was the most expensive prescription I ever got!”

After that, Lim wisely used his commission to fund other business ventures, leveraging his client relationships to scratch his entrepreneurial itch. While he was not quite as active, Lim was still closing rentals and other commercial properties on and off.

It was a strategic move. Lim was then learning and sharpening his skills in China. This time, he assisted with en bloc and relocation projects, handling sensitive documentation and accumulating a list of key contacts and influential people in the mainland property industry.

Customer-centric mindset

By fully immersing himself in China’s business nuances and environment, Lim became a trusted person to whom many clients feel they can relate to. It helps that Lim is effectively bilingual, having developed a native proficiency in Mandarin after spending over four years in Shenzhen from 2017 to 2021.

Since the post-pandemic property boom, Lim has refocused on real estate. Fortunately, he managed to get the support of his friends and business associates from China, which he has parlayed into successful referrals.

“A Chinese client whom I recently helped purchase a house in Singapore referred 15 of her close friends to me. I had to charter a bus to bring them around for viewings!” Lim says. He adds that the key to referrals is having a “get things done” customer-centric mindset that he honed from the business.

It is this core philosophy that underpins Lim’s approach to his clients. “Chinese clients believe strongly in kou bei (public praise) and only recommend agents that they trust and have worked with before”, he adds. “Rather than working with different agents and disclosing their personal information multiple times, they prefer to work with one person who understands them deeply.”

Beyond housing, Lim strategically considers the other needs of a family moving to Singapore, such as education, entertainment and business. Thanks to his contacts and business experience, Lim has partnerships with immigration firms, educational consultants, maid agencies and family offices to support his clients with customised value-added services. Whether it is employing a helper, getting the latest supercar, setting up trusts or applying for immigration — Lim has all the answers.

“Providing these value-added services is my way of extending goodwill”, he adds. “In return, I’ve found that many of my clients are willing to reciprocate with referrals.”

Early success has not dulled his ambition to achieve in the real estate industry. Instead, Lim is motivated and driven to give the best to his clients, many of whom he considers close friends today.

Most of all, he appreciates and values the personal impact of his work as a real estate consultant. “When clients see you as a brother or friend and not just a broker, it changes the dynamic of your relationship,” Lim says. “Since I’ve already experienced the big cases, today it’s more about resolving issues and getting that sense of personal satisfaction and a feeling of ‘mission accomplished’.”

For more information,

Contact Aric Lim | 83832838

Senior Division Director (R007953J)



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