A former national athlete turned realtor that injects the same discipline and drive into her craft

By EdgeProp Singapore / Brought to you by Renee Sim | April 27, 2022 9:47 AM SGT
Renee with her clients. Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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When Renee Sim, Associate Group Director at PropNex, was studying for her engineering undergraduate degree at the National University of Singapore (NUS), she was also a discus thrower who represented Singapore at national events such as the Asian Junior Athletics Game.
As with any sport, maintaining a degree of self-discipline is key, especially if one hopes to attain the top prize.
“I had to be highly disciplined during my time as a national athlete. We had to train at least three times a day and underwent a lot of endurance. We also had to remain focused in order to achieve the end results we were looking for,” says Sim.
Today, the self-discipline that Sim built during her time as a national athlete has now put her in good stead to flourish in her role as a property agent.
And it shows in Sim’s achievements. In her first year with PropNex, Sim was one of the agents in the top 30% bracket. In her third year, she was among the top 10% of agents in PropNex in terms of transaction value.
“As an agent, we get to meet all sorts of people, and more often than not, we have to play different roles with each client,” says Sim. (Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
In 2021, Sim became one of the top 200 agents, beating over 10,000 agents in terms of transaction value within the agency.
The reason behind her success: dedication, determination and a can-do attitude.
“When I first entered the industry, I did everything – new launches, resale condos, HDB flats, as well as commercial and industrial properties,” she says. “Eventually, I met a lot of clients and got referrals from them, who ended up transacting their properties with me.”
From banker to agent who transacts in various segments, including ultra-luxe properties
Sim, who entered the property industry full-time in 2018, was a mortgage banker and business banker previously.
“I became an agent when I had my third child, and I wanted to spend more time with my children while they were growing up,” she shares.
Even though property agents get to enjoy flexible working hours, Sim reveals that she is hard at work, seven days a week, from morning till night.
Coming from the bank’s culture of working long hours, Sim found that being a self-employed property agent offered a lot of free time.
“It’s really how you make use of that time. The question is, what do you do every day? You’ll have to find your own activities,” she shares. “If I’m not pitching to clients or catching up with them, I find new ways to enhance my business and add value to my clients by attending courses. I look for the ones that offer me the skill sets to help me become a better agent.”
In her previous role as a mortgage banker, Sim also amassed knowledge on both home and business loans – something which has enabled her to add value to her clients who are seeking to transact in residential and commercial properties.
“I’m versatile, basically,” declares Sim. “I understand the financial calculations behind getting a property loan – whether for commercial or residential – and I am able to help my clients with the nitty-gritty details because of my previous experience.”
“I also help them with their loan restructuring or portfolio restructuring, which saves my clients a lot of time in terms of figuring out the details,” she adds.
Sim’s versatility has also led her to handle various market segments, including HDB flats, private homes, as well as industrial and commercial properties.
In fact, thanks to her previous role as a banker, where she’s served private banking clients, Sim has been selected as part of the PropNex Luxury Team, which focuses on ultra-luxury and luxury properties.
For sale: A two-bedroom apartment at The Sail @ Marina boulevard. Photo: Renee Sim
To date, some of the notable addresses Sim has transacted include properties within the Bukit Timah and Orchard areas.
However, Sim is unable to disclose the exact addresses due to privacy issues.
Photo: Renee Sim
Going the distance for her clients
The role of a property agent is one that is extremely dynamic, says Sim.
“As an agent, we get to meet all sorts of people, and more often than not, we have to play different roles with each client,” she adds.
For instance, Sim reveals property agents have to be good listeners, especially when they find themselves having to empathize with their clients’ situations.
“We are also peacemakers because there are times where buyers – mostly couples – have different wants, needs, and opinions, and they cannot come to a compromise,” she continues. “In such situations, I have to provide a balanced view, where I ask them to declare their needs and wants and ask them for their non-negotiables.”
“As property agents, we really do a lot for our clients. We may appear relaxed on the surface, but we are really like ducks paddling furiously under the water behind the scenes, trying to help our clients get the best outcome,” says Sim.
Yet, being able to help resolve her clients’ issues (no matter big or small) and finding them the right property for their needs, leaves Sim with a sense of satisfaction.
In her four years as a property agent, Sim recalls two particular highlights fondly.
“During Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, most of my clients who were tenants, faced tough times. A lot of them faced poor cash flow due to the lack of business at the time, and most wanted to give up. The support grants from the government at the time weren’t enough to sustain their businesses. We ended up going through many rounds of negotiations with their landlords and helped to get my clients one- to two months of rental waivers,” she says.
“Before the pandemic, this was something that’s never happened before. Being able to help my client tide over the difficult period was particularly gratifying,” she adds.
On the residential front, Sim recalls her very first client, an elderly lady, who was looking to sell her existing HDB flat and buy another.
At the time, her client, who was 75 years old, had many requirements and within a specific neighbourhood.
“We took her to many units to view and almost gave up after three months when my client couldn’t find a unit she liked. Eventually, she did find something she liked, but we had a hard time closing due to the price negotiations with the seller,” says Sim.
“The deal was eventually closed, and when my client moved in, she thanked me as she said she could finally settle in a place that she likes for the rest of her life. That was very emotional and touching for me. I’m actually still in touch with her today!”
Helping more clients with a bigger team
Sim is working on building a team of like-minded agents who share the same values, so she can help more clients fulfil their dreams.
“I’m looking for people who have a passion for real estate. People who’re just not in the industry for the money, but for the responsibility and job satisfaction in knowing they’ve helped someone,” she says.
Sim is a generous team lead who is unafraid to share her knowledge on the industry from her years of experience as an agent and as a former banker.
“I am someone who is willing to spend time coaching if they’re willing to learn. I think coaching is important, especially during an agent’s first year,” she says.
“New agents may find themselves lost because they’d have so much free time, they won’t know what to do. That’s where coaching comes in. I am a hands-on team lead, who will guide new agents for a year, where I show them how to go about building their business, negotiating and closing deals.”
Sincerity is key
One of the reasons Sim’s clients keep coming back is her sincerity.
“With every transaction, I try my best to ensure things go smoothly. I will also follow up with my clients to see if they have any concerns they want to address before closing. More importantly, I don’t push my clients to make a decision. I give them all the information they need, then give them space to decide if that’s the property for them or not,” she says.
“There’s a flip side to it too – if you give your clients too much time, they might not buy or sell. But it’s better than having them regret their decision later,” she adds.
Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
On her philosophy, Sim says she lives by this particular line from former US First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention: “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives”.
In 2022, Sim has hopes of being able to remain among the top 200 agents within the agency after the property cooling measures that were introduced in December 2021.
However, more importantly, she hopes to be able to offer more to her clients.
“I’m still learning to ensure I better myself, especially in the areas I’m weak on, so I can better advise my clients and help them make more informed decisions when it comes to their businesses,” she says.
“With clients, I’m always looking to help, using the skills I’ve amassed. Whether they’re my existing clients or potential ones, I’m happy to arrange for a meeting to discuss their options over a friendly chat,” she adds.
For more information:
Contact Renee Sim l 87879900
Associate Group Director (R042407F)
PropNex Realty Pte. Ltd.

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