Former PropertyLimBrothers turned PLB Realty strikes out on its own

By Hailey Yu
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
Co-founders, Melvin Lim and Adrian Lim (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - For fans of PropertyLimBrothers home tour videos, CEO and co-founder Melvin Lim will be a familiar face. After all, he is the main presenter of more than 1,454 home tour videos over the last five years. Melvin and the other co-founder of PropertyLimBrothers, Adrian Lim (not real brothers despite the name of the firm), have recently broken away from Singapore’s biggest real estate agency PropNex and officially launched themselves as PLB Realty, a boutique agency with 55 full-time realtors on Sept 9.
The two Lims were former prison officers working with the Ministry of Home Affairs who became friends and business partners 15 years ago. “We joined the real estate industry together, starting with a small firm for two years before bringing our team to PropNex,” says Melvin. “We have been in PropNex for 13 years. It’s been a great journey and we have made many friends there. We are still in close touch with PropNex and the management has been very supportive of our move, after seeing us grow over the years.”
PLB team (Credit: PLB Media)
PLB recently moved to Oxley BizHub 2 to consolidate its media and sales teams within the same building. The firm acquired a ground floor strata industrial unit of 3,832 sq ft with a mezzanine level to house its new studio. The ground floor is where the sales team gather several times a week for training sessions and events.
Another larger unit of 7,800 sq ft on the 11th floor has been taken up by PLB Media, a firm solely owned by Melvin since its inception in 2018. It started with just two people, and today, it has a team of 50. It is an in-house media production firm that creates video content to support the team at PLB Realty, and to drive property sales, says Melvin. Over the past 24 months, PLB has sold more than 516 homes, according to the firm in its press release on Sept 9.
PLB in-house studio on the mezzanine floor (Credit: PLB Media)
The success of those home tour videos has also led to others following suit, especially with the acceleration of digital marketing with the onset of the pandemic two years ago. Melvin is unfazed by the competition. “Healthy competition keeps us on our toes, and we strive to deliver higher quality service,” he says. “PLB’s home tours have evolved greatly compared to the first few years. Instead of focusing only on the home, our videos are now a combination of education, analysis and research.”
The firm has also set up PLB Assembly, a training platform aimed at empowering the next generation of realtors, by providing training on skills such as presentation, social media marketing and lead generation, he adds.
Before the end of 2016, PropertyLimBrothers was very much a traditional realty firm when it came to prospecting for clients and sales. In 2016, inspired by the home improvement shows in the US, UK and Australia hosted in the “presenter format”, such as Property Brothers, where the host presents the home to viewers, Melvin and Adrian decided to embark on this new way of marketing homes via home tour videos on Youtube.
PLB office at Oxley BizHub 2 (Credit: PLB Media)
They launched their first video in December 2016. “Through video story-telling, you are able to bring much more to both the home buyer and seller,” says Melvin. “But there is a lot of preparatory work involved, including staging the home.”
Six years ago, most homeowners were reluctant to have their home staged. “They found it a hassle having to declutter their home, and bringing in the right furniture, repainting the home, because they felt that the buyer would be renovating the home anyway,” relates Melvin.
However, they managed to convince the homeowners through their results. According to Melvin, the conversion rate from video views to prospective viewers of the actual home is about 70%. “It helps add value to our clients and end-consumers,” he says.
Beyond just home tours, Melvin wants to add more layers and depth to his media content through the use of technology such as motion graphics, 3D maps and analytic tools. According to PLB, its videos have garnered over 35.9 million views across all social media platforms and generated $674 million worth of property deals in 2021.
PLB Realty may be a boutique firm now but “we plan to grow in tandem with our aspirations”, says Melvin. “Our positioning will be geared towards our expertise in digital marketing and we will continually evolve to stay ahead of the market.”
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