Home-based working, browsing and shopping

By Bernard Tong
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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Dear Readers,
Charles Darwin, best known for his contribution to the science of evolution, once said: “It is not the strongest of that species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Tong: I’ve been experimenting with karaoke sessions on the WeSing app and playing party games using the Houseparty app
Tong: I’ve been experimenting with karaoke sessions on the WeSing app and playing party games using the Houseparty app
Adapting to change is precisely what we all have had to do since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore, and this need was magnified when the Circuit Breaker kicked in. Although it is not a full-scale lockdown — we can still go out for essential activities such as grocery-shopping and exercise — staying at home means replacing social time outside with indoor activities. For me, a fanatic, high-handicap golfer, it means setting up an indoor putting green and swing trainer mat, and being content to live out the glory and pain (mostly pain) of golf via my Playstation. Books (currently reading What it Takes by Stephen Stephen Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone), magazines (The Edge, of course, and The Economist) and Netflix (currently watching Peaky Blinders) are excellent companions during this period of solitude.
To keep in touch with friends and family, beyond the “traditional” social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, I’ve been experimenting with karaoke sessions on the WeSing app and playing party games using the Houseparty app. Zoom comes in handy when you want to loop in multiple friends for a virtual drinking session.
When it comes to work, we’ve been using Google Hangouts predominantly for our virtual meetings. The key to working from home is to set weekly goals for yourself and the team, and check in regularly to ensure things are moving at the pace they should. Do not lose track of the bigger picture and what the organisation is trying to achieve.
E-commerce, or online shopping for FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), took off after the SARS epidemic in 2002. Since then, technology has improved substantially, opening up the possibilities of collaborative decision-making, high-res videos, and virtual tours. Buying proper- ties is now on the cusp of a digital revolution as we go online to shop for properties, just like buying consumer goods and services.
For property-seekers like myself, virtual tours for properties can be informative and fun if done right. At EdgeProp Plus, we have housed 25 different show- flats under one roof (no pun intended). In the few weeks before the Circuit-Breaker kicked in, our digital multimedia producer spent literally days at developers’ showflats, painstakingly capturing and recapturing the essence of the different showflats. The end result is the interactive, virtual showflats at plus.edgeprop.sg.
We are also working closely with de- velopers to provide the real-time (almost) inventory of available units and their digital floorplans. Beyond that, we are collaborating with the developers and agents to integrate a Smart-Lead Queue system, to replicate online the customer service you’d get at a physical showflat.
The impact of the Covid-19 out- break is unprecedented, with numerous countries in full or partial lockdowns and economies being shaken up, but life goes on and we must adapt to our new circumstances of an increasingly digital world. Darwin may not have had the opportunity to view our virtual tours, but I dare say — the father of evolution would approve.
Bernard Tong
CEO & Publisher
The Edge Singapore & EdgeProp Singapore

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