Special Feature

How this ex-banker-turned-realtor does things differently

By Claire Tey
/ SRI |
SRI's Claire Tey leverages on her banking background and experience as a property investor to offer her clients outstanding service
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People who meet Claire Tey walk away with a strong impression. She exudes a combination of brains, determination and efficiency — qualities that provide an overwhelming advantage in her vocation as a property agent. Speaking to her, it’s easy to see why she’s a good realtor, starting with her inherent passion for property. “It’s always been something I’ve been obsessed with, even before I started dealing in real estate,” she says.
That so-called obsession has ended up moulding her professional career, even though she started in a different industry. Formerly a banker, Tey has worked at OCBC and DBS, where she specialised in real estate financing, predominantly industrial and commercial property loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
During her time as a banker, her curiosity expanded from the loans she was facilitating to the properties themselves. “I learned a lot about the market landscape, and that made me interested in what clients were often looking for and what properties were out there,” she recalls. That interest turned into an idea. Instead of helping customers get loans for a property, what if she helped them find the property instead?
That sparked a career transition that has led to a fruitful career. Today, almost a decade later, she has established herself as one of SRI’s most outstanding agents, working with mentor Bruce Lye, the agency’s co-founder and managing partner. Her accolades speak for themselves: over 10 Pegasus awards in recognition of her consistent achievements, including the coveted Gold Pegasus which is given only to agents who generate over $250,000 in commissions in a single month.
With multiple Pegasus awards under her belt, Tey’s accolades are a testament to her consistent achievements

Personalised service

Transitioning from her banking role, Tey had a unique start to her journey as a realtor, dealing mostly in industrial and commercial properties. It was a natural fit that leveraged on her network of banking clients as well as her experience. With her tenacity, her career got off to a promising start. At 26, Tey was already closing deals on bulk purchases and sales of industrial assets — a feat not many have achieved.
Her success earned her a steady stream of repeat customers and referrals. Working with her growing base of clients, Tey soon diversified into the residential segment, starting with brokering condominium transactions. Her experience then expanded to the entire residential market, from HDB and private transactions of both landed and non-landed homes to rental properties.
Today, she is a seasoned realtor across all asset classes, well-versed in the landscapes of each segment. The sheer breadth of her experience is combined with Tey’s constant pursuit to provide personalised service to each of her clients. “Rather than specialising in a particular product, such as a property type or a location, I do things a little differently by focusing specifically on the client and addressing their goals and needs first and foremost,” she says.
It’s a philosophy that has shaped all her client interactions. Taking a very hands-on approach, Tey invests an ample amount of time upfront with each client in order to understand their goals while also considering their finances and what’s realistically possible in the market. “This is a huge part of the process that will ultimately speed things up and make it a smoother experience for everyone involved,” she explains. This tailored approach allows her to tackle every transaction in a targeted way that ensures the best outcome for her clients.
Tey provides her clients with dedicated service that is personalised and tailored to their needs

Skin in the game

A large part of Tey’s skills as an agent undoubtedly stems from her background as a banker. Having a strong technical grasp of financial planning and structuring makes her an invaluable resource for her clients when it comes to property decision-making, whether it’s to optimise a portfolio, time entries or exits in the market, or maximise profit. Her days as a banker also honed a keen analytical sense — Tey is deeply attuned to market conditions that are constantly changing and their corresponding impacts. That awareness affords her a big-picture perspective that helps her clients consider not just short-term outcomes, but also long-term implications for their property portfolios.
Another quality that makes Tey stand out as a realtor is her own property journey. Growing up in Woodlands, she has lived in HDB flats most of her life and bought a Buildto-Order (BTO) flat as her first home. But as her experience and knowledge of the real estate market grew, she forged her own asset progression path, upgrading from her BTO flat to a landed terrace home in 2020. She then acquired a second landed home — the terrace house right next to hers — the following year.
Tey and her mentor Bruce Lye, co-founder and managing partner at SRI
Tey also invested in industrial assets, learning to spot opportunities and risks while also managing her overall portfolio effectively. This experience, with her own wealth and money on the table, has vastly sharpened not only her investment skills but also her appreciation of what’s at stake for every client. “Buying or investing in property is a major decision that involves their hard-earned money, and I fully understand the various different considerations that go into the decision-making process,” she says.
To that end, Tey strives for her clients to have all the resources they need to make an informed decision. At the end of the day, it’s what drives her in her work. “This is what I advocate for — to educate my clients and help them fully understand and have confidence in their choices.”
For more information, please contact:
Claire Tey | 9189 7050
CEA Number: R049475I

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