1. Why did you decide to apply for the All-Star graduate program at Colliers?
I applied for Colliers graduate program because it gives me the opportunity to be exposed to different sectors including valuation, capital markets and investment, as well as property and facility management and leasing. It is a platform for me to learn about the real estate industry and pick up new skills and knowledge to contribute positively to the organisation.
Colliers is of interest to me because the company is very diversified in terms of the service lines that it provides. Having a global presence means that Colliers can contribute to the industry in a holistic, more varied and impactful way. And I am interested to be part of a leading organisation that has an impact on the real estate industry.
2. How would you describe your experience working at Colliers thus far? What do you like about working here?
I like the corporate culture here where my colleagues are helpful and friendly. My mentors are always ready to provide guidance on the job and always willing to share their knowledge with me.
The company has a corporate culture that encourages its staff to work hard and play hard. It regularly organises teambuilding events, filled with interactive activities that enable the different departments to mingle and strengthen team bonding.
Also, the company just shifted to its new location at Asia Square Tower 2 and the design of the new office makes it a very conducive place to work - with typical work spaces, quiet areas, ample meeting rooms and spacious touchdown areas.
3. Which aspect(s) of the job do you enjoy the most and why?
Several aspects of the job are interesting. In particular, I enjoy the changing nature of the job due to the unique arrangement of rotating among the different sub-divisions within a department. This rotation of role and function allows me to work with different people and exposes me to different tasks, insights and business strategies. It also provided me with a better understanding of the synergies between different departments.
In addition, I like the fact that the skills picked up in the office are practical and useful outside of work as well. For instance, property valuation allows us to understand the factors affecting property prices and to estimate it accurately. Consulting and research involve analysing data which is useful to understanding the trends in the real estate industry, keeping up to date with evolving consumers’ sentiments, assessing market performance and in forecasting future real estate growth opportunities.
While I was with the Capital Markets and Investment Service team, I gained a better understanding of the procedures involved in the collective sale process and the various types of industrial property transactions and procedures.
4. Tell us about some of the key learnings you have garnered from working here so far.
I was exposed to market research methodology and analysis during my stint with the Valuation and Advisory Services department. In that role, I was involved in the preparation of consultancy reports and proposals which gave me a deeper understanding on valuation methodologies.
From my attachment with the Capital Market and Investment Services department, I garnered effective communication skills that have enabled better interaction with property owners on matters such as persuading them to support collective sales. Much have been said about sellers pocketing a tidy sum from collective sales, but from my interaction with some owners, it is evident that not everybody is motivated by money to sell their unit. It takes skills and patience to engage these owners.
In addition, I learnt more about the residential collective sale process and the procedures involved – it is not such a straightforward process. On industrial properties, I gained a better understanding of the different types/characteristics of industrial real estate and the various important considerations needed in order to execute industrial property deals.
5. What do you do when you are not hard at work?
I am currently volunteering at TOUCH Senior Activity Centre as I am passionate about helping others and contributing to the society. As a volunteer with TOUCH Senior Activity Centre, I spend time with senior citizens who are living in rental flats, keeping them engaged and assisting them with their daily chores. Previously, I volunteered at Fei Yue Day Care Centre by tutoring primary school children from low-income households.
Apart from community work, I also enjoy swimming and spending quality time with my family and friends, as well as getting outside and enjoying nature.