At Colliers, our people are our greatest asset. While providing the right platform to succeed is important, we also need to ensure that our experts provide clients with the confidence that they have a partner they can trust. Matthew Cheng, who recently joined the business as Director in the Capital Markets & Investment Services team, illustrates exactly how investing in relationships can deliver enduring value.
How did you get into real estate?
I studied surveying at university which led to my first real estate job as a part-time valuer. After graduating, this was not my number one choice as my experience of daily inspections, report writing and market research was not the most fulfilling. I’m outgoing and thrive of interaction and wanted to be in a role where I was meeting different people.
My first full-time job was as a property investment analyst. This kick started my career and my interest in the industry; that was over a decade ago and I now find myself brokering high value real estate and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Tell us more about your role at Colliers.
Put simply, I act on behalf of investors, owners and developers to help complete transactions. I’m involved in the acquisition and divestment of different asset types, with a specific focus on enbloc buildings, retail properties and re-development sites. That’s the main bulk of what I do, but clients are often simply looking for advice on their current portfolio and next steps. So, it is not just about getting a deal completed, it is about investing time to understand clients’ needs and their projects to provide expert guidance on what’s next.
What do you do outside of work?
I like to stay fit and before the pandemic I’d go to the gym three to five times a week. Something I’ve got back into is my long-standing passion of hiking; I like to challenge myself and it’s not just about the physical, but it is about the mental challenge. It is important to test your resilience and perseverance which is often a big part of the highs and lows of being a broker. I also like to travel, Barcelona is one of my favourite cities to visit because of the architecture, and the town planning is worth seeing.
What’s your secret to success as a real estate professional?
For me, it’s all about collaboration. I would not say it is a secret but it is most certainly one of the underpinning factors leading to success. No one knows everything and it is OK to ask for advice. At Colliers, we have experts specialising in different services and asset classes. There is a lot of cross-over where we can leverage each other, such as working with the Office Services and Valuation & Advisory Services departments to add greater value by integrating our solutions.
In addition, clients must have trust in us as real estate professionals. This means we must provide solutions that answer their current and future challenges and the only way to do that is to invest time into the clients, their business and importantly, what it is they want to achieve.