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In focus: Shawn Chang, Executive, Occupier Services

Colliers REview Singapore blog - In Focus Shawn Chang

Discovering the art and science of real estate.

For Shawn Chang, one of five candidates selected for the management trainee programme, the craft of real estate as a combination of science and a form of art was particularly intriguing, and eventually nudged him toward pursuing a course in real estate. Since joining Colliers in July 2019, Shawn has worked with – and learned from - senior team members in various business units: Capital Markets; Occupier Services; Valuation and Advisory Services; and Research.

What is it about real estate that interests you, and why? 

Many experts in the real estate industry have mentioned that real estate epitomises an integration of the arts and science. It is this connotation of the arts and science that piqued my interest in real estate.

To be proficient in the industry, one needs to understand the science and data behind the different transactions that happen almost daily, while simultaneously also mastering the art of forging meaningful relationships while understanding the subjective nature of real estate. It is this challenging nature of striking a balance between the arts and science of real estate that has kept me interested and motivates me as an individual. 


What has been the most challenging part of your work so far?  

As a trainee in the All-Star Graduate program, it is not uncommon to find myself – and quite often at that, once every 10 weeks - in a completely new environment, as I get deployed to the different departments. The most challenging part of it is to orientate and adapt myself as fast as possible in order to be able to contribute meaningfully to the team. While it has been very fun working with different people, it has also been challenging to pick up as much as possible without causing unnecessarily problems and inconveniences. Irrespective of how difficult any of the transitions may have been, they were all extremely smooth, particularly with the help of the team from each department. 


Tell us something about yourself that few people know about?  

Before choosing real estate as a field of study, one of the few courses that I considered pursuing was nursing -- which in retrospect, was a funny option, as I can’t really see myself in a nurse uniform. But yes, I was pretty confused about what I wanted to study, and it was by chance that I came across real estate as a major in NUS. I decided to read up more about the course considering that my only knowledge of real estate then was limited to just my understanding to what residential real estate agents do. 


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