Property agent finds strength in adversity, solves problems with a moral compass
Ray Teo carries himself with a confident demeanour, expertly navigating his way through the real estate industry that he has been working in for over 20 years. As an advisory associate branch district director at PropNex Realty, Teo says that it took him more than just hard work and determination to get to where he is today.
Apart from his role as a realtor, Teo is also a certified trainer to train budding realtors. And with his deep knowledge and expertise within the landed property segment, he is also PropNex’s chief trainer for the segment.
The way he sees it, endurance was key to becoming the successful man he is now.
Teo shares that life was not always smooth-sailing for him. He recalls the dotcom bubble some 25 years ago, which changed his life. “I wasn’t always a property agent. Before I entered the real estate industry, I was a high flyer in my career as a manager in a listed company and I was trading stocks on the side. I started trading right after graduating. I made a lot of money in the first two years and I think that made me arrogant as I thought I had good trading instincts,” recalls Teo.
Back then, he was “turning $0 to $300,000” and coming up in the top three in several exchange competitions.
But the glory did not last long. The dotcom bubble burst for Teo and one bad move caused him to lose about $830,000 in just 15 minutes. The stock market collapsed, and so did Teo’s life. “It was a big crisis for me. I did not have the money to pay up my debts even with all my previous profits from trading. And because of my debts I also could not hold on to my job,” explains Teo.
Teo had to quickly find a job to settle his debts. This was when he was introduced to the real estate industry. “I was in my 20s and to owe so much money at that age was horrifying. My family was poor and I was the sole breadwinner of the family. It was painful,” says Teo.
That was when he started his journey of endurance and determination to recover from his debt, instead of “taking the easy way out” of declaring bankruptcy at such an early age.
“It took more than six years of hardship and I had to put on a front that I was successful back then. I couldn’t openly talk about my issues and had to solve them quietly,” he says. Even as he was winning awards during his early years as a realtor, Teo was extremely poor as all the income that he received was used to pay off debts.
Today, Teo is completely debt-free and considers this experience as a lesson. “I have a fear of going back into debt. So I take an overly prudent approach in my investments and spending,” he says, adding that he seems to attract clients with a similar mindset.
This was also why he decided to focus on the landed properties in Singapore, as he believes it is one of the safest investments that anyone can make. “The prices of landed properties do not fluctuate as much as for private condos. Plus, the landed segment is not as speculative, and less speculation means less volatility,” says Teo.
These are some topics that Teo will touch on during his training programmes for those who are joining the real estate industry.
Currently, Teo, as a guru and leader, heads a team of about 500 agents. Although this is plenty, he shares that becoming a part of his team is now more exclusive. And in this group of some 500 agents, Teo has handpicked a team to specifically focus on the landed property segment with him. The team, named Eminence Landed, is Teo’s “special elite force” trained to serve high-net-worth individuals and provide them with the tools they need to make their landed real estate purchases.
Thanks to Teo’s success in his roles as a realtor, teacher and leader, he constantly bags awards, frequently landing within the top five winners of PropNex’s Top Advisory Associate Branch District Director Award. He was also recently awarded the Meritorious Award 2021 by PropNex. This award is the highest standard of recognition given to an individual for their outstanding leadership and selfless contributions to PropNex. In 2021, Teo was one of two who clinched this prestigious award.
Looking back, Teo says his experience has definitely made him a wiser person, and he makes sure to share the lessons he has learnt with his team to ensure that they do not make the same mistakes he did. “We are not just a for-profit organisation. The way I run my team, I make sure values are key in everything we do. We have to have our eyes on the right thing, rather than short-term gains,” says Teo.
For more information:
Contact Ray Teo | 98897777
Advisory Associate Branch District Director (R010198F)
PropNex Realty Pte. Ltd.
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