Secrets of success
Property agent cites growing reputation and gaining trust of clients as the most satisfying achievement of her career
The booming property market in Hong Kong last year has been especially good for property agents.
Polly Chong Wai-yan, senior manager at Redhill Peninsula branch of Midland Realty, was lauded as the top salesperson of 2007 by her company for the staggering amount of business she brought in for the company, contributing HK$22.7 million in commission alone.
While the money she earned from last year's sales was hugely impressive, Ms Chong said the most satisfying aspect for her was to enhance the reputation she had built during the course of her career and the trust she had earned from her clients.
'Almost 90 per cent of my clients are repeat customers through referrals from my old clients,' said Ms Chong, who has built up a wealth of experience during 17 years in the field. 'Some of them are clients I have served more than 10 years ago. I am really happy that people remember you when you serve them well and with your heart. That's really rewarding.'
She believes sincerity and integrity are important attributes to possess in order to serve as a good mediator between property owner and buyer. 'People can feel if you are reliable and sincere and whether you are telling the truth,' she said. 'It takes time and a lot of effort to build a reputation.'
Ms Chong said she didn't think she was suited to the job after the first couple of weeks into her career as a property agent. 'At that time, I knew nothing about the property market and the profession, but my manager was very patient, teaching me a lot about the profession and industry,' recalled Ms Chong, who had previously held a position in human resources with a bank.
She believes dedication is essential to become a successful property agent. 'You must work very hard and be self-motivated to reach potential clients, not just wait for the clients to come to you,' she said, adding she had often sacrificed family life over weekends to meet clients.
'It's like running your own business,' she said. 'The company offers you a platform to contact your customers. You only have to follow the clients yourselves. It's a business with no hidden risk.'
Ms Chong said providing clients with accurate and reliable information on the property market was vital in her profession. Learning was also important and Ms Chong has constantly upgraded her skills to comply with market changes and demand from clients. Since 1992, all property agents in Hong Kong must have passed the Estate Agents Qualifying Examination administered by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority to obtain a licence issued by the Estate Agent Authority.
With an increasing number of mainland customers purchasing properties in Hong Kong, Ms Chong started to take Putonghua lessons a couple of months ago.
'I used to rely on a colleague who spoke Putonghua when serving mainland clients. But I think it's a necessary skill that I should pick up,' she said.