Parents and partners for life, Eric Goh and Tracy Teo share their secret to being the ‘it couple’ in the real estate industry
Eric Goh and Tracy Teo first met when they were both in university. It was not love at first sight, but their relationship grew and blossomed over time. The duo, now married, have found their passion both in each other and in the businesses they have pursued together.
Before they tied the knot, they owned a home services business, offering services such as cleaning and repair. However, they found that the business was highly reliant on manpower. With the aim to exit the typical nine-to-five job and have more control over their working life, they decided to try out real estate.
At first, they straddled between their home services business and property. But as they worked in real estate, their interest in the industry grew as they enjoyed the rewards of being self-employed, such as having a flexible schedule, which today is a bonus as they are parents to three children.
Fast-forward to today, both Goh and Teo hold positions as senior division director and senior director of agency respectively for ERA Realty, and manage a team of 150 sales managers and producers. Goh has also made quite a name for himself, as he was in ERA’s League of Honour — an award to honour the top 10 realtors in the ERA Realty — seven times. The couple also earned the title of Top Husband And Wife team in 2020.
The life of a realtor can be hectic and all-consuming, but the income earned is proportionate to the work put in. That is why Goh and Teo chose this profession as that would mean that they are not dependent on others for their success.
Working together as a husband-and-wife team has its perks too. “We have better time management because we know what each other are up to, and since we are in the same industry, we are familiar with the nature of the work and therefore more understanding what needs to be done,” says Teo.
The secret recipe to their success is about establishing the right job roles for each other. Teo, who is more organised and detail-oriented, is responsible for most of the back-end work, such as planning campaigns and marketing. Goh, who is more outgoing, does front-end work, such as hosting viewings and meeting clients.
As working parents, the couple say that working in property is not always easy, but they appreciate the flexibility it gives them to spend more time with family. Teo believes that this career is a great one for stay-home mothers, as it not only gives them the flexibility of time, but also allows them to take charge of their career.
Teo notes that real estate can be a cut-throat industry and the only way to stay the course is not to focus too much on the money, but on giving their clients a great experience. One thing they both wish to debunk is the public’s negative impression of real estate agents. “People usually think that real estate agents have an easy job and work only for money. But in today’s context, it’s not as easy as just helping clients to buy and sell houses. There is a lot of planning involved and a lot of knowledge needed to make sure that we can deliver a pleasant experience for our clients,” says Teo.
Goh adds: “We want our clients to meet ‘the right one’ who can give them unbiased advice in a professional manner when searching for a home, be it for investment or living. We want for them to have a pleasant journey in their home buying or selling experience and not have to worry about it. We want them to trust us to take care of what is best for them. The best advice is given when we put ourselves in our client’s shoes.”
Goh and Teo: It’s important to put the clients’ needs first and give them the right advice to make their decision
When communicating with the client, they believe that real advice should come from the heart. For instance, not every seller is looking to sell a house at a profit. In this sense, Goh explains that realtors have to put their clients’ needs ahead of profits to help them realise their goals.
Goh shares a previous experience where a couple, before meeting Goh and Teo, was advised by several realtors to sell the home that they were living in and use the profits from that sale to purchase two other houses. This would result in the realtor gaining commissions from three transactions.
But Goh and Teo, realising that there was still plenty of upside potential in the owners’ home, had advised them to keep that property and purchase just one more additional property.
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Eventually, the homeowners sold their home at a great price a few years later, maximising their profits, while also being able to earn from their investment in the second property, as advised by Goh and Teo.
“I think a lot of agents can be quite contradictory in their advice. We have to look at Singapore’s economy as a whole and it is hardly the case that a certain area has no more upside potential, while other areas do. Singapore is a small country and the economic effects are apparent throughout the whole country,” says Goh.
“A property, big or small, is still a big asset. For some, it could be the biggest asset they own. The money that they put into it makes the decision somewhat permanent. So, it’s important to put the clients’ needs first and give them the right advice to make their decision,” says Teo, adding that changing the public’s perspective on real estate agents will have to start with herself and her husband, and the way they lead and groom their team.
For property purchases, the duo advise potential buyers to first decide on their goal for purchasing — is it for investment or to live in? What are some important criteria for the home to have?
The couple believe in leading by example and valuing the worth and effort of their teammates. “They can understand and appreciate the way we mentor them. Respect is one of the pillars of our business which we hope to spread to every team member. We are there for every agent when they are in doubt and try to guide them into making better decisions for themselves and their clients,” says Teo.
Integrity is another key principle that the couple expect from their agents. “We want people to respect our profession. We are committed to doing our job the right way, because we want to keep good relationships and sleep well at night. I always believe that if you want to be successful, don’t have your eyes on the money — believe in the cause and the money will follow,” says Goh.
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Name: Tracy Teo
Phone: 9062 7772
Email: [email protected]
Photos: The Edge Singapore/ Albert Chua