Call him the Jack of all trades.
Agent extraordinaire, Dominic Ong could possibly do anything given his intelligence and persona. The Applied Statistics graduate from USM has many aspirations; from being a doctor to a musician.
“I initially wanted to be a doctor but as fate has had it, I ended up doing mathematics,” he said. Dominic also added that he had music in his veins as he attended 50 hours of piano training.
“But I couldn’t even play for three minutes,” he equipped, opting out from a music career.
He later expanded his credentials as a teacher at a few international institutions like St Christopher’s International School and The International School of Penang (Uplands).
He taught Mathematics, English and was a Sports Master. He even took up part time job teaching in Dalat at night.
Hence, the jump from education to the world of real estate can be said as a rather big and bold leap.
“I started out investing in properties by buying a few of them. I bought to a certain extend that I couldn’t get any more loans. Plus, by being an agent, you can get all of the good leads. There was no harm in trying it out,” he explained regarding his shift.
He also admitted that the industry is an ever-green market with great depth of sustainability. He believes that properties will forever be in demand, regardless in what economic situation it is in.
“I find it to be a recession proof industry. People would seek for new properties to buy during the good times as well as people would have to sell during the bad times to raise funds or cut loses. There will always be a need for such services,” said Dominic who is currently with KL City International Realty.
But his journey as a real estate agent has the unavoidable stumbles and falls. Dominic started out alone, without any guidance.
“I learned it the hard way. I kept on hitting walls every day, I often got bullied and cheated. But coming from a sports background, I learn to push my limits, endure the pain and hold on to it,” he explained.
PropertyGuru saved my business
Technology plays a dominant part in every business ventures and start-up companies. Dominic credits technology as a live saviour especially in the form of PropertyGuru Malaysia.
“PropertyGuru (PG) saved my business. There was one point in time that my business dropped tremendously, even though I knew a lot about my product. I can tell you about everything regarding to the areas and properties, which included the psf., growth and profitability. But I wasn’t selling any.
“Then I met up with a rep from PG, she recommended me to go for luxury spots. I paid expensively but I had no regret. It was a win-win partnership.” he said upon reaching the realisation of utilising the power of internet marketing.
“It’s a portal that can expose me to many people out there. PG had enabled me to reach more property sellers and seekers. I never thought that internet marketing was powerful. It has a profound impact on my business, despite only using it for a few years,” he remarked.
Eerie house hunting in Penang
There is no shortage of ‘sightings’ in the land that is filled with heritage sites and properties.
“Of course, there were couple of sightings. I once showed a double storey link house along Gurney Drive. I brought the potential buyers in to view the house. A few days later, they called me up. They caught a photo of the upper level of the house with a shadow of a boy in it,” reminisced Dominic, whom admitted of having goose bumps while viewing the house.
He also recalled showing a bungalow located along Batu Ferringhi that had strong spooky vibes.
“It was my worst experience. I had to show the bungalow to my client. It smelt very nice, but the smell was not like any ordinary perfume. The owner didn’t spray anything before the viewing. I would normally check the toilets for any leaks but this time around, I didn’t dare to enter any of the bathrooms.
“My client felt it too. He asked me ‘what do you feel about this place’ instead of ‘what do you think’. I couldn’t lie, and I told him that I would find something better for him. The owners eventually sold the bungalow to an amo (foreigner),” he added.
His advice to younger and new agents out there?
“I learned from experience. There’s no such thing as free lunch. Don’t expect people throwing free durians at you. Luck comes with hard work. My best advice would be get a mentor to guide you. There are a lot of nice people out there who are willing to guide you with an open heart.”
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