“If you never try, you’ll never know”. This is the thinking that Ling Ling, General Manager of 51 Cuppage Road lives by. Having majored in property and real estate in university, she is experienced in the different segments of real estate, from residential to commercial.
In this article, we explore the factors that has contributed to her success in the real estate industry and find out what puts a smile on her face beyond working hours.
“I joined Frasers Property Singapore in 2009, as a Senior Executive at Key Point, before transferring to China Square Central and then to 51 Cuppage Road.
Leaving China Square Central for 51 Cuppage Road was slightly bittersweet. My team and I spent a lot of time together, to maintain the positive occupancy levels at China Square Central before I had to make my leave in 2015. Nevertheless, I was also excited to begin anew at 51 Cuppage Road.”
With a degree in Property and Real Estate from the University of South Australia, Ling Ling shares that she chose to pursue a career in this industry because of the diversity of aspects in real estate that one can explore.
“Despite working in the real estate industry for so many years, there is still so much for me to learn. For example, besides Leasing, which I am involved in, there is also the Operations, Marketing and Communications aspect. The breadth and depth of what real estate has to offer is what makes it so interesting.”
In her latest position as General Manager, Ling Ling’s job scope has expanded to include Operations, where among other things, she is to oversee the leasing and maintenance of the building, achieve healthy levels of occupancy, and improve the Net Property Income (NPI), a measure of a property’s profitability and financial health, sans operating and recurring expenses.
She shared that she is grateful for the challenge. Operations is a highly complex area in which one’s competency cannot be determined by the mere number of years one has spent in it. “A strong background in Leasing, complemented with my exposure to Operations, will put me in good stead for real estate,” Ling Ling shares.
Propelled by good mentorship
At 51 Cuppage Road, Ling Ling works closely with her team of six. “The upside of a small team is that there is no need for formal meetings. We often conduct informal meetings in our office where we voice out issues and problems that are troubling us openly. This helps us to overcome these problems and function effectively both in our individual roles and together.”
A testament to the team’s harmonious working relationship, Ling Ling shares that she enjoys stepping out of her room to chat with her colleagues to relieve stress before diving back to work.
Ling Ling also attributes much of her career’s success to her nurturing mentors, “I am blessed with good bosses and superiors. I have benefited tremendously from the guidance of my reporting superiors; first of whom was Jeffrey, the General Manager for East Point, and currently, Alison Wong, Senior Vice President, Head of Commercial Properties”
“My superiors have been very patient with me over the years, and I’ve taken steps to manage my team the way they have with me. It is important to deliver your message to the team correctly, and to be impartial with everyone. Ultimately, I strive to adequately mentor those under me and support them in their growth which my mentors have done with me.”
Back to basics
According to Ling Ling, the crucial traits for anyone in a managerial position are open-mindedness, having good people skills, patience and positivity.
“It is important to listen to what your team is telling you. You also have to be observant to what is said to you. Often, people communicate simply to vent their frustrations. By staying patient and adopting a positive mindset, you will be able to address the issue tactfully and objectively.
Ultimately, being a General Manger is not an easy role. One has to be armed with the hard skills of competency and knowledge in real estate and also the soft skills of navigating human relationships and satisfying all stakeholders.”
Foodie at Heart
For a quick but delicious lunch fix, Ling Ling recommends Orchard Yong Tau Fu stall, located just nearby 51 Cuppage Road
A self-confessed foodie, Ling Ling enjoys trying out good food around the island during her free time. One of the places she recommended is Bōruto, a fusion Japanese restaurant at North Bridge where she often frequents with her friends.
“At the end of a long week, it’s always nice to wind down and enjoy a good meal with friends and family”, Ling Ling enthuses.