Denise in Hong Kong for a Water Polo competition
Juggling work commitments with sporting aspirations is not an easy undertaking. However, Denise Chen manages to balance her commitments as a Leasing Executive at Causeway Point whilst representing Singapore as a member of its Women's Water Polo team.
Having joined Frasers Property Singapore in June 2018, Denise is still relatively new to the Frasers Property Family. She shares with us more about her work, and how she juggles her different responsibilities!
Driven by passion
Swimming has been the biggest part of Denise’s life for as long as can she remember.
“I started swimming when I was eight years old, and I haven’t stopped since! After picking up the sport, I swam competitively for 10 years, until I joined Singapore’s water polo team in 2010.
My body is so used to the water, that I would actually fall sick if I skipped training for a few days,” Denise chuckled.
Growing up, Denise has always juggled her passion for the sport with school, and now, her career.
“I train for three hours every night after work from Monday to Friday. I also train on my own twice a week before going to work. Saturdays are my only rest days, and I’m back in the pool on Sundays. My schedule is quite packed every day but I love what I do, and it is an honour to be able to represent my country.”
Training as an athlete is no easy feat, and Denise has inculcated certain qualities and habits over the years to help her succeed in what she does.
The first is prioritising her workload and responsibilities. Denise has to be able to prioritise her tasks and ensure that everything is completed in a timely manner in order for her to stay on track with her work and training schedule.
Making sacrifices is also part and parcel of being an athlete. This includes sacrificing nights out with friends or sleeping in on weekdays morning before work. However, it is this high level of perseverance that keeps Denise going. She also shared that this is an important quality to have at work, in order to close deals with potential tenants.
Collaboration is a core value at Frasers Property Singapore and Denise’s participation in the national team has strengthened her belief in the importance of teamwork.
Team work makes the dream work. Denise and her water polo teammates in Hong Kong for a competition
“Joining the water polo team was a significant change for me. Competing as a team taught me to look out for my teammates, to cooperate with the rest of the team, and work together efficiently.
It’s the same at the workplace. We take turns to assist one another, and offer ideas and solutions to problems so that we excel as a team.”
An affinity to numbers and people
Denise has a love of many things, and swimming is just one of them. She dives into why she chose a career in real estate.
“I enjoy working with numbers, and I love it more when I see them translated into something tangible, like a building. This led me to study real estate in school. I’m also generally a people person, which makes leasing a great fit for me!
Despite being a fresh face at Causeway Point, Denise is accustomed to the relationship between a landlord and a tenant as she has had experience working for both of them.
“After graduation, I entered the workforce and landed my first job handling leasing for a tenant. This aided my understanding of what tenants go through when they deal with a landlord. I pursed a full-time degree in Economics and Finance after my first job. After completing my degree, I started working at a commercial leasing team with another real estate developer, before joining Frasers Property Singapore.”
Thoughts on the retail landscape
Denise believes that there is a growing need to evolve the concept of shopping and retail amidst the proliferation of e-commerce.
“Online shopping will never completely replace the service provided by in-store associates and the in-store experience. I have observed that many popular online stores, which started out as blog shops are now opening retail outlets. This highlights that there is still a demand for retail spaces in shopping malls.
The leasing department is among many other teams responsible for curating the customer experience within the mall. However, it is also important for tenants to curate the look and feel of their shops. Factors such as interior design will help to attract traffic into the shops, and in turn, spending,” Denise shared.
Denise is passionate about her role, not just at Causeway Point, but at the possibility of making a difference in the general retail landscape.
Denise and her supportive colleagues at Causeway Point
“I am very proud to be part of the team at Causeway Point, which is almost 100% leased. Woodlands is still a developing precinct, and there are plenty of upcoming developments around our mall. In light of all of this, those in the leasing sector, including myself are continuously looking for ways to adapt and improve the offerings in our malls,” she declared.
As the saying goes, it’s not work if you love what you do. Denise’s passion for leasing, and her love for swimming has brought her where she is today – doing what she loves, and balancing her commitments gracefully.