Monday, May 28, 2007

What Number is your Car?

The Braddel MRT Station is about 9 minutes walk from my present abode. Every morning, I would pass by the Shell Petrol Station situated just at the junction of Toa Payoh North and Lorong 1. I would stop by to buy copies of the Straits Times and New Paper.

Once, the sales attendant asked me, "What number is your Car, and Pump No?"

"BMW, No. 11", I smiled. My car needs no petrol, insurance and road tax. Best of all, it can never ever get a fine from the traffic police". (BMW stands for bus, mrt and walking).

Of course, the sales attendants by now recognise me. They would always attempt to sell me the stuff on offer right infront of the cash machine. Usually these would be $2/- for some cookies, chocolates, candies, etc. I would tell them that it would be a waste of my walking exercse if I were to consume any of the sweet stuff.

Many people are surprised that I managed to be one of the top agents in my company even though I do not drive. I do not know why many have the notion that unless you drive, you cannot be a real estate agent. I used to drive until about 5 years ago, when my ear specialist advised me not to drive, when I complained of dizziness and imbalance when I had to turn my head round when reversing the car, etc.
I have chronic ear problems since young and have learnt to live with them. Once, Chloe, the bright daughter of one of my university buddies, visited Singapore and asked me what is the meaning of ringing in the ears. I explained, "It's like perpetually listening to music, free of charge". Thank God, the ringing has stopped now, but I never know when it will start again.

Once one of my clients kind of complained that his neighbour told him that her agent drove her around to look for a property. I reminded my client that it is my knowledge and expertise that he should be more concerned with because the onus is on me to find him an excellent property. It is more important that the property I recommend him must turn out to be a good investment. Though I may not drive, I give my clients other value-added service.

Interestingly, most if not all of my clients drive, and they often end up giving me rides! Hence, I have enjoyed being a passenger in many makes of cars! You name it; I have sat in it! Sometimes I pick up my clients by taxis; everything in life is a give and take. We must always know what is important - in my case, it is vital that I keep up to date with the market and that whatever I recommend to my clients must be properties that I would buy myself. I always remind myself that I am not selling real estate... I am handling people's sweat and blood money. Hence it is imperative that I exercise great caution in my work and give right advice.

Strangely, I have actually become more productive with my time. I plan my activities and because I do not have to worry about parking problems, I can zip from one end of Singapore to another by MRT, bus and taxis. Sometimes I end up doing my work in the food court, restaurants, Raffles Town Club, Botanic Gardens, poolside of condominiums, etc., depending on how I want to connect my schedules. As a result I even find time to read, prepare my speeches, play the piano and violin, and write daily on my blog! Above all, to even find time to cook for my guests and for my toastmasters' club meetings! Mm ....I love my BMW vey much. :-)

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