"Let's go over to the Great World City to take a look at your photos", suggested Angie, the private banker of my potential purchaser. My client had wanted to find a buyer to take over his purchase before the exercise of option the following day! Viewing was difficult because the tenant was on a business trip. Earlier I had shown the buyer a unit on the same stack so that he would have an idea of the layout and facing. I had taken photos of the actual unit but had forgotten to put back the battery in the camera after recharging.
I thought Angie wanted to take me to a Kodak Camera shop where I could print out the photos with the memory card. Instead we went to Best Denki Digital where she told the amicable salesman she wanted to test a camera by putting in the card. After seeing the photos of the property, Angie and her client walked away. I ran after her, and asked if she had wanted to buy the camera and that was why she asked to test it. Angie raised her eyebrows as if exasperated with my naiveness. She told me she would give me her client's confirmation of the purchase the following morning.
I went back to Denki Digital and asked the salesman about the camera. "Who's that lady and the old man?" asked the salesman.
"He's an Indonesian investor who is keen to buy my client's condominium and the lady is his private banker," I replied.
"I think you're more successful than the private banker," Dennis, the salesman volunteered.
When he saw me raising my eyebrows, Dennis continued, "I knew the banker only wanted to use my camera on the pretext of buying. I still gave good service...in the end I had a sale. The banker uses people; but you bless others." I told Dennis that maybe he was right as I am one of my company's top producers. I had been wanting to buy a camera for a client as a gift to thank him for his support.
"There...there I told you so!" said Dennis triumphantly.
I asked Dennis if he would like to join my company as a property agent. "I only have primary school education," he said. However I told him that one of our top agents, Nicole Lim, also did not have very high education. My boss, Dr. Dennis Wee had also studied up to Secondary Two, but is today a very successful man. "Perseverance and passion - secret of success in anything you. do."
Dear readers, I am sharing with you the above anecdote to encourage you. We must always realise that someone is watching us and that there are others who are smarter and more street-wise than us. Above all, there is One up there who is always looking out for us, and it is from Him that all blessings flow. Indeed life is easier when we do not manipulate and connive. It is easier to bask in the grace and blessings of the One who holds the four corners of the world together!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Lovely, huge lemons grown by Sister Lee Lee
What a round, fat lemon!
Look, how thin is the skin of the lemons!
Oozing with so much lemon juice! No need for a blender. Just a fork and a spoon are sufficient to get the juice from the fruit.
"Choo, do you like lemons?", asked eldest sister on the phone.
"Sure, I like lemons, especially ice lemon tea or lemon barley drink.
"Ok, will bring them! I grow them and this year the harvest is bountiful. My lemons are so big!"
"Huh! You can grow lemons in your garden in Kuching?" I was pleasantly surprised.
However, greater surprise awaited me when sister came to my home. She produced a bagful of lemons and gave me some of them. Wow! What gigantic sizes! They could be mistaken to be green Thai oranges! I shared some of the lemons with my neighbours, Irin and Helen, as well as my violin teacher, Mr. Yan.
My clever and versatile sister has really green fingers. Whatever she grows, thrives and blooms! She also brought me the "ren" herbs - birdnests for the poor. I had already prepared a big styrofoam box of soil, ready to replant the stems of the herbs after consuming the leaves. I now have a box of young ren plants. Whey they mature, I will be able to harvest them and replant the stems again. Hope to grow more so that I can also give some away to people who appreciate herbal drinks.
Due to the multi goodness of "ren" herbs named because of the look-alike Chinese character in the middle of the leaves, I will want to focus more on the growth of this herb. Although bird nests is nice, I feel somewhat strange consuming the vomit of some birds.....moreover bird nests is so costly. I will stick to the consumption of leafy "bird nests for the poor". I feel so rich drinking this herb because it reminds me of the goodness of the Creator who has made so many wonderful herbs, vegetables and fruits for us to consume!
Monday, July 06, 2009
When my colleague, Dickson and I went to an apartment for viewing, we were greeted by a dog's bark.
"Yes! Great! There's a dog in this home!", I said excitedly.
A cute, grayish white Schnauzer greeted us with his owner.
"Hoe Hoe! Quiet, Hoe Hoe!" admonished the amicable owner.
After a while, the handsome Schnauzer settled down and was very friendly. He kept putting his paws on my lap, as if to welcome us into his home. Clean and well-groomed, it was obvious that his owner and family dote on him. It was interesting that when we were at the living and dining room, Hoe Hoe did not bark at all. He was happily trying to get our attention and loved it when he was patted.
I tried to speak in Hokkien dialect to the dog. "Ah Hoe ah! Lu jin kuai." Then I spoke to the dog in English. "Hoe Hoe! You're a good dog", and the little Schnauzer wagged his tail as if in approval! I like Schnauzers! Somehow they remind me of male characters that we see on stage when a Chinese opera is on, with their pronounced whiskers and beard, intense looking eyes and somewhat accentuated ears!
It was interesting that the moment we stepped into the bedrooms, Hoe Hoe barked continuously. The owner explained to us that he did not like any guest to step into the bedrooms.! For some reason the clever dog knew that guests should be limited only to the living, dining and kitchen areas.! Stepping into the bedrooms of his owners is like an invasion of their privacy! What a clever little dog!
Now my readers know why I enjoy my real estate work so much. Apart from appreciating and admiring the architectural and interior designs of homes, I also get to meet many lovely and wonderful four legged creatures like dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits as well as colorful fishes swimming in beautiful tanks.!
Indeed the life of a real estate agent is really colorful! Even when the sky is filled with clouds, let us always see the bright and cheerful colours beneath the clouds!
Sunday, July 05, 2009
One of my favourite flowers is the sunflower! Apart from enjoying sunflower seeds as a healthy snack, I also love the big, round, flower that reminds me of the blazing sun!
It is also the favourite flower of my friend, Aik Hoon, a dynamic and successful lady who excels in multi level marketing in Aviva Health Products. In fact, she calls herself Sunflower Chan. Aik Hoon attributes that the reason why the sunflower looks so elegant and almost regal......why, it is always looking towards the Son (sun)!
Hence, when we look towards the hills from where our help comes from, we will be able to enjoy doing things with greater ease and lesser strife! Like the sunflower, we will not only bloom in a world of stress and strife, but we will also bloom gracefully and elegantly, because we get the most of the light and blessings of the Son!
Friday, July 03, 2009
Frankly, I do not quite like to use the telephone for the simple reason that I am not sure whether my call is convenient for the recipient.
I grew up where there was no phone even in the home. To make phone calls, I had to go to a public phone booth or the friendly grocery shop where I would pay ten cents for one call.
I learnt two harsh lessons where phone calls are concerned. I remember once I had to call a friend to wake her up so as to ensure that she would be punctual. We were supposed to do some quick revision together before an exam at the University of Alberta.
"Can I speak to Carmen please?, said I, at 5 o'clock in the early morning.
"Why the hell do you call so early?" roared a voice, and to my shock, the phone was slammed down with great vehemence.
A few minutes later, Carmen called me, almost whispering, "Sorry, Choo, that was my dad. Heard him barking at you.....he must have had a bad time at the hospital. You see, papa is an anaesthetist, a very stressful job."
Till today, I freeze whenever someone tells me to call him early in the morning!
On another occasion, I called my buddy, Tony, to check some notes with him. It was 2a.m. but it was usual for us, Malaysian students, to study into the wee hours of the morning.
"Who the hell is Tony!" roared the voice at the other end.
I quickly put the phone down, my heartbeat going faster than normal. Gosh! I must have dialed the wrong number and have woken up a very sleepy man.
Now that I am in Singapore, I note that property agents are fond of making calls between 600p.m. to 8.00p.m. which I think is an unearthly time! Some people are driving on their way home, and some parents are hugging their kids at home or having dinner with family and guests. I understand that most telemarketers would come in to work part time for a couple of hours and they check in after their full time work. While it is convenient for them, it is certainly not convenient for potential clients. If we hope to get the favour of these clients to market their homes, isn't it most vital to catch them at a more conducive time, say, after dinner between 8.30p.m. to 9.30p.m.?
Frankly I dislike using mobile phones. I have to use my right ear and I am told it is not good, but my left ear seems to be somewhat hard of hearing. My Korean friend, Siew Yin, once told me she could not stand phones, and wondered at the life of an agent when she heard my phone ringing almost endlessly. What to do? Bo pian....can't be helped. The phone rings sometimes when I enter the washroom, when I am showering or when I am practising my violin or when I am in a toastmasters' meeting. It cries for attention almost the whole day long. Perhaps when I become a CEO like Warren Buffet, I can afford not to carry a hand phone and just remind my staff, "Rule No. 1. Take care of share holders' money. Rule No. 2. Remember Rule No. 1".
Until that day arrives, let me smile and speak in my sweetest voice and most polite of phone manners. For if the phone never rings.....a property agent also goes bankrupt!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Shahnaz had messaged me as to whether I could help dog-sit for someone who is leaving for Dubai for five weeks. I obliged and the lady, Gayatri, called me to confirm the details. She told me her little pug is called Toby, a female dog with a masculine name. Since Toby was the name given by the first owner, she retained the name. "I'm going to send her for some grooming," said Gayatri.
"Grooming? But pugs have short fur.?" I asked, surprised.
"Yes, but I'd like her to be cool, easier for her upkeep," said Gayatri.
Toby is really cute and I'm sure you will love her."
When I first saw Toby I wanted to laugh. True enough, she's really cute, and as Gayatri had described, somewhat overweight. Gayatri had put her on a diet and Toby had shed 1 kg. but at 7kg. she still looks adorably rounded! With her little tail curled at the back and her rotundness, she reminds me of a little pig!
Toby is not so affectionate like Chelsea. She is more independant and does not like to be carried, although she hates being alone. She is all tensed up when I carry her and is ever so eager to be let down on the floor. Although somewhat aloof, yet she likes to sit close to me or to my tenants if I were not in.
At night, she sleeps on her cushioned bed and boy does she snore ever so loudly! Fortunately I sleep soundly and hence am not bothered by Toby's snoring.
She loves to go for walks, but Gayatri has cautioned me not to make her over-exhausted. I have to be careful not to let Toby put on any more weight. Although Toby enjoys her doggy food, she is ever alert and hopeful when I have my meals. She would sit with her eyes glued onto me, hoping I might give her some of my food.
My friends are surprised I would have time to dog-sit. I guess when we love something, we will always make time for it. It is such a great therapy for me to walk Toby two or three times a day. She has character or what I would describe as
good "doganality". My own coining of word for a dog with personality!
I hope Toby would soon accept Bobby, my neighbour's shi tzu, so that she would have some doggy companionship as well.
Dogs make my world go round!