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Thread: Making their mark in a man's world

  1. #1
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    Default Making their mark in a man's world

    http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/...world-20121225

    Making their mark in a man's world

    Published on Dec 25, 2012

    By Esther Teo, Property Reporter


    BREAKING into the male-dominated world of real estate is no easy feat but some women have earned their stripes in an industry where the ruggedness of bricks and mortar rules.

    The Straits Times speaks to three women who have found their passion in property while happily breaking stereotypes along the way.

    They talk not only about the challenges but also the satisfaction that comes with running a real estate business.

    Ms Leny Suparman, chief executive of KOP Properties

    MS SUPARMAN, 38, who has run home-grown KOP Properties since 2008, stepped out of college and straight into a job at a real estate consultancy firm.

    Having grown up watching her parents invest in property, "real estate is in my blood", she says.

    While a relatively new entrant in the business, KOP has been involved in high-profile projects such as the first Ritz-Carlton Residences in Asia, at Cairnhill, and Hamilton Scotts, which made headlines for the private sky garages that come with each unit.

    "I love the initial concept and design development stage, making the numbers work and finding ways to enhance the property through innovative and unexpected ideas most," she adds.

    "Of course when the results are great and people love it, those are the truly defining moments."

    But being a woman in the real estate sector has its challenges.

    Men are more cohesive and tend to bond together. This makes it harder for women to "penetrate" into that brotherhood, Ms Suparman notes.

    Female developers, however, have an edge, she says, as they tend to be more sensitive to the actual function and practicality of the product and pay more attention to detail.

    "The men will also tend to be more 'gentlemanly' towards women in terms of giving us more leeway which another man might not get," she adds.

    "Moreover, women have less ego and so sometimes we dare to ask 'stupid' questions and will therefore learn more during the process."

    Ms Loi Yan Yi, director of boutique developer Canary Land

    THE different communication style between men and women is the main challenge Ms Loi, 35, faces in the typically male-dominated real estate sector.

    Another challenge she grappled with when she entered the business was learning the technical details from the construction process and the rules that govern building and planning.

    Her maiden development project was The Lush in Katong.

    This interest in real estate runs in the family so Ms Loi's entry was "definitely not by chance".

    Her father was a property developer in Singapore and in Perth in the 1990s.

    "I have always been interested in property from a young age, being exposed to viewing houses, apartments and showflats with my parents since I was in primary school," she says.

    "I observed how he was very hands-on in everything, which he stressed to me was important when building homes for people. He would also show me the homes he built in Perth, where I studied, to get my feedback."

    But as a woman in the field, she counts being more meticulous and paying attention to details as her strengths.

    She was very involved in every aspect of The Lush, for instance, from the room layout, which went through quite a few changes, to the material finishes and what went into the showflat - from bed linen to wallpaper.

    The creative process - working with architects and bouncing ideas off them until the final product is created - is the most enjoyable part for Ms Loi, who has been interested in design and architecture since her teenage years.

    A key highlight in her career was the completion of The Lush's showflat and the strong response for the development during its launch. There were only two units left unsold at the 37-unit project as at the end of last month.

    But Ms Loi is not stopping there. Canary Land is looking for suitable sites, possibly for another commercial or residential development, she adds.

    Ms Lynette Leong, chief executive of CapitaCommercial Trust

    MS LEONG, who is in her 40s, counts an incident right after the Asian financial crisis as the greatest test of her femininity.

    She was at a previous employer and was involved in her first acquisition - an office building in Seoul.

    It was a distressed sale so there were pressures to contend with.

    "The negotiations became very tense towards the end when my Korean colleague made a mistake and couldn't handle the ongoing negotiations," she recounts.

    "I had to step in to calm the situation which saw our counterpart of about eight to 10 men banging tables, filling up the room with heavy cigarette smoke and even threatening to beat up my colleague and Korean lawyers."

    But Ms Leong softened the atmosphere with a slow and calm voice even though she admits "trembling on the inside" and showed empathy by identifying with the seller's predicament.

    The deal was eventually inked and turned out to be the most profitable one for the firm.

    "It was a nerve-racking process and took much patience and perseverance... But the results were satisfying and the experience well worth it as it taught me that being a woman does have its advantages," Ms Leong says.

    Her entry into the real estate industry began at the National University of Singapore where she studied at the School of Building and Estate Management.

    Even then, her class was dominated by men, Ms Leong recalls.

    In today's property industry, which comprises largely graduates of building, estate management and engineering, it is quite natural that the male dominance continues, she says.

    "To be effective and successful, I think we women should use our God-given characteristics such as soft skills, social sensitivity, empathy and nurturing quality to our best advantage by complementing the men."

    She enjoys her role at CCT as it is a dynamic one which puts her banking and finance and real estate experience to good use.

    "I also enjoy the interaction with a great variety of people: tenants and prospective tenants, investors, analysts, journalists, bankers, architects, engineers and other building professionals, lawyers, accountants, valuers, real estate brokers, etc," she added.

    "There is never a dull moment!"

    [email protected]

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by reporter2
    http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/...world-20121225

    Making their mark in a man's world

    Published on Dec 25, 2012

    By Esther Teo, Property Reporter


    BREAKING into the male-dominated world of real estate is no easy feat but some women have earned their stripes in an industry where the ruggedness of bricks and mortar rules.

    The Straits Times speaks to three women who have found their passion in property while happily breaking stereotypes along the way.

    They talk not only about the challenges but also the satisfaction that comes with running a real estate business.

    Ms Leny Suparman, chief executive of KOP Properties

    MS SUPARMAN, 38, who has run home-grown KOP Properties since 2008, stepped out of college and straight into a job at a real estate consultancy firm.

    Having grown up watching her parents invest in property, "real estate is in my blood", she says.

    While a relatively new entrant in the business, KOP has been involved in high-profile projects such as the first Ritz-Carlton Residences in Asia, at Cairnhill, and Hamilton Scotts, which made headlines for the private sky garages that come with each unit.

    "I love the initial concept and design development stage, making the numbers work and finding ways to enhance the property through innovative and unexpected ideas most," she adds.

    "Of course when the results are great and people love it, those are the truly defining moments."

    But being a woman in the real estate sector has its challenges.

    Men are more cohesive and tend to bond together. This makes it harder for women to "penetrate" into that brotherhood, Ms Suparman notes.

    Female developers, however, have an edge, she says, as they tend to be more sensitive to the actual function and practicality of the product and pay more attention to detail.

    "The men will also tend to be more 'gentlemanly' towards women in terms of giving us more leeway which another man might not get," she adds.

    "Moreover, women have less ego and so sometimes we dare to ask 'stupid' questions and will therefore learn more during the process."

    Ms Loi Yan Yi, director of boutique developer Canary Land

    THE different communication style between men and women is the main challenge Ms Loi, 35, faces in the typically male-dominated real estate sector.

    Another challenge she grappled with when she entered the business was learning the technical details from the construction process and the rules that govern building and planning.

    Her maiden development project was The Lush in Katong.

    This interest in real estate runs in the family so Ms Loi's entry was "definitely not by chance".

    Her father was a property developer in Singapore and in Perth in the 1990s.

    "I have always been interested in property from a young age, being exposed to viewing houses, apartments and showflats with my parents since I was in primary school," she says.

    "I observed how he was very hands-on in everything, which he stressed to me was important when building homes for people. He would also show me the homes he built in Perth, where I studied, to get my feedback."

    But as a woman in the field, she counts being more meticulous and paying attention to details as her strengths.

    She was very involved in every aspect of The Lush, for instance, from the room layout, which went through quite a few changes, to the material finishes and what went into the showflat - from bed linen to wallpaper.

    The creative process - working with architects and bouncing ideas off them until the final product is created - is the most enjoyable part for Ms Loi, who has been interested in design and architecture since her teenage years.

    A key highlight in her career was the completion of The Lush's showflat and the strong response for the development during its launch. There were only two units left unsold at the 37-unit project as at the end of last month.

    But Ms Loi is not stopping there. Canary Land is looking for suitable sites, possibly for another commercial or residential development, she adds.

    Ms Lynette Leong, chief executive of CapitaCommercial Trust

    MS LEONG, who is in her 40s, counts an incident right after the Asian financial crisis as the greatest test of her femininity.

    She was at a previous employer and was involved in her first acquisition - an office building in Seoul.

    It was a distressed sale so there were pressures to contend with.

    "The negotiations became very tense towards the end when my Korean colleague made a mistake and couldn't handle the ongoing negotiations," she recounts.

    "I had to step in to calm the situation which saw our counterpart of about eight to 10 men banging tables, filling up the room with heavy cigarette smoke and even threatening to beat up my colleague and Korean lawyers."

    But Ms Leong softened the atmosphere with a slow and calm voice even though she admits "trembling on the inside" and showed empathy by identifying with the seller's predicament.

    The deal was eventually inked and turned out to be the most profitable one for the firm.

    "It was a nerve-racking process and took much patience and perseverance... But the results were satisfying and the experience well worth it as it taught me that being a woman does have its advantages," Ms Leong says.

    Her entry into the real estate industry began at the National University of Singapore where she studied at the School of Building and Estate Management.

    Even then, her class was dominated by men, Ms Leong recalls.

    In today's property industry, which comprises largely graduates of building, estate management and engineering, it is quite natural that the male dominance continues, she says.

    "To be effective and successful, I think we women should use our God-given characteristics such as soft skills, social sensitivity, empathy and nurturing quality to our best advantage by complementing the men."

    She enjoys her role at CCT as it is a dynamic one which puts her banking and finance and real estate experience to good use.

    "I also enjoy the interaction with a great variety of people: tenants and prospective tenants, investors, analysts, journalists, bankers, architects, engineers and other building professionals, lawyers, accountants, valuers, real estate brokers, etc," she added.

    "There is never a dull moment!"

    [email protected]
    Only Ms Lynette Leong is notable base on the available info in the article. The other two had a big head-start but of course they should be also quite good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by reporter2
    http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/...world-20121225

    Making their mark in a man's world

    Female developers, however, have an edge, she says, as they tend to be more sensitive to the actual function and practicality of the product and pay more attention to detail.

    "The men will also tend to be more 'gentlemanly' towards women in terms of giving us more leeway which another man might not get," she adds.


    But as a woman in the field, she counts being more meticulous and paying attention to details as her strengths.

    She was very involved in every aspect of The Lush, for instance, from the room layout, which went through quite a few changes, to the material finishes and what went into the showflat - from bed linen to wallpaper.


    [email protected]
    It did not share if the show room is ready on time or not as originally planned.


    i always believed that each have their role to play and should be given some free hand...if every things were to involved, it become ineffective and in fact undermind other roles.

    For a small scale and once off project , called it learning curve or experience, maybe ok, if handle massive project, and to mindle each details, the project schedule will only slipped. It is usually the approving and and decision making process that hold up the plan.

    As for them, it is considered as strenght..

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