Property king

City Centre realtor Jakie Ng talks about how he got into
real estate  – and offers a few tips for buys and sellers
By Maya Abdallah

As a condominium specialist, Jakie Ng’s face is everywhere downtown.  (@condoyeg)

JAKIE NG WAS only in the real estate business for two years when the economy went into the tank.

He had been working at a property management firm when, in 2007, he took on a condo project sale, hoping that it would launch his career.

Then, a year later, the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit the U.S. economy, dragging the world into the steepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

“The market started taking a bit of a downturn, with a drop of where we were at, in 2008,” Ng says.

That caused Ng to reconsider his options. But he got lucky, connected with a top Edmonton real estate agent and joined his team later that year.

“Within five years after that, I built my own team – over the last three years.”

Now he is a registered associate broker at RE/MAX River City and owner of GETJAKIE Realty Group Inc.

Ng says the key to success in real estate is that you cannot treat it as a 9 to 5 job.

“It is a service that you provide, that your clients are counting on you for,” he says. “More so, they’re trusting you with one of the biggest investments. The level of service should be treated as such.

“You have to really focus on building a good brand and understanding your customer base.”

For anyone considering a career in real estate, Ng recommends spending a few years working for someone else, and learning the ropes, before striking out on your own.

“Make sure you properly plan your business,” he says. “And don’t be irrational with business decisions, with taking on a listing that you’re not comfortable with.

“If you know the value that you can provide on the table, you should be able to be more willing to negotiate with your clients – on top of the other realtors – and provide a better level of experience to your customer.”

And for anyone who is buying or selling, Ng says: “Use the right agent that works best for you, trust your instincts, and have a proper interview process with your agent.

“Secondly, do your research.”

It’s common for people to end up with a property that is difficult to resell, Ng says.

“Buy it for the future owner; not necessarily for yourself.”

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Edmonton, Ng studied Marketing and Advertising at NAIT, and graduated in 2005.

As a condominium specialist in the City Centre, he says the downtown is a good place to do business because it is a vast and constantly developing area.

“Every day you look around and there’s new opportunities available.”

While property values are higher, the convenience of the location makes it worth the money for many people.

Though Ng has enjoyed considerable success, he says there are challenges that come with the business – especially low-fee brokerages.

“A lot of agents do the minimal amount of work,” he says. “And we get aligned with the same service as they provide, when in reality we do so much more in terms of the service aspect, marketing, and direction of a realtor sale.

“We put a lot of our heart and soul into it, and it’s hard to compete with people looking for the lowest cost option.”

Ng says this won’t stop him from planning new projects and growing his business.

For example, he is opening a new real estate brokerage in May, 2020.

“We are opening for the modern millennials,” he says. “We are going to get more in depth with the stories that matter within the community … instead of looking at the traditional model of how real estate is done, we’re really going to break it apart, and try to focus on building a strong entrepreneurship to the community and helping us grow together.”

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