5 Turning Points from Failure to Success

Being a real estate agent teaches you a lot of things – from being super savvy about property, to managing generations of clients and more. But what about life lessons?

Today we look at Lester Chen, who recently returned to the real estate industry, with a bag full of life lessons ready to propel him forward.

So, who is Lester Chen?

If you were in the business around 2005, you might’ve heard of young(er) Lester.

Today, amongst SRI’s >1,000 salesperson, Lester clinched first place by reaping in more than S$1 million between May to October in the unprecedented year of 2020.

But it wasn’t always a smooth ride for Lester.

Look at Fear in the Eye and Fight Forward

While many people look at the ones on top with envy, the ones on top know how hard they worked to get there.

Just before Singapore underwent the Circuit Breaker, Lester decided to reenter the property market. It’s an understatement to say the beginning of his return was drenched in uncertainty and fear.

However, that didn’t waver Lester.

He woke up every morning before the rooster and attended webinars prepared daily by SRI; determined to get his mind back in shape and updated.

While many would agree COVID-19 wasn’t an ideal situation, it was through the Circuit Breaker period that Lester unlearned his previous ideals and replaced them with new learnings to equip him on his journey to success.

Injected with passion and perseverance, he endlessly reviewed his methods to improve upon them again and again.

Don’t Just Learn – Learn ‘How to’ Apply

Back in the early 2000s, Lester was a young and hungry agent who clocked in about 20 HDB transactions every month. Soon, he joined Eric Cheng to explore the high-end investors market.

Through Eric, Lester picked up countless valuable concepts and fundamentals that he still remembers till this day. Most importantly, he learned how to apply the knowledge into his business – which very quickly translated into monetary success for young Lester.

He even had a team of 300 agents back in 2008, but then had an idea to start out on his own with his own company and build a lifestyle mobile application. So, he left his job as a property agent back then.

Nothing Emotional, It’s Business Logic

With his own start-up, Lester soon hit a high. He raised millions in cash, had over 1,000 partners and the app saw more than 300,000 users.

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5 Turning Points from Failure to Success

He even honestly admitted how large his ego back then was and how he ran his business based on his mood and hired people based purely on relationships, and not their skills.

Despite having a novel idea, great backing and popularity – within a short 2 years, Lester knew his ship was sinking. It was getting increasingly hard to manage the people and keep them all afloat.

Before long, Lester made the painful decision to close his business and things took a sharp fall from there.

It’s Okay to Fail, But It’s Not Okay to Quit

At the brink of bankruptcy, Lester was beyond desperate. He was driving a private hire car simply to make ends meet, but he knew it would never be able to earn him enough to pay back his investors.

At this point, he was at his lowest. Tearfully, Lester admitted to contemplating suicide every single day. He was lost; he spent a lot of time reflecting on his past mistakes and wanted the chance to do better, but he felt hopeless in finding a way to continue.

Then, as fate would have it, Lester and his wife were blessed with a baby. You might call it cheesy – but it was like a bolt of lightning from heaven to Lester.

Coupled with strong encouragement of Bruce Lye (SRI Managing Partner), who over the years has not only been a great mentor and business partner, but also a reliable buddy – Lester was forced awake and realised he needed to move ahead.

Know Who/What You Work For

Everyone, including you, has their own reason of why we work; why we choose to spend our time to get our work done.

We all have something that matters to us. The only difference is what matters enough for us to work hard every single day for the rest of our lives. (Or at least until a comfortable retirement)

Upon his return to the real estate industry, Lester vowed that he would be on top. Which is why despite the circumstances of the Circuit Breaker, Lester worked hard to achieve his breakthrough within his very first month of return.

family photo

No Excuses; Just Keep Going

“I’ve failed before and I’ve learned. I’m working very hard to not fail again!” exclaimed Lester with vigour and passion.

Today, Lester holds the position of the number one producer in SRI, earning over S$1 million right in the crust of COVID-19. Steadily, Lester is regaining traction and is beginning to finally see the fruits of his labour with his team of trusty agents.

team photo

Together with his mentor and team by his side, his family in his heart and determination in his mind – Lester is set on his course to incredible success. Want to get in touch with Lester? Check out his profile now!

PropertyGuru would like to extend our thanks to Lester for taking the time to share his amazing experiences with us, with so much honesty, passion and drive. We wish Lester great success and look forward to many, many years of valuable partnership ahead!

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