The buzzwords on many local Singaporean's lips seem to be "housing" and "property". Unsurprising then that there was huge fanfare when the Overseas Singaporean Unit (OSU) engaged Mr Mohamed Ismail, CEO of real estate agency, PropNex as speaker at the recent SG Buzz series in Australia. Mr Ismail charmed everyone - from a close-knit community of 20 in Hobart, to a captive audience of 70 in Adelaide to an even larger crowd of 110 in Brisbane.
Mr Ismail, 48, drew interest amongst the audience when he screened the PropNex corporate video which illustrated the history of the property mogul and his various achievements through the years.
Mr Mohamed Ismail, sharing property insights and life lessons with overseas Singaporeans in Australia.
Following which, Mr Ismail shared his rags-to-riches story - from a newspaper delivery boy to serving 13 years in the armed forces and right to where he is now. He recounted the days when his never-say-die attitude led him to overcome one obstacle after another. Drawing from his own life experiences, Mr Ismail winsomely brought home the point that Singapore is indeed a meritocratic society 'regardless of race, language or religion' and a ‘good place to make money’. Yet despite his illustrious background, Mr Ismail remains firmly grounded, giving back to the society in whatever way he can.
Mr Ismail revealed he was guided by four core values - continuous self-improvement, autonomy and entrepreneurship, respect for individuals and ethics, integrity & honesty. This military man also added that he runs his company systematically and that staff either love their job or hate it.
Being a crowd-pleaser, he teased the crowd with a snippet from his new book, A Timeless Gift in which - he used 4 characters to drive home the point that hardwork and discipline is needed for success in life.
Mr Ismail posing for a picture with the student leaders in Adelaide.
They always say that behind every successful man is a woman. Mr Ismail attributed his success to his wife and 3 kids who had been his pillar of support through the years. The self-proclaimed family man makes time for his family every Sunday and works hard from Mondays to Saturdays to provide for his loved ones.
Through the evening, it turned out to be a crash course on the property market, much to the delight of interested home buyers. He dished out insights on the property market back in Singapore and highlighted that Singapore's aim is to promote affordable housing for all its citizens.
Mr Ismail kept his audience spellbound with his wit and charming ways by sharing personal anecdotes. The crowd was visibly entertained and engaged. Questions came fast and furious, querying about his attempt at work-life balance, how he chooses people to work for him and even about competitors in the market. He sums it up saying it's about adding value to people's lives, the ability to galvanise other workers and lastly, one should aim to beat oneself, not the competition.
Singaporeans enjoying the food after the SG Buzz Series.
One would agree that Mr Ismail is not only popular amongst the business professionals but also amongst the university students in all 3 cities. They had their chance to be up close and personal with Mr Ismail during the Singaporean-style dinner in each Australian city. After this SG Buzz series, the attendees come away more attuned with the latest housing trends in Singapore and are propped up for the next big launch.
By Yang Sue Ann