Industry Insights - Real Estate: The Real Story of Real Estate

by Ho Seng Chee

For Mapletree, our dynamic business model combines capital/fund management expertise with real estate development skills. We actively seek  talent who possess advanced financial skills plus a good grasp of real estate development fundamentals. Most professionals in the industry typically excel in one of these fi elds, but rarely both. Finding suitable local talent for our overseas offices can also be challenging. Mapletree has a portfolio of over S$17 billion in real estate assets spread across eight Asian countries. While we have Singaporeans who hold manager jobs in many of our  overseas locations, localising our talent pool is a must for long-term business sustainability. We are always on the lookout for local professionals who subscribe to our investment philosophy and business thinking.

It starts with the hiring process. We take pains to explain our company’s business model and strategy in conversations with candidates. The more senior the candidate, the greater in detail we will go on these matters, such as for a manager or director job. This helps us select candidates who we think can contribute to and will thrive in our organisation.

Once candidates are in the company, continuous staff engagement is key. Managers are expected to reinforce the company’s core business beliefs and investment philosophy in their dealings with staff . Over time, employees are expected to deepen their understanding of our business model, strategy, and what is expected of each of them. Th is helps us sieve out the high-potential staff who we think will contribute to the  longer-term success of the firm.

All of this forms part of our succession planning and talent management programmes. We guard our high potentials and internal talent pool  zealously. Development and training opportunities are oferred to fill skills gaps. Job rotations, including country postings, are made available to  staff as part of career progression.

These initiatives are geared to cultivate a longer-term relationship between the company and employees. While common among large corporations, they bear special importance to us as a real estate company. A typical business cycle in our industry could run about five to seven years. Our employees understand that it takes time and commitment to the company to see the full rewards of being part of this industry.

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