How I Found my Ikigai in Real Estate

by Roxanne C.
Ritz-Carlton Residences Singapore via The Skinny Scout

You know how you write the title of a story first and then end up sitting on it for weeks because you don’t know how and where to begin? That’s what happened to me with this blog post. But I figured that if I didn’t start writing, nobody would ever find out about why I love real estate so much.


It all happened by chance, really. I was helping a friend do up a marriage proposal video, and our conversation turned into what else I could do besides running Trouvée.Co, giving private Chemistry classes and going for French lessons. Don’t get me wrong – one business already kept me on my toes all the time. But, being the overly-ambitious person that I am, I’m never satisfied with those little pockets of time where I have absolutely nothing to do (they don’t happen often, and I’m aware this is a huge problem of mine).


So fast forward to today, after all the crazy schedule with night classes, more studying and finally passing the exam, here I am. A 100% certified real estate salesperson who’s also running her own online jewellery business – and I can’t be happier!


About 3 years ago, I came across the Japanese concept of ikigai. Simply put, it is the thing (or things) you do in life that is a combination of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for.

Ikigai Venn Diagram via The Skinny Scout

If there were people out there that had found their ikigai, where was mine?


The more I dove into real estate, the more I realised that it had all the components of what would today be my ikigai.


What I Love:


I love making strong, meaningful connections with people. By interacting with more people, going for weekend barbecues, attending Ultimate tournaments, going out for spontaneous dinners, meeting friends of friends (and even family members of friends)… I love doing all of these! I feel free to be me and I finally have the time to have fun. In fact, it is part of my job to have fun and spread positive vibes to everyone around me! From them, I see the world through their eyes, and it gives me fresh perspectives on so many things.


I love being connected at all times to the real world. Being an educator in my previous job, I found myself constantly yearning to be a part of the “real world.” I wanted to know what was happening outside of the school walls and beyond the hierarchy of the education system. I wanted to be able to partake in discussions that did not involve students or other teachers. I wanted to be able to talk about global economies, politics, cultures, the arts and all that stuff. And I wanted to be relevant in this fast-changing environment, I wanted to feel the adrenaline! I don’t give a crap about drama a la WAGS, but the drama that happens when a nationwide policy changes overnight, or when developers fight price wars with one another – that’s what I live for.


This may sound cheesy, but I love adding value to the lives of those around me. This was one of the reasons I started Trouvée.Co, and it now makes sense that it was also part of why I decided to go into the world of realty. Before I went into realty, I knew close to nothing about buying property in Singapore. Now, I know SO MUCH MORE and am able to advise my friends, family members and clients on what strategies they should apply when buying something for their own stay or investment. Of course, not everyone listens to what I say, but the fact that I have something of substance to contribute is what matters more. I am able to help those around me plan for their retirement so they can live comfortably in their later years.


If I had a spirit TV character, it would definitely be Harvey Specter.


The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singapore by Roxanne Chia Realty


What I’m Good At:


To find out what your ikigai is, you first need to understand yourself. I’m someone who has high empathy and I’m sensitive to vibes. I’m so extremely sensitive to vibes, you can call me an empath. This means when I’m within a reasonably close distance to someone, I can instinctively feel what that person is feeling. I don’t know why, but I just do. I can sense when things are happening even when I’m not around to see or experience it personally at that point in time. I can tell when something has happened – and what has happened – by observing others who are related/associated to said thing. Because of this, I can read people easily.


This means I know your secrets before you know it, and I can tell when you’re trying to bullshit me. I can also tell when someone is being honest and have no ill intentions. That’s why I can react accordingly, and serve/protect my clients to the best of my ability. Being sensitive to others also means I have it easier when connecting with others.


I learn fast and my brain remembers most of the stuff I make it remember. I’m flexible and adapt quickly to situations. I’m well-read, well-travelled (and I don’t mean the touristy kind) and have friends and acquaintances from different walks of life. I can form meaningful relationships with others. I can talk comfortably and confidently in front of large crowds, thanks to years of giving lectures to hundreds of judge-y teenagers and delivering a presentation in front of an adult audience at a conference.


What the World Needs:


The world needs more people who genuinely care for those they are supposed to be helping. Home buyers and sellers need professional advice delivered in a timely manner, and especially in a fast-moving market like property, this is of the utmost importance.


Clients need someone who can put their needs first, instead of commissions. People need someone who listens, supports and can work together with them to achieve a common goal.


Apart from that, I think we can also all do with more positivity in our lives to make amazing things happen!


What I Can be Paid For:


As a real estate salesperson, I get paid when transactions are made. Everyone’s happy, I’m happy, case closed. I don’t need a monthly salary, and especially not a 9-to-5. If I can earn a living exploring gorgeous homes, getting out there and seeing more of the world, matching people with their dream homes, helping them to upgrade their homes, and learning more about the property market and the lives of my fellow Singaporeans, why wouldn’t I do it?

Bathroom in The Ritz-Carlton Residences by Roxanne Chia Realty

So yes, the fact that I can write such a long blog post about real estate means I’ve definitely found my ikigai in this industry. I don’t think I will ever consider moving into another field, apart from further exploring entrepreneurship and investing. This is it. This is my life, and I’m finally happy with where I’m at.


If you’ve read this far, thank you so much. I wish you find your ikigai, if you haven’t already. As I wrote, first understand yourself. I’ll leave you with a quote I recently re-discovered:


Do what you have to do so that you can do what you want to do.