This article was originally published here: Rhonda Wong – Co-Founder & CEO of Ohmyhome
Rhonda Wong’s ambition is simple: to be the world leader in property transactions, and she has a very clear idea how that could happen.
What’s your story?
As a former real estate investor and consultant, I’ve been active in the property transactions scene for more than 10 years in over 7 countries. While the steps to transacting a property may differ, it was frustrating to see that the problems commonly faced all around the world are similar, the process is costly, cumbersome, and fragmented. We believed that there was a better way to transact properties and help customers sell and buy homes faster, in a more reliable manner, and at affordable transaction fees.
So we started Ohmyhome in 2016, to create solutions to revolutionize the entire housing transaction experience.
What excites you most about your industry?
It thrills me to know that now, more than ever, customers have the ability to take charge of their property transactions and make informed decisions when it comes to buying, selling, or renting their homes.
I hope that through the new features and services offered on the Ohmyhome platform, we can continue to shape the PropTech industry with positive change and innovation; to be one that creates a better experience for all, especially when it comes to the most important asset of our customers’ lives – their homes. Our methods and speed of transacting is certainly the way of the future.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My vision is for Ohmyhome to become the primary platform for all housing matters around the world. The thought that one day everyone can manage any aspect of their homes through 1 app drives me. Work is only meaningful when there’s a positive impact on people’s lives.
I also aim to shift industry norms so that homes can be built, priced, and be made available to all social classes. Specifically, I hope to make housing available to the less fortunate, property investment available to the middle class, and help the upper class preserve their wealth.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
With Ohmyhome now available in 3 countries – Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, the biggest challenge for me was adaptability. Whilst industry norms and regulations were somewhat similar in each market, it was important that we embraced cultural differences among colleagues and most importantly, bridge the distance between traditional methods of home transactions with technology.
We’re pleased to share that Ohmyhome has since successfully replicated our business model and operations in the different geographic regions. To date, Ohmyhome has facilitated over 5,300 property transactions, which represents a combined value of S$1.6 billion, and has over 4,000 5-star reviews on Facebook.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do what matters. Since your career will take up a huge part of your life, make it meaningful, make it something good, something beyond yourself, something that ultimately makes the world a better place. The aim is to build a career with an impact that will hopefully last beyond your lifetime.
Who inspires you?
My sister and Co-founder, Race, we built Ohmyhome together. As industry leaders, evolution and innovation are what we set out to do. We disrupt the property industry’s habits and norms by translating what was traditionally a time-consuming method, to one that can withstand the test of time, and create a positive experience, with technology.
Her resilience and perseverance are outstanding, we inspire one another to grow Ohmyhome into a platform that we can be proud of every day.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Trader Joe’s is a value mart in the States, famous for its bulk sales and frozen food. I recently learned that having low open freezer bins instead of the typical standing freezers was a key to their frozen section success. It brings shoppers closer to products in a leisure manner without the blast of cold air from the glass doors.
It reminded me of the importance of user experience and how slight enhancements in convenience can make customers fall in love with your product. I felt reassured about our dedication to our users’ experience and convenience in their housing journey.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I stumble at this question because life is truly a journey and all the experiences I’ve had add up to who I am today as an individual. I guess I could waste less time, work harder, play harder and certainly always be kinder. I’m always so excited about my work, sometimes I wish I could share it better so that I can influence more spectators to be a part of this positive change.
How do you unwind?
The best way for me to unwind is to spend quality time with my family, especially my son Ashton. Seeing the joy in his eyes certainly reminds me of how grateful I am to have him as my child. His cuddles are the best in the world and never fails to lift my spirits, especially after a long and tiring day.
I really enjoy spending time with my teammates too. I’m writing this at my office at 9pm and still have a bunch of lovely people here, we have dinner together, work away and keep one another company.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
Before Ohmyhome, Race and I were already deep in real estate work, transacting across 7 countries for investors, but we were constantly seeking more meaning to it. We wanted a powerful business that would also have a positive impact on our society. The ‘ah-ha’ moment came when Race said “We should be doing this for everyone, not just for the wealthiest. Creating an app will allow us to ensure that honest and good services in housing transactions are available to all.”
It dawned upon me then, that this could be that idea that I’d been looking for.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Robert Kuok: A Memoir.
Shameless plug for your business:
Ohmyhome provides a robust ecosystem with a total of ten property services. Our model is unique; we’re a hybrid of a DIY platform and full-fledged in-house agency services. It is the ONLY all-in-one property platform in Singapore with post-purchase offerings.
If you are looking to DIY, we are the best platform.
If you are looking for property agents, we have the best agents.
If you are looking for a mortgage, we have the best rates.
If you are looking to renovate, we have the best interior designers.
If you are looking for a one-stop-shop, we are the only choice.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series. Every entrepreneur featured has been recommended by one of our previous guests.