If you’re looking at renting, buying or selling, you may have come across property agent CYRIL TUZEMEN. We ask him about starting his business in boutique real estate in Singapore – and how he juggles managing residential and commercial properties with having three young kids.
Where are you from originally and what do you miss about it?
I’ve lived in Singapore for 13 years but I’m originally from Paris. I miss having lunch at a Parisian bistro looking out on the street at the world going by.
What brought you to Singapore?
After five years in London and a bad illness that left me in hospital for four months, I’d had enough. So I typed “hot weather” and “low tax” into Google and hopped on a plane to visit Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore just felt like home.
What inspired you to work in real estate in Singapore?
I’d been working in investment banking for a number of years while my friend was in real estate. Together, we had invested in some properties in London and after successfully managing them, we decided to open an agency to manage others. My dad was actually a property agent and had his own agency. On weekends I used to follow him to apartments. Funnily enough, it was the last job he wanted me to do!
Tell us about your business Vesper Homes and your property agents.
We’re a real estate team of 12 working with residential and commercial properties. Our key difference is that when it comes to tenancy, each property is assigned a property agent as a manager. They will support tenants and landlords and help them to resolve issues that may arise – this is standard in the UK but doesn’t often happen here in Singapore.
We’ve also just opened a physical office in Joo Chiat to provide more personalised service and further differentiate ourselves. And we’re looking to expand the team further here to support the growth in both residential and offices markets.
What’s a typical working day in the life of a property agent for you?
I have three young kids (an almost-six-year-old and two-year old twins) – they make sure I never miss a 6.30am alarm. After I drop the twins to school, I head to our CBD office and use the morning to get work done at the desk. The rest of the day is filled with meetings and my favourite part of the job – viewings.
Where is your home in Singapore and how long have you lived there?
When I found out we were expecting twins boys, I decided a house would be a better fit than an apartment. So we currently live in Braddell Heights. Before that, we lived in River Valley for 10 years – still my favourite place in Singapore.
What are you looking forward to this year?
More quality time with my boys as they’re at a stage where they’re interested in some fun activities we can do together. I’ve also strengthened the team and named Amanda Allen our Singapore Director. It’s a change I’m looking forward to as I can mostly focus on the expansion of the business.
Quick questions about Singapore: what is your favourite …
Casual restaurant? Bistro du Vin
Bar? 67 Pall Mall
Local food? Prawn noodles at Zion Food Court
Nature space? Walking along the river in River Valley
Things to do with visitors? Start with kopi, head to Gardens by the Bay, enjoy a local meal, and show them some of the crazy real estate in Singapore (visitors love seeing houses here!)
Nearby holiday destination? Club Med Bintan with young kids, or Taiwan
Learn more about boutique real estate in Singapore, the residential and commercial properties managed by Vesper Homes and their property agents here.
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