Ms Rhonda Wong, Co-Founder and CEO – Ohmyhome
Ms. Rhonda Wong was born in a village in Malaysia, was raised and educated in Singapore and had ambitions about becoming a musician, a volunteer and a doctor. Ms. Rhonda Wong eventually attended the business school at the University of Michigan. After graduation, she started her first job as a treasury bonds options trader at Nico Trading in Chicago, where she was the only female trader. Being a serial entrepreneur at heart, Rhonda worked on several businesses including retail import and export of equipment from USA and also acted as a consultant on other businesses such as children’s education in Suzhou, China.
Ms. Wong started her career in real estate by working for developers in 2013 and subsequently founded Anthill Realtors. Anthill Realtors is a boutique real estate consultancy firm with specialised offerings in both residential and commercial real estate in Australia, the UK and Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, Anthill Realtors only represents developers who are personally handpicked for their exceptional values and high standards in quality. Ms. Wong also co-founded Ohmyhome in 2016. Ohmyhome is a mobile app that connects Singapore’s government housing homeowners to home searchers directly, free of charge. Ohmyhome is completely free of charge, putting the control of homes literally back into consumers’ hands, at the ease of a Smartphone or computer.
Team ABT reached out to Ms. Rhonda Wong to know more about her professional journey. Read below.
Who inspires you the most? Why?
My parents are a huge inspiration. They came from very humble beginnings and showed me that hard work and passion can take you a very long way and that while levels of success may be uncertain, the sense of accomplishment of having done it yourself is priceless. My parents’ hard work enabled me to be a fortunate individual, grow up in a wonderful country, blessed with a warm home, good education and the opportunity to learn and explore. They always reminds me to be a useful person and now I wake up ready to be the best that I can be.
On a daily basis, I’m inspired by people around me. Hardworking individuals who are trying to make a difference. Underprivileged individuals that I wish never have had to be in those circumstances.
What were the circumstances that led you to choose Real Estate as a Profession?
My personal real estate investments prompted me to join the real estate industry. I started consulting for developers in 2013 and subsequently founded Anthill Realtors, a real estate agency at the age of 29 in 2014. Headquartered in Singapore, Anthill Realtors’ forte in sourcing investment grade properties from within and abroad with a one of a kind concierge service is guided by the one belief that if you take care of your clients, your business will take care of itself.
Ohmyhome eventually emerged with my desire to extend quality service and real estate education to the most important sector of our market. Ohmyhome’s vision is to help HDB dwellers simplify their HDB transaction process and enjoy savings through taking control of their own homes, starting from the buying, selling and renting.
Tell us about Ohmyhome and how it did the idea take shape?
I spend a lot of time at work and I used to think that I’ll just work for the sake of making money and then I’ll use that money to do the things that I like. Then I remember hearing a famous basketballer saying how blessed he was to be paid so well for doing something he loves every day. That stuck with me. I thought that made a lot of sense. Since I’m spending that much time, why don’t I do something that I love that is meaningful at the same time.
I have volunteered across the world from Dominican Republic to Myanmar and found that very often the ones who need the most help receives the worst help. I’d like to change that, a step at a time if I can. Living in Singapore, we are generally very blessed but we do face first world problems. 82% of our resident population living in HDB traditionally have a lack of options in transacting their own homes. But in reality they are fully capable of helping themselves if someone were to just make the process simpler. So we started Ohmyhome, simplifying the process of selling, buying, renting your HDB, so that today, everyone can manage this process themselves completely free of charge. And if they were to need an agent to assist them, our flat fees are more manageable at $2,888. We have an exceptional team of highly experienced agents, and we’ve been getting wonderful reviews from our customers, which reaffirms that we’re on the right track.
Do you face any challenges? How you overcome them?
I faced more challenges than I expected. People often have the impression that women can’t work endlessly as compared to men, hence as a woman I have to work even harder to prove that that isn’t the case.
With regards to Ohmyhome, the challenge has been to let the public understand that the DIY platform is really free. No listing fees, advertising fees, success fees or hidden fees. They felt skeptical that this could be true. They also didn’t believe that if they wanted an agent to serve them, we only charge a flat fee of $2,888. Because we are a first in our industry, it took us some time to convince and educate people that we are here to help make lives simpler
If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
Sleep less in my younger years and do more. There’s so much out there to experience and to do. So many wonders, yet so much problems. Life is too short.
What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
On the Ohmyhome front, my team and I will work tirelessly to improve our app and simplify the issues and difficulties our users may face, when it comes to housing. Ohmyhome will be a one stop shop for all your HDB transaction needs!
On a personal note, I would like to go back to the places where I’ve volunteered, where I’ve said to someone that I’ll be back, and actually be back. I take pride in keeping my word. My parents aren’t going to be young forever, I just want to be a good daughter and spoil them.