Published on: RICS
An increasingly digitalised industry presents concerns for some and opportunities for others – Rhonda Wong squarely falls into the latter. After spending her early career abroad, she returned to Singapore with an appetite for real estate. She is now CEO of Ohmyhome, a do-it-yourself property portal that has helped its users save over S$27m+ in transaction fees.
I graduated with distinction from Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, with majors in finance, entrepreneurial, accounting and a minor in economics. While in University, I was also awarded the Carson Scholarship to study public policy in Washington D.C. After graduation, I joined Nico Trading Chicago, I was the only female trader employed at that time.
When I returned to Singapore, I quickly became interested in property – I made some money from personal real estate investments, which encouraged me to join a real estate agency as a salesperson. After that, I began consulting for property developers, before establishing Anthill Realtors, where we sourced investment-grade properties for our clients.
It was a lucrative business, but it only helped an extremely small group. We wanted to use our expertise and experience to help more people, hence Ohmyhome was created to simplify the process of selling, buying, renting their properties.
My sister, Race Wong and I first started Ohmyhome to make housing transactions simpler, faster and affordable – a one-stop shop for everyone’s housing needs.
We were first in the market to launch our hybrid ‘do-it-yourself and fixed-rate’ agent model. Because of this, a lot of people were sceptical that we could maintain quality of service and affordability at the same time. To win over these sceptics, we really focused on a great user experience, both on our digital platform and our agent services.
I believe that the most powerful marketing tool is word of mouth. Customers who have used our service have given us positive feedback – a rare five out of five rating on Facebook – and have gone on to tell their colleagues and friends. This has enabled us to serve over 4,500 homes to date, representing a combined value of over S$1 billion.
In 2016, I founded and became CEO of Ohmyhome at the age of 31. It quickly emerged as Singapore’s top Housing Development Board (HDB) application in January 2017 – suffice to say, this takes up most of my time. I spearhead day-to-day activities and the overall management of Ohmyhome, which has driven the company to success as one of 2017’s best startups.
I also play an active role in driving our growth and expansion, chiefly our launch into Malaysia in early 2019. This is the first cross-border, one-stop property technology solution that will serve thousands of customers in both countries.
It is a great privilege and an honour to be recognised alongside the other remarkable individuals for the Property, Infrastructure and Construction category at the Women of the Future Awards Southeast Asia.
Being shortlisted cements my personal and professional achievements and, by extension, the amazing work my team does. I believe that both Ohmyhome and female talent in the industry have very bright futures.
I am committed to making Ohmyhome the platform for all housing solutions globally.
We continually invest in innovation to pioneer services and products that keep up ahead of the game. By fostering in-house talent and working with only the best developers, we are slowly but surely reinventing the transaction landscape and improving service quality, efficiency, and integrity.
I have personally undertaken real estate transactions in over seven countries and, while localisation is extremely important, I know that the pain points are similar everywhere. My aspiration is for Ohmyhome to solve these issues, not just in Singapore, but in all major cities across Southeast Asia – an expansion I plan to oversee over the next five years.