On today's episode,
Ghib Ojisan 0:03
I learned that people get used to everything and what's more important was the safety. There's no natural disaster in Singapore it's, I feel more secure here. Plus I like the food.
You're At Home, with Stacked
Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of At Home with Stacked. Now today's episode is a little bit of an interesting one. Why? Well we actually have Japanese Singaporean YouTube sensation Ghib Ojisan with us today. Now this episode isn't going to be completely real estate related so it's a little bit different. But we did talk a little bit about Ghib's preference for and experience of buying his home here in Singapore towards the end of the podcast. Before that, though, we discuss how he got to Singapore, the key differences between Japanese and Singaporean culture as well as his very unique path to YouTube stardom. Now as always, if you like what you listen to, you can always hop on to stackedhomes.com/editorial for more of us, right after the show.
Ghib! Welcome to the show.
Ghib Ojisan 1:33
Hey, Reuben, thank you for having me.
Hey, thanks for joining me today. Do you manage to sleep well last night? Actually, I did you too, right? Because we were so exhausted.
Yeah, man. I just I came home I think I switched on the light and like five minutes switched it off, I was in my bed. I was like gone.
Ghib Ojisan 1:50
You guys are probably wondering why on earth are we talking about going to sleep and all that stuff? Long story short, Ghib and I actually spent 24 hours in a showflat just yesterday. It's quite a crazy story. We have a video coming out, I'm actually I'm not to shake it which comes first the podcast that video. But you know, whatever happens, the video will be coming out so you guys can look forward to that. But you know, Ghib, we're here today to talk about you, about your life story. Now you have over I think 180,000 subscribers. And I learned just yesterday that you have one video with over 9 million views. Pretty crazy. Yeah, I guess just before we even get into the whole YouTube thing. Maybe you could share with us a little bit more about how this all began? What made you decide to make the move to Singapore?
Ghib Ojisan 2:44
Um, so Okay, long story short, it was marriage. So I found my, I met my wife back in 2016/17-ish. When I first came to Singapore, I was a backpacker. I had my... it was a big trip because I had my guitar. I quit my job. I just wanted to, you know, travel. I travelled around 28 countries. And that's when I first came to Singapore. I had no idea what kind of country Singapore was. And I was basking on the street. That's how I met my wife. Then my wife's a... she's a typical, I don't know if I should call her typical Singaporean, but she's, uh, she was...
Be careful, man.
Ghib Ojisan 3:34
I know, right? Anyway, okay,
You don't want to spend 24 hours in a showflat again.
Ghib Ojisan 3:43
Okay. It's pretty like this. So my wife, she's a... she's scared of earthquakes. And you know, all those natural disasters. So we're talking about, you know, we wanted to be together, but she didn't really want to live in Japan long term because the country has so many natural disasters, right.
Ghib Ojisan 4:06
Yeah, we have earthquakes typhoons. So... she was scared of that. And I didn't have a job. So... so I didn't mind coming to Singapore. And that's how I came here. Yeah.
Right. So this was just... so you met her in 2016-2017. And then in December 2018. You made... you finalised your move, right?
Ghib Ojisan 4:28
How did it feel like when you first arrived, because I I know, I guess you already knew your wife who probably knew your wife's family members. But do you feel... very different? Like I'm sure there would have been a culture shock, like Singaporean culture, I imagine is very different from Japanese culture.
Ghib Ojisan 4:45
First of all, it's really it... it was it felt really hot for me. So I noticed myself quickly adapting by taking buses, MRT, even when it's walkable. Basically... as he said, I was already living with my family-in-law in Singapore. So it wasn't that difficult for me. Because of them.
Right? Yeah, I think that's something I always hear people say. Like, when I was travelling, I think when I was backpacking for the first time, because you were backpacking as well all right, and I think I went to Amsterdam for the first time. And if I wanted to get from point A to point B, assuming it was maybe like, a half an hour walk, I would look for the closest bus station or tram station and someone would be, just walk it in. It's 20 minutes. You... you just don't see that in Singapore, because it's so warm. The weather's a bit humid as well right? What would you say is the biggest difference between Singaporean and Japanese culture?
Ghib Ojisan 5:48
Okay, so I was I first had a job offer in Singapore. Right. So that's when I first learned that Singapore, it was much more relaxed in terms, in terms of working compared to my it's more compared to my... no, compared to Japan.
No way. Yeah.
Ghib Ojisan 6:10
Depends, like the craziest in terms of working because... I used to work... so much longer in Japan like 830 till like 9, 10... sometimes 11.
Ghib Ojisan 6:28
Yeah hahaha. So then I moved to I had a job offer in Singapore, right? Like, every day, I went home at like 530-6. And that was because I felt like everything was more efficient. We didn't have useless meetings. Like, in Japan, we would have a lot... lots of meetings, a lot of paperwork, we have to make lots of document.
Would you like for us to go to like the Izakayas with your bosses back in Japan? Because that's a thing, right? Like after work, you have to go... you have to drink and then you have to wait to the boss finishes or something like that? Is it true?
Ghib Ojisan 7:05
I'll say it's changing. But that's one of the that is true, actually. Especially if you join like a small company. The boss will expect you to hang around with him. Or else your people will think your colleagues will think you're weird, and they don't want to do work with you.
Oh, wow. Okay, it's pretty intense. How did YouTube begin then? Were you already a YouTuber at that point?
Ghib Ojisan 7:33
Yeah, I was already a YouTuber. I already had my channel for, I believe around two years. But I used to do something very different, it was actually back when I was travelling. I uploaded videos of myself playing guitar in the street. So currently, I don't do that anymore. But one of the video went viral. It currently has like 9 million views. So that's how I kind of started the YouTube career. After that video went viral. I had like my sub count went from like, 100 to 20,000 in like two weeks. So I was like, very lucky. Yeah. I don't even know why that video went viral. I was just lucky. I would say.
Do you know what we should do? We should get you to play your guitar in a showflat for 24 hours, like the sequel to the video we did yesterday.
Ghib Ojisan 8:27
Yeah, it might work. You know, you don't know what will go viral.
What's the highest number of subs anyone has anywhere on YouTube? Do you know?
Ghib Ojisan 8:36
Isn't a PewDiePie the in video game streamer, I believe? Yes.
Googling right now. On this PewDiePie...
Ghib Ojisan 8:51
100 million? No?
Oh, my goodness. He has 100 million subscribers.
Ghib Ojisan 8:55
Yeah yeah, he does. He does. Hahaha.
We'll get there soon, man. A couple of more videos in showflats.
Ghib Ojisan 9:01
And yeah a couple more... showflats haha.
Cool. So I guess something that perhaps everyone's very interested in learning about over the hearing about... what are some challenges, because I know when you quit your job, right, so I think after a couple of months, you did one particular video in Yishun? And then your... your views, I think exploded with the Singaporean market if I'm not wrong.
Ghib Ojisan 9:29
After which you quit your job completely, and you turned to YouTubing full time. What were what were your thoughts at that point? Were you afraid of what was going to happen or some challenges that you face at that point.
Ghib Ojisan 9:44
Um, so when I quit my job, I quit my job in six months in Singapore to kind of pursue YouTube the career of YouTube and I already had enough money to kind of survive, but not that much. So I was, uh, I was struggling because my, my viewers back then they subscribed because they wanted to watch my guitar videos, but I wasn't posting any more guitar videos. So it's like, you know, like, you're only talking about video games, video games on your podcast, it doesn't really make sense to the audience, right? Like, audiences... listen to your podcast to, you know, listen to real estate topics, right? They're not here to listen to a video game. So I was doing something similar. So it was a guitar channel, but I was uploading like, Singapore stuff. So I was really struggling. I don't really know what to do, but then some day that Yishun video I think it started from some someone famous on Facebook, sharing the video, and that's how like, kind of it went viral? And yeah, like, life is unpredictable.
It is man YouTube is unpredictable.
Ghib Ojisan 11:02
I think like, yeah, I think that that highlights like a really big point, if you really have such a keen following on one particular niche, assuming you don't diversify your past videos. And then suddenly, one day you have a change of heart or change of mindset. And you're like "Okay, I'm going to do real estate now". Chances are, if they don't, if they're following you just for, like, the particular topic that you're making, then I don't think they would really be interested in watching football videos. But I think what attracts people nowadays is really the character. Like you have a great character, watched all your videos, I find it very personal, very humorous as well. And...
Ghib Ojisan 11:38
You know, I think if you change your topic, as long as your personality doesn't change too much, or your style video doesn't change too much. I guess that people will still watch? But maybe not as much, right?
Ghib Ojisan 11:53
Yeah, that's that's like the ultimate goal for all YouTubers. I would say because
Just to win that personality.
Ghib Ojisan 12:02
Yeah. So... so people will watch like any type of video. You don't even need to think that much. Right? But it's quite difficult. Hahaha.
I'm guessing a lot of people reach out to us in the comment section, like they send emails and stuff asking you for certain video topics, that kind of stuff. Did you enjoy those things? Like replying to your subscribers to comment?
Ghib Ojisan 12:27
Yeah, I. In fact, I reply to most of the emails I get from my fans. Yeah, I do. I do.
180,000... I mean, it's not 180,000 emails, right? Oh,
Ghib Ojisan 12:40
I can imagine it's, it's quite a quite a bit, right?
Ghib Ojisan 12:44
I just appreciate the support from my viewers.
That's really nice. I'm gonna send you an email later. I'll get like 10 email accounts and send you just a test...
Ghib Ojisan 12:57
Oh you are gonna test me? Hahaha. Can. Bring it on hahaha.
Okay. So yeah, actually, I was quite curious. So you mentioned about that guitar video, which could you about 9 million views. And there was this one particular video which kind of caught my the video on, I think it was HDB hub. The one where I think the agent showed up a little bit late and you're trying to be...
Ghib Ojisan 13:07
Yeah, I know. That was. That was a very interesting video for me, because it just highlighted something that's really real, like the importance of punctuality. And I think, again, that that's like, cross culture thing, right? Like maybe in Singapore, it's not prioritised as heavily. But in Japan, I assume if you're late, it's really disrespectful, right?
Ghib Ojisan 13:49
Yeah. Um, I know this doesn't apply to all Singaporeans. But, yeah, the agent was she's basically always late.
Ghib Ojisan 14:02
Doesn't give me a text when she's running late.
It's a matter of priority, I feel. Were there other challenges along the way as well?
Ghib Ojisan 14:13
Right. So basically, we did like how many, like 10 to 15 viewings, but we never found like, like a reliable agent, like, we didn't know who to trust because they were only talking about the good part about the property. Felt like they weren't really sincere. Like, like this agent, right. We recently purchased a flat. She used to be more responsive before purchasing. So after purchasing, she's suddenly like, stopped replying to WhatsApp. It felt like we couldn't really trust anyone and that kind of made it difficult for us to purchase a flat and partly it's it might be because we didn't have a buyer's agent.
I do know, of course of some really, really good agents that I've had the pleasure to meet over the past months and past years, who do their due diligence even after so they come back and they text a client a couple of months down the road. Hey, how is everything? Isn't that, but it's very rare. I must say, too rare.
Ghib Ojisan 15:19
When you chose this home, was there a reason you chose it? Or is there certain factors, filters that you had to choose this place?
Ghib Ojisan 15:29
Yes. Um, so for us, for my wife, and I, it was it was important to have nature, so and have a good view. Okay. So that's like...
That's a good one.
Ghib Ojisan 15:43
The best, one of the most important factor, as well as the proximity to the MRT station. And the nearest bus stop.
Okay, I won't ask you where you are? Because you're private about these thing's. Given the choice, right... would you choose to buy a home in Singapore? Or would you choose to buy a home in Japan assuming that your wife was okay with moving to Japan.
Ghib Ojisan 16:13
Ooof... um, I will say Singapore for me.
Ghib Ojisan 16:18
Yeah. Because it's just... I just love the country, super happy with my life right now. And okay, even if I live in Singapore, right, we can easily go to Japan. You know what, it only takes like seven hours plane ride. And I just love how Singapore's nearer to... all the other countries you know, in Japan, Japan is quite isolated. Right?
Ghib Ojisan 16:45
We're, of course we're nearer to the US but still takes what like 12 hours. In Singapore, you can just go to Thailand, India, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China anywhere it's.. it's so near, of course, in a period of the COVID-19 we can't travel, so that sucks but after the COVID, I'll be so happy like... I live in Singapore.
Yeah, I think that's one thing a lot of my expat friends see as well. With Singapore it's very easy to go to like Bali for surfing for example, you know? Like a road trip off to Malaysia. But everything like a huge plus of Japan as well as I mean, if you ask me and of course for me, I'm always thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. I'll be like, oh, you know, in Japan has great mountains, great hiking, great culture, bamboo forests, you know, I was in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara as well. And like just the diversity between these three cities was just like mind blowing like Osaka you have your kind of like, flat-looking compact houses, right, in white? It's a great city. And then you go to Nara and you have the deer. And then Kyoto is this cute little villages and mountains. So that's something I really enjoyed. Out of curiosity is is real estate in Japan very expensive?
Ghib Ojisan 18:08
I will say in Tokyo or Osaka, the big cities. It says it can be as expensive as Singapore. Yeah.
Ghib Ojisan 18:17
Yeah as expensive as in Singapore. Yeah. So but in the countryside. There's like, very low value.
As a foreigner Can I like buy land in Japan, for example? Assuming I want to build my house...
Ghib Ojisan 18:28
I'm not sure to be honest. I've never really considered buying a place in Japan. I was just... yeah, I was just looking a place in Singapore. But I know the culture, the food, the nature, those type of things... appeal to foreigners, but I just learned that you'll get used to it. You'll get used to everything right. I was travelling. That was my dream, right? Travelling. Being a backpacker. And even that I got used to it. Everything got very boring. I don't know about you, but it got boring. I lived in Osaka. It got boring. I lived in Tokyo. And that's like a dream for a lot of people. But it got boring. Right? So people, I learned that people get used to everything and what's more important was the safety. There's no natural disaster in Singapore right? It's... I feel more secure here. Plus, I like the food hahaha.
Okay, well Ghib one final question then.
Ghib Ojisan 19:39
Do you have any advice? Perhaps even for Singaporeans or perhaps or any English speaking Japanese friends of ours who are listening in? Would you have any advice for for these people who perhaps might want to shift to the opposite country?
Ghib Ojisan 19:57
Opposite country, huh? Advice ah? Find... find a wife or husband? Or, or you can just make... find friends. It's important... they make you feel home. And you can just ask whatever... you want hah!
Right, so like build a community before actually heading done right?
Ghib Ojisan 20:29
Or you can you can find a community after you're there, when you arrive. Yeah.
Yeah. Okay, good. Well, thank you so much for your time today.
Ghib Ojisan 20:38
Thank you for having me
Looking forward to all the other videos that we're going to do in the coming weeks and months to come.
Ghib Ojisan 20:44
... more... more showflats?
More showflats, most likely! Thanks Ghib, see you soon man.
Ghib Ojisan 20:50
See you! Thank you.
So once again, that was Ghib Ojisan. A Japanese YouTuber who has made Singapore his home. We're going to be seeing a lot more of him at Stacked in the days and weeks to come. So it's going to be very interesting. And of course, hopefully you guys enjoyed this little podcast. Now as always, if you like what you listen to, you can hop on to stackedhomes.com/editorial. And if you have any comments, queries or suggestions, feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com. Once again, my name is Reuben Dhanaraj, and I'll see you guys in the next podcast.