Reuben and Chester

EP. 13 27 MAR 2021 | 43:55

Singaporean Turned New York City Real Estate Agent

Together, the duo delve into the humble star's background before uncovering his relationship with superstar agent, Ryan Serhant - and his participation in the Real Estate TV Blockbuster, Million Dollar Listing.

A little later in the show, they explore what it means to succeed in NYC as a foreigner,  before deciphering some of the key market differences between Singaporean and New York Real Estate.

At the end of the episode, Chester shares some key tips for Singaporeans who are looking to invest in New York property (while also keeping the topic of safety in mind).

Available on



RDReuben is the producer and talkshow host of the Stacked Podcast Series.


CYChester is the founder of The Yow Team which connects luxury NYC real estate to homeowners, investors and developers around the globe.


Reuben  0:00  
On today's episode

Chester  0:02  
In New York City, everybody just minds their own business. I could be on the subway or walking down the street and someone's dressed very differently or behaving very differently or doing anything they want to do. And I just don't really care.

Reuben  0:33  
You're At Home, with Stacked.

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of At Home With Stacked today's show brings is in conversation with a Singaporean son who's been outside of the country for quite some time. Now. Where is he? Well, at this point in time, he is smack in the middle of New York City rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest real estate agents in the world. His name is Chester Yow, and before he moved to the US, he was like any other kid. So he played rugby in school, he attended junior college and even spent two years in the army. Today, however, he heads The Yow Team under the famed real estate brokerage Nest Seekers International. During his time as an agent has been featured on Ryan Serhant's, Million Dollar Listing, became close friends with Eric Conover and sold over 40 properties to date.

On today's show, we discuss how he got to where he is today. What it means to succeed in New York City as a foreigner, and perhaps more intriguingly, what are some of the key market differences between Singaporean and New York real estate. At the end of the show, just to share some tips for Singaporeans looking to invest in US property. As always, if you like what you listen to, you can hop on to for more of us right after the show. Chester, welcome to the show.

Chester  2:06  
Hi, nice to meet everyone. Nice to meet you.

Reuben  2:10  
Hey man, thank you so much for joining us. So we literally just found out yesterday on the call that we are both from we literally study in this same school growing up,

Chester  2:20  
Correct Yes St Andrew's that's right.

Reuben  2:23  
It's literally a full circle. Like I wasn't expecting that. And they were like, Oh, yeah, I was from St Andrews. And like, Oh, yeah, I'm from St Andrews, too. But I guess that's kind of where the similarities end. Because after college, you went, you did two years in the Commandos, I believe. And then you were shipped off to Hawaii, where you did your degree. And then the next thing we know, you're selling real estate and what is perhaps the most esteemed real estate city in the world, New York City, right. So perhaps if you could share with us a little bit more about your journey and how you got to where you are today.

Chester  2:59  
Yeah, so, did the whole I was born and raised in Singapore. My parents are Singaporeans as well. So we did the whole primary, secondary school, junior  college went to the army did the two years and both my parents, they, they graduated from college or university in America.

So I was the first son, even though I have an older brother, an older brother, because he went to poly, I was the first son to go to university. And so just kind of ended up doing like a little road trip in the US checking out some colleges ended up in my parents, previous University just because they knew some people there and the dean. 

And then did the whole undergrad. And from there, I had been to New York City, I was there for an internship. And other stuffs so I was familiar with that. So once I graduated, I actually moved to New York. Also mainly for a girl, but I wanted to be in a city similar to Singapore. And New York is definitely similar in a lot of ways. The pace, tall buildings, the capital for finance, and startups and tech and whatnot. So, that's how I really ended up in New York City first.

Reuben  4:28  
Was this something you always had an interest about real estate?

Chester  4:32  
No, not at all. I kind of founded, landed on my lap. I was in New York City just working a normal job. And  I was dealing a lot with overseas clients and in Asia and China. And I just had a friend of mine said, say that to me that real estate could be something good. And I'm not sure if Singapore airs it, but I watch HDTV, all that stuff, the property shows and I was like hey, let me give it a shot. I gave it a shot in 2014. And kind of, work my way up like everyone else started from scratch. And I'm still doing it right now. Yeah. So it's been about seven to eight years. In the business.

Reuben  5:27  
Yeah. So I was, I was watching a video by Ryan Serhant. This is a couple of months back. And I was just kind of, he was talking about his history, how he got started. He was initially an aspiring actor, right? So he wanted to be an actor, he moved to New York, I believe. And then at some point, like he had no interest in real estate whatsoever. And then at some point, someone was like, hey, you should probably try real estate. And it's almost like a parallel story to yours. I mean, he didn't study in St. Andrews, obviously. But it just shows that I think most of the mega real estate agents right now in New York City, you've never had an aspiration in the beginning, to become a real estate agent in that sense. And I guess speaking about that, right, you are listed on Million Dollar Listing, I believe you were the very first Singaporean, to get on there, and perhaps the only Singaporean to get on there. Can you share with us how it was like, and how did you even get invited to this?

Chester  6:28  
Yeah. So Ryan Serhant was at Nest Seekers International, which was the real estate brokerage firm. In New York City, when I joined. My first year and a half, I was working for another team and hustling and, and really trying to meet and network and get to know the product, get to know the neighborhoods be very knowledgeable, knowledgeable about everything. And once I kind of outgrew that team, Ryan, came by I knew some of his team members at that point. And when you kind of bring stuff to the table for him, he has an interest in that as well. So after a year and a half, I joined his team, and it was a great experience. And I have very fond memories about working for him. Obviously, the show is a huge factor, because it's, it's on Bravo TV network in the US. So it's always nice to be on TV, there's nice events where they're filming. Everybody kind of associates you with him. His social media was very, very strong, back then still. And so it kind of elevated my status. And it was great to use him as a leverage point as well, to get more business. For the team, for myself, obviously, for him as well. But it was great. The Press, the media, the parties, the events. Those were very, very nice to be in. I can say that at least. Yeah.

Reuben  8:19  
How is Million Dollar Listing like, like, I guess, to perhaps share more of our listeners. For those of you guys who are not too familiar with it, it's essentially a TV show that as you mentioned, Chester was aired on Bravo. Right. So this is a TV network in the US, and involves essentially real estate agents selling million dollar homes. What was your role in million dollar listing? Did you have a particular episode of your own?

Chester  8:48  
Not really, I mean, I think I think the team, his team, sometimes we were kind of featured in several episodes, maybe in the background and stuff like that. But the show really is about three or four real estate agents in New York, trying to make it big and sell the most expensive properties in New York. So obviously, the limelight is on the main individual. So obviously, Ryan is, is the focus point. As the team, we just support him, and we, we help planned events or whatnot to be on the show. I mean, what I can tell you is that it is reality TV, right? So obviously kind of like Netflix, there has to be a certain extent of drama associated with the negotiations with everything. But from what I know, and I can say probably it's all the listings that at least that Ryan was featured on selling in this show has to be exclusive, which means that they're actual listings of ours that we were representing the owners or developers In selling them, they would not let us just film some random listings with another agents selling it, that kind of thing. So it had to be our teams or his listing that was featured on the show. So the listings are real, the prices are real, but it is like reality TV. So obviously, they don't really showcase the grind, and the hard work that comes to it. The paperwork, so yeah, it was a great experience.

Reuben  10:32  
Yeah. And this was when you were still I mean, even now, you're still in Nest Seekers. Right. But I believe at some point, you branched out into founding the Yow team. So The Chester Yow team, right. Tell us a little bit more about it.

Chester  10:48  
Yeah. 2018. Spring, I guess I just felt that. I wasn't getting any younger, and I was learning everything that I could. And I, I left the company to another company and I formed my own team. And just recently, I moved back summer of last year back to Nest Seekers and kind of brought my team back with me.

So you can say it's like, it's like bittersweet, but it's just, it's like any other business where you feel like you learn as much as you can. And you just want to do it yourself. And you feel confident enough with your sales record, or if you're if you have knowledge of the market to be able to do that at

Reuben  11:41  
Is there a particular point in New York real estate, or even American real estate that you are focused on, do you like primarily sell estate only in New York at this point?

Chester  11:54  
Yeah, so I'm licensed in the state of New York. So I can sell anything that is in New York, including Buffalo, which I know a lot of Singaporeans go to school there. But I mainly focus in the tri-state area in the city. So New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, those, those are my main focus, just because it's also a different process and a different type of product down there. By focus mainly on on residential sales. But I don't exactly focus on like, commercials like retail, office, that's not my cup of tea, just because it's also a different set of skills and knowledge for that as well.

Reuben  12:44  
Yeah, definitely. I would assume that as a foreigner in New York, and I mean, we're not even talking about skin colour. So was it hard to succeed in New York? As a foreigner coming from Singapore?

Chester  12:57  
Yeah. New York City is kind of like a melting pot, so you do get everyone else from from Asia, Japan, Korea, and you have, African Americans, you have South American, you have European is kind of like a melting pot. I mean, for sure, yes, you do get overlooked sometimes. But I think it's all about playing to your strengths, right? Understanding that maybe someone like myself, who caters to investors in China, who can kind of understand the culture speak the language, that might resonate better. 

Definitely leveraging that, I did not grow up in New York City. So I had to network and really know as many people as I can. So I think, in general in the US, the freedom of speech is so much more accepted here. And you can really, if you work hard, if you work on yourself, you're confident, you can definitely create opportunities for yourself. Especially in real estate, where, there are a lot of Asian buyers and sellers and investors. So I would just say just go with your strengths.

I can't change my skin color. I would always tell people like when I first started real estate, I would go to networking events almost every night just to meet people. And, and I wonder if Singapore is a similar approach, but there were things like meetup, right or Eventbrite those websites where there's all this networking and I remember my years in real estate, they would go to real estate events, they would go to real estate open houses, which are fine. But my idea was that why am I going to these places where I would just meet my competition, like I would want to go to. And this was in 2014 2015, I would go to a startup, that at that time, WeWork wasn't even that big, I would go to WeWork events, I would go to Asian networking events, because I, I wanted to be the only real estate person in the room. And then everyone else would be my clients, instead of going to real estate events where it's fun and nice, but you end up just exchanging business cards with people that you're trying to get business from, compete for business. So definitely putting the hard work in kind of creating opportunities for ourselves to stand out. That's that key.

Reuben  15:58  
Was the pivotal point in your career where you're like, yeah, this is when I made my mark. Was there like a particular story? An interesting story? Perhaps?

Chester  16:08  
Yeah, I think, I think was when I joined Ryan's team, I did some sales. And actually, my first sale in the business was actually from a Singapore client. I mean, long story short, I was, was my first year I was working really hard. just focusing on sales. I didn't really want to focus on rentals, because sales is where you actually make you make more money, but it's more long term play. And I just got a call, I got a call from a Singaporean family and their daughter was moving from California to NYU. And they wanted to buy a spot for their daughter, and they just looked me up, they saw I was from Singapore. And, and that was my first sales transaction in New York City. It's definitely something I remember. But when I really felt that I was going to stay in real estate was when I moved to Ryan's team, and I brought on this project, that was near Times Square, not exactly in Times Square, but near Times Square that had like a $440 million sell out. And that's when I felt like I really, and in the business, like in the game, and I felt real, more confident of my ability to really go after this bigger price points, development projects, and stuff like that. So I would say when I, when I joined the team.

Reuben  17:48  
Usually I tend to ask for advice at the end. But since we're going into flow right now, if there are any Singaporeans who are perhaps listening to this podcast, and they're like, Hey, I'm, I'm tired of Singapore, I want to go into the Big Apple and be an agent there. Is it hard? Is there a massive barrier of entry to being an agent in New York, for example.

Chester  18:08  
Well, not being an agent in New York, but coming to the US, right. So whether it's and that's a whole separate conversation, whether it's as a student first and then working, or you could work here at the same time, get your license here, but obviously, making that switch, if you wanted to move from Singapore to the Big Apple, just making sure that you do it the right way. Yeah.

Reuben  18:39  
Very nice. All right. Well, I mean, speaking of Singapore and New York, I think this is perhaps one of the we've come to a very interesting section. I think a lot of Singaporeans are quite interested in this. Are there any, I mean, I'm sure there are massive differences between Singapore real estate and New York real estate. Would you have some examples of these differences?

Chester  18:59  
Yeah, for sure. Well, number one, and this is just based on my conversations with other real estate agents that I know in Singapore, just talking to them, but number one is the commission. I think the commissions here are higher than the Singapore that's what I hear. I hear conditions in Singapore about 1, 2% maybe, right? Here could go from maybe 3 to 6%. And obviously, the currency is different. So I think the first thing that I noticed was the commissions, obviously the second thing that's really big is that there's no such thing as like, like HDBs and BTOs here. There is like affordable housing for lower income people, but that's, that's a totally different, than like the BTO HDB kind of thing in Singapore. So that's the second difference. I will say the third would be how they look at apartments too. So like I realised, in Singapore, if you have a two bedroom or something, right, they count the living room as the bedroom or something like that. I can't remember. Because I actually went looking at places with my parents at one point. And so they will also it's a two bedroom, but I don't know, they kind of count the living room into the bedroom as a bedroom. You know?

Reuben  20:40  
Not really, I think that's maybe more for HDB flats.

Chester  20:43  
Okay, maybe, maybe, yeah, because here, here is like if it's a two bedroom, you actually have two bedrooms, and then they don't count the living room or dining room. Right. But I just remember looking at places with my parents at one point, and they were saying the one better to better, but like the count was different. Oh, okay, that maybe that's a little different than that. That's what I noticed. But, yeah, I mean, New York City is New York City, Singapore is Singapore. So I think like you said Orchard Road is really is more expensive than Tampines that kind of thing. And it's similar in New York as well, there're different pockets that obviously that're much more expensive than some other neighborhoods? Yeah.

Reuben  21:35  
Do you see a lot of, I think most of the Singaporeans that you work with who are buying real estate in New York, for example, in the tri-state area, are they buying it mostly for own stay, or for investment, which you need to think?

Chester  21:49  
Mixture, I have a few clients from Singapore that do just buy investment, as foreign investments. And,

Reuben  21:58  
and is there ABSD as well, like, Additional Buyer Stamp Duty, where if you buy like a single unit, and you buy another one used to be 12%, or

Chester  22:08  
Nope! It's the same. There's no additional stamp tax on it, I think it's when you sell it, there is something called a capital gains tax, but that applies to whether or not you're, you're foreigner, you're a local. And then like I was telling you before, I have clients that are, like buying for the kids, they're going to NYU, they're going to Columbia, and they are paying expensive rent, they'd rather perhaps buy a place for them. And then maybe once they graduate, or maybe they stay in the city to work after graduating, they can just live there. Or once they graduate and move back to Singapore, they either sell it or rent it out to just get rental income on the property. So I think a mixture of both.

Reuben  23:05  
So there isn't really like an entry barrier. So unlike Singapore, if you're a foreigner buying a unit in Singapore, you would probably have to pay foreign ABSD tax on the spot. But if a Singaporean were to buy a property in New York, you wouldn't have to pay something like that. And if you bought like a second property, no ABSD whatsoever, but it's only when you actually exit Well, you get capital gains tax.

Chester  23:29  
Correct. Just depends on how fast you exit. I mean, I don't think it applies to Singaporeans. But, obviously, China had the big thing about transferring money to the US, right? thing too much money was going from China to the US. And so I think this was two years ago, maybe they put the stop hole where an individual can only transfer of 50,000 a year and that affected money flowing from China to the US and New York City. And people are buying apartments, cash, and stuff like that. So yeah, Singaporeans can buy in New York City, you can do a loan, the loan from the bank has to be an International Bank, right, like HSBC. I think even Citibank would do some international loans. Or, they just pay cash. And I don't think I don't think Singapore has a limitation for that.

Reuben  24:37  
How are the interest rates like are they very high, do you have a ballpark for that?

Chester  24:42  
No, I mean, last year when COVID hit, interest rates drop really low to actually almost 2%. Now they're a little bit higher, to like 2.8, maybe close to 3, just depending if you're going for like 30 year jumbo loan, all that stuff. But I believe if you're a foreigner, your interest rates would be a little bit higher. And then like the local rates

Reuben  25:14  
Would you, I mean speaking of ballpark? Would you have a ballpark, if for example, I wanted to buy a one bedder. Maybe for my kid? Potentially might study in the University of Buffalo, for example. Would you say that it would be short of a million above a million? Yeah.

Chester  25:32  
Well, I don't know about University of Buffalo because that all the way in Buffalo. Niagara Falls. So that's an 8 hour drive from the city. So the market there is a lot more less expensive. But if let's say they're going to New York, NYU, New York University. I would say a one bedroom in general, not new construction, maybe with a doorman, and maybe with an elevator and a washer dryer in the unit? I would say just 700 to a million could find you something decent? Nothing too crazy. Yeah, it really depends. You got to take into account which neighbourhoods and also like, the amenities. Obviously, the more amenities you have, the more extensive and the age of the building as well. I will say a ballpark number would be about 700 to a million USD. 

Reuben  26:37  
USD. Okay.

Chester  26:39  
Yeah. Even though I know that US dollars have dropped with Singapore dollars. Yeah.

Reuben  26:49  
I mean, on that note, if perhaps you got tired of the US at any point, do you ever see yourself coming back to Singapore? And yeah, I mean, real estate in Singapore?

Chester  26:59  
I get that question all the time from my mom. When you come in, when are you coming back?

Reuben  27:07  
You're probably really prepared to answer.

Chester  27:10  
I know. I think me personally, and COVID put a dent-

Reuben  27:17  
We don't have to show this to your mom, by the way if-

Chester  27:22  
It's all right, she doesn't use social media. So hopefully, hopefully, so. But I think COVID put it dent to some things just because I was starting to really understand the Singapore real estate market and understand how things were done. Like you said, how commission's were restructure, how brokerages ran their teams. It's very, very different than what I'm used to. I realised because there are the structure for like, an ERA or PropNex is very different. And it's all starting to kind of understand the structure and how things work in Singapore and the price points, and then obviously COVID happened, and I haven't been home since then. But I would say if there is the potential of me, and opening up a Nest Seekers international office in Singapore, I would love that opportunity, just because within the last two years, we have expanded to Seoul and to London, and Portugal and some of the European countries and obviously, I would love to be like one of the the founders and taking the company to at least Singapore, and obviously, I wouldn't say transitioning, but maybe spending a good amount of time in Singapore, trying to get up and running. But that's obviously a little bit further down the line with what's going on around the world.

Reuben  29:05  
l guess the bonus of coming back to Singapore is you wouldn't be charged, like, how much was it? $15 for chicken rice?

Was it 20?

Chester  29:12  
$18 without tips.

Reuben  29:16  
Oh, my goodness. Oh, yeah. And additional tipping thing. I mean, Chester and I we were just talking about tips in the US, like, how much would tips be in 10% of your bill or something?

Chester  29:28  
No. So whenever your bill comes, it's 15% to 20%. So it could be 15%. Could be 18%. It could be if you're having a good day, you could give the person 20%. If you're if you're on a date, and you want to impress the girl you give 20. Yeah. So if you don't split the bill. So yeah but there's no GST. 

Reuben  29:59  
Yeah, definitely. It's a really interesting take, I guess, since you study a little bit of Singaporean real estate and obviously you've been in New York for what is it like 20 years now? 15?

Chester  30:12  
No, I would say 9-10 years.

Reuben  30:16  
Okay, so I've been there about almost a decade or so. Do you see perhaps any market gaps that you feel you could bring to Singapore bring to the Singaporean real estate table? And you could be like, Hey, this is what Singaporean real estate needs now, in terms of whether it's selling, agents, presentations, developments, etc.

Chester  30:37  
Yeah, I mean, 100% I see definitely a difference. I think. My friends who are partners who are agents in Singapore, they do they do their business very differently, I think the age of and that's what you guys are doing new, doing as well, social media, YouTube, even something like TikTok the new app called Clubhouse, I think everything has become very digitalised, and you want to reach as far as you can. And the pushback I always get for Singaporeans, Singapore agents is that they just say that it's more of a domestic market. So either you have Singaporeans buying, or just people from China, Hong Kong coming to Singapore and buying, you don't see too many New Yorkers, or people from California buying real estate in Singapore, it's always just a local market or Asian market, so I think, definitely, when you do social media, and you try to push as much as you can, you can maybe, find buyers in Dubai and in Australia, in London, in Monaco, that maybe understand why it's so good to invest in Singapore because it's kind of like the feedback I get, like it's a very local centralised market, it's more volume than in price points. So I think, definitely, if I were to one day, come back to Singapore, I would definitely bring what, what I learned here the marketing, editorial journalism, the magazines just really trying to touch base with, with people outside of the region. And, hopefully, and I believe the Singapore product is good enough to entice people to want to buy and move or invest in Singapore.

Reuben  33:03  
So essentially, just media, so expanding of the media and, and using the media to reach out to people, which you don't normally see buying real estate in Singapore. Very nice.

Chester  33:15  
Yeah, I mean, like, we sorry to cut you off. Nest Seekers, we did the, we were, we produce the show Million Dollar Beach House. I'm not sure if you watch it on Netflix. Yeah, but it was a huge success. And I have had friends in Singapore saying, Wow, like, are you on the show? Like, I wasn't because it's another region of New York, it's like the Gold Coast of New York, like the Hamptons, like The Great Gatsby, further out. But the show just brought a lot of press and a lot of people just, our website crashed right the next day, just because it was flooding with people clicking. So I think like something like Netflix, which is, which is global, right? Everybody watches Netflix can definitely can definitely reach that. consumer base.

Reuben  34:14  
I mean, this is something that's really appealing. About, I guess, real estate in the US. It's the diversity, right? I mean, you have real estate and as you mentioned in the Hamptons with the just by Great Gatsby, you have multimillion dollar bungalows and in Hollywood Hills, in Singapore, I guess it's a little bit less diverse, but you do I mean, you still get like beautiful penthouses, like in the Orchard area, River Valley, massive developments in the outskirts, which you wouldn't expect to be as beautiful. So yeah, I think it's really about showcasing of these things. People don't know what they don't know it. So they don't usually look for these things. But once it begins to pop out, they're like, Oh, my goodness. I didn't know that this was in my backyard. I didn't know that there was this massive infinity pool oo like Sky Gym just 20 minutes from my house. So completely agree with you. Well perhaps Chester, if we can get to I guess the final topic for today? It's been a lovely chat so far. But for Singaporeans, let's say looking to buy real estate in New York, could you perhaps share some tips with them? Whether it's laws, budget to set aside to be certain risks? That sort of thing?

Chester  35:31  
Yeah, so I would say, and this is just for New York City, right? If you're looking to buy in Boston, if you're looking to buy in Texas, there's different laws and taxes, right for each state. So this is just for New York and New York City alone. But I always recommend, number one, finding the right agent, right. Having an attorney like a real estate lawyer, which is, which is needed for every transaction in New York City. And also having a great accountant that understands Singapore, and like US tax law, I think those three are very, very important. And also understanding, why you're buying it? Are you going to come down to New York City, often to look after your apartment? Or are you going to let your agent look after your apartment for you? Are you going to or hire a property management in New York City? To take care and service your apartment? I think those are a lot of questions that, usually I ask them just because if they're buying like, not say blindly, but they're buying off floor plans or website, then you really need someone on the ground, then you can you can trust that knows what they're doing, that can advise you on if this is a good or bad investment. Or if you say, Hey like, obviously, without COVID, hey, I'm going to fly down, I'm actually going to spend time in New York City, and understand the neighbourhood, walk the neighbourhood, take the subway, right, understand the culture a little bit more. So that's also a little bit different. So, I would say, definitely having those three things like the agent, attorney or lawyer, and a really good accountant those would be the best. And everything else, like the taxes and everything else, can be advice accordingly. But I would say, Manhattan, New York City has always been recession proof, which I mean that no matter what, whether it was 911, or this pandemic, the market will always go back up, because there will always be someone that wants a piece of New York City.

Reuben  38:18  
And I guess perhaps the the final question on the back of my mind is safety right. So I mean, obviously, it's gonna be a little more expensive laws are different, maybe existing risks as well. But something that you have in Singapore, which you don't really have in New York is complete peace of mind that nobody's gonna Yeah, have guns in Singapore, for example. Yeah. And I know, it's a massive topic, but what what are your thoughts on that for Singaporeans coming over?

Chester  38:47  
I guess just be open minded, and understand that it's a little bit different in the US, especially in New York City. And, for example, like in Singapore, let's say if someone was doing something on the train, right, everybody started taking pictures, but talking about it, right. But in New York City, everybody, Just mind your own business, I could be on the subway or walking down the street and someone's dressed very differently, or behaving very differently or doing anything they want to do. And I just don't really care. I think everyone's so busy here. Everyone is so busy with the pace of life that as long as you're not intruding into my space or bothering me, you can do whatever you want. So I think that's kind of the the lure of the city to because there's so many different personalities, different characters. Whenever you buy a place, just make sure you go see it. Daytime, afternoon and night time. Maybe walk around the building, walk around the neighbourhood. Make sure you feel comfortable, right? Obviously, there are certain neighbourhoods that are more prone to crime. Sure. But I think the best thing I can advise people is that to spend time, or if you're not going to be there, just make sure that you trust someone to give you the right advice, but I've had Asian clients that have that specific concern, and I don't even have to tell them, they walked the space in the morning, in the afternoon. And like midnight, just feel the vibe out and feel, they feel that they or their kids can walk home from school at night. And that's enough. Lights, or streetlights or they just feel safe. I mean, there's enough foot traffic or people driving around, stuff like that. Yeah, but I mean, you can't, you can't have 100%, stop, stop someone. Something does happen. But I think that's the best you can do, at least in my opinion. Yeah.

Reuben  41:23  
Well Chester thank you so much for being so candid. And so honest with us today. It's a pleasure having you on the show. Before before I let you go, though, perhaps for those Singaporeans or even anyone who's listening in to the show today, and maybe want to reach out to you, maybe they have interests in New York real estate or American real estate in general, where can they reach you? Maybe share a little bit more about your social media handles?

Chester  41:47  
Yeah, I mean, I'm pretty active on Instagram. And that's how we connected it right? So it's just is Chester and then a dot like a period, then my last name, y o w. If you click on my handle, my websites there, my profile, there is it's all public anyway so you can find my email, you can find my office in the city if you really wanted to hunt me down. It's not there's always, always Facebook groups. And this is a huge source as well. You know, I think it's always like there's a New York Singapore Association. There's a Los Angeles Singapore Association. So if anybody wants advice, as always they can could go to Facebook groups that they can join. And you know, can ask those questions, too.

Reuben  42:35  
Yeah. Very nice. Yeah. And I think maybe just to add one more thing as well. If you guys Google Chester Yow, I think the first thing that pops up is your profile on Nest Seekers. And that's actually where I found out that you've sold over 40 of our properties, you've rented way more. And, I mean, if you guys are interested to find out a little bit more about Chester the work that he does, be sure to check that out. Well, thank you so much for joining us Chester, really looking forward to perhaps meeting you one day at the Big Apple. Reach out soon!

Chester  43:02  
All right, thank you so much, talk soon!

Reuben  43:09  
Once again, that was Chester Yow, Singaporean-turned-New York City real estate agent. Now hopefully you guys enjoy the episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. And if you're interested to listen to more episodes, or perhaps check out more quality real estate content, feel free to hop on to And as always, if you have any comments, queries, or suggestions, do drop us an email at Once again, thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Reuben Dhanaraj, and I'll see you guys in the next podcast.

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