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3 Key Insights from The CEO Of CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s Manager

CapitaLand Commercial Trust  (SGX: C61U) is the largest real estate investment trust in Singapore that focuses on commercial properties. Right now, it has stakes in 10 different prime commercial properties in Singapore and its ownership interests are collectively valued at S$8.5 billion.

Given the REIT’s heft, there may be interesting things to learn from it. Last week, Lynette Leong, the chief executive officer of CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s manager, was featured in an interview on SGX’s kopi C series.

From there, I picked out three key insights that may be useful for investors.

1. A woman’s touch

“We have plenty of qualities that can complement and provide a good balance to the male attributes – we need not act masculine or try to compete with men.”

Leong said that women do not need to act masculine in order to succeed in a real estate world that is often dominated by men. She believes that women have their own set of strengths, which can help in instances such as establishing rapport, defusing tension, or closing a deal.

Play to your strengths, she says.

2. No to status quo

Her spirit goes beyond the corporate world. Leong often reminds her team:

“I always tell my team – never take no for an answer, and challenge the status quo. You need to be creative and resourceful, and find new ways of doing things, especially in more opaque markets.”

The real estate market can be seen as opaque as detailed information is not always freely available. As such, Leong said that it is important to be creative and resourceful in order to push the boundaries of the status quo.

3. More than meets the eye

One of the biggest projects that Leong has taken on is the CapitaGreen project. Her comment below shows the considerations that the REIT had to manage while it redeveloped the building:

“As a responsible building owner, we’ve added value in architectural, environmental, and economic terms – redeveloping an asset of lower value into something worth much more, and redefining the Singapore skyline for decades to come.”

Leong’s quote provides insight on the multiple considerations that a REIT has to make, beyond the run of the mill metrics such as rental income.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Singapore Exchange. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.