Property Developer and Investor of Andrew Lee and Associates Pty. Ltd.
By Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik
The year 1967 was an exciting one for Australia.The new five-dollar bill had just been launched and Johnny Farnham released the song ‘Sadie’. Equally exciting for the young Penang-born Malaysian Andrew Lee who came to study Computer Science at the University of Melbourne. Upon graduation, Lee got a job as a computer programmer with ANZ Bank. The respectable and eligible bank officer soon met the love of his life Evelyn. They married, raised two children, Walter and Belinda, and soon settled down to the idyllic Australian lifestyle as citizens.
“Developers who are willing to work with the State Planning Department and councils will always find a smoother path towards the approval of their building permits.”
Keeping a keen eye on Melbourne’s real estate, this smart and industrious man read and anticipated the growing market. “I borrowed heavily and invested in two properties in South Yarra and Carnegie. At that time, the entire block of 15 apartments in South Yarra was only around $200,000.”
After 15 diligent years in Australia he owned two beautiful homes, two cars and a thriving company – Andrew Lee and Associates – dealing in property investment and development. However, life had more in store for him.
“Through a forum, developers can work as a group in achieving things which the lone developer cannot.”
In 1982 Lee made a trip to Singapore to secure a consultancy contract from the National Computer Board of Singapore. So impressed were the board of directors, they offered him the acting director position. He swapped his spacious homes and two cars in Australia to live in an HDB flat in Singapore for a brief spell. “I had been thinking of returning to that region for some time and I was excited at the prospect of contributing to one of Asia’s most ambitious computerisation projects.”
Even then, Lee’s heart never left Melbourne and after successfully wrapping up the NCB project in Singapore, Andrew and his family moved back to Melbourne.
Today Lee works with various property development companies, consulting and translating his 50 years of real estate knowledge into huge profits for his shareholders. He is also a great advocate for developers’ forums. “Through a forum, developers can work as a group in achieving things which the lone developer cannot – like collectively negotiating – better commission rates from real estate agents, with the government for better building legislation, and with workers’ unions.” Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Lee is a member of the Advanced Investors Group, comprising more than 60 developers from Melbourne, who meets four times a year to discuss mutual interests.
1967年对于澳大利亚来说是激奋人心的一年。当时宣布推出新版5澳元纸钞，而歌手Johnny Farnham 发行了成名曲“Sadie”。与此同时，一名生于马来西亚的华裔青年Andrew Lee来到墨尔本大学就读电脑科学。毕业后，年轻的他在澳新银行 (ANZ Bank) 任职电脑程序员。
在澳大利亚历经15年的勤奋耕耘后，他拥有了两间漂亮的房子，车子和一家业务如日中天的公司-Andrew Lee & Associates，专属从事房地产投资和开发。然而，他的人生却比原本轨迹显得更丰富多彩。
1982年，Andrew Lee 前往新加坡，且获得新加坡国家电脑局(NCB)签署一纸顾问合约。而最令人印象深刻的是他得到该局董事会力荐任职代理局长。他把本身宽敞的房子和车子换成了新加坡HDB政府组屋。“其实我一直在考虑回到这个区域一段时间，我很兴奋，有机会为亚洲最有前瞻的电脑化项目之一做出贡献。”
今天，Andrew Lee 和许多房地产开发公司一起工作，为他的股东们提供咨询和奉献50年丰富的房地产经验。另外，他同时也是开发者论坛的拥护者。“通过论坛商议，开发商可以聚集为一个团队来完成工作事项，但单独开发者却无法做到集体谈判。透过协商，房产经纪人可获得丰厚佣金率，政府可以更妥当的制定法律，并与工人工会达成更圆满协议。”作为高级投资者集团 (Advanced Investors Group) 的一名成员，该集团由来自墨尔本的60多名开发商组成，他们每年举行4次会议，携手推进共同利益。