From Seattle to Singapore and Back Again

Guest blog writer Jaebadiah Gardner is a 2012 WMU-Cooley graduate and Founder and CEO of GardnerGlobal, Inc. and Managing Partner of Onpoint Real Estate Services. He is a real estate developer in Seattle, Washington. He shares his recent trip to Singapore to share and discuss best business practices. 

Jaebadiah GardnerI just got back from three weeks in South East Asia. All I can say is, wow! I was able to hit Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. Singapore was a business trip; an international trade mission with the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce along with 30+ Washington delegates. What an opportunity to learn and engage with global political and executive leadership.

I decided I needed to extend my trip. Nothing was planned. I was hurrying to buy plane tickets a day or two before my flight out and trying to book hotels sometimes hours before I would arrive! I luckily was able to book time in Bangkok, Phuket and Hong Kong. All I have to say is, DAMN! What a trip!

gardner2There were several things that my spidy senses latched onto, but I was especially impressed by how Singapore handled "affordable housing." When Americans hear about government subsidized housing or public housing, most people think of that in a negative way, where we think we are talking about providing "rental" housing for the lower income population.

In Singapore, it's the exact opposite. Government housing means they have subsidized a home loan for a native Singaporean to buy a condo unit in a building that the government has built. Over 80 percent of Singaporeans are home owners. Crazy, right? At least the 30+ of us on the delegation thought so.

gardner!Needless to say, it's always great to take a peak into another country's play book. Super humbling and inspiring. From having dinner with Ambassadors, connecting with the U.S. Singapore Embassy, and traveling with local power movers who came on the trip, all around it was a tectonic shifting experience. Big shout out the Seattle Metro Chamber for ensuring access to this experience for small business owners like myself. I would also like to thank the Trade Development Alliance and the U.S. Singapore Embassy for helping me out with a "little" passport snafu, lol! Sheesh!

Anyway WMU-Cooley, I'm back home and on the grind. Which means lots of irons in the fire. Exciting 2018 so far!

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