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Aurum Land's CEO Michelle Yong on the Future of Real Estate: Innovation, Community, and Personalised Luxury

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Aurum Land's CEO Michelle Yong on the Future of Real Estate: Innovation, Community, and Personalised Luxury
Aurum Land, under the dynamic leadership of CEO Michelle Yong, has embarked on an impressive journey as of late. The Singapore-based boutique developer has firmly established itself as a frontrunner in community building and lifestyle-focused projects.
What sets Aurum Land apart is its commitment to fostering a sense of belonging and connection among residents. The company’s developments are designed to create vibrant and inclusive communities, allowing residents to forge meaningful relationships. The Hyde, in particular, serves as a prime example of Aurum Land’s dedication to crafting lifestyle-oriented properties.
Aurum Land’s success was recently acknowledged at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) 2022. The developer clinched six awards, including accolades for The Hyde, Best Lifestyle Developer, and Best Boutique Developer. CEO Michelle Yong was also honoured with the prestigious Real Estate Personality of the Year award, selected by the editorial team of PropertyGuru Property Report Magazine.
In a recent interview, Yong delved into Aurum Land’s achievements and her vision for spearheading the company’s transformation into an innovative force in both spaces and business.

Prioritising Community Building at The Hyde, NYON

Could you tell us about Aurum Land’s focus on community building, how the company approaches this, and what specific initiatives or programmes you have in place to foster a sense of community among residents?
We prioritise community building through a human-centric approach to space and neighbourhood development. Our goal is to foster connectivity and collaboration to break down barriers. Beyond physical spaces, we add value to residents’ lives by facilitating new friendships. For example, we organised gatherings for residents of The Hyde and NYON last year.
At The Hyde Out TOP Party, residents enjoyed curated lifestyle events like a floral bar, tailored home tours, and BMW test drives. The Hyde offered wine tasting at 67 Pall Mall or a Tibetan singing bowl meditation for subconscious connection and healing. These events sparked new friendships, leading to the formation of a WhatsApp group named after "The Hyde Out" Party.
The Hyde Out TOP Party.
Wine tasting session at 67 Pall Mall.
Similarly, NYON residents had a Peranakan Afternoon Tea Theme Party, unveiling their new homes and admiring a mural depicting nostalgic childhood memories by a local artist. These memories served as conversation starters, fostering natural connections. Community spaces with pre-loved books and toys in children’s play areas further encouraged bonding.

A Closer Look at The Hyde

How does The Hyde reflect the company’s approach to real estate?
The Hyde embodies our approach to real estate, drawing inspiration from London’s Hyde Park’s avant-garde Serpentine Pavilions. With elements of nature, art, and luxury, it exudes a distinct and exclusive ambience. Residents, for instance, are greeted by the awe-inspiring grand entrance, "The Plaza," featuring an amphitheatre-style setting. The landscaped lawn and floating constellation, meanwhile, pool create a sense of anticipation.
Despite its boutique scale, The Hyde offers many impressive lifestyle amenities. It includes four swimming pools catering to various preferences: a lap pool, a Sky Pool with stunning views of Goodwood Hill, a secluded romantic pool amidst lush greenery, and a kids’ pool. The rooftop serves as a communal space with panoramic vistas, and the versatile Sky Club hosts weddings, proposals, and coworking.
Communal areas feature additional power points for flexible work-from-home arrangements, and gym equipment includes integrated iPad holders. Residents receive a lifestyle package with complimentary assessments, personal training trials, and discounted wellness sessions from Core Collective.
The Hyde.

Focusing on Wellness, Building Sustainable Businesses – Core Collective

Aurum Land also operates the Core Collective wellness brand. How does this brand align with the company’s broader vision and approach to real estate development, and what impact do you see it having on the market?
I have shaped all my businesses after my personality, which is that of a creator, explorer and caregiver. Since assuming leadership of Aurum Land in 2007, I have worked towards transforming the company into a space and business innovator that focuses on the future of people. This journey led to the establishment of various ventures, including Collision 8 in 2016 and the launch of Core Collective in 2018. Despite the closure of Found8 in 2022 due to economic challenges, our commitment to our core purpose remains strong.
Core Collective was founded to provide flexible access to premium facilities for top fitness, wellness, and business professionals. Over time, we expanded our services to cater to a wider customer base, including lifestyle, beauty, aesthetics, and children-centric businesses. In 2022, we celebrated the launch of Core Clinic, a medical coworking concept in collaboration with the Singapore Medical Group. Our offerings now include services from OBGYNs, dermatologists, and breast surgeons.
We are also exploring the development of a premium independent senior living concept that fosters lifelong learning, community, kinship, and on-site medical support. By combining the expertise of Aurum Land and Core Collective, we aim to leverage our diverse range of fitness, wellness, and medical services.
Through this evolution, we continue to build sustainable businesses that positively impact multiple generations, while remaining true to our core purpose of "Doing Well and Doing Good."

Being Named "Real Estate Personality of the Year"

How did it feel to be named Real Estate Personality of the Year at the APA(S) 2022, and what are your proudest recent achievements?
The past few years have been incredibly challenging for me professionally. I even considered declining the Real Estate Personality of the Year award because I felt undeserving of it after the painful decision to close one of my businesses, Found8, in 2022. But I have come to realise that success is not solely determined by financial achievements or business size. It encompasses the impact we have on people, communities, and the industry as a whole. As leaders, it is our responsibility to drive positive change and foster growth.
Michelle Yong, winner of the Singapore Real Estate Personality of the Year award, at the 12th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore).
I am very grateful to PropertyGuru for recognising Aurum Group’s contribution, despite our status as a smaller organisation in the industry. Winning the Best Boutique Developer Singapore award for four consecutive years and receiving numerous prestigious accolades for developments like Hyde and NYON are also moments of great pride for us.
Our top ranking in the Band 1 category by BCA for delivering residential projects with minimal major defects also further reinforces our dedication to maintaining exceptional construction standards.

What Being a "Boutique Developer" Means

Aurum Land also won Best Boutique Developer at last year’s APA(S) ceremony. The term ‘boutique’ is often interpreted in various ways. What does it mean to you and how is it instilled in Aurum Land’s Projects?
As a boutique developer, we have the luxury of being highly selective in the projects we undertake. Launching only one or two developments each year allows us to focus on choosing the best sites and locations. Our approach revolves around drawing inspiration from each site, respecting its context, and creating a unique and compelling concept that attracts discerning buyers seeking a "limited edition" property.
Our boutique status also enables us to prioritise attention to detail throughout the project cycle. As CEO, I personally engage in the site acquisition and design development phases, shaping the initial concept and vision of the project. This commitment extends to reviewing and optimising construction and carpentry drawings, ensuring every aspect reflects our high standards.
Many of our buyers have expressed that their decision to choose an Aurum Land development stems from the meticulous attention to detail present in our designs, resulting in spaces that seamlessly blend functionality and form.

What’s in Store for Aurum Land

What can we expect from Aurum Land in terms of new developments or projects, and how does the company plan to continue innovating and pushing the boundaries of the real estate industry?
We are thrilled to embark on new opportunities within the real estate industry, beginning with our recent acquisition at Kheam Hock Road. This venture marks our first foray into the landed sector since I assumed leadership in 2007. We aim to bring our renowned design excellence and commitment to quality construction to this segment, unlocking the potential for highly curated living experiences. With our current focus solely on this project, the entire Aurum Land team is devoted to optimising every aspect of its development.
Kheam Hock Road acquisition. Source: Sakal Real Estate Partners.
On a personal level, I am excited to design my own family home as part of this exclusive collection of luxury houses. This presents an opportunity to extend customised design services that cater to the unique lifestyle needs of our buyers. By incorporating this personal touch, we strive to deliver truly distinctive and tailored offerings while gaining a deeper understanding of our buyers.
While Kheam Hock Road remains our primary focus, we actively seek new prospects to bring similar projects to life in the future. As mentioned, we also remain keenly interested in creating a new senior living concept which will draw on the expertise not only of Aurum Land but also of Core Collective.
Ultimately, our goal at Aurum Land is to transcend conventional real estate development, creating spaces that genuinely enhance the lives of our clients. We are committed to pushing boundaries and continuously striving to better understand our clients’ evolving lifestyle needs and preferences.
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