Real estate icon Dennis Wee dies of cancer at 71 , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Real estate icon Dennis Wee dies of cancer at 71

Mr Dennis Wee, hailed as a “legend” in Singapore’s real estate trade, died on April 3 at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer.

Family, friends and business partners paid tribute to Mr Wee on April 4, remembering the realtor as a colourful character who built his own business and embraced life with humour and verve.

His daughter Daphne Wee announced his death in an Instagram post: “Our family is deeply saddened to announce the loss of our legendary Dennis Wee, the best dad, husband, grandpa, friend and boss, (who) passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones at home.”

Mr Wee set up his namesake firm, Dennis Wee Group (DWG), in 1992, which grew to become one of the most well-known property agencies in the era.

In 2017, the agency merged with PropNex Realty, which was reported to have paid $5 million for the takeover. The agreement provided for the transfer of 845 DWG sales staff, leading PropNex to become Singapore’s biggest real estate agency at the time.

PropNex Realty chief executive Ismail Gafoor said in a Facebook post early on April 4 morning: “It’s a sad day today as we mourn the passing of a legend in the real estate industry, Dr Dennis Wee, yesterday afternoon... Dennis was a colourful person with humour and always putting his loved ones, staff and salespeople before himself. He created many training programmes and initiatives for his people.”

Added Mr Gafoor: “When Dennis was diagnosed with cancer early last year, he chose to live life and was a fighter, never giving up, and connecting with his friends and loved ones.

“In my recent three visits to his home in the last 21 days, he still joked and was full of zest for life.”

Mr Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA Singapore, looked back on Mr Wee’s early working days: “When I first joined ERA back in May 1991 as a graduate management trainee, my desk was just outside Dennis Wee’s room in our Novena office. Dennis first started his real estate sales career in ERA, and he had become ERA’s top agent.

“Though I did not report to him, I was inspired by his energy and colourful character. By observing him and making notes, I learnt many real estate sales, marketing and negotiation techniques. He was in a way my ‘sifu’, and helped to shorten my learning curve significantly.”

Mr Lim added: “I also fondly remember the times that he packed what he called ‘the world’s best’ nasi padang for me. Yes, it was truly delicious.”

In his retirement after selling his business to PropNex, Mr Wee, a foodie who regularly cooked up a storm at home for friends and family, started a home business selling Hokkien mee.