An inspiring leader, insightful and astute businesswoman, Lily Lim, the CEO of RJ Realty Sdn Bhd, is the driving force behind one of East Malaysia’s top real estate development firms. Kuching bred and born, impressive credentials and a burning desire to succeed has always been the catalyst for Lily Lim’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Lily Lim is in every way, a woman that inspires superlatives; her character and commitment to building RJ Realty Sdn Bhd from the grassroots level up has gained trust from bankers, buyers and business associates. Her journey to forming RJ Realty Sdn Bhd reads like an easy recipe to follow at first glance – scouring the length and breadth of Kuching for potential lands to build on, and then building a solid foundation before arriving at a finished home. Executing the recipe however, is an arduous journey that details disciplined perseverance along a path devoid of shortcuts and completely devoid of any entitlement.
A working mother, Lily has already been excellent at managing both her family of four and her husband’s business. Initially resigning herself to a lifetime of assisting her husband, fate had other plans for the insightful businesswoman and professional mother after having her two children. Her mindset began to transform as she realized she could do more than what
she was currently doing. Her passion had always been to build homes; to exercise her creativity and to fulfill her burning desire to succeed. Although she believes wholly in personally endeavoring towards a goal, her faith and belief in God is a large part of her life.
Formed in late 2005, RJ Realty Sdn Bhd has blossomed to more than ten times its initial size. It was building her own dream home that assured Lily that she personally possessed the essentials to run a real estate development firm. It was a first step towards realizing her ambition; during which, she underwent lessons in patience and honed a discerning eye for design and details. She has built a strong support network in the process of forming RJ Realty Sdn Bhd, to which she is unsurprisingly unabashed in crediting.
Back in the early stages, it came as a surprise when, the bank agreed to grant Lily and RJ Realty Sdn Bhd RM 2.3 million to kick-start their first project consisting of terrace and semi-detached houses, christened Tabuan Avenue. It was fully sold before land clearing had even begun. After Tabuan Avenue’s completion in 2008, Lily kept the ball rolling, growing RJ Realty Sdn Bhd’s rate of property development by leaps and bounds. The firm boasts a broad portfolio of at least twenty projects, comprising of landed homes, commercial shops, industrial and showroom units and high-rise condominiums with an upwards GDV exceeding RM 1 billion.
Lily’s greatest pride is her latest project, d’Ryx Residences – a low density and luxurious community of condominiums and penthouses nestled in the heart of Kuching city. Recognizing a need for preserving greenery in the city centre, the residential enclave is situated amidst a lush and tranquil garden landscape. She hopes that d’Ryx Residences will be on the lips of society’s creme de la creme, whenever deluxe living is the topic of discussion. With d’Ryx Residences, Lily wants to create a multi-generational home within a home – to provide a new paradigm of comfortable, sustainably conscious living.
A habit that has endured since RJ Realty Sdn Bhd’s inception, Lily rises at 4 am every morning, finding that this is when inspiration strikes her best. She unfailingly begins each day with a prayer – a constant in her unpredictable day, before getting down to business.
She credits her high productivity to this as the early hours give her a chance to decompress before a day of meetings and brainstorming sessions for upcoming homes. “When I wake up early, I can get more things done!” she fires off rapidly, in a commanding voice. Lily believes what sets her apart from her real estate development peers is her commitment; her unwavering and uncompromising vision for a luxurious lifestyle for
potential or current homeowners from all walks of life.
A woman of impeccable taste, Lily advocates individuality in her design creation and capitalizes heavily on the word ‘home.’ She believes in designing, building and selling homes that are not only aesthetically-pleasing but a home that she and her family would confidently live in.
An architecturally, socially and sustainably conscious real estate developer seems to be a paradoxical statement. However, Lily Lim’s ambition for RJ Realty Sdn Bhd transcends every preconception of a development firm, taking into considerations the architectural and social implications of each development that is built. “There is more to real estate development than simply building houses. Each project that I take on is an aim to place Kuching on the world map and my objective is to create developments that complement the ever changing cityscape of Kuching. You need to carefully consider each home that is built – will it enrich the local community and the city in any way? How does the development hold up over time?
Is it sustainable?” she states passionately. “You cannot simply build a building and be done with it. It should hold up, in every sense of the word, for many years. Good design adds value to the economy. There should be no ‘trend’ in development, it is all about creating a
home for generations to come.”
Going beyond the property realm, Lily emphasizes the importance of recognizing social and spiritual responsibility, constantly participating in fundraising projects, blood donation drives and campaigns that benefit the local community. RJ Realty Sdn Bhd assisted in building the Church of the Holy Family in Betong, Sarawak several years ago as she had found that the local Christians in the predominantly Iban township needed a place to worship. Forsaking a big profit margin for a worthy cause, the firm pledged a house as a prize during a fundraising drive for the Betong Catholic Church. “We had to dig deep into our pockets to come up with the funds because we were in the initial stages of our business. So thank God we managed to raise more than we had hoped for,” Lily reminisces.
Next on Lily’s list is a mission that is close to her heart. After completing high school, she was awarded a scholarship by the Malaysian government to study abroad but unfortunately had to decline because her family was unable to cover her living expenses. Following this, her aim will be to establish a fund for less privileged students, as she firmly believes every student should be allowed to fulfil their potential with a great education.
Lily Lim helms RJ Realty Sdn Bhd towards becoming the most respected and highly diversified real estate development group in Malaysia. She is a woman that transcends all expectations; a visionary CEO who incorporates benevolence in her profession. She strives towards excellence, excels in leadership and teamwork. Lily Lim is selfless and she possesses an integrity that is unrivalled; she is also above all a woman of God.