Published June 2, 2007

Property boom bonanza for PropNex agents


THE smartest way to take advantage of the property upturn could be to become an estate agent. PropNex CEO Mohamed Ismail says that in April alone its agents earned more than $10 million commissions - twice as much as in April 2006.

The number of transactions also increased - from 1,648 to 2,445 - over the period.

And in the first three weeks of May, PropNex again recorded more than $10 million of commissions, which bodes well for the full year.

In 2006, commissions totalled $75 million, Mr Mohamed said.

According to PropNex data, the increase in commissions has resulted from transactions in the private secondary market and residential rental market. Commissions from the private secondary market increased 200 per cent year on year in April.

Slightly over 50 per cent of total commissions in April came from the private market, with the remainder from rental, commercial and Housing & Development Board transactions.

Interestingly, 21 per cent of total commissions resulted from transactions in prime districts 9, 10 and 11, the downtown core and Sentosa.

PropNex has also wasted no time setting up a new luxury homes division headed by Douglas Wong, formerly associate director of Knight Frank's Good Class Bungalow (GCB) arm Regal Homes.

On the performance so far, Mr Mohamed said: 'The PropNex Grandeur Homes team is starting to show results, with five transactions closed in the core areas including Sentosa and downtown. Grandeur Homes is already serving more than 30 GCB clients and many high net-worth buyers looking to invest in Singapore.'

Mr Mohamed expects Grandeur to capture 20 per cent of all GCB sales within a year.

With the property market so active, PropNex has also seen record hires. In March, it took on a record 207 new agents.

Based on the 5,686 licences renewed, as reported to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore at end-2006, Mr Mohamed said PropNex is Singapore's biggest real estate company. 'More people are attracted to the lucrative prospect of being their own boss and the unlimited possibilities sales can bring,' he said.