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Thread: Better laws needed to regulate estate agents

  1. #1
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    Default Better laws needed to regulate estate agents

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_233156.html

    May 2, 2008

    Better laws needed to regulate estate agents


    I REFER to the Saturday Special report, 'Rodeo realtors' (April 19).

    While the number of complaints is of much concern, it should be noted that they are committed by errant agents from a few companies.

    As realtors deal with high value-added services, it is unfortunate that many of these complaints have invoked strong reactions.

    For all intents and purposes, most practitioners realise they need to uphold the professional code of ethics and conduct to ensure long-term success in their profession.

    These complaints are further compounded by the fact that, unlike in most developed countries, there are presently no well-defined laws regulating real estate practice in Singapore, an industry which is neither fully regulated nor totally deregulated.

    I am of the opinion that self-regulation, in the context of the local consumer culture, operates optimally only within the framework of a well-crafted legislation for both real estate companies and agents.

    Any private regulatory initiatives in a highly competitive industry are almost impossible unless there is adequate support and appropriate power to champion the best interests of consumers.

    In appointing their agents, consumers should ensure they are committed to a stringent code of practice. They must go through comprehensive and vigorous training on a continuing basis.

    In addition, agencies should be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and marketing resources. They should be in a position to submit an effective sole agency marketing plan, backed by a series of guarantees for performance, service and results.

    Consumers can be assured, if they do their due diligence, there are many professional advisers in the market who can meet, and even exceed, these criteria.

    Patrick Liew
    CEO
    HSR Property Group

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Better laws needed to regulate estate agents

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_233139.html

    May 2, 2008

    Don't tar all with same brush


    I ENJOYED the Saturday Special package of features on the real estate sales industry (April 19).

    But I was disappointed and dismayed by the statement by Dr Yu Shi Ming, head of the real estate department of the National University of Singapore (NUS), when he was quoted as saying: 'Every time people think of real estate agents, they think 'unscrupulous', 'untrained', 'unprofessional' and 'unethical'.

    My mother was upset and embarrassed after reading Dr Yu's hurtful remark and asked if I, a real estate agent, was also unscrupulous, untrained, unprofessional and unethical.

    I assured my mother I belong to the vast majority of real estate agents who abide by the core value of sales, including always trying to achieve the greatest savings for my customers and always ensuring that my customers will need to 'move house' only once when they relocate from one place to another.

    Such deals are often complicated and require agents to have good people skills, good coordination skills, an eye for the nitty-gritty, patience and a cool head.

    Most real estate agents, though poorly educated, will not say things without first thinking how the words we use will hurt the feelings of others, especially their parents.

    I may not be as highly educated, but I have learnt the virtue of not making sweeping generalisations against others from my primary school teacher - who, like me, was not as well educated.

    Doreen Chan (Ms)

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