Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: License all agents, say experts

  1. #1
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default License all agents, say experts

    February 8, 2009 Sunday

    License all agents, say experts

    By Mavis Toh

    The Consumers Association of Singapore wants an accreditation scheme to be put in place for the property industry.

    Its executive director, Mr Seah Seng Choon, said that he has been in talks with various government agencies over the last six months to work on this.

    'The industry is very disorganised and it is really in need of proper regulation to ensure that buyers' and sellers' interests are protected,' he said yesterday.

    The accreditation scheme should hold companies responsible for their agents' conduct. 'Currently, many say that the agents are their associates and they are not responsible for their conduct. The scheme will put the agents' conduct under their purview so they can't deny responsibility.'

    He hopes to put the scheme in place after talks with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), the Housing Board, the Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) and the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies (SAEA) are completed.

    The number of complaints against property agents has been on the rise. Consumers lodged 1,113 complaints related to the property industry in 2007, up from 991 in 2006 and 672 the year before.

    Currently, anyone who wants to broker a property deal need only join one of about 1,700 agencies here. No minimum qualifications are needed.

    Although agencies may have some form of in-house training, some agents broker deals before they complete the course.

    At present, only agencies are licensed by the Iras. Agents operating under them are not. There are an estimated 30,000 agents in the industry.

    Mr Jeff Foo, president of the IEA, wants individual agents to be licensed so that they are accountable for their actions.

    Errant agents fired from an agency can now simply 'waltz into another licensed agency to continue his bad practice', he said.

    'It's time for a top-down approach to legislate agents so that the market will correct itself. If not, there will still be cowboys.'

    Mr Seah agrees that agents should be licensed, and urged the Iras to issue individual licences.

    Besides also calling for the licensing of individual agents, the SAEA wants the Common Examination for Salesperson (CES) to be made a compulsory entry qualification.

    Currently, agencies have their own in-house training courses. SAEA also conducts a Common Examination for House Agents and the CES for interested agents.

    But industry experts said the problem is that there are too many schemes and none is mandatory.

    The IEA also has a central register that displays on its website the names of more than 20,000 agents. This allows the public to verify if someone is employed by an agency he claims to represent.

    The registry also alerts bosses if an agent is working for more than one company and if he had been blacklisted before.

    But it is not compulsory for agents to sign up with the registry. Said Mr Peter Koh, chairman of the SAEA: 'At this point we need the authorities to come in. If they don't, it's hard for the industry to self-regulate.'

    [email protected]

  2. #2
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006


    February 17, 2009 Tuesday

    Reward ethical estate agents

    I EMPATHISE with the plight of victimised clients of rogue estate agents, in the article, 'License all agents, say experts' (Feb 8).

    In the middle of last year, I bought a private apartment and appointed the same estate agent, who marketed it for the previous owner and sold it to me, to search for a suitable tenant to rent our property. However, after more than two months of his lack of follow-up, transparency, accountability and results, we discharged him when he said the property was not marketable.

    I then appointed Mr Sean Sebastian Fong of PropNex in November. He was outstanding from the moment we started discussions. He appraised the property comprehensively and outlined a marketing plan. He called me regularly to inform me of all marketing and viewing activities and their results, and tirelessly showed the property over two weeks and secured a tenant at a good price.

    In a seemingly declining private property market, he overcame perceived negative market sentiment with his industrious attitude.

    Mr Fong was pro-active, transparent, forthcoming with information, and did his best to serve me, without prejudice. He deserved the full premium of the agency fee he commanded for his services, which I paid unreservedly.

    I also engaged him because he was trained to meet his industry's Common Examination for House Agents qualification. He also told me recently that, of his own accord, he had joined the Institute of Estate Agents because his membership would require him to abide by a high standard of conduct for the benefit of his clients. What commanded my respect was the fact that he took the initiative to regulate himself before legislation required it.

    Greed is likely the common reason why any agent goes rogue. Truth be told, the property brokerage industry is like any sales-driven business pursuing profits, which rewards its top producers. Success is almost always benchmarked by the number of commissions earned. But what about agents who excel in the largely underrated area of ethical practice? It is demanded of them, but for those who practise it well, are there systems or benchmarks in place to recognise and reward them?

    Dr Sim Tiong Peng

Similar Threads

  1. Steve Jobs wanted Dell to license Mac OS
    By reporter2 in forum Coffeeshop Talk
    Replies: 0
    -: 06-10-21, 13:55
  2. Experts see ECs as a good buy
    By reporter2 in forum HDB, EC, commercial and industrial property discussion
    Replies: 1
    -: 07-06-12, 21:42
  3. Need Advices from all experts here!!
    By kawaiing in forum Singapore Private Condominium Property Discussion and News
    Replies: 155
    -: 25-01-10, 19:05
  4. License condo managing agents too
    By mr funny in forum HDB, EC, commercial and industrial property discussion
    Replies: 1
    -: 10-03-09, 13:48

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts