Regulator will help raise standards, say property agents

Straits Times: Tue, Oct 11

REAL estate professionals praised the role played by the regulator at an industry conference yesterday.

They said that tighter rules brought in by the Council for Estate Agencies will drive up standards in the sector.

Since it was formed a year ago, the statutory board has introduced tough measures such as a code of conduct that bars agents from acting as moneylenders.

Mr Peter Koh, who chairs the organising committee for this year’s National Real Estate Congress, said it is crucial for the industry to achieve ‘consistency in service quality standards’.

The new measures will ‘raise professional standards’ in the long run, he told 300 conference delegates at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

Singapore has nearly 33,000 real estate agents, but the industry was not regulated until the statutory board was set up in October last year.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District, said the move has brought ‘order and certainty to the practice standards to be met’ and contributed to Singapore’s quest to be a ‘world-class city with excellent systems in place’.

‘As consumers ourselves, we all look forward to the day when unethical practices are a thing of the past,’ said Dr Teo, who was the guest of honour at the event.

Industry experts gave advice on ethics and protecting consumers at the annual congress, the fourth held so far.

Mr Danny Yeo, group managing director of property consultancy Knight Frank, said the topics covered were relevant and useful.

‘The speakers used case studies to present their points and many of them are what salespeople can relate to,’ he said.

Mr Tay Kah Poh, chairman of industry organisation the Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies, said the event gives agents from different firms the chance to get together and learn from one another.

He added: ‘There is a lot of emphasis on ethical practices – which is what we want, to raise the bar of professional practice for the industry.’

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.


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