CEA further aims to raise standards

Singapore’s Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) has announced plans to recognise outstanding property agencies. Currently working with the industry, when implemented by the CEA this will be the first scheme of its kind on the latest developments to raise standards in the city-state.

The scheme is being devised to recognise property agencies with good organisational and business practices, the CEA said. These practices will cover areas such as quality of service, systems and procedure, management and human resources development.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Professor Sumit Agarwal, Deputy Head at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Real Estate, said the scheme will help home buyers select a real estate agent. He said it may also encourage agents to work harder.

“I relate this to what we do at the university, when a student is actually doing very good we say you are on the Dean’s List and as a result, the student gets motivated to work harder and to use this in their CV.

“The same way, real estate agents would actually use it when they go to their clients and say ‘Hey, I have been awarded this award of excellence, so please use me. I actually have a track record of finding you better deals.’”

Latest figures from the CEA revealed a decline in the number of complaints against estate agents from previous years. There was 751 cases between April 2013 and March 2014, the latest available figures, versus 880 cases in the previous 12 months. Despite the decline, more warning letters were sent to agents.

All real estate agents and agencies operating in Singapore must be registered with the CEA, which has been in operation since October 22, 2010.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@propertyguru.com.sg