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Happenings around CEA

Mr Quek See Tiat (fifth from right), Mr Greg Seow (fourth from right), and CEA Executive Director (third from right) Mr Lee Kwong Weng with CEA management.

Changes to Council President and members

Mr Quek See Tiat has been appointed CEA Council President, succeeding Mr Greg Seow who had helmed the Council since CEA’s formation in 2010.

Mr Seow served as CEA’s President since CEA’s formation on 22 October 2010. Under his leadership, CEA established a regulatory framework that emphasises professional responsibility and high ethical standards for the real estate agency industry.

He oversaw the development of an effective enforcement regime and implementation of a professional development programme for the industry. Mr Seow also guided consumer education efforts to raise public awareness in various aspects of property transactions.

Besides Mr Quek, seven existing council members have been re-appointed and four new members joined the Council. All appointments are for a two-year term commencing 22 October 2016.

Commenting on his appointment as the President of the Council, Mr Quek said, “The real estate agency industry is operating in a changing environment and faces challenges like increasing technological disruptions and changes in consumer behaviour. I look forward to working with members and CEA to help the sector navigate these changes and strive towards higher levels of professionalism.”

Thanking our volunteers

Former CEA Council member Assoc Prof Yu Shi Ming was one of the many who were honoured at the MND Huddle for their contributions. (Photo: National Parks Board)

To thank volunteers who served in CEA’s committees and participated in various workgroups for their valuable service and contributions towards CEA’s work over the past year, the Council hosted them to an appreciation lunch on 20 September.

At the event, Mr Quek thanked members and industry partners for contributing to CEA’s good progress in regulating and facilitating the professional development of the real estate agency industry, and for taking the industry to greater heights over the years.

He added that the continued support from the stakeholders in partnering CEA will help the industry tackle the challenges ahead, and achieve even more in the future.

Guests were treated to a presentation on CEA’s initiatives and achievements over the past financial year. Find out more in our Annual Report.

At the annual MND Huddle in November, CEA Council and Committee members who stepped down in the past year were also honoured for their outstanding commitment and contributions.

Deepening our engagements with industry professionals

Keeping in close touch and cultivating strong links with our industry stakeholders has always been a priority for CEA.

CEA conducted focus group sessions to gather feedback from the industry.

Through regular dialogues with KEOs and the industry associations, as well as focus group discussions with property agents, we keep the communication and feedback flowing between real estate agency practitioners and CEA.

In October 2016, we held three industry focus group sessions with practitioners from property agencies of different sizes and specialities.

We engaged agents from the smaller set-ups with expertise in commercial/industrial and property management, those from the smaller and larger agencies specialising in residential and commercial properties, as well as KEOs.

Topics revolved around enhancing the professionalism of industry practitioners and the standing of the sector as a whole.

There were hearty discussions on issues such as the current and possible approaches to encourage better supervision of agents, ways to ensure that agents have up-to-date knowledge, and how the industry can inspire more trust and confidence by consumers.

We also encouraged focus group participants to think of how they can become more future-ready – by discussing topics such as the internationalisation potential for specialised services and how they can offer more outstanding service through technological and business innovations.

Sessions like these help facilitate the industry’s understanding of existing regulatory requirements.

More importantly, they provide opportunities for CEA to have a better sensing of ground issues and seek valuable feedback on our upcoming plans. These insights help CEA remain in tune with industry needs, and remind us that our policies and practices must be well-grounded.

If you are an industry practitioner and would like to participate in our upcoming engagement sessions, email us at comms@cea.gov.sg.