Jan 2022 - 2 min read
Dear industry partners and friends,
As we start a new year, I would like to first commend you and extend my appreciation to you for playing a part in fighting COVID-19 as our collective responsibility. It has indeed been a challenging 2020/2021 as we made great strides in implementing safe management measures to carry out estate agency work in a safe manner.
My colleagues and I will continue to partner you and support your efforts and initiatives to transform the real estate agency industry as all of us adapt to the “new normal” in an endemic COVID-19 environment.
In 2021, we saw the industry implementing various digitalisation initiatives. Some of you realised your digitalisation goals through the SMEs Go Digital programme, with funding support from the Enterprise Development Grant and the Productivity Solutions Grant, to incorporate technology into your business processes. On a day-to-day basis, even more have incorporated digital tools for marketing purposes and facilitating property transactions to reap efficiency gains and add value in your services to clients.
We also operationalised the amendments to the Estate Agents Act (EAA) to keep abreast of technology advancements, align levers against money laundering and terrorism financing to meet international standards, and better deter errant property agents from committing disciplinary breaches which affect industry professionalism and consumer confidence.
With this momentum, we would like to continue our partnership with you to transform the real estate agency industry.
A successfully transformed real estate agency industry will be client-centric, with a professional, productive and resilient workforce.
To this end, let me highlight several CEA’s key initiatives for 2022.
First, CEA is refreshing the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map or REITM (which was launched in 2018) to help property agencies raise productivity and enhance industry professionalism and service standard. We have started consultations with the industry in 2021 and will finalise the REITM 2025 with your inputs in the coming months.
A key deliverable of REITM 2025 is the Alliance-for-Action (AfA) initiative co-led by the Singapore Estate Agents Association, 99.co and PropertyGuru, and supported by CEA. The AfA on Accurate Property Listing aims to eliminate the longstanding problem of duplicate and dummy listings on online property portals. I am pleased that the five largest property agencies and Edgeprop are members of the AfA to collectively find an efficient and effective solution, which will benefit not only property consumers, but also property agents.
Second, CEA has embarked on a joint study with the industry to enhance the entire Continuing Professional Development (CPD) ecosystem. Codenamed Project ADEPT (Advance and Enhance Professionalism and Training), we hope that property agents will be equipped with knowledge and skillsets to thrive in the future economy.
Third, CEA will focus on educating property consumers so that they can better understand the roles of property agents and appreciate their services. Working in partnership with industry stakeholders, we also hope that property agencies and agents can raise their service standard and provide value-added service to consumers.
Forging ahead together
As we keep up with the momentum gained from embracing digitalisation in 2021, the year ahead will hold more opportunities for the real estate agency industry to break new ground and explore new possibilities. My colleagues and I look forward to our continued partnership and collaboration with you.
I wish all of you a wonderful, safe and fruitful 2022!
LIM CHEE HWEE
COUNCIL FOR ESTATE AGENCIES
Information accurate as at 3 January 2022