Digital transformation with the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers

Oct 2020 - 2 min read

The Council for Estate Agencies’ Deputy Executive Director Mr Chan Mun Kit was invited to speak at the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuer’s virtual seminar on technology transformation on 30 July 2020. Here are the key highlights from his speech.

Addressing the members of the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV), Mr Chan covered three aspects of technological transformation that the real estate industry would have to focus on to be future-ready – embracing technology, forging partnerships, and raising capabilities.

Embracing technology

Consumers’ increasing reliance on technology, coupled with the safety measures that have been put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have accelerated the need to utilise digital tools to conduct property transaction activities.

Virtual property tours, video property viewings, and electronic signatures will soon become not just accepted but expected as consumers grow increasingly accustomed to conducting activities online. Digitalisation is not only imperative for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to mitigate any future risk of disruption to the continuity of estate agency work.

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Forging partnerships

Mr Chan touched on the work of the Digitalised Property Transactions Workgroup (DPTWG), which he chairs, and the collaborative initiatives that the workgroup has done to streamline and digitalise the property transaction process. He cited various government agencies in addition to industry representatives, including SISV, that are members of the DPTWG, and are working together to identify areas of improvement and propose solutions to make property transactions more efficient.

Two key issues associated with valuation that were identified as hampering the property transaction process were the tediousness of obtaining indicative property valuations over the phone or email, and the practice of generating hardcopy valuation reports, which are signed by the valuation firms. SISV has been asked by the DPTWG to look into digitising the valuation report and explore the acceptance of digital valuation, with automated valuation models being a possible solution.

Raising capabilities

Ensuring that real estate professionals have the capabilities and skills to thrive in the new digital environment is key to the industry’s successful transformation, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for property agents are a critical resource for the upgrading of their skills.

Mr Chan commended SISV for adapting quickly during the pandemic and offering online CPD courses for its members. He encouraged SISV to continue to offer training in relevant skills and knowledge areas to poise its members well to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation and beyond.

Information accurate as at 16 October 2020

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