Feb 2021 - 2 min read
On 13 November 2020, the Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA) conveyed an industry first – an industry-wide award recognising outstanding salespersons who have demonstrated a commitment to service excellence as well as good sales performance.
Gracing the virtual awards ceremony were Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and National Development, and Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State (MOS) in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Development.
Acknowledging the varying backgrounds and experiences of the award winners who ranged from rookies to experienced salespersons, as well as youths and seniors, Minister Indranee Rajah noted that “they share one thing in common, which is exemplary performance in sales and rental transactions, with passion and drive on the job”.
“They have demonstrated that service excellence and professionalism must go hand-in-hand, in order to deliver good sales performance with high customer satisfaction – a positive and hassle-free property transaction experience for consumers,” said Minister Indranee Rajah.
Since its inception in 2015, SEAA had aspired to confer awards to salespersons to recognise service excellence and professionalism in the real estate agency industry. Once the industry association’s membership reached the 4,000 mark in 2018, its executive committee felt the time was right to launch the awards to elevate the professional standing of its members to consumers and the public.
Mr Thomas Tan, President of SEAA, explained, “The criteria to attain the awards were not simply to do well in terms of sales performance, but to demonstrate good ethics as well, culminating in a trusted salesperson that services the best interests of his/her client.”
Good ethics and service excellence are determined by client testimonials and a written submission that showcases the salespersons’ character, conduct and service-orientedness.
In his remarks at the virtual event, MOS Tan noted the resilience of the industry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the admirable speed with which the industry pivoted to adopt technological tools to overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
“I am very encouraged that many of our agencies and agents are adopting technology and embracing new ways of doing things.” He added, “The industry needs to press on in this respect, and the Government is committed to support the real estate agency industry in this digital transformation.”
Mr Thomas Tan credits digitalisation for driving continued success for salespersons despite the challenging economy. “One of the reasons why we came up with these awards is to show salespersons that there are still success stories in the marketplace. And one of the key drivers for their success is because they were open minded and were the early adopters of digitalisation,” he said.
Mr Tan added that the awards, which are published in CEA’s Public Register, offer salespersons greater visibility and exposure to consumers who are increasingly researching online before engaging a salesperson to assist them in probably the most expensive purchase of their lives. “With the awards, there is already a level of trust even before the salesperson engages the consumer, so it essentially lowers the ‘barrier to entry’ for salespersons in creating that striking first impression online.”
To those looking to be considered for the 2021 awards, Mr Thomas Tan said, “Even though it was SEAA’s first run of the awards in 2020, an overwhelming 387 award winners were recognised. In 2021, SEAA is confident of a good response as well, and the competition is expected to go up a notch. As such, aspiring applicants will need to differentiate themselves by their performance alongside good ethics and good client reviews.”
SEAA hopes the awards will raise industry professionalism on two levels – that existing award winners will endeavour to maintain their accolades by continuing to achieve the award every year, and that aspiring applicants will strive to achieve the prestigious SEAA award.
“When more practitioners strive to achieve the awards, the overarching outcome will be an industry of high-performing salespersons grounded in solid ethics, with consumers ultimately the beneficiaries of better and trusted service from salespersons,” said Mr Tan.
Information accurate as at 9 February 2021