Real estate agency industry transformation updates

May 2021 - 3 min read

Real estate industry transformation updates at the OrangeTee Business Conference 2021

Minister Desmond Lee at the OrangeTee Business Conference 2021 (Image: MND)

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration, graced OrangeTee’s Business Conference 2021 on 24 May 2021, and shared updates on the latest developments impacting the real estate agency industry today. 

Themed ‘Embracing Phygital Transformation in the New World’, the Business Conference 2021 provided an apt backdrop for Minister Lee to offer perspectives about the current status of the construction sector in light of the heightened COVID-19 risks and the downstream implications for estate agents and salespersons.

As oft-highlighted, a key measure for the industry to navigate through the challenges brought about by the pandemic is to accelerate technology innovation and transformation, through the various initiatives under the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (ITM). 

In his speech, Minister Lee updated that the Real Estate ITM has since seen more than 300 businesses in the sector benefitting from the Productivity Solutions Grant and the Enterprise Development Grant. This year, two digital solutions for the real estate agency industry were launched under the SMEs Go Digital programme. These solutions offer estate agents the opportunity to digitalise their document management processes with up to 80% government funding support until 30 June 2022, under the Productivity Solutions Grant.

In addition, the standard contract templates for the rental, sale and purchase of residential properties that were co-developed with the industry under the Digital Property Transactions Workgroup has seen almost 40,000 downloads from CEA’s website so far this year. 

Minister added that CEA would be doing a stock-take of the progress under the Real Estate ITM, and is looking to refresh the Real Estate ITM by next year, in partnership with the industry. CEA has started to hold dialogues with the estate agents and will continue to engage industry stakeholders to seek views and suggestions.

REITM achievements

Figure 1: Real Estate ITM achievements

Minister Lee commended OrangeTee for being one of the first movers in engaging customers digitally and taking a customer-centric approach in the estate agency business. He highlighted the estate agent’s partnership with proptech group, Juwai IQI, that helped to broaden access to overseas-based buyers and properties for their salespersons and clients through digital platforms, and OrangeTee’s Market Analytics Suite, a mobile platform providing customisable property data across multiple segments in real time.

Minister Lee also noted OrangeTee’s incorporation of CEA’s Guide on Best Practices for Consumer Ratings into its Property Agents Review platform to help consumers better compare the ratings of salespersons across platforms and make more informed decisions when choosing a salesperson.

At the event, Minister Lee also took the opportunity to share the government’s plans to launch public housing in prime locations to give Singaporeans of different income levels a chance to enjoy living in such areas. Consultations with academics, families and even estate agents have started, to gather feedback and ideas to balance the complex considerations involved in such an endeavour.

He also called on the industry to continue to advise their clients with their best interests at heart, and offer sound and professional advice, particularly during this challenging time given the construction delays and economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acknowledging the important role salespersons and estate agents play in supporting their clients to achieve their aspirations of home ownership, Minister Lee encouraged the continued pursuit of transformation and adaptation to overcome challenges and seize new opportunities.

Information accurate as at 28 May 2021

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