Almost 7 in 10 consumers who engaged a real estate salesperson previously would still engage one in a future property transaction

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Mar 2023 - 3 min read

CEA’s 2021 Public Perception Survey (PPS) provides a gauge of consumers’ satisfaction towards the services rendered by real estate salespersons (RESs). The survey findings allow CEA and the industry to have a better sense of the progress made by the industry in delivering professional service to property consumers.  

This blog post focuses on consumers’ and potential consumers’ intentions to engage an RES for future property transactions. It is the fifth and final in a series of blog posts where we delve deeper into the 2021 PPS findings and share how the industry can continue to meet evolving consumer expectations.

The real estate agency industry must continue to level up to meet consumer expectations

The 2021 PPS showed that nearly 7 in 10 (68 per cent) consumers who had engaged an RES previously indicated that they would continue to engage the services of an RES in their future property transactions. Nearly 5 in 10 (47 per cent) of individuals who had not engaged an RES before said that they would engage an RES should they transact property in future.

The survey also revealed that the proportion of consumers and potential consumers who were undecided about whether to engage an RES in future increased in 2021 from 2018. In addition, there was a lower proportion of consumers and potential consumers who said that they would handle their future property transactions on their own in 2021, compared to 2018.

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The findings show that consumers appreciate the role of RESs in a property transaction and will continue to choose to engage RESs for their market knowledge and facilitation services in property transactions.   

Having said that, consumer behaviour and expectations are also evolving as consumers become more discerning and tech-savvy. More consumers are now questioning the value RESs can bring to the property transaction and would expect RESs to offer richer perspectives above and beyond what they can obtain on their own. Consumers today expect RESs to provide highly personalised services based on their specific needs (such as conducting property market analysis and recommending property options based on their needs and financial capabilities) and use more digital tools in property transactions to provide deeper insights.

This presents an opportunity for both estate agents (EAs) and RESs to level up in terms of knowledge, service levels and technology use to meet evolving consumer expectations and remain relevant. 

How CEA is supporting the industry

CEA will continue to work closely with EAs to support their efforts in equipping their RESs with skills and knowledge to provide better services to meet rising consumer expectations. We will also partner with the industry in identifying and building up capabilities to raise overall industry professionalism and further transform the industry.

CEA will partner with our stakeholders to implement various initiatives under the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025, which envisions a professional, productive and resilient real estate agency industry. 

One key initiative is Project ADEPT (Advancing and Enhancing Professionalism and Training), which involves CEA and representatives from EAs, industry associations, training providers and academia, to review and enhance the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) ecosystem.

Under the Real Estate ITM 2025, CEA remains committed to working with EAs to identify opportunities to further improve property transaction processes so that they can provide better and faster services to property consumers. We will also continue to support small and medium-sized EAs in their digitalisation journey under the SMEs Go Digital programme and Chief Technology Officer-as-a-Service (CTO-as-a-Service) initiative.

To better attract good quality entrants to the industry, CEA has set up the Examination Syllabi Review Workgroup comprising CEA and industry stakeholders, to review and update the syllabi of the Real Estate Agency (REA) and RES examinations.  The purpose is to ensure new Key Executive Officers (KEOs) and RESs have the necessary and up-to-date knowledge to effectively perform their respective roles. The workgroup will hold focus group discussions with industry stakeholders as part of the review work.  

How the industry can respond

Everyone in the real estate agency industry has an important role to play in raising professionalism and strengthening consumer trust. EAs and RSEs must continue to assume responsibility and accountability to uplift the industry’s professionalism, improve service delivery and create value-adding property transaction experiences for consumers. 

For EAs
  • Regularly review your business model and redesign your work processes to improve customer experiences.  
  • Tap on technological tools to improve your RESs’ productivity and responsiveness to clients. You can view some of the digital enablers that have been made available to the real estate agency industry here
  • Continue to invest in training and development, as well as your organisational capacity and structure for better supervision of your RESs. 

For RESs
  • Build trust in your clients by putting their interests above yours.
  • Embrace technology and new ways of doing things. Understand your clients’ needs and present them with the best options tailored to their requirements and preferences.
  • Upgrade your professional knowledge and skills to meet consumers’ expectations today and for the future. 

    Information accurate as at 10 March 2023

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