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Buyers Can Access Property Agents’ Records, Rate Services Under New Initiatives

Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee (4th from left) at the launch of the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map and Commissioning of J-Ops Command Centre at the JTC Summit on Feb 8, 2018. Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY


 February 9th, 2018  |  11:49 AM  |   647 views



Starting from the end of this year, home hunters can view the transaction records of property agents before engaging their services, while a framework to collect and publish consumers' ratings of agents is also on the cards.


These moves, led by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), are part of the blueprint to transform the real estate industry, which is facing the challenges of disruptive technologies, rising consumer expectations, and slowing manpower growth.


Launched on Thursday (Feb 8), the real estate industry transformation map (ITM) identified property transaction services as one of two areas which have scope for improvements. The other is facilities management.


The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and CEA said in a press release that the two sectors have the "greatest promise for transformation".




Property transaction services cover a range of activities, such as marketing and sourcing of property, contracting, valuation, financing and the legal completion of a transaction. Businesses that offer such services include developers, property agencies and banks.


In January, the Housing Board (HDB) launched its resale portal, which will cut resale flat transaction time by half, to eight weeks. The CEA will lead a workgroup, which was created last month, to look at ways to create "seamless, end-to-end, efficient and secure" transactions. The workgroup comrpises key government agencies involved in the property transaction process, such as HDB, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Central Provident Fund Board.


It will be focusing on the sharing of government property-related data with the industry to enable firms to automate administrative processes. Digitalised contract templates and checklists for consumers and property agents will also be developed.


The publication of property agents' transaction records will be carried out in phases — starting with HDB deals from the end of this year, and private residential sales and rentals from the end of 2019. The initiative will "increase transparency to consumers to facilitate their decisions in engaging a property agent, and help property agents showcase verified records of their experience", the CEA said.


The council will also be revamping its Continuing Professional Development framework by the end of this year, to ensure that agents upgrade themselves and be updated on the latest changes in policies and procedures relating to real estate transactions. "This will ensure that real estate professionals remain competitive and relevant in the changing environment, and equipped with skills to handle digitalised processes," BCA and CEA said.


On the area of facilities management, the BCA will be tasked with coordinating its development with other relevant agencies. A tripartite commmittee will be formed to look into the islandwide adoption of smart facilities management solutions and practices, among other things.


To support the facilities management sector with a skilled and professional workforce, the BCA will work with the institutes of higher learning and facilities management associations to review and update the curriculum offered by the schools. It will also build up the talent pool by strengthening the continuing education and training framework. The BCA will also explore working with facilities management associations to implement an industry accreditation scheme.


The ITM for the real estate industry is the third roadmap under the built environment cluster to be rolled out. Over the past year, 50 engagement sessions with stakeholders were conducted.



courtesy of TODAY



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