With up to 40,000 unregistered real estate agents and negotiators (RENs) in Malaysia, leading industry bodies believe a new tag scheme and online initiatives are helping to reduce the number
Malaysia has up to 40,000 unregistered real estate agents and negotiators (REN), Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) President, Siva Shanker says.
The misconduct of the unregistered brokers, who are believed to be handling around RM 24billion worth of deals each year, is putting the professionalism of the industry at risk.
The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents, Malaysia, the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector in Malaysia (PEPS) and the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) set up a dedicated It’s Illegal website in the summer, outlining
the requirement for RENs to obtain a licence or face fines of up to RM300,000 (US$90,000) and/or three years in prison.
Leading property website, PropertyGuru Malaysia is supporting MIEA in its bid to get RENs to register themselves as certified agents and the two have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Mr Shanker says, “In our strive to push for licensing and certification amongst the RENs, it is crucial for MIEA to partner with like-minded industry players like PropertyGuru Malaysia that complement our aim to protect the interests of homebuyers, as well as real estate agents. In addition to ensuring integrity, credibility and professionalism amongst RENs, partnerships like this will add great value and benefits to our members, creating more business opportunities to enrich their career in the property market.”
Gerard Kho, PropertyGuru (Malaysia) Country Manager, adds, “Potential homebuyers today are bogged down with various concerns and qualms over the local property market and the possibility of owning their dream home. The last thing they need is to be anxious over their RENs.”
Under the partnership, licensed REN members enjoy special listing packages, market insights, industry updates and special deals.
The collaboration also signifies PropertyGuru Malaysia’s backing for MIEA’s ongoing initiatives to educate RENs and consumers on the importance of REN licensing and certification.
The issue is important as there is a growing number of complaints filed against RENs, which has now reached 70 a month.
Among issues causing particular problems are unfair clauses in tenancy agreements, RENs making promises they cannot deliver, bank loans and consent, changing document without client permission and marketing material inaccuracies.
To encourage more brokers and negotiators to register, in June, a REN identity tag was introduced thanks to the same team of industry bodies.
As of September, more than 21,000 had attended a mandatory two-day REN tag registration course to educate members over its use, Eric Lim, Chairman of the Estate Agent Practice Committee, told the Straits Times.
The tag includes a REN number and Quick Response (QR) code that can be scanned by mobile phones and other devices, a photo of the agent or negotiator and holographic image, plus company details.
MIEA represents registered estate agents in Malaysia and provides training schedules, activities and property listings.
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect