CEA implements stricter training requirements and various learning routes to increase property brokers’ professionalism

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Marina View Residences e brochure

The property agency business experienced an abrupt change during the Covid-19 pandemic that accelerated the use of technology and digital tools and altered the way properties are advertised and sold.

Since since then changes within the field has been swift as noted by Adam Wang, president of the Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA). “From technological advances of AI (AI) as well as ChatGPT to changing consumer behavior We are witnessing a radical change in how our industry works,” he stated during SEAA’s annual conference held on May 19.

Marina View Residences e brochure is earmarked for residential and hotel use. The 0.78 ha or 84,000 sq ft site enjoys a maximum GFA of 1.09 million sq. ft.

In the end the requirement to property agents to constantly adapt and expand has become essential. “As experts in the field of property, it’s our obligation to continue to learn to stay ahead of these trends, and be able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape in order in order to be current with the needs of an ever-changing global society,” Wang opines.

This theme was at the center of the conference that was attended by over 500 real estate professionals this year. It was entitled Uplifting Professionalism within the real Estate Industry: Staying Ahead of Changing Trends, the conference included discussions on the latest market trends by panellists such as Suan Teck Kin of UOB’s head for research, as well as executive director Tan Hong Boon, executive director of Capital Markets at JLL and EdgeProp Singapore CEO Bernard Tong.

The conference also witnessed the announcement of new measures designed to improve the skills that property agents. The guest of honour Indranee Thurairajah, Minister of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister the Second Minister of Finance and the Second Minister of Education presented eight suggestions that will implement through the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA) in the context of the Real Transformation Map for the Real Estate Industry 2025 that aims to create “a efficient resilient, productive and sustainable real estate agent industry”.

These changes will result in an increase in the annual requirements for training in the case of property agents. In the current continuing Professional Development (CPD) ecosystem agents are required to earn the equivalent of six CPD credits. This generally means attending between six and nine hours of CPD-approved courses annually, in order to renew their license. In October 2025, property agents will be required to attend 16 hours of education every year and the CPD requirement being dependent on training hours, instead of credits going forward.

In the 16, 12 of them must be completed by taking structured learning courses offered by accredited course providers, which includes four hours of education on topics that are prescribed like ethics, regulations and laws governing in the property market. The remainder required annually could be completed via self-directed learning programs that provide lessons like customer service and digital marketing techniques.

Other initiatives announced include different training paths for agents at different levels of their careers as well as stricter accreditation requirements. an updated audit framework for CPD courses. The CEA will also publish a summary of feedback about CPD courses provided by participants via the CEA website to increase transparency.

Minister Indranee Rajah regards the new regulations as a crucial step toward improving the professionalism of property agents, and making sure that their expertise and knowledge be up to the standards of customers. “Continual training and upskilling is the key to ensuring that they are able to meet to the expectations of consumers,” she says, noting that this will help to take the industry “to the highest level”. On January 1 there were 34,427 property representatives in Singapore was 34,427 across 1,118 agencies, according data released by the CEA website.

Emerging trends
In keeping ahead of the latest trends, those attending the conference could gain an understanding of the evolving property landscape by listening to presentations on a variety of topics given by panellists. UOB’s Suan presented information on macroeconomic prospects of Singapore and highlighted that the city’s growth is likely to slow in the coming year as compared to last one’s growth in GDP which was 3.6%, amid challenges like a slowdown in manufacturing. But the possibility of recession isn’t imminent because service-based businesses like financial and tourism help to cushion the impact of the downturn in manufacturing.

Rates of interest are expected to remain high, even though Suan states that the majority of rate hikes are over. “We believe rates will flatten this year, and may even come down in the next,” he says. In addition, China’s opening is expected to boost Singapore’s economy. In the overall picture, UOB is projecting Singapore growth of the economy to be around 0.7% this year.

JLL’s Tan provided an outline of the market for collective sales that has seen sales decline over the last few years. Since the year 2020, around $6.8 billion in collective sales have been completed in comparison to $21 billion that was sold between 2015 and the year 2019. “We are now in a slow period after the most recent significant collective sales cycle, which was peaking in 2017-2017,” Tan explains.

Despite the slowdown however, he notes that the sales volumes and prices for both new launches as well as resales remain strong. He attributes this to a sluggish demand, coupled with an inadequate number of houses for sale. This is why developers continue to look out new construction sites but Tan admits that challenges like higher interest rates and higher expectations of owners regarding prices can dampen the housing market. “Potential gains from collective sales are decreasing as costs to replace owners are increasing,” he observes.

Additionally, EdgeProp CEO Bernard Tong identified the main drivers behind the growth of supply and demand within the property market. This covers factors like increasing population and the development of infrastructure that boosts demand and future housing developments that could affect the supply.

By utilizing data extracted by data gathered using the EdgeProp LandLens tool, Tong points out relevant drivers in a few important regions. For instance In District 15 Tong reveals that there are 32,000 condo units that serve a huge collection of not only owner-occupiers but also renters, who make an important proportion of the residents within Geylang and Marine Parade. Marine Parade and Geylang planning regions. Additionally, in the Lentor region, Tong highlights that over the coming 5 to 7 years the estate will witness nearly double the number of condo units, which is around 4,000 units. This is driven by various Government Land Sales in the region.

To conclude, Tong emphasises the need to be aware of the diverse demand and supply dynamics agents need to be able to explain the latest market trends and developments to customers that ultimately affect property decisions.

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