It is indeed an honor to share with you as we Shape the future of the real estate industry together.
Some observers commented in Business Times on 25 July 2008 that PropNex’s move were BOLD and DRASTIC in light of the 2800 terminated agents. Such concerns and reports were featured in the various media including Channel New Asia, Channel 5, Channel 8, Channel U, various radio stations and newspapers of all languages.
PropNex move is NOT only BOLD and I must say it took COURAGE on the part of the management team and senior partners to move towards a direction of “Self-Regulation” and Professionalism. We know property investments are by FAR always the major decision every Singaporean has to make in their lifetime. Today, even the public housing reached the half million dollars mark and beyond. Also, most private properties exceed far beyond the one million dollars mark.
It is only right that certain standards of professionalism are taken seriously in an industry known for its rogue agents with no entry barrier. PropNex’s move in terminating 2800 agents and instilling the various self-imposed regulations is certainly a move to protect the consumers’ interest at large and upgrade the professionalism, setting the pace for the industry to follow.
Part of the self-regulation by PropNex include the following:
a. Every PropNex agent will be required to be covered under the Professional Indemnity Insurance, worth $100,000 each. BOLD move, certainly yes, the premium is expected to cost in the tune of $800,000 to the agents and the company. If all other professionals such as lawyers and doctors are subjected to Professional Indemnity, it is only right that real estate agents are covered as well to protect the interest of consumer and seriously one would want to be considered a professional.
b. All PropNex agents will also have to fulfill 12 points (equivalent to a minimum of 12 hours or more) of Continual Professional Development (CPD) annually in order to maintain the status of a professional agent in PropNex. Why CPD? This is not new and many regulated industries require such practice. For instance the insurance industry, under MAS requires all insurance agents to annual CPD. Thus PropNex’s move in an unregulated industry is certainly commendable to ensure the currency of PropNex agent to latest policies, market trends and ethical conduct of the business starting from 1 October 2008.
c. The Proficiency Test, that requires all new agents upon joining PropNex, will ensure that agents who want to be part of PropNex to have the necessary skills to carry out the job. The test is designed with three parts: a compulsory section on Code of Conduct and Ethics and two other parts on Public Housing and Private Property. A 75% pass is required before admittance to actual real estate activities.
d. PropNex Professional Practitioner Certificate (PPPC), with the various initiatives put into place, all PropNex agents will be issued with PPPC starting from 1 October this year upon fulfilling the various requirements indicated in the insurance coverage on their certificate. This way all our consumers can verify the validity of the PropNex agent.
Other initiatives also include the set of Disciplinary Board and Mediation Board to hear consumer’s feedback and deal with errant agents. PropNex has also invested in a software to monitor all existing agents on the Bankruptcy and Litigation status so as to ensure that PropNex agents are free from any of such complication that may undermine consumer’s interest. Finally, PropNex’s backroom operations will conduct a Customer Feedback Survey on the level of service provided by PropNex agents and introduce our Home Warranty and Deposit Guarantee Programme to all our customers.
With such a BOLD move, I am confident that the real estate industry will only move to a high level of professionalism that protects consumer interest.
To all my PropNex agents, the task ahead may seem daunting but believe me, we don’t have a choice. The only way is to add value in our existence to our customers.
And I am confident, together holding hands and moving forward with professional service will ensure greater success to each and everyone of us and our loved ones.
Thank you. Service You Trust.
CEO, Mohd Ismail