Embracing technology will make RENs better. Actions help a lot. was invited to attend MAREC 2018 (Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention) as a media representative. The theme was very apt not just for real estate but for all industries. “Embracing Changes with Innovation.” It’s from 2nd – 3rd March @ the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur. I know some of the speakers personally and one of them gave a very interesting talk on Day 1. He is Sr Adzman Ariffin who shared about “How PropTech is transforming real estate activities.” Some of the things he shared include usingGoogle Street View to enhance consultative skills of RENs, drones to help with a better overall view of an area, SISMAPs, Periscope houseviewings, Speedrent, WeChat, Igloohome, Mhub etc. Sr Adzman Ariffin is the CEO of Exastrata Sdn Bhd and I know him as a humble and yet entertaining guy. His talk on the first day kept everyone’s attention and kopiandproperty representative jot down a lot of good inputs.

During the Q&A session, someone asked him if all these Proptech meant that sooner or later, real estate negotiators (RENs) will be out of job. He responded very well and thorough and the person seems satisfied. Let me also provide my personal answer as well. The reason why RENs are paid a professional fee is because the sellers and the buyers expect a professional service. If RENs are only to open the home and then stand there while the buyer tours the house, then these RENs should be out of job very soon. Are RENs able to provide consultative service? No one expects them to be property experts but surely the below should be something the RENs must prepare, especially with all the available proptechs today, whether free or not free.

RENs representing the buyer (only a few examples)

1. What’s the typical home prices for the area. Are there cheaper options and why are they cheaper? Are there more expensive options and why are they more expensive? (For example, I bought my Kelana Jaya condo because the agent told me about the typical rental, about the competing condo prices of the two projects beside and one opposite as well as the fact that I would be saving over RM15,000 just from the kitchen cabinet alone…)

2. What’s the typical jam like, on a weekday morning, from the property to the office. (Please ask in advance where the potential buyer’s office is!)

3. The directions of the unit, will it be hot, what are the possible things to be done to keep out the sun etc.

4. How much savings would the buyer be getting with the existing renovations, electrical goods etc.

and more… (Above answers, RENs are already able to get some ideas by using technology. From to GoogleMaps and even to understand some of the typical renovation costs and prices of electrical goods?)


RENs representing the seller (Only a few examples)

1. What’s the current prices being offered in the market. Is the price offered realistic? If not, what are the potential selling points, how can the owner make the house look better? (For example, within few days after I repainted my condo upon the advice from an awesome REN, my condo was sold. It was NOT sold for 2 months before that even with viewings.)

2. Ask the right questions to get answers from the owner, some of the advantages that the owner has enjoyed while staying there. These may not be available online….  (Favourite mamak stall, super cheap pasar pagi etc etc…)

3. How much was the renovations, electrical goods, have a list for all these so that the REN is able to show to the potential buyer.

And more…. (Most of these answers, RENs are able to get help from proptechs…)

PropTech should be embraced by all RENs. Actually even for some which seeks to replace RENs, this will work as soon as the current RENs retreat back to become just someone with a key to a property. If I am a potential buyer and I get a very helpful and consultative REN, I will recommend this REN to friends and every time I need to buy one more property, I will seek out his / her help first. When we look at the real estate industry, don;t we just wonder why there are top performing RENs year after year and why there are RENs which could not survive even for a few months? It’s not proptech that will replace the RENs. It is the actions from the RENs themselves. Ready to earn more $$ or well, just trying a new job? Cheers.

written on 3 Mar 2018

Next suggested article:  Selling your home faster? Some tops (updated) – Usable for RENs too 


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