I have many, many and many REA and REN friends who work very hard to earn their living. Honest, hardworking and down-to-earth people. If I need to rent or sell my property, I will engage their services and gladly pay them. Why? One real example? Many years ago, I wanted to sell my Kelana Jaya condo for RM430,000. Already 3 months, many viewings but no buyer offers. Then I met a REN who told me to repaint my house and move out all the remaining stuffs. I was like, huh? I am selling the house, why are you asking me to spend more money? He looked professional, so I followed his advice and spent RM2,500 in total. He sold my place for RM460,000 within 1 week. That’s RM30,000 extra. Crazy but true. This is the reason why the good ones deserved to be paid the professional fee, really.
Full press release by MIEA here. (click to read the full copy) MIEA has identified nine of these companies and is ready to lodge police reports on whoever is infringing the law and meddling with the practice. ‘Stick to providing technology not real estate services’ commented Eric Lim. Eric Lim stressed that “While we embrace technology and understand how it benefits the profession, these Proptech start-ups should instead work with over 20,000 real estate practitioners in our midst who needs such service and not taking over the role of agents”
MIEA president Eric Lim said, “Firstly, they come in saying that their tech platform is to bridge a sale or rental and help buyers and sellers and/or landlords and tenants respectively. They even directly state that this is to avoid using real estate agents to help save cost for them and they provide real estate services, prepare tenancy agreements, collect rentals and even claim their service is better.”
“These tech start-ups are getting braver and bolder by challenging the law. They claim to help the public sell and rent their properties and that means they are illegally operating real estate practice when they collect a fee in any shape or form,” he added.
The real estate agency practice in Malaysia is governed by Act 242 whereby real estate agents are registered and real estate negotiators are certified by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents & Property Managers (BOVEAP). Real estate transactions in the country can only be handled by real estate agents, real estate negotiators and property owners thus the real estate practices undertaken by such proptech start-ups are illegal, according to Section 22c of the Act.
“We call upon BOVEAP the regulators of our profession and the Finance Ministry to take the necessary action against these ‘proptech brokers’ to protect the public and the laws of the country,” said Lim. Full press release by MIEA here. (click to read the full copy)
Just last week, I was having a dinner with a founder of a famous property listing company (they serve RENs, they do not take business away from them) and we were discussing about what happens when as a seller, we do not engage RENs. Well, let’s assume we intend to rent or sell our home and we wanted to save the professional fee and we want to find the potential customers by ourselves. Do we really want to open the door to strangers who claim they want to rent / buy our home? Assuming we are ready to do that, then are we ready to open the home again and again and again because buyers do not buy after viewing one property? Assuming again we are too free, then what happens after they buy, do you think they are willing to just give the deposits to us? By the way, there are many scams in the market against buyers too, not just sellers yeah.
I know, some may want to tell me that some of these REAs and RENs are not professional. Well, if they are, please report them. They are easily identifiable due to the REA Agency Number as well as the REN tag identification number. Happy understanding.
written on 28 March 2019
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