Press Release: MAREC 2022 Forum by MIEA Requests Robust Changes To The Real Estate Practice
MIEA just concluded the 36th edition of the Malaysian Real Estate Convention (MAREC Summit) themed “Bridging The Digital Divide In The Real Estate Profession”. Twenty papers on various topics were presented at this two-day convention. MIEA President Chan Ai Cheng said in her keynote address that digital transformation in our profession is necessary for real estate agents to be relevant and to serve the public more efficiently and effectively. It also gives the competitive edge to thwart the challenges of tech firms creeping into the profession.
Hj Zamzuri, the Organizing Chairman and a MIEA board member said in his welcoming address that the Real Estate market is picking up and as professionals, we managed to provide the necessary support to our clients through technology during MCO 1 & 2. This conference aims to help the older generation to embrace technology and that MIEA is proud to continue to help agents in their endeavor through education & training.
The first of concern is to raise the level of professionalism among the Real Estate Negotiators [RENs] numbering some 28,000. They were of the opinion that the entry level for RENs is too low and that there is a need for them to now meet certain qualifications and do an entry exam to be allowed to practice.
The views included that although the supervising agent is ultimately responsible for the actions of the REN, the individual RENs should also be held accountable for their misdeeds. They felt that this will greatly improve the professionalism in the industry.
The number of registered agents is low as there are only 1,400 plus+ agents as of 2020, this is due to the lengthy examination and practical process which takes up to 7 years to be registered. They requested BOVAEP to review the syllabus and the format, like in Singapore where all are registered practitioners unlike the situation in Malaysia today.
There was concurrence from all panelist that the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers the regulatory Board are not at pace to keep up to the needs of the profession. They felt that managing three professions – The Valuers, Estate Agents and Property Managers, is too much to handle and has resulted in many inefficiencies and disconnect with the real estate practice. There was also agreement that the number of Estate Agents only represented in BOVAEP are far too small to bring about any significant change and requested to review this imbalance.
To a question by many delegates why illegal brokers are mushrooming in the country, they felt that the laws are inadequate and that the police who are empowered to act have not shown great interest in nabbing illegals. They further added that tech firms are now finding loopholes within the law to offer other services and indirectly engaging real estate practice which contravenes section 22C of the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents & Property Managers Act and urged the government to look into this.
There was also an agreement that the professional fees for estate agents should have a minimum cap as what is practiced in the developed countries and modelling after other professions in the country.
The convention attended by some 350 participants from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia & Thailand ended with a high note that there is much to be done to improve the profession. It was well said by a panelist that ‘we need to look into the mirror’ to see what we are and what we need to do, as there is much to be done to be relevant and progressive in or service to the public and nation.
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