Giving real-estate agents knowledge and a sense of professionalism

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) aims to offer more training programmes and courses to enhance the level of professionalism of real-estate agents in the country.

It recently held a two-day seminar on the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) to enhance the knowledge of its members.

“The CIPS is an internationally-recognised course and it's being promoted aggressively in other countries, such as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. The seminar is to provide our agents with the know-how on how to sell properties internationally,” MIEA president Nixon Paul tells StarBizWeek.

Incidentally, selling property abroad is also the theme for MIEA's Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention 2012 (MAREC 12) next month.

Themed Property Investment The Way Forward, Nixon says the MIEA decided on this topic because it felt that property investment was relevant and has become a very big part of estate agents' daily business activities.

“There are a lot of cross-border sales taking place these days. You have a lot of Singaporeans buying property in Malaysia because property prices over there have gone crazy! The biggest beneficiary has been Iskandar (in Johor).”

“There have also been many purchasers from Bangladesh, surprisingly. It's true, when you think of Bangladeshis, you imagine them being poor. But the rich are very rich,” he says.

Nixon says there has also been an increase in Indonesian buyers.

“We've seen a slowdown from European and American buyers because of the economic situation in their countries.”

The convention, which will be held on March 3 and 4 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, will feature distinguished speakers such as RAM Holdings Bhd group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng.

MAREC 12 will also be the first time that such a convention will be made open to the public.

“We're opening it to the public because we feel that the issues discussed are relevant to them.”

Nixon personally believes that the property investment opportunities are outside the Klang Valley.

“This is because the entry-level (for property) is so much lower in other states,” he says.

Nixon adds that Islamic finance would also be a topic that would be discussed at MAREC 12.

“There have been many developments within Islamic finance that have made property investment a lot more attractive. It (Islamic finance) has grown over the years and there is a lot about it the general public is not aware of.

“There will also be a lot of estate agents there and it will be a good networking platform for the public.”

This weekend, the MIEA is organising a seminar on property investment. “Investors need to be aware of their exit strategy when to get out of their investments. You have short-term investors and long-term ones, who have different views,” Nixon says.

He also says plans are in the pipeline to have social network-related training programmes for its estate agents.

“The global environment is changing so quickly that it's becoming hard to keep up! Before, people placed advertisements, then it progressed to websites. Now, its social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook!

“By raising the level of professionalism of our agents, they can also generate better income.”

Nixon says the MIEA, through its various training initiatives, hopes to be able to reach out to members located in states outside the Klang Valley. According to him, the MIEA currently had around 700 estate agents, with the bulk of its members located within the Klang Valley.

“We need to reach out to our members who are in the other states. So far, response has been good. At our recent CIPS seminar, about 60% of our participants were from outside the Klang Valley area.”

Nixon says the MIEA also wants to attract more professionals into the profession.

“Today, we're getting quite a number of professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, coming into this profession. The estate-agent profession is viewed positively as a long-term career path.

“We hope to attract more professionals into this line to increase the level of professionalism and with better service we can better serve the market,” he says.

On another note, Nixon says the public should conduct a check on the background of a particular estate agency before engaging their services.

“There are a number off illegal agents out in the market and when you engage one, it doesn't hurt to call up the number on their card and check with their office to determine if they are legitimate,” he says. - By EUGENE MAHALINGAM (The Star)

No comments