clock 01-11-2018
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MIEA Seeks Intervention to Redress Challenges in the Real Estate Service Sector

The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), a professional body representing 5,000 real estate practitioners, supports the call for the creation of a separate board made by the Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers and Facility Managers recently.

MIEA president Eric Lim today said it was time for the government, after 32 years of the passing of Act 242, to review and evaluate the effective managing of the profession and determine its future direction, adding that MIEA has long made the call for the creation of a separate board for real estate agents, to more effectively regulate its practitioners.

The profession is currently regulated under Act 242 by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVEAP), which comes under the purview of the Finance Ministry.

Lim said the current board was overwhelmed regulating the four professions under the real estate services industry, namely property managers, valuers, appraisers and real estate agents.

Lim also said real estate agents, who made up the majority of the profession, were not adequately represented at the board level. "The real estate profession should be regulated by its practitioners, similar to other professional bodies in Malaysia and Singapore" said Lim.

"MIEA set up a task force, comprising prominent and longstanding members of the industry, in 2010 and then in 2017, to study the matter of a separate board. The task forces had unanimously agreed that having a separate board would lead to better outcomes for the profession as a whole."

"We need a regulatory body whose representatives better understand the realities of the industry, and we are concerned about the future of the profession. In terms of practice standards, we are 25 years behind developed countries like the United States and Australia," said the special task force chairman and current MIEA chief executive officer Soma Sundram.

"The task force believes that each profession should be regulated separately in view of the different sets of challenges faced by these professions. These will lead to better enforcement measures and drive the development and growth of real estate practitioners in the country," said Sundram, who added that the matter of separate boards was mentioned by Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah recently.

"In Singapore, there is 1 registered real estate agent for every 200 people. Malaysia has 1 registered real estate agent for every 1,264 people. We are concerned that the industry is not growing, as every year, only around 100 new registered estate agents come into the market. This number can't meet the needs of the industry. Sabah and Sarawak, for example, are very much underserved," said MIEA secretary-general Chan Ai Cheng.

"We would like to engage all stakeholders, including the government and relevant professional bodies, to better grow the real estate services industry," said Chan, who added that out of RM139 billion in property transactions recorded last year, 60 per cent were carried out by real estate practitioners.

The call for separate boards to regulate the real estate services profession is in response to a statement by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVEAP) President Nordin Daharom yesterday, who said in a statement that there was no need for separate boards regulating the real estate services profession.

"The future of the 25,000 real estate practitioners in Malaysia will be under threat if nothing is done to address these concerns. MIEA, therefore, proposes for a dialogue with the Minister of Finance to establish solutions that address the many frustrations our members are facing in a sector that supports the nation. A separate board would enable real estate agents to be relevant and progressive, and determine the future of the industry," said Sundram.

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