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How to Become a Property Agent or Real Estate Agent in Malaysia: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this comprehensive guide, you will find detailed information to get you started on becoming an accomplished property agent – from the exams you need to take to obtain your real estate agent (REA) license, the costs involved and the winning characteristics you should have!

Now first thing’s first, let’s get the real estate agent industry jargon out of the way, shall we?

  1. REA = Real Estate Agent (This is the official term although many Malaysians prefer to refer to REA as property agents)

  2. REN = Real Estate Negotiator

  3. PEA = Probationary Estate Agent

  4. BOVAEAPM = Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (of Malaysia)

  5. TPC = Test of Professional Competence

A Real Estate Agent is a registered property agent with BOVAEAPM. Being registered gives the individual the right to own and operate their own real estate agency as well as hire up to 50 Real Estate Negotiators (who will then need to give a portion of their commissions to the agency). RENs cannot practice until they have attended a specific course, gotten their official REN ID tags (and their own REN number), and gained employment from a registered agency i.e. an REA. The REN journey is a slightly shorter journey.

NOTE: In the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981 (Act 242), the official term used is “registered estate agent”. However, most online and print media and publications as well as real estate agent agencies use the term “real estate agents” for the sake of familiarity – as this is the term most people verbalise in conversation or search for online (besides property agent).

How to become a Property Agent – A step-by-step guide

The goal is to pass your Test of Professional Competence (TPC), upon which you will be eligible to register as an REA and receive your E number (E xxxx) which will allow you to practice. The TPC can only be undertaken after either a year or two of practical training (among other things). It’s a combination of an oral “Professional Interview” at the end of the one or two years and the practical and written work you will need to complete throughout that same time period.

The time period your depends on the qualifications you already have:

The non-degree/diploma route: Two years for practical training

  1. The minimum entry requirement is the possession of an MCE/SPM certificate with no less than 5 subject passes.

  2. With this, you are eligible to sit for the Estate Agent’s Written Examination which consists of two parts. Read more about this including the institutes conducting these courses, the type of subjects involved and the fees here.

  3. Upon successfully completing the Written Examination, you will be required to register as a PEA – Congratulations! You’re now a “Probationary Estate Agent”.

  4. You now require TWO years of practical training under a registered real estate agency or real estate agent.

The degree/diploma route: One year for practical training

  1. If you have majored in a property related course, you will be exempted from sitting for the Estate Agent’s Written Examination.

  2. For a list of qualifications accredited by BOVAEAPM that allow for this exemption, click here.

  3. If you have any of the mentioned accredited certificates, diplomas or degrees listed in the link above, you will immediately be eligible to register as a PEA!

  4. You will also only require ONE year of post-qualifying practical training experience under a registered agency or REA.

During your Practical Training:

Step 1: Once you’re a PEA (or even before that, really), you will want to do two things:

  • Join a registered real estate agency

  • Get your hands on a copy of “The Rules & Guidelines to the Test of Professional Competence for the Estate Agency Practice”. You can request for a copy from BOVAEAPM (RM14, inclusive of postage charges). This golden book holds all sorts of juicy pieces of information that you will need for your REA journey.

Step 2: According to this book, as a PEA you will need to cover the three areas of approved professional experience during your practical training which basically includes selling, leasing and working a developer on marketing a property:

  • Area 1: Sale and purchase of residential, commercial and industrial and agriculture property

  • Area 2: Tenancies / leases of residential, commercial and industrial and agriculture property

  • Area 3: Marketing of property for sale / property for rent

Step 3: Besides taking the TPC at the end of your practical training year or two, you will need to complete not one, not two but THREE things:

i. Work Diary: A log book of every single thing you’ve done (relevant to the three Areas mentioned above)

ii. Record of Experience: A 500-word essay summarizing who you are and what you’ve accomplished as a PEA

iii. Practical Tasks: Two assignments, each 2,000 – 4,000 words long; Task 1 involves describing in full the step by step process of a property sale you’ve done and Task 2 requires you to prepare a hypothetical marketing proposal based on one of the current developments in the market.

Step 4: Once you’re done with all three, it’s time for submission. Along with your Work Diary, Record of Experience and two Practical Tasks, you will need to submit certified copies of Employees Provident Fund Statements and your Income Tax Form for the past two years as well as the fee for the TPC (RM50 for registration and RM200 for the application).

Step 5: All that is left now is your oral examination or Professional Interview. You will find out when you will be tested within 30 days of the test date. It’s typically held six times a year  – February, April, June, August, October and December.

You will be questioned on your two Practical Tasks as well as the following topics: –

  • Property Law and Property Taxation

  • Estate Agency Principles & Techniques

  • Topical Matters

  • Estate Agents Act Rules & Standards

If you fail, don’t fret – This is because you can retake the whole process up to four times but you will need to pay for re-assessments which will vary according to what parts you need to re-do, more on this in the golden book.

And if you pass – congratulations! Welcome to the real estate agent world.

This article was first published as "How to Become a Property Agent or Real Estate Agent in Malaysia: A Step-by-Step Guide" on iProperty.com.my.

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