Singapore

Reviews of individual property agents to be published online

The individual performance of each of the more than 28,000 property agents here will be clearer for all to see from the end of this year.

As part of a move to increase transparency to consumers and strengthen professionalism in the industry, the Council for Estate Agencies ) is working with agencies to publish property transaction histories - such as the price, location and agent who closed the deal - as well as customer reviews of property agents.

The initiative will be implemented in two phases: starting with Housing Board transactions from the end of this year and for private residential transactions, from the end of next year.

Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, who announced the move yesterday, said: "Such transparency will help sustain consumer trust in agents."

TRANSFORM

The measure is part of the Real Estate Industry Transformation Map, which seeks to transform the facilities management and property transaction services sectors in the face of disruptive technology, rising consumer expectations and a manpower crunch.

Mr Lee, in unveiling the masterplan, said there were two key thrusts to it: Embracing innovation and strengthening professionalism.

Another change is that companies will get access to property-related data so they can automate time-consuming administrative processes such as checks for whether a potential foreign tenant has a valid work pass in Singapore.

The data from HDB, Singapore Land Authority and Ministry of Manpower will be made available from this year, the minister said.

A cross-industry, inter-agency work group will also look at how to eliminate hard-copy documents like cheques and make the transaction process less of a hassle, although Mr Lee said this would be a long-term project with no immediate deadline.

Property