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In the SG Real Estate Agents Excellence Awards 2021 recently, 374 winners were recognized for their dedication and outstanding performances in the field. The annual ceremony is hosted through the Singapore Estate Agents Association (SEAA) the largest industry-wide representative body for realtors in Singapore. The ceremony for this year’s awards was held online on November 5 and the guest of honour was Tan Kiat How, Minister of State for Communications and Information & National Development.

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EdgeProp Singapore was the official media partner of the event that was live streamed. Awards entry requirements and requirements remain the same as those for the first event of the year.

The categories that are contested are The Outstanding Youths Award which recognises agents younger than age 28 The Senior Achievers Award for agents older than 60, along with the Rookies Award for new agents who started their careers following July 1, 2019. There were as well Salesperson Achievement Awards for top performers.

As per SEAA the president of SEAA Adam Wang, it was essential to create awards for the industry that were open and inclusive to agents of all kinds regardless of their age or level of prior experience. “Everyone should be recognized for their efforts and dedication to the agency at a national and international levels,” he told EdgeProp Singaporein an email interview.

The awards ceremony this year saw nine winners of the Outstanding Youths Award, 13 winners of the Rookies Award, five winners for the Senior Achievers Award, and 347 winners for The Salespersons Achievement Award, which was divided into four categories which included Diamond, Platinum Gold, Silver and Gold.

The awards are recognised by the industry’s regulatory body Council of Estate Agents (CEA). The recipients of each award are listed in their own profile on the CEA’s public register.

The award recipients were assessed by an expert panel of judges: Chong Kee Hiong, CEO of Suntec REIT manager ARA Trust Management; Fortis Law CEO Patrick Tan; and Professor Sing Tien Foo, director of the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Both quantitative and qualitative measures were employed to assess the applicants. In addition to assessing customer testimonials, sales performance were also considered to provide a balanced evaluation.

In his welcome remarks to the ceremony the Minister Tan felicitated all recipients of the awards. “[The award winners] demonstrated not just a good sales, but more important, they have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism that merits this award,” he says.

The 4 Ps approach

In his speech Minister Tan explained how organizations and agents can contribute to improving the quality of life by implementing what Minister Tan calls”the “4 Ps” approach : professionalism, productivity, progress and collaboration.

For productivity, particularly he cited the growing use of digital tools in the business, including online property tools for research and the digital signatures used in lease agreements. “On our side, CEA has also rolled out the brand new Advanced CEA Estate Agencies System (ACEAS) in July of this year, to replace the 10 years-old system,” he adds.

In a bid to highlight the necessity of addressing problems with online that agents have to face Minister Tan launched the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Accurate Property Listings, which will eliminate dummy or redundant property listings. “This is a problem for years that buyers [as well as property agents] always had to face when searching in search of properties,” he says. The AfA is co-led by the SEAA and the AfA, the alliance includes the five biggest property agencies: PropNex, ERA, OrangeTee & Tie, Huttons Asia and SRI. EdgeProp Singapore will be a part of the AfA as well.

A voice for agents

SEAA president Wang shares Minister Tan’s views regarding the changing technological landscape, stating that it remains an important issue for many agents, especially in the Covid-19 market. “Salespersons especially those who aren’t technologically adept aren’t always up to date with the most recent technology tools and the use of the use of social media in marketing. This puts them at risk of being marginalized by their colleagues,” he says.

To achieve this, SEAA has placed significant focus on education for its members. They have been able to offer online webinars and training sessions to instruct agents on how to utilize tools like 360-degree VRs, online signatures of lease documents as well as analysis of data property reports website launch sites for projects and push technology that allows them to reach out to prospective clients.

The initiatives taken by SEAA highlight its mission to increase competence and promote ethical conduct in the business by continuing education and creating industry standards to raise the bar for professionalism. In order to achieve this, Wang says that a united voice for the industry is essential. He is hoping that more agents recognize the benefits of joining SEAA that currently has about five hundred members.

In the next year in the coming year, the SEAA is planning to roll out additional training programs, making sure that salespeople are up-to-date and equipped with the latest information and tools. It has also named CEO Edmund Toh, effective Nov 1st. Toh was previously an executive committee member of the SEAA.

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