Registration Engenders Confidence and Peace of Mind


The mention of Real Estate Negotiator (REN) or Real Estate Agent typically conjures up stories of nasty cowboy tactics which inevitably include experiences of how one was cheated of money, time and affection. Never mind if they were first hand encounters or that of a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, or whether it involved a negotiator or agent or broker, the bottom line was that there existed a wide chasm dividing our intended standard of professional services, and the public’s negative perception of us.

Enough was enough. The situation necessitated a bold response.

The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (BOVAEA) made the courageous move to impose compulsory Registration on all REN. This Registration drive was implemented to monitor and control activities of REN with a two-pronged objective of increasing professionalism, while deterring infringement of BOVAEA Rules and Regulations governing the industry.

The formula is simple:

Step 1 All negotiators must attend a 2-day course to equip themselves with knowledge of the legal landscape as well as the relevant Rules and Standards relating to Estate Agency Transactions. This includes the penalties for infractions and measures to ensure compliance

Step 2 Register with BOVAEA, obtain a unique REN Number and corresponding REN Tag complete with anti-counterfeit features

Step 3 Display REN Number in ALL promotional materials, such as classified advertisements, signboards, online listings and name cards. Wear the REN Tag at all times during the course of conducting real estate business activities

Step 4 Conduct stringent checks on practitioners and enforce the penalties without fear or favor

Registration commenced in May 2013 and REN Tags were required since August 2013. RENs who specialise in Project Marketing – selling primary market stock whether under construction or completed from property developers – also need to register.

The REN Tag displays identity details of the REN which can be verified via BOVAEA website, www.lppeh.gov.my or to determine its legitimacy. This way, the public can easily choose to only deal with registered RENs versus illegal brokers who flout the laws and have little regard for business etiquette. It also provides the public with a safety net against errant practices by registered RENs as they can lodge complaints directly with BOVAEA. With identity details within their database, BOVAEA can take disciplinary action against the identified REN. As evidence of its resolve in this exercise, BOVAEA proactively conducts spot checks to enforce this bold initiative, instead of passively responding to complaints.

Besides ensuring RENs comply with the REN Tags and Numbers in their promotional materials, Registration has provided an effective means to ensure the quota of REN to each Real Estate Agent and Agency is observed. This, in turn, translates into more selective hiring, more commitment from the RENs to treat it as a career and not a mere pastime, and abolished concurrent employment under multiple agencies. In short, professionalism and quality have increased, to the benefit of all.

RENs are now proud to display their REN Tags and announce that they are duly registered. We know this is a clear indication of our capabilities that gives you the confidence to trust us with your transactions.

This registration exercise has increased the appeal of the real estate industry. We have progressed to a higher level of public trust, where our integrity and professionalism is easily affirmed. As such, we have seen greater participation from various professions and backgrounds into the real estate industry.

While we have come a long way, BOVAEA is not resting on its laurels. To enhance greater professionalism, a requirement for 5 CPD (Continuous Professional Development) hours seminar requirement may soon be implemented for the yearly renewal of the Registration. We look forward to further cementing a strong, reliable and professional level of service from RENs in Malaysia.

Article is written by Eric Lim, Founder and Managing Director of Hartamas Real Estate Sdn Bhd, MIEA’s Real Estate Agency of the Year 2012 to 2014 and Commercial Real Estate Agency of the Year 2011 to 2014. Log on to www.hartamas.com for more information. The article represents his personal views.