By Bob Tan
1 June 2018 12:45 (Edited: 6 June 2018)
In Malaysia, all Registered Estate Agents are represented by a recognized body known as Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA). The benefits are plentiful as taken directly from their membership leaflet. The obvious benefits are the recognition as a member of a professional body, showing that you are a professional in the line that is monitor and controlled by an official institute. It can give the peace of mind to your clients knowing you are an officiated professional.
Membership also includes plenty of personal development opportunity, such as providing education, training, marketing and networking to name a few. MIEA also provides news and updates from the industry such as government legislation updates. Professional awards are given to members as a form of recognition by the institute. Did we also mention joining will give you discounts ranging from purchasing cars at car dealers and various discount on food and beverage at F&B outlets? These are just the few that we have named from their brochure.
Credits: Malaysian Institute of Real Estate Agency (MIEA)
Now you may think that this article is starting to seem like an advertisement for joining MIEA. But let’s tackle the elephant in the room, unlicensed agents or unlicensed Real Estate Negotiators (REN) who are operating without a license. There are existing rules and regulations that can place these unlicensed brokers in contravention. According to the MIEA FAQ, they can receive a heavy fine not exceeding RM300,000 or even imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both. But most veterans in the industry will say that it’s hard to detect unlicensed agents.
Because if the unlicensed agent is not reported, no information is available whatsoever let alone any action can be taken. If they are very savvy at what they do, they can find loopholes to bypass the law or hide their tracks. The government does try its best to educate the public about the importance of not dealing with such individuals but is it really that big of an issue?
When buying, selling or renting for any property, a lawyer is used to draft the documents and prepare everything in a professional manner. With all documents laid out in black-and-white, and their money being deposited with a lawyer as a stake holder in the negotiations. There is no actual need for a purchaser or seller to approach an agency.
This isn’t to put down the value of REN’s as their value lies in their role to ensure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible. They act as an advisor and play a crucial part negotiating to get the best deal for both parties. The client benefits when a REN does a good work in ensuring the deal is successful. Some might ask “do you really need to get a “Licensed Real Estate Negotiator” to serve you?”
The MIEA’s role is to ensure that all REN are properly educated on the guidelines based on The Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEAP). MIEA is doing all they can to monitor and boost the standard of professionalism in the industry.
The general perception is that unlicensed rampant agents are the fault of MIEA but in truth, should it be BOVAEAP that enforces the act. BOVAEAP are the regulators for Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers practicing in Malaysia.
How is BOVAEAP going to tackle the issue?