SINGAPORE - Property agents will have to meet a higher training requirement to renew their licenses from October 2025, in a move by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) to raise professional standards in the industry.
They will have to clock 16 hours of training a year, up from the current six to nine hours currently required for agents to renew their license each year.
Announcing the new requirement on Friday, Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah said it will ensure agents do not get left behind as trends and circumstances change, and that they are “fully plugged into all that is happening”.
Of the 16 hours, agents will have to log 12 hours under a structured learning component which includes courses in areas such as laws and regulations, property markets and other related real estate knowledge.
To allow agents to pick up new generic skills, they can take courses in areas such as customer service and digital market under the self-directed learning component to fulfill the remaining four hours of training.
The CEA will review the 16-hour requirement after a few years, with the target of raising it to 24 training hours.
The new requirement is one of eight measures that will put in place by 2025, to ensure property agents provide more professional service to consumers, CEA said.
In a speech at the Singapore Real Estate Agents Conference held at the HDB Hub, Ms Indranee said the measures are meant to raise the professionalism of the real estate industry and prepare it for the future. The other goals are to improve the quality of training for property agents, and promote a continuous learning mindset among them.
Ms Indranee said the CEA also will tighten the accreditation criteria and designment requirements for training courses, and adopt a more rigorous audit framework for training providers to “ensure a consistently high level of quality”.
The new measures to raise industry standards stem from recommendations made by a workgroup that conducted a 17-month study to review and improve the training ecosystem for the real estate sector.
There are 34,427 property agents in Singapore as of Jan 1, 2023, up from 30,399 in 2021, based on CEA figures.
Mr Adam Wang, 46, president of The Singapore Estates Agent Association, said he felt agents will take the increase in training hours positively, as will get to upskill and gain more knowledge.
He reckons property agents will be open to a further increase in training hours from 16 to 24, as there has been a shift in mindsets among agents, who want to show the public their professionalism and ability to provide valuable advice.
He also said the higher training requirements will only take effect in October 2025 to give training centres more time to prepare and revamp their course materials.