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Public Perception Survey of Property Agents in Singapore; 2015 Review

Singapore, 4 April 2016 - The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) today released the findings of its second Public Perception Survey[1] on the real estate agency industry. Similar to the survey results in 2012, consumers continued to be satisfied with the services rendered by their property agents.
 
The key survey findings include:
1. 79 per cent of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with their property agents, compared to 81 per cent in 2012.
2. Consumer awareness of key industry practices and regulations remained about the same as the 2012 survey, with consumers being aware of nine out of 12 key industry practices and regulations.
3. Three in 10 consumers were undecided on whether to engage a property agent for future transactions, compared to one in four in 2012.
 
Mr Lee Kwong Weng, Executive Director, CEA said, “CEA started to regulate the estate agency industry in 2010. The survey findings provide us with useful insights to plan and develop initiatives that will further raise professional standards in the industry, as well as promote consumer awareness of industry practices. It also serves as a useful report card for property agencies and agents to review and improve their practices.”
 
CEA conducted the Public Perception Survey over a four-month period from November 2015 to February 2016 where 2,113 consumers and potential consumers were interviewed.
 
Satisfaction with service provided by property agents
 
79 per cent of respondents indicated that they were satisfied with the services provided by their property agents. This is a slight decrease compared to 81 per cent in 2012, and can be attributed to the lower satisfaction levels resale consumers gave in 2015 (82 per cent) compared to 2012 (87 per cent).
 
property agent survey
 
Consumers were asked to rate their property agents on 18 action statements. These statements are grouped into three professional attributes: 1. Knowledge/Expertise
2. Ethics/Conduct
3. Service Excellence
 
In 2015, consumers were most satisfied with their property agents in the area of Service Excellence, similar to the 2012 findings. The top-rated attributes in 2015 and 2012 are:

property agent survey pic2
 
Consumers were least satisfied with property agents in these areas in 2015 and 2012:
 
property agent survey pic3
 
Awareness of key industry practices and regulations
 
Consumers were polled on their awareness of 12 key industry practices and regulations. The survey found that consumer awareness of these practices and regulations remained the same compared to 2012, with an average score of 73 per cent, or close to nine out of 12 areas. In 2012, the average score was 72 per cent, or eight in 11 areas.
 
As for potential consumers, awareness level averaged 65 per cent, an improvement from 59 per cent in 2012.
 
Resale consumers showed a higher level of awareness of the key industry practices and regulations compared to the rental consumers. This is similar to what was observed in 2012.
 
There was high awareness by consumers in these areas:
property agent survey pic4
 
Similar to consumers, potential consumers also displayed high awareness of the fact the property agents must seek owners’ consent before advertising. They were more aware that property agents cannot be associated with money-lending activities, and that they can complete their own property transactions without the service of a property agent.
 
More consumers undecided about engaging a property agent for future transactions
 
Consumers were asked if they intend to engage a property agent for future transactions. While the percentage of those who would handle the transaction on their own remains similar to that of 2012, the proportion of consumers who were undecided increased to 31 per cent from 24 per cent in 2012.
 
property agent survey pic5
The survey also found that consumers between 21 to 39 years old were more undecided about engaging a property agent for future transactions. These consumers were also more likely to handle future property transactions on their own, compared to consumers in the other two age bands.
 
property agent survey pic6
 
property agent survey pic7
Approximately 80% of Singaporeans live in HDB public housing, which forms a large proportion of property transactions.
 

1 CEA conducted the 1st Public Perception Survey on the real estate agency industry in 2012.
 
Credits: CEA
 

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