Updated: May 11
For those who wanted a career switch, some have contemplated becoming a qualified property agent in Singapore. Why is this so?
As with most businesses, you need 3 basic things to startup. They are :
Your goods to sell (properties).
Shop (rental space).
The start up costs to become a property agent in Singapore are very low and this is one of the reasons why this career and business looks very attractive.
People : You don't need any staff because the agencies all provide the accounting, admin and legal staff for you.
Goods : You don't need to stock up on inventories because the properties to be sold belong to your clients.
Space : You don't need a physical shop to have a market presence. You just need a virtual one to advertise your listings. The annual subscription is still much lower than a monthly rent of a physical shop.
The first step is always the hardest, but the rest is an amazing adventure - Anup Sapkota
Despite having very low startup costs, the regulatory aspect to enter this industry is very strict. Although the entry barrier is high, it elevates the professionalism and protects new competition.
Formed on 22 Oct 2010 as a statutory board, the CEA (Council for Estate Agents) regulates the workings of the real estate agency industry.
You need to have a Salesperson Licence issued by the CEA before you are allowed to broker for any sales or rental of properties in Singapore.
Before you apply for the licence, here are some pre-qualification Do's and Don'ts that you must comply with.
Here are the Do's :
You must be at least 21 years old.
You must either be a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident.for more than 10 years.
You must have a minimum of 4 GCE 'O' Level passes or equivalent.
You must have a RES (Real Estate Salesperson) cert or equivalent.
You must apply for the licence through one of the real estate agencies.
Here are the Don'ts :
You must not have any criminal records.
You must not be a licensee of another real estate agency.
You must not hold a moneylender's licence nor be an employee, director, or partner of a licensed moneylender.
You must not be in arrears on your CPF (Central Provident Fund) Medisave contribution.
RES (REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON) CERTIFICATE
You need an RES Exam certificate before you can apply to become a property agent. The other qualifications in-lieu of this certificate are :
Bachelor of Science (Real Estate) by NUS (National University of Singapore)
Bachelor of Science (Estate Management) by NUS.
Bachelor of Real Estate (Property Management) by NUS.
Bachelor of Real Estate (Valuation) by NUS.
Diploma In Building Management by NP (Ngee Ann Poly)
Diploma In Building & Real Estate Management by NP.
Diploma in Real Estate Business by NP.
Diploma In Property Development & Facilities Management by SP (Singapore Poly).
Diploma In Building & Property Management by SP.
Pass all 3 exams of the General Practice by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).
If you have none of the qualifications listed above, then you have to attend the RES Course.
RES COURSE PROVIDERS
CEA appointed the eight Course Providers to conduct the RES Course :
Benchmark Realpro Pte Ltd Tel No: 67355860 / 6735 5861 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 151 Chin Swee Road #03-31 Manhattan House Singapore 169876
Hastor Property Services Pte Ltd Tel No: 6252 2802 Email: email@example.com Address: Blk 190 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #02-514 Singapore 310190
Institute of Estate Agents Tel No: 6323 1770 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #07-01 HDB Hub East Wing Singapore 310480
Life Mastery Academy Pte Ltd Tel No: 6255 6091 / 6255 6083 Email: RES@lifemasteryacademy.com Office: Blk 190 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #02-510 Singapore 310190
Pioneer Training & Consultancy Pte Ltd Tel No: 6462 6093 / 9424 3483 Email: email@example.com Address: Blk 134 Jurong Gateway Road #03-309P Singapore 600134
Real Centre Network Pte Ltd Tel No: 6511 3009 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 490 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #09-16 HDB Hub Biz 3 Singapore 310490
Realty International Associates Pte Ltd Tel No: 6339 6000 Email: email@example.com Address: 490 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #03-13 HDB Hub Biz 3 Singapore 310490
Singapore Estate Agents Association Tel No: 6702 1602 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 60 Paya Lebar Road #13-23 Paya Lebar Square Singapore 409051
You must have at least 4 GCE 'O' Level passes, the results taken from not more than two sittings.
Other qualifications in-lieu of the 4 GCE 'O' Level passes are :
recognised Diploma from local polytechnics (NYP/NP/SP/TP/RP)
recognised Degree from local universities (NUS/NTU/SMU/SUTD/SUSS)
recognised Master National ITE Cert (Master Nitec) / Higher National ITE Cert (Higher Nitec)
Workplace Literacy & Numeracy (WPLN) Assessment Level 5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening & Numeracy.
If you have other qualifications other than the ones specified above, you must submit them to CEA for assessment. Each assessment cost is $64.20.
RES COURSE FEES
The course fee varies amongst the Course Providers. At the time of this article, the course fees are :
Benchmark Realpro Pte Ltd : $650
Hastor Property Services Pte Ltd : $650
Institute of Estate Agents : $688
Life Mastery Academy Pte Ltd : $828
Pioneer Training & Consultancy Pte Ltd : $738
Real Centre Network Pte Ltd : $780
Realty International Associates Pte Ltd : $780
Singapore Estate Agents Association : $788
You may claim subsidies from SkillsFuture (up to $500) and UTAP (up to $250) to fund for your course fees. Terms and conditions apply for both subsidies.
RES COURSE DURATION
The syllabus is divided into Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper consists of 9 topics. There are 41 topics altogether.
Each topic is taught in a 3-hour lesson. The Course Providers offer a variety of different timings for the lessons. Some are full-time lessons (9 am to 6 pm), while others have part-time evening lessons (7 pm to 10 pm).
You must have at least 75% attendance before being considered to completed the course .
The RES syllabus is based on Competency Unit approach to learning.
REVISED RES EXAM SYLLABUS 2017
PAPER 1, COMPETENCY UNIT 1
(REAL ESTATE AGENCY INDUSTRY OVERVIEW & BASIC LAND LAW CONCEPTS)
REAL ESTATE AGENCY INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
1.1 Real estate market and submarket
1.2 Real estate market players and government intervention
BASIC LAND LAW CONCEPTS
1.5 Estates in land
1.6 State Lands Act
1.7 Rights in another's land
1.8 Registration of titles
PAPER 1, COMPETENCY UNIT 2
(DEALINGS WITH INTERESTS IN LAND)
2.1 Law of contract
2.2 Law of agency
2.3 Landlord and tenant law
2.5 Conveyance inter vivos
2.10 Future interests
2.12 Restrictions on capacity to hold land
2.13 Planning and development of land
PAPER 2, COMPETENCY UNIT 3
(REGULATION OF REAL ESTATE AGENCY INDUSTRY & REAL ESTATE MARKETING)
3.1 Regulation of real estate agency industry
3.2 Role and functions of salespersons and their requisite knowledge and skills
3.3 Principles of real estate marketing
3.4 Types of listing
3.5 Methods of sale
3.6 Regulations on advertisements
3.7 Marketing of residential property
3.8 Marketing of commercial property
3.9 Marketing of industrial property
3.10 Marketing of special properties
3.11 Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act
PAPER 2, COMPETENCY UNIT 4
4.1 Sale of uncompleted private properties
4.2 Sale of completed private properties
4.3 Collective sale of private properties
4.4 Sale of HDB flats
4.5 Leasing of private properties
4.6 Subletting of HDB flats
4.7 Foreign worker housing
4.8 Taxes on property
4.9 Property finance & financial calculations
A full detailed to the content of the syllabus is downloadable from CEA.
RES EXAM SCHEDULE
After you have completed the course satisfactorily, you have up to 2 years to apply and pass the RES Exam. If you have a partial pass in the RES exam, you have to pass the remaining paper(s) within the 2-year timeframe. Beyond this deadline, you have to re-take the Course before before allowed to sit for the full RES Exam again.
CEA has appointed SEAMEO Regional Language Centre as the examination administrator. Please contact if you wish to clarify on when to register for the RES Exam.
SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC)
Tel no: 6734 1292 E-mail: RES@relc.org.sg Address: 30 Orange Grove Road, Level 3 RELC Building, Singapore 258352
The exam schedule for 2020 is as follow :
Feb, Jun, Oct (Sat & Sun) 9.30am - 12.00pm
RES EXAM FEES
The exam fees are $417.30 for both papers and $235.40 for each individual paper.
If you don't turn up for the exam, you would be considered to have failed the exam. However, you can only request to CEA for deferment only under the following circumstances:
Hospitalisation on the day of examination
Bereavement of next of kin
National Service duties
There's an admin fee of $107 to be paid for each deferment application.
RES EXAM FORMAT
The duration is 2 hours 30 minutes for each paper.
Paper 1 (100 Marks)
Section A: 50 MCQs (50 marks).
Section B: 15 MCQs with reference to 1 or 2 case studies (30 marks).
Section C: 10 Fill-in-the-blank short answer questions (20 marks).
Paper 2 (100 Marks)
Same format as Paper 1.
The passing mark for each paper is 60%.
RES EXAM VENUE
The exam venue is determined by CEA and subject to change. The last one was held at Singapore EXPO (Hall 8).
RES EXAM RESULT
SEAMEO RELC will inform you the results within 4 to 6 weeks after the exam.
If you wish to appeal, you may request to SEAMEO RELC within 5 working days from the date of the result notification. The Review fee is $64.20.
Upon passing the RES exam, you will receive the RES Exam certificate. You have up to 2 years to decide which real estate agency to join. After this deadline, you have to re-take the RES Course and RES Exam again.
If you delay your registration with a real estate agency, but still make it within the 2-year timeframe, you will still need to attend classes to make up for the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points that you have missed.
JOINING AN AGENCY
You are allowed to join only 1 real estate agency, submitting your application to CEA through your agency of choice.
CEA will take 4 to 6 weeks to approve your application provided all the required supporting documents are received.
Once CEA approves, they will notify you and the agency.
There are several fees that you must look into :
The Salesperson licence is $230 if you apply on or before 30 June every year. It will be $115 if you apply anytime after 30 June.
The CEA Admin fee to apply for the licence is $53.50.
The Salesperson ID Tag is $20 to $30.
You will be required to take up a Professional Idemnity insurance to cover you on legal liability when you work. This range from $50 to $200 a year, depending on which month you join the agency.
There are other miscellaneous costs that you have to consider. Some of them compulsory and some are optional, and these vary from agency to agency.
CALL TO ACTION
After passing the exam, a lot of new RES recruits become overwhelmed by the number of agencies to choose from !
Which is the best property agency to join? Which is the right one for me?
The final answer actually depends on several key factors.
Do call me for a 90-min free consultation if you wish to do more with your rental property so that your interests as landlord is well protected.
Being certified for ACTA and NLP Masters Practitioner, Anthony has successfully groomed and mentored many top million dollar producing agents.
In 2019 3rd Quarter, Anthony received the award for 2nd Top Recruiter in OrangeTee.
Throughout his career, Anthony has helped many clients grow their wealth through selecting great property investments and managing their portfolios actively through Property Wealth Planning.