PropertyGuru, NTUC to help estate agents amid tough environment

Romesh Navaratnarajah12 Aug 2016

UAssociate-PropertyGuru Photo resize

Attendees taking a group photo at PropertyGuru’s ninth Agent Summit. (Photo: PropertyGuru)

In a bid to equip real estate agents in Singapore with new skills to tackle dwindling property sales amid tough market conditions, PropertyGuru partnered with NTUC U Associate for its ninth Agent Summit on Friday (12 August) – to future-proof agents through knowledge-sharing and skills enhancement.

Held twice a year, the Agent Summit is part of a series of initiatives developed by PropertyGuru to enhance employability and career advancement among salespersons.

Around 600 real estate professionals attended the event at MAX Atria in the Singapore EXPO, which also provided advice on financial planning and market trends.

The full-day summit was graced by Chan Chun Sing, Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), who also held a closed-door session with agents to address their concerns, and offered insights on how they can leverage on NTUC’s U Associate programme.

Launched in 2011, this initiative by the labour movement comprises 36 partners across various sectors including entrepreneurship, financial planning, human resource and real estate. NTUC and its U Associates work to develop career and skills progression plans for professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).

Meanwhile, Lewis Ng, Managing Director at PropertyGuru Singapore, said more agents are acknowledging the need to update and enhance their skills to stay relevant in the industry.

“While the majority of agents reveal they are happy with their careers and value the flexibility and independence of their profession, they also recognise how enhanced skills such as digital marketing, sales techniques and financial management will provide them with greater career success in the long-term,” he said.

With surging digital and mobile usage in Singapore, “property agents must be better equipped to provide value-added services and stay abreast of market trends to emerge as a trusted advisor to the property buyers and sellers”, added Vivek Kumar, Director of U Associate.

This comes as more property agents are choosing to leave the industry, some of whom are even resorting to becoming Uber drivers to make ends meet, revealed media reports.

According to figures from the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), there were 29,262 registered salespersons as at 1 January this year, down from 30,830 and 31,783 in 2015 and 2014 respectively.

To beat this trend, PropertyGuru and U Associate plan to continue supporting agents by organising digital marketing workshops, financial literacy classes and legal clinics, which have been identified as essential skillsets to help agents remain competitive.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

Unemployment Insurance
Aug 13, 2016
NTUC Income should seize a new business opportunity by piloting an unemployment insurance scheme for the property agents. If the results are good without eroding work ethic, only then will the government be convinced about the need to study the possibility of extending the scheme throughout the workforce. MediShield Life is a good example. The private insurers long ago already allowed no lifetime limits for claims under Integrated Shield Plans. It took some time before the government was convinced about implementing no lifetime limits for basic MediShield.
Create Value
Aug 12, 2016
Value-adding will no longer be enough. Value creation is the key. For e.g. co-founder of Uber has started a property app known as Haus. The trials and tribulations of the taxi industry serves as a warning to property industry that they are not insulated from value-creating disruptive technologies.

You may also like these articles

Boon Keng DBSS flat sold for $1.1m

City View @ Boon Keng, which offers views of the Kallang River, saw a 5-room unit sold for $1.1 million. (Photo: Sengkang~commonswiki / Wikimedia Commons) Despite a depressed resale market, a 28th

Continue Reading11 Aug 2016

CDL reports better-than-expected quarterly results

Artist's impression of the Jewel@Buangkok development. Source: CDL Singapore-based City Developments Limited (CDL) announced on Thursday (11 August) a resilient set of financial results for the sec

Continue Reading11 Aug 2016

Govt mulls building HDB flats in prime areas

Artist's impression of the Greater Southern Waterfront. Source: URA National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the government is considering building public flats in prime areas, like the pla

Continue Reading12 Aug 2016