CEA has warned real estate agents against using “inaccurate, false and misleading claims” to pressure HDB owners into selling their flats for the sake of earning more commission.
Property investment educators and real estate agents who employ scare tactics to lure customers into attending their investment courses have been slammed by authorities, saying that it is an “irresponsible marketing tactic”, reported The Straits Times (ST).
The report noted that these people were actively pushing the idea that “HDB flats will become worthless after 99 years” on social media to get owners to paying thousands of dollars for their investment courses or dispose of their HDB flats to invest in commercial or private properties.
A recent marketing video uploaded on YouTube, for instance, showed one “education company” interviewing Singaporeans and asking them whether they know that the value of their HDB units would depreciate over the years.
Another video showed the presenter asking whether Singaporeans need to ‘work till they drop’ just to make ends meet, following a clip of several workers who shared that they had to work long hours.
These advertisers then urge viewers to sign up for their “free webinars” for them to learn the property investment strategies which they claim would be the solution to their woes.
“It is inappropriate for any company to play up fears and uncertainties to attract people to sign up for its property investment courses,” said spokesmen for the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in a joint statement to The Sunday Times.
“This is an irresponsible marketing tactic. Buying of properties should not be seen as a quick or easy way to get rich.”
Meanwhile, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) has warned real estate agents against using “inaccurate, false and misleading claims” to pressure HDB owners into selling their flats for the sake of earning more commission.
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The warning came after HDB resale transactions soared 127.3% in Q3 2020.
With this, the CEA called on the public to report such rogue agents so that appropriate action may be taken against them.
The authorities’ statement came a month after The Sunday Times’ Invest underscored the worrying trend of some companies offering paid courses that allegedly teach people – even those with little or no cash – how to invest in properties and enjoy good rental income while waiting for “massive capital appreciation”.
To prove their claims, they present some past participants who were able to acquire properties just days after attending the “property mastery” courses.