Commission Structure for Real Estate Agents – Is It a Sin to Ask For More?

Most Singapore realtors (real estate agents) works on the recommendations from Institute of Estate Agents (IEA) to quote their service fees on a successful closure. You can download a copy of their guideline from IEA’s website here.

There’s this grey line which most agents when comes to co-broking may face if its a small rental deal. The guideline is as such, should the rental per month be lesser than SGD $2,500, the Realtors in charged can collect commission from the tenant as well. To make it easy, co broking agents will collect from their own client (aka, the Realtor acting for tenant will take his share and the other Realtor acting for owner doing vice versa)

But have you ever met agents who don’t wish to co broke and even if they do, asks you to take your service fees from your tenant even if it is more than $2,500?

Plenty of agents out there mind sharing their commission and wishes for a direct client to come connect to their ads, but realizing that they can’t do it fast, asks for the tenant Realtor to work for free. While it seems fine and feels right, it’s not at all! When we’re talking about acting ethically for your owner, you should not in any way reject co-broking cases or even ask for the other side to collect commission if it is not under the guidelines. For all you know, you’re rejecting tenants that are willing to pay even a higher commission that your direct cases.

Its never ethical to collect more than you should. And we wouldn’t want our customers to complain that we aren’t professional when it comes to our fees. Why worry about having not enough commission when you spoil your reputation and risk customer satisfaction on your performance?

The Singapore Flyer Takes Off Today

The humongous ferris wheel, Singapore Flyer (新加坡摩天观景轮) opens today and is set to take off its virgin spin for private corporate customers tonight.

The Singapore Flyer
Photo: Wikipedia

Tickets for this inaugural event has been sold out for the next 3 days with corporate companies taking a bite at its $8,888 tickets (Good auspicious number for Chinese New Year) and is expecting to be opened to the public in the 1st March 2008 onwards.

Touted to be the biggest observation world in the world, it is 30 meters higher than the London Eye of Britain standing at 165 meters and is situated in Marina Bay Sands Casino complex. I’m elated as I blog about the big wheel. With the casino peaking up in 2009 and F1 Formula races hosting in Singapore, the view from Singapore Flyer would be superbly magnificent especially at night. p.s. You can even see views of neighbor countries like Malaysia and Indonesia from here!

Guess I’ll be bringing my girl friend for a romantic night once it opens. Tickets are really affordable at SG $29.50 (about US $21), considering the fascinating view of the cityscape Singapore.

Oh if you’re a tourist visiting Singapore, advance ticket sales are available by emailing them. You can check out the details here in Singapore Flyer’s website.

Reviews of Singapore Property Sites

Hear hear! It’s still day 2 of Chinese New Year! 恭喜恭喜! As we know the importance of the web and how it’s revolutionizing our daily ways of buying and even selling stuff, it’s becoming more and more easy to even market your property through the internet (especially for Singapore where more and more social portal sites are trying to top one another for a good spot to earn ad revenue from agents in the near future).

We’ll look at some of the good looking ones and decide which is better for us agents and you as a consumer to advertise your homes for sale/ rental in the next few days.

Happy Lunar New Year 2008! 恭喜发财!

I wish all the Chinese and everyone in this world a fantastic Year of Mouse (鼠年) a very happy lunar new year and with lots of good happenings ahead of you in this upbeat 2008!

Candy Tray - Chinese New Year
A typical candy tray in the new year! credit: hale_popoki

恭喜发财,年年有余,步步高升,招财进宝,生意兴隆,财源广进,事事顺利,鼠年过个大肥年!

That’s about all the chinese idioms I can sum up with! :)

Fancy Investing In An Australia Property?

If you’re in Singapore or Japan, it’s not that hard for you to buy properties from Australia at all. Check out Aussie Property Investing’s article on Multi-Currency Loan – An Attractive Option for Offshore Investors?

You’ll understand more on the financing part as well as the advantages and disadvantages of taking a multi currency loan to support your property investment venture.

Any Use Cutting And Pasting Newspaper News on Blogs?

It’s disappointing to see people just plainly cutting and pasting property news from our national papers or even Business Times to their own personal blogs. Why would they want to do that. Yes, it’s purely news from our papers and nothing else.

Quoting an article to show the views would be good. You mean you’ll need to do some kind of archive for property news in Singapore for a reference in case Straits Times website collapses?

Weird people. And you’re probably infringing copyright of their authors even though you’re quoting the source if you really don’t know. It’s good to have a motive to blog, but to just lift, cut and paste.

Might as well just scrap the sources instead. People who have no passion to share shouldn’t start a blog at all.

Singapore Roads Are Really Not Meant for Cyclists

I understand about the part of keeping fit, and promoting a healthy lifestyle, but not in the middle of the highway and especially late at night when you don’t even have blinking lights.

This is really a safety issue with regards to all cyclists. I’m sure even if Lance Armstrong is here in Singapore, he’d even have lights and full helm on when he cycles along the roads to travel from one end to another at night. I was travelling along Nicoll Highway after catching a movie in Cineleisure, Orchard. It didn’t just exactly happen once, but 3 times. You see cyclists just cutting a HIGHWAY out of nowhere.

If anyone who drives is to run them down, not only they lose their life, but they’ll cost an innocent driver to go to jail because in the first place, the cyclist himself doesn’t want to treasure his own!

I admire groups of cyclists going together on roads in the wee hours of the morning to train up since they do still adhere to road ethics, but not those that I mentioned above. If you are those who actually saves up by cycling from one place to another, either observe the protocol, or please take the public transports.

First off, public transport is really affordable and it’s VERY easy for you to travel from one place to another. Second and the most important thing, you save your life, and cost less trouble to another. Lastly, Singapore is pretty much developed and you can’t see much of trails other than very busy roads with cars travelling at least 60KM/H on a typical minor road, it IS DANGEROUS.

At least a working blinking light attached behind your bicycle at night. Really.

Plunging Key Interest Rates, A Good Time to Borrow?

Just read a mailer from Tony, Knight Frank on an article in Business Times talking about lower bank interest rates here at home since key interest rates from the States will be cutting tremendously within the next 12 months , meaning adjustments to our SIBOR (Singapore InterBank Offered Rate). It only means two huge things for people who keep their money in the bank and for people who borrows money to do investments or businesses here at home in Singapore.

The Masters of Interest Rates
The faces of your key interest rates decision makers lol.
Photo Credit: fintag

For People Who Keeps Their Money In the Bank

Chances are you’ll lose out if you keep your money in a savings account during this season if your main purpose is to earn interest for the next few months. Unless the bank is giving you a fixed rate (usually, and very low), you would be suffering from lower interest earning power.

For People who Loans Invests in Property and Businesses

Congratulations, it means lower cost for you! I’d reckon the adjustment movements on Sibor and the rates on your banks won’t be taking effect so soon, but it’s a good borrowing time if you are buying properties like houses, shophouses or office even as an investment.

The sentiments for US eating into a recession is very strong, but it shouldn’t impact our economy much. Asian countries has came a long way from the 97-98 Asian Crisis and have definitely diversified their nests all around instead of concentrating all its eggs on the US economy. I’ve read even about neighbour Malaysia’s Central Bank, Bank Negara breaking borders on its monetary reserves (at 101.3 Billion US Dollars) being able to survive for even in face of another crisis should one arise.

Much shouldn’t be said for our own Singapore Government being prudent on our reserves and investment overseas. We’re generally sound.

Alas, The First CEHA Batch for 2008 is Done!

It’s the last paper on Professional Practice and Management for CEHA this evening at ACJC, everything was more of a breeze than a worry when I flipped open the questions. This is not exactly that hard as I expected after so much of anticipation with the 2nd paper, Marketing, being the most difficult for me.

Level of Difficulty:

  1. Professional Practice and Management
  2. Law
  3. Marketing

which of 3 is being the most difficult. It’s unbelievable, I know. Let’s just wait for the results *crossing my fingers*

The Unexpected Marketing Paper

Whilst the Law paper for CEHA was easier yesterday, I couldn’t expect anything more harder than that since many of my colleagues has mentioned this is the most easiest paper to get through.

Uh uh, I was wrong. Or them for a matter of fact.

Nothing much was tested on the marketing aspects of an agent, it’s more a of a government policy drilling session this round.

“Under Stall Ownership Scheme” (a) A second generation stallholder is entitled to a 30% discount from the assessed value of the stall. (b) A permanent resident stallholder is entitled to a 10% discount from the assessed value of the stall.”

Woot? They’re asking a National Environment Agency (NEA) question?!

“You’re marketing a 3-room HDB flat in Tebans Garden Road already announced for Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). Mr and Mrs V.S. Samy, both permanent residents, are very interested in buying the flat as they understand that as owners of a HDB flat under SERS they are eligible to buy a new HDB flat

1) Is Mr and Mrs VS Samy’s understanding that they are eligible to buy a new HDB flat, after buying the resale flat announced for SERS, correct? Give reasons

2) Explain all the conditions that a person must fulfill before he is eligible to buy a resale flat announced for SERS.

Its mostly policy questions I wouldn’t deny that if you don’t get update or know these well, its hard for you to market the different type of real estate in Singapore either. Well this round, it’s 2 MCQ questions selected vs 3 Essays. I guess lazy was the word.

Last paper tomorrow and lets talk about something else.