Thursday, December 23, 2010

Testing times

Straits Times: Thu, Dec 23
SHE has spent nine years on the job and has about 30 property deals under her belt - but Ms Rani Inrani's future as an estate agent looks uncertain.

The sole breadwinner with two children has not passed the recognised industry exams, such as the Common Examination for House Agents.

But since she had brokered at least three deals in the two years to Oct 22, she is eligible for a provisional licence, valid until the end of next year.

The 46-year-old has until then to pass the new Real Estate Salesperson (RES) exam if she wants to remain an agent. She says she has difficulty passing exams, partly because her command of the English language is poor.

Should she fail the RES exam, held from Jan 22 onwards, she would have to restart the process of becoming a qualified agent, as a fresh candidate. This requires at least four O-level passes or the equivalent, which she does not have. It means she would be unable to apply to be an agent in future, unless she undertakes further studies.

Dennis Wee Group (DWG) director Chris Koh said some agents will fail to make the cut, but higher standards are necessary. Of the 2,400 agents DWG submitted to the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) for certification, about 50 did not meet other criteria.

These include not having convictions in any country and never having been detained under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Mr Koh said: 'Some... either committed non-fraud-related crimes when they were younger, or have drink driving offences. I believe they deserve a second chance.'

CEA said appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

DARYL CHIN

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