ERA launches $1m grant to attract new property agents

SINGAPORE - ERA Realty Network has announced a $1 million grant to help offset joining fees for new real estate salespersons joining the industry.

With the grant, new agents joining ERA pay a sum of $100 for administrative and materials fees, instead of the usual amount of $1,127. This covers the joining fees of $563.50 per agent - comprising admin fee ($53.50), registration fee ($230), compulsory work kit ($180) and an additional $100 subsidy for its compulsory skills-based training that costs $200. The grant also covers renewal fees for the following year, which will cost ERA $463.50 per agent.

ERA said in a press release: "Given global economic uncertainty, this startup grant comes in handy for the weak labour market that has been affected by the fast-paced technological change and companies undergoing reorganisations, mergers and acquisitions this year."

The grant was announced at ERA's Open House on Friday (March 22) where new agents also got a chance to try out the new online submission system, the iJoinERA.

Other agencies such as PropNex Realty and Huttons also offer subsidies to their agents. For instance, PropNex has been subsidising its training courses for new-to-industry agents since 2015. New agents pay $150 for the training courses, which can cost up to $1,500 otherwise. It sees about 400-500 new agents each year, and sets aside a budget of $500,000 per year as training subsidies for new agents, says PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor.

In addition, it offers training subsidies to its existing agents, for whom it sets aside a budget of $1.5 million each year. PropNex has some 7,570 agents in total.

Meanwhile, Huttons launched its Real Estate Aspiration Programme (REAP) in 2019 to educate those who are new in the workforce, and mid-career professionals, who aspire to establish a career in the real estate industry.

Huttons Asia head of research, Lee Sze Teck, says: "We share with them success stories and what it takes to succeed in this industry. We also offer them a step-by-step guide to start this business. Huttons has set aside up to $4 million over two years to first retain and to attract other experienced and aspiring salespersons. This will cover their Council for Estate Agencies' application fees, professional insurance, highly subsidised training fees, among others."