Regulating brokers to boost investor confidence

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In a bid to address issues concerning the real estate brokerage industry, the Dubai government has taken some steps to regularly monitor property brokerage activities, make effective guidance systems available to brokers and implement regulations to oversee the nature of their work.

Taking a stock, Dubai has over 2,000 brokerage companies, around 5,000 agents operating and up to more than 500 new brokerage firms which have been set up in 2014. The numbers have declined as compared to the past, but there is a further need to cut down the current numbers. Thus, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is streamlining the sector.

Brokers need to brace themselves for four new regulations that would be introduced this year for them. The passing percentage for broker’s examination to renew licenses has been upped to 85% from 75% effective April 2015. The second regulation, effective mid-2015, includes the replacement of broker ID cards with Emirates IDs which would be linked to a smart app that would provide the agent’s details and when he or she changes jobs. This permits only licensed brokers to operate in the market. As part of the third regulation, new brokerage companies can hire only four agents. After monitoring the firm’s performance for a year, hiring a fifth or more agents could be permitted. The fourth regulation comprises tracking of brokers’ work performance. Any broker who fails to record a transaction in six to 12 months will have his or her registration cancelled. Since the rules are arduous, they would be implemented gradually.

Other changes like mandating the signing of broker contract agreements prior to marketing any property are also being considered.

Of course, brokers would find it difficult to get new business with these regulations in place. Industry experts also feel that there is a need for accredited, well-trained and informed agents in the market to provide clients with better experience and quality service.

Supporting the government’s cause, most realty companies have now started a rigorous process of hiring brokers.


Handy Hints

• The new passing percentage for broker’s exams to renew licenses will be 85%

• Broker IDs will be replaced with Emirates IDs that will be linked to a smart app

• Registration to be cancelled for brokers with no transactions in six to 12 months



Source: Arva Shikari, Special to Properties

The writer is a freelancer

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