MIEA – Estate Agents are ready to Kickstart the economic under the recovery plan with 41.68% having their first dose.

Press Release: MIEA – Estate Agents are ready to Kickstart the economic under the recovery plan with 41.68% having their first dose.

A. The impact of Covid 19 Survey on the Real Estate Services Sector 

Recently, the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) conducted a survey among its members and the fraternity at large to assess the impact & readiness of the Real Estate services sector to Kickstart the economy based on the following data: 

1. No. of Agents who tested COVID positive; 

2. No. of Agents who received the 1st dose of vaccine; 

3. No. of Agents who completed the vaccination (1st and 2nd Dose). 

The purpose of this survey is to provide data and information as requested by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to ascertain the basis for estate agents to be able to operate following the economic recovery plan. This survey has 13 questions to determine the above and conclude the findings. 

B. Summary of the Key Findings 

1. 254 firms responded which comprises 28.8% of the total Real Estate firms in Malaysia. 

2. The sampling was on a total of 17,072 practicing agents (REAs, PEAs &RENs) engaged by these firms. 

3. This represents 61.25% of the 27,872 agents registered in Malaysia [who are active in the profession]. 

4. 816 have tested positive or 4.77% of the total 17,072. 

5. Those who have taken the first dose numbered 7,117 or (41.68%). 

6. Those who have taken the second dose numbered 2,520 or (14.76 %) 

7. This shows that the number of agents infected with Covid-19 is below the national average which represents a small percentage compared to the number of agents having received the doses.

8. Those who have had one dose of the vaccine 41.68% vs national average of 22.6%. 9. Those completed both doses of vaccine 14.76% compared to 10% national average. 

10. The number of Real Estate Agents who were infected with Covid-19 remain relatively low in spite of being in the services industry. 

11. Hence, these findings indicate that there is a high compliance of the current SOP by the practitioners and the risk on the exposure is limited compared to many other businesses.

The results also show the commitment of the practitioners, the support from within the firms and the association to ensure that all personnel register for the National Vaccination programme and fully support the initiatives of the government to manage the pandemic. 

The real estate industry, like most industries, would like to see the Malaysian economy get back on track as soon as possible and also to ensure that people do not lose their jobs and their livelihoods are protected. 

C. Recommendations 

From the analysis of the data, it is evident the COVID cases among real estate agents are well managed even in the highest infected states like Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. In view of this MIEA proposes the following to the government for immediate implementation; 

i. That MIEA supports the initiatives taken by the government to impose targeted lockdown and to follow the required SOP but needs to speed up the vaccination in certain sectors that supports the economy. 

ii. The overall number of vaccinations should be ramped up and priority be given to the critical and essential sectors including the Real Estate services sector which will be one of the first group of people that can immediately kickstart the economy. We need to be ready for this call and MIEA is ready to assist the government to support this cause to get the 20,000 real estate agents to be vaccinated in 5 states in Malaysia where we have offices. 

iii. In most of the states where the COVID cases are relatively low, agents should be allowed to operate based on the principal that this sector is safe to be reopened. 

iv. It is important to understand that agents work individually and not as a group. In many cases a single agent meets either one or two purchasers or tenants to show the property. Sometimes the owner is there and many times the keys are with the agents. Following the SOP will limit the exposure and as such the sector should be allowed to be reopened

v. Generally, Landlords and tenants are mostly affected as tenancies expire and they need to move. 

D. Conclusion

The data was collected within 24 hours and the speed and number of respondents within a short span of time shows the eagerness and desire of the sector to be back in the market to assist buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants while adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) enforced by the authorities. 

YB Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, the minister of entrepreneur development and cooperatives stated that micro- small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), could soon collapse if the lockdown were to prolong. He said that around 580,000 businesses, or 49%of the MSME sector, could collapse by October if operations do not resume by then and that more than seven million Malaysians would become unemployed. He further reiterated that “If we don’t do something to help them now, I am worried that many of these MSMEs will fail and will not be around to help rebuild the economy once businesses are allowed to open”. 

COVID-19 is a humanitarian challenge that will have lasting effects on how people live, work and play. By acting today, real estate leaders can best serve end users and ensure their own viability. 

Its President Ms. Chan Ai Cheng on behalf of all members has also submitted a Memorandum to the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on July 1 to appeal, amongst other things, for the extension of the PSU Programme incentive to include Real Estate Negotiators who are not “Employees” but are engaged by the firms and registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents & Property Managers Malaysia (Act 242) through the BOARD’s BIS system. The firms can then pass on this incentive to the RENs to support them in their plight in supporting the industry. 

On behalf of 27,872 Real Estate practitioner’s, we seek the governments support to drive the country’s economic recovery plan where balancing life and livelihood is envisaged. As planned under phase 2, more economic sectors are to be reopened and the real estate profession is one that meets the eye. All we ask is to give space to do business safely! 

Released by 

The Secretariat, Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents 

– end of Press Release – 

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