MIEA equips agents with cross-border marketing skills

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) has brought in the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) course to prepare local agents to sell Malaysian properties overseas and international properties in the country.

“We are trying to equip ourselves for the intensifying onslaught of globalisation. We believe the CIPS designation is a very good base to prepare practitioners for this,” said Siva Shanker, deputy president of MIEA, at a press conference on Monday.

The curriculum is formulated by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the US. The CIPS course is designed for real estate practitioners to increase their competencies and capabilities in the field of international real estate networking. The first course, which runs from Monday to tomorrow is conducted by US-based Gail Lyons and Pili Meyer from the NAR.

Facing stiff competition for foreign investment in property in the region, Nixon Paul, president of MIEA, felt the affordable prices of properties in Malaysia can give the country an advantage.

“Our property prices are among the lowest in the region. Even properties in Cambodia are higher priced than ours. I think the only country that is cheaper than us is Laos. It gives us the needed marketing angle to encourage more foreign investment in our properties,” said Nixon.

With the amendment to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981, which now allows non-registered real estate agents to take up equity in property management, valuation and real estate firms, the time is ripe for local firms to tie up with foreign developers and agents to conduct cross-border marketing, added Nixon. The Act came into effect in August.

Nixon: The time is ripe for local firms to tie up with foreign developers and agents to conduct cross-border marketing.

“I think we have been very inward looking for a long time when it comes to marketing our properties as we have a very healthy domestic market. But times have changed, competition is stiffer and we have to move forward,” said Siva.

CIPS opens up a network of 2,000 professionals around the world and it is MIEA’s hope that the first batch of 70 agents who took up the course will use the network as a platform to promote Malaysian properties. MIEA plans to conduct two CIPS courses a year.

Other avenues to be explored include the setting up of an international committee with the participation of all CIPS members to promote Malaysian properties overseas and working with real estate associations in the region to create better understanding of cross-border practices and to collaborate on marketing efforts.

Nixon felt more effort should be made by the authorities to promote Malaysian properties as well, especially to long-term players like corporate and institutional investors rather than speculators.

“The potential for Malaysia to do foreign business is fantastic with liberalisation setting in and the amendment to the Act. We hope the CIPS course and our ties with NAR will be stepping stones to gradually market Malaysian properties globally,” said Nixon.

This article appeared on the Property page, The Edge Financial Daily, December 9, 2011.

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