By Wong Siew Ying | POSTED: 09 Dec 2013 20:47 | CNA

SINGAPORE

Real estate agents are expecting to incur higher marketing cost in 2014 when the new Do Not Call rules kick in on January 2.

From December, consumers who do not wish to receive telemarketing messages can register their Singapore telephone numbers with the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.

Property agency PropNex says it could even prompt some agents to leave the industry.

To market a property effectively, PropNex says an agent typically needs to spend about S$800 to S$1,000 over three months.

About 60 per cent of the cost will go to print advertising, with the remaining going to online listings, direct mailers, SMS and telemarketing.

But from 2014, agents will not be allowed to send marketing messages to telephone numbers registered with the DNC Registry.

Real estate agencies say agents will likely have to spend more on marketing efforts going forward.

For instance, some may set up a counter at MRT stations for mass outreach campaigns.

Mohd Ismail, chief executive officer of PropNex, said: “You can officially book a place, and it will cost you a day to the tune of S$200 to S$600 per day on a weekday. That will be challenging for some sales people in a not-so-positive market because it is going to be a strain on their cash flow and resources, and yet the volume of transactions is dropping, so it is going to be a double whammy for some of the sales people next year.”

There are over 30,000 property agents in Singapore and PropNex estimates that up to 20 per cent of them could leave the industry by the end of next year as they are unable to cope with the new challenges.

PropNex expects to have 4,600 out of its 5,300 agents briefed and trained on this new compliance code by January 2014.

Meanwhile, Savills, which has over 800 agents, says the DNC rules could potentially affect the time taken to market a unit.

George Tan, senior director and head of Savills Associates at Savills, said: “To reach a client they have to check against a registry, so probably a few hours or a few days longer before they reach the clients, but of course if they do it in a bulk kind of transaction, a bulk check that could save them some time. But generally yes, there would be some delays.”

To minimise delays, Savills will launch a new tool to help its agents next year.

It automatically checks telephone numbers against the national DNC register and the company’s DNC list when a call or SMS is made, and attempts to contact those on the list will be blocked.

– CNA/gn

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore/real-estate-agents-expect/916846.html