Shortage leaves city real estate in a real state

August 04, 2003 | 18:35
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Demand for trained real estate professionals in Ho Chi Minh City has outstripped supply, according to property developers.

A lack of trained real estate agents is hampering the southern city market
Real estate companies said they were also worried about the lack of qualifications in the pool of existing practitioners.
Developers fear the shortage of trained personnel places the emerging real estate industry at risk, as the success of property transactions involves a wide range of issues relating to laws, government policies, management, and human relationships.
An executive from Century 21 – a real estate brokerage firm owned by an American Viet Kieu – said: “A lack of qualified practitioners always gives us headaches and this is also a key factor in why we have developed our real estate network so slowly over the past months.”
Only 10 per cent of candidates who applied to be real estate brokers at Century 21, he said, were trained.
“We don’t know where to seek qualified staff in order to develop our business in future,” he said.
Like Century 21, many other property developers in Ho Chi Minh City said a lack of qualified staff had hindered their business development. Training courses, even though short-term, should be held to redeem the problem, they said.
In response to property developers’ request, the Economic Development Research Institute and the city’s Economics College recently developed a short real estate course – the first agencies to provide formal training to real estate staff in the south – in order to help practitioners better understand their role.
The six-month graduate course includes subjects such as business management, property trends, strengths and pitfalls of an emerging market and government regulations on real estate transactions.
Aside from classroom teaching, trainees take trips, write reports on extracurricular activities, and learn from the experiences of some of the country’s most successful developers.
Economy Development Research Institute’s Training and Consultancy Board head Pham Xuan Lan said many real estate companies had asked the board to supply them with personnel, following the completion of four training courses.
Lan said many of the course’s 600 graduates had been employed by real estate firms, with most students originally coming from State agencies and property-related offices.
Course graduate Pham Thi Lien Phuong said: “Our eight-member group has pooled our financial resources to establish the Dai Loi real estate trading company.
“In my opinion, trained real estate staff will always be in short supply, because this market is just developing.”
She said a successful practitioner needed strong networking and communication skills, professional knowledge and experience, and the ability to hold down a job despite frustrations.
Course director Nguyen Van Thuong said the city would also pursue professional accreditation.
“The Land Administration Department is working on awarding real-estate professionals with certificates to put an end to the chaotic market practices which are currently harming our national economy,” he said.

By Duong Nguyen

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