Are you considering a property agent career in Singapore?
You might still be in school but exposed to the world of real estate through your parents, relatives or friends.
Or you might even have worked for years in a different field and are considering a career switch for financial or freedom reasons among the many awesome reasons to be in real estate.
Well, either way, welcome!
Becoming a licensed real estate agent today is much tougher than before and it requires much grit and determination to attend dense training sessions and study for the RES exams.
But once you do, an EXCITING WORLD of opportunities awaits!
I'm a live example of this having started out in my property career at the age of 23, investing in private properties by my mid 20s, starting several real estate related businesses and creating multiple streams of passive income by my early 30s.
You can find out more about my journey here in real estate and team building.
A career in real estate is like no other businesses that I know of. The product is possibly one of the most pricey anyone can buy in their lifetime and can determine their fortunes and retirement outcome.
This business requires deep knowledge of financial, investment, marketing, negotiations, business and many more skill sets that usually are separate roles in a typical company.
The people you will get to meet come from all walks of life and can open up your eyes to many possibilities that you wouldn't have imagined.
And even more awesomely, it requires comparatively little resources and risks to get started unlike many other businesses.
So, while i can go on and on about all these, let's leave it for another day and get right into what you need to get started!
After you're a registered property agent and have found a real estate agency to join,
you will be listed on CEA.gov.sg under the Public Register.
Real Estate Salesperson Course (RES) 2020/21
How much does it cost to get a Singapore property agent licence?
Before you attain your licence and ID tag as a real estate agent, these are the costs you will need to prepare for:
1. Real Estate Salesperson (RES) course:
Generally in the $650-800 region at the various RES course providers (I'll list the better ones later in this article)
- If you’re an NTUC member, you can enjoy up to $250 UTAP subsidy for your RES Exams.
- Singaporeans & Permanent Residents 25 years old and above can utilise their SkillsFuture credit of up to $500.
2. RES Exams:
-$417.30 (inclusive GST) for both papers.
- $235.40 (inclusive GST) per paper for re-takers.
After passing the exams, you would normally attend a real estate recruitment talk and register with a licensed real estate agency.
Typical Joining Fees are:
- Real Estate Salesperson Registration fee: $53.50 + $230 annual CEA fees = $283.50
- Professional Indemnity Insurance: $120
- Agency levied admin fees for name cards/ID Tag/Start Up Course/Admin fees: $300-500 range.
What does the RES Course cover?
Implemented in 2010, real estate agents must first complete the RES Course from CEA approved course providers.
This course will help you learn about and understand the rules and regulations governing property agency work and practices and Singapore's laws and guidelines in the buying, selling and renting of HDB flats, private apartments and condominiums, commercial business spaces and industrial properties.
To be frank, RES courses cover so many different areas that even practicing property agents of many decades are unable to fully remember all the material.
Do not expect to pass on your first try and if you do decide to begin, remember that you are going to have to be a very determined soul and revise very hard to pass the exams.
Anecdotal evidence suggests a 20-30% pass rate out of every batch of exam takers.
Fortunately, we do have free RES exam revision sessions if you need help passing it.
Head to this page if you wish to join in our RES revision classes.
RES Course Attendee Requirements:
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Singaporean or Permanent Resident
- Minimum of 4 GCE ‘O’ level passes or equivalent (WPLN)
- Fulfils CEA fit and proper criteria
Real Estate Salesperson (RES) Exam Dates 2020/21
After completing the RES Course, you may register for the RES exam at SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC), and must pass the 2 RES exam papers.
Exams are currently held 3 times a year during Feb, June and October.
You would be wise to register at least 2 months in advance as registration closes 1-2 months prior.
*An update on the resumption of the RES exams in Sept 2020*
Following the cancellations of the RES exams in Feb and June 2020 due to COVID, the Council of Estate Agencies (CEA) will be resuming the RES exams in September to clear backlogs for the past two sessions.
Safety control measures will be taken to mitigate any potential risks and candidates who had registered for the February 2020 exams will be given first priority to attend the Sept 2020 exams by registering by no later than 31st August 2020.
RELC, the exam administrator, will be writing directly to candidates to inform and provide them with registration details.
If there are remaining slots available, CEA will open exams registration to all candidates between 1st to 11th September 2020.
CEA will extend the RES course certificate validity period by 1 year for those who have completed their course between 22 February 2018 and 30 April 2020 so as to allow ample time for the sitting of future RES exams.
For further updates, please visit https://www.relc.org.sg/professional-qualifications/skills/cea-res.
Exam Eligibility Criteria:
Exam candidates will need to comply the following:
- Complete the RES course with a minimum 75% attendance record before they are eligible to receive the
"Certificate of Completion for RES Course".
2 papers each (2 ½ hours per paper)
Both Papers 1 & 2:
- Section A: 50 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) - 1 mark each
- Section B: 15 MCQ with reference to 1 or 2 Case Studies – 2 marks each
- Section C: 10 Fill in the Blank Short Answer Questions (SAQs) - 2 marks each
- You will be notified by the exams administrator of your results.
- CEA stipulates a 2 years timeframe to passing both papers, starting from the date of issue of the Certificate of Completion of RES Course.
- If you fail to pass either paper, you will only have to retake that specific paper during the next exam.
- If you fail to pass both papers within the 2 years timeframe, you will have to retake the course and sit for both papers again. Ouch!
Appeal of RES Exam Results
If you believe that you should have passed the exams, you may submit an appeal to review your exam paper via SEAMEO Regional Language Centre (RELC),
CEA's appointed examination administrator, within 5 working days from the date of the notification of examination results.
A non-refundable fee of $64.20 (inclusive of GST) is charged for the review of each examination paper.
Important Note for Aspiring Property Agents and Foreigners:
Attending the RES Course and passing the RES Examination does not automatically qualify you to be a real estate salesperson.
You will have to comply with the full registration requirements stipulated under the Estate Agents Act, which include meeting the fit & proper criteria.
Do check the complete list of registration criteria on CEA’s website before registering for the RES Course so that you do not get a nasty surprise after passing the exams.
For foreigners who wish to register with CEA as salespersons, you will need a valid Employment Pass (EP) issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
After which, you will have to find an estate agency that is prepared to support your registration application, who would then check with CEA.
When registering for the RES Course, you will need to produce a letter of sponsorship from the estate agency. Yes, it is strict even for course-takers who are learning for the sake of it.
List of Recommended RES Course Providers 2020/21
There are many training centres and in case you are wondering which RES course provider to go for, this list will be helpful as I have heard good reviews from the new property agents who have joined us.
If you stay near to central areas, BenchMark RealPro and Real Centre Network are the best choices!
If you stay in the west, head to Pioneer Training & Consultancy.
If you are an East sider, head to Singapore Estate Agents Association.
Each real estate school has different RES course schedules to suit busy working adults or parents alike with courses such as weekends only, Saturdays only, specific weekday nights and express classes. Check them out here for a review and comparison.
BenchMark RealPro Pte Ltd (Highly Recommended! Passionate & awesome trainer David Huan)
Tel: 67355860 / 67355861
Venue: 151 Chin Swee Road #03-31 Manhattan House Singapore 169876.
Institute of Estate Agents
Tel No: 6323 1770
Venue: 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #07-01 HDB Hub East Wing Singapore 310480
Pioneer Training & Consultancy Pte Ltd
Tel No: 6462 6093 / 9424 3483
Venue: Blk 134 Jurong Gateway Road #03-309P Singapore 600134
Real Centre Network Pte Ltd
Tel No: 6511 3009
Venue: 490 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #09-16 HDB Hub Biz 3 Singapore 310490
*Update: RCN now has branches in Tampines and Jurong too.
Singapore Estate Agents Association
Tel No: 6702 1602 Email: email@example.com
Venue: 60 Paya Lebar Road #13-23 Paya Lebar Square Singapore 409051 (Office Lift Lobby 1)
RES Course Comparison
Wondering which course provider or types of RES courses are most suitable for you?
Which is the lowest cost of all?
Read this article to find out all about the costs, duration and intensity of each type of RES course provided by the 5 major RES course vendors!
They all fulfil the same criteria that CEA requires but have different course duration and schedules to suit different individuals.
RES Exam Revision Classes
Taking your RES course and need additional help with understanding topics relating to Paper 1 or 2?
Join in our FREE RES Exam Revision Classes to enjoy in-depth study sessions with fellow RES course takers and practicing mentors who have passed their RES and can coach you on how to handle the exam formats and questions fluently.
Get access to thousands of mock exam questions and WhatsApp Group Support so you can pass your exams with flying colours!
Which Real Estate Agency Should You Join?
Congratulations if you managed to pass your exams! It was no mean feat!
By now you should have done your research on which real estate agency to join.
If you have not, read this article to find out which real estate agency should i join after passing my exams.
Finally, this is what you need to do:
Submitting a Salesperson Registration
Get an application form from your real estate agency and submit your salesperson application to CEA for the ‘In-Principle Approval‘ (IPA).
Approval of CEA Registration
Within 4-6 weeks, you should receive a notification of CEA's approval.
Congratulations! CEA has confirmed your registration with your agency.
You are ready to start on an exciting and rewarding real estate career!
Looking for great career mentorship to shorten your learning curve?
Get a 1-time free 30 min career consultation. Schedule one right now.
Enjoy our 100% RES joining fee subsidies for brand new/experienced agents.
Limited slots available.
Co-Founder of Navis Living Group
Senior Associate Executive Director of OrangeTee & Tie
Stuart Chng is a renowned leader, real estate broker and personality in the real estate industry.
He is a licensed real estate agent, team leader, industry trainer and speaker, columnist for several property newsletters and blogs and is often quoted in media interviews on 938FM, Channel 5, Property Report, PropertyGuru, 99.co, EdgeProp and other publications.
Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through sieving through great property investments (Usually undervalued deals) and managing their portfolios.
Stuart has also coached many top million dollar producing agents from different real estate agencies in Singapore.
P.S. Passed your RES Exams? Find out what steps to take next to quickly reach your goals!
P.P.S. Find out which real estate agency to join after passing your exams!