Are you looking to join Singapore’s thrilling and high-powered real estate industry?
Starting a career as a property agent can be a very rewarding career choice!
I've enjoyed a fulfilling but pretty dramatic rags-to-riches career; going from a penniless realtor barely making a $1,000 fulltime total commission income in my first year to making multiple 6 figures within just 11 months by taking massive action from a sales book that I bought with my last $16, and then going on to building a team, and then coaching realtors full time to help them do exactly the same!
You can find out more about my dramatic rags-to-riches true story here in this blog post.
So you can see from my own life experience that the path to becoming a real estate agent is definitely not easy.
To kickstart your real estate sales career, you are required to attend the Real Estate Salesperson (RES) course and pass the RES Exam before you can be registered with Singapore's Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) as a real estate salesperson.
This complete guide will give you a breakdown of what to expect on your journey to attaining your license. Remember to read up more on the pros and cons, capital investment required and other important aspects of starting out on my blog!
I hope that you will find the information here super helpful for deciding whether this career is for you and avoid the pitfalls and heartaches that many of us have gone through!
For your real estate career, below are some of the upfront costs that you will need to incur.
RES Course Fees 2022
The cost of the course ranges from $650 to $784 at various CEA Approved Course Providers (read on to find out about the list of our recommended providers).
- If you’re an NTUC member below 40, you can enjoy up to $250 UTAP subsidy for your RES Exams.
- NTUC members who are 40 and above can enjoy higher funding support of up to $500 each for their course and exams.
- Singaporeans & Permanent Residents 25 years old and above can utilise their SkillsFuture credits of up to $500.
Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
RES Examination Fees 2022
The RES Exams consist of 2 papers which cost $417.30 (inclusive of GST).
If you are retaking the exams, it will cost you $235.40 (inclusive of GST) for each paper.
After passing the papers, you will normally attend a real estate recruitment seminar and register with a licensed estate agency.
These are some typical costs to note:
- Real Estate Salesperson Registration Fee: $53.50 + $230 (annual CEA fee) = $283.50
- Professional Indemnity Insurance: $120
- Agency levied admin fee for name cards / ID Tag / Start Up Course etc. Ranges between $300 to $500
In total, you will need to set aside around $2,200 to obtain your real estate license with a real estate agency IF you pass on the 1st attempt.
What is the RES Course about?
This regulation is part of CEA’s goal to:
- Increase quality standards for real estate agents wanting to pursue estate agency work.
- Ensure property agents are professionally equipped and qualified.
- Understand and practice good ethical standards.
The RES Course is a preparatory course for aspiring property agents to learn and understand the industry concepts and agency practice standards.
During the wide-spanning lessons, you will acquire in-depth knowledge on the rules, regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to the real estate agency practices like how you should handle a property transaction professionally and in compliance with government policies, state laws, and CEA’s prescribed rules and regulations.
There are lots of material and knowledge to remember and understand so, before you sign up for the course, please be mentally prepared and truly committed to studying really hard!
It is NOT easy and you should join in RES revision classes to help you pass more easily.
To put it rationally, the RES Course covers such a broad spectrum of the industry that even practicing veteran real estate agents are unable to completely remember all the rules and regulations.
However, it does ensure that new property agents possess a much higher level of competency and knowledge of the real estate industry and related matters than before the exams were implemented.
To be qualified for the RES Course, you will have to meet these requirements:
- Must be at least 21 years old
- Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Minimum 4 GCE ‘O’ Level passes or equivalent (WPLN)
- Fulfil the fit and proper criteria under the Estate Agents Act
RES Exam Topics 2022
Real Estate Salesperson (RES) Exams Schedule 2022
After completing the RES Course with a minimum attendance rate of 75%, you will receive a certification that indicates that you have completed the course.
With this certification, you are then allowed to register for the RES exam at CEA's appointed examination administrator, NTUC Learning Hub Pte Ltd
The exams are currently held 3 times a year during February/March, June and October.
In order not to miss your desired examination date, you should register at least 2 months in advance as registration closes 1 to 2 months prior.
NTUC Learning Hub Pte Ltd (LHub)
Hotline: (Mon - Fri, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm): +6563365482
NTUC Trade Union House
73 Bras Basah Road #02-01 Singapore 189556
RES Exam Venue:
Singapore Institute of Management Headquarters (SIM HQ)
461 Clementi Road. Singapore 599491
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.
RES Exam Format 2022
There will be a total of 2 papers with Paper 1 and Paper 2 in the following format:
- Section A consists of 50 Multiple Choice Questions (50 marks)
- Section B consists of 15 Multiple Choice Questions with reference to 1 or 2 Case Studies (30 marks)
- Section C consists of 10 Fill-in-blank Short Answer Questions (20 marks)
The duration of each paper is 2.5 hours.
With effect from May 2013, the RES Exams format has been revised to include a Case Study Section in both Paper 1 and Paper 2 in the form of multiple choice questions.
The objective is to ensure that candidates are able to analyze and interpret the issues in a practice-oriented case study context.
Paper 1 tests you on:
- Competency Unit 1 comprising of “Real Estate Agency Industry Overview and Basic Land Law Concepts”
- Competency Unit 2 comprising of “Dealings with Interests in Land”
Paper 2 tests you on:
- Competency Unit 3 comprising of “Regulation of Real Estate Agency Industry and Real Estate Marketing”
- Competency Unit 4 comprising of “Property Transactions”
You are required to pass both papers in order to obtain your license. The passing mark for each examination paper is 60% and is subject to review by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).
RES Exams Results Notification
The Exam Administrator will notify you of your results.
When are the RES Examination results released?
- The RES Examination results will be released 4 – 6 weeks after the examinations.
Candidates who have passed one paper* are allowed to retake the examination in modular sitting.
The exams results will be in one of the following formats:
- Pass (P)
- Fail (F)
- Pass Paper 1; Fail Paper 2 (P1 F2)
- Fail Paper 1; Pass Paper 2 (F1 P2)
It is a requirement for RES Course participants to pass the RES Exams, comprising two papers, within 2 years of getting your RES Course completion certificate.
If you have a modular pass in one paper of the RES Exams, you are required to pass the remaining paper within the 2 years timeframe.
If you fail to do so, the modular pass in one paper will not be valid and you will have to retake the RES course before attempting the RES Exams (i.e. both Paper 1 and Paper 2) again. Ouch!
Appeal of RES Exams Results
If you think you should have passed the exams but failed, you may submit an appeal to review your 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.
Do take note that a non-refundable fee of $64.20 (inclusive of GST) will be charged for the review of each paper.
RES Examination Deferment Request
All deferments, whether COVID related or due to legitimate unforeseen reasons such as NS call up, bereavement etc. are subject to approval of NTUC Learning Hub and an admin fee of $107 will be levied on each deferment. No refunds will be made.
Applications must be made within 5 working days of the exam date via https://res.ntuclearninghub.com.
Important Note for Aspiring Real Estate Agents and Foreigners
Attending the RES Course and passing the exams does not automatically qualify you to be a real estate agent.
It is only part of the criteria.
You still have to fulfil other prevailing registration criteria, which include approaching a registered estate agency to submit a salesperson registration application to CEA.
You can refer to CEA’s website (www.CEA.gov.sg) for the list of registration criteria before you register yourself for the RES Course.
For foreigners exploring a career in property sales, you will need to have a valid Employment Pass (EP) issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) before you can register with CEA as a real estate salesperson.
You will need to produce a letter of sponsorship issued by your real estate agency when you register for the RES Course.
Hence, you should start by first searching for an established real estate agency which is willing to hire you, to support you in your registration application and guide you through the process.
2022 Recommended CEA Approved Course Providers for the RES Course
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 new property agents.
- If you stay near to central areas, Hastor Property (Reputed high passing rate) 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.
1. Hastor Property Services
Venue: 190 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #02-514, Toa Payoh Central,
(Located above KFC, please use the stairs beside KFC and go up to Level 2)
2. Institute of Estate Agents
Tel No: +6563231770
Venue: 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #07-01 HDB Hub East Wing Singapore 310480
3. Pioneer Training & Consultancy Pte Ltd
Venue: Blk 134 Jurong Gateway Road #03-309P Singapore 600134
4. Real Centre Network Pte Ltd
Tel No: +6565113009
Venue: 490 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #09-16 HDB Hub Biz 3 Singapore 310490
5. BenchMark RealPro Pte Ltd
Venue: 151 Chin Swee Road #03-31 Manhattan House Singapore 169876.
6. Singapore Estate Agents Association
Venue: 60 Paya Lebar Road #13-23 Paya Lebar Square Singapore 409051 (Office Lift Lobby 1)
RES Course Types Comparison
Wondering which RES Course and Training Centre to go for?
Is the express course or the 9 weeks course more suitable for you?
You will learn about the costs, duration and intensity of each course type and who it is most suitable for.
What happens next after I pass my RES 2022 Exams?
Congratulations! You deserve a pat on your back for enduring through the intensive training lessons and exams.
By now, you should have done your research on which agency you should join.
There are several real estate agencies in the market and it can be a tough decision to select one.
For your reference, the current Top 4 real estate agencies in the market are PropNex, ERA, OrangeTee & Tie, and Huttons.
These are the biggest real estate agencies in Singapore that have established systems in place to help you accelerate in your real estate career.
Last but not least …
Submitting a Salesperson Registration
Get an application form from your agency and submit your application to CEA for the ‘In-Principle Approval’ (IPA).
Approval of CEA Registration
Within 4 to 6 weeks, you should receive a notification of CEA’s approval and this means you are ready to start on your exciting and rewarding real estate career!
Welcome to the club!
Looking for great career mentorship to shortcut your learning curve? Read on below:
- Beginner's Guide to Being a Real Estate Agent
- Read this blog post about things you should absolutely know as a new agent.
- Do these 3 things immediately after you get your RES license
- Avoid making these 39 mistakes early and at all costs.
- And if you still make those mistakes, here's how to resolve all 39 of them.
- To become a Top Producer in your first year, you must absolutely do this.
- Order a copy of my Property Agent Secrets book here right now.
This Property Agent Secrets book is the underground playbook for growing my real estate career I wish I had when I was starting out.
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Yasser Khan earned only $1,000 in his first year as a full time agent. With no money for the $2 train fare to his Broker's office, he was forced to walk 25 kilometers on foot. Worse, he got evicted at midnight with his wife and baby son by the roadside. Desperate, he bought a $16 Sales book and took massive action. That single investment in himself gave him an OBSCENE ROI of $160,000 in just 11 months. Today, Yasser is on a mission to make real estate great again and helps agents quadruple their commission income.
Yasser Khan is a real estate coach, speaker, and trainer at YasserKhan.SG who teaches Realtors how to make more Money, have more Time and enjoy more Freedom without all the B.S.
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