Monday , May 27 2024

Shortage feared as property brokers lose jobs

The prolonged property market slump has cost many people their jobs, and risks causing a shortage of agents in the coming years.

In early December the National Assembly passed many amendments to the Law on Real Estate Businesses that are expected to cause a sharp decline in the number of brokers.

These amendments now require brokers to pass examinations and work with a real estate trading floor or brokerage service provider, whereas previously, certification was easier, only necessitating participation in training courses.

This shift aims to address the disorderly practices previously prevalent due to the lenient issuance of broker certificates.

In November Kim Yen, communications director of a real estate company in the southern Binh Duong Province, quit her job after a seven-year stint in the property market and moved to the technology industry.

She said she never received her full salary in the last eight months since the company failed to sell anything and had no income.

It laid off 30% of its staff at the beginning of this year, and the remaining employees had to work more but received only 50% of their salary and no commission in the absence of sales.

“Every month our family still has to pay the bank nearly VND25 million (over US$1,000) for a mortgage in top of living expenses.”

Danh, sales director at the real estate company with the second largest payroll in Ho Chi Minh City, moved to the e-commerce industry in early December after financially struggling for more than one year.

He said he does not plan to return to the property industry in the next three years.

A broker advises customers at a real estate project in the southern Binh Duong Province. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Tieu

A broker advises customers at a real estate project in the southern Binh Duong Province. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Tieu

According to the Vietnam Association of Realtors (VARS), by early December 70% of brokers had quit their jobs or the industry.

The number of active brokers has fallen to less than 100,000 from the earlier 300,000.

In the first half of this year nearly 95% of real estate industry employees saw their incomes fall, with 14% losing 20-30%, more than half losing 30-40% and 5% losing over 70%.

A 2023 salary survey published recently by Navigos Group found the incomes of managers in the construction and real estate industries were significantly down, including by half in the last two years for many.

For brokers the basic salary is VND3.5-5 million a month and commissions and allowances bring in another VND7-10 million. For long-time employees, the total monthly income is VND20-30 million.

But few have got full salaries and commissions this year.

The sharp decrease in the real estate workforce could cause serious shortages next year.

A survey by Dat Xanh Real Estate Services Joint Stock Company in September of brokers who quit their jobs found only 38% intending to return when the market recovers.

According to Can Van Luc, chief economist at lender BIDV, human resources is one of the three major challenges the real estate market will face in 2024 along with cash flows and supply for the market.

“This industry is already very short of skilled and capable personnel. In the near future regulations will be stricter. If we do not consider building a team from now on, the real estate industry will be at risk of lacking human resources in the coming years.”

According to Nguyen Van Dinh, vice president of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, in 2024 the market will throw up many new opportunities when basic problems are resolved.

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