RICS and NAR India commit to greater professionalism and transparency in delivering property transaction & advisory services

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New Delhi, 4th December 2019: RICS and the National Association of Realtors India (NAR-India) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 28th November 2019, whereby NAR-India members working on transaction advisory services can under-go a one-year qualification linked training program. This program known as the Emerging Leaders Program on Real Estate Management, has been specifically designed for real estate agents and channel partners, based on the RICS competency framework, which directly links up to the RICS qualifications framework (AssocRICS/MRICS).

On the signing of the MoU, Nimish Gupta FRICS – MD, South Asia – RICS said “In a profession where barriers to entry are low and quality checks few, buyers are sceptical of transparency, information sharing and professionalism in the market. There is no doubt that a real estate regulator is essential to protect consumer interests. However, self-regulation by practicing professionals can go a long way in redefining the consumers ‘realty’ experience. Therefore, professionalism at the initiation of a transaction, driven by requisite skills and competencies will go a long way in addressing the poor image of the industry.

Today consumers are more informed and aware of international best practices and are increasingly demanding to work with professionals who have the pre-requisite knowledge, competence, ethics, credibility, quality and consistency to deliver as per their expectations. This is what makes the agreement between two self-regulatory bodies like RICS and NAR-India, historic – where real estate agents will bring credibility to the market through professionalism, pride, and transparency in practice.”

With real estate brokers coming under the ambit of RERA, self-regulatory bodies such as RICS and NAR-India have a bigger role to play in creating market assurance and building customer trust and confidence. Like in many other parts of the world, the onus should fall on brokers/agents to act as a fair and honest mediator to guide and assist buyers/sellers in ensuring property transactions are transparent, swift and precise. The intent is to create communities of professionals that are self-regulated by RICS and NAR-India, thereby bringing more structure and credibility in the brokerage / transactions market, in addition to the rules and procedures as prescribed under RERA.

Further, Tarun Bhatia – President Elect, NAR-India said “This MOU is a significant development as both institutions see a synergy being brought about, by running education programs in elevating real estate standards with the combined expertise of NAR-India and RICS. We strongly believe that this program will help many NAR-India members enhance their knowledge and professional skills and in turn make them a better ‘Realtor’. We are quite excited with the prospect of this partnership.”

RICS also believes that consumers should be able to use a property professional (estate agent) who is suitably regulated to a minimum level through the following model:

  • Standards: There should be a suite of principles-based, over-arching codes which apply to all property professionals. Globally, RICS qualified professionals are required to follow the Real Estate Agency and Brokerage standards for the sale, letting, leasing and management of real estate.
  • Supervision: Various self-regulatory bodies can be / need to be authorized / approved by the regulatory body to act as supervisory bodies for different areas of practice.
  • Redress: All property agents should offer consumers access to an independent redressal mechanism (by way of their registration with self-regulatory bodies or RERA).

A revolution is now under way in the accumulation, interpretation and transmission of information, which is changing the nature of real estate business. It is evolving into a business in which information is available and knowledge creation, as a service to the consumer, drives success. To make the transition, professionals will have to think strategically, which requires discipline and focus in order to differentiate and position themselves in the industry.

This agreement between RICS and NAR-India will enable transaction professionals (real estate agents) to do just that. The training program which is a one-year bespoke (face-to-face and distance learning) program has been modelled on the RICS competency framework and will lead up to the RICS qualifications (AssocRICS / MRICS). The first batch of the program will commence in February 2020. The intent is also for both organisations to exchange information and share knowledge through leadership forums and networking sessions on topics of mutual interest. The partnership also provides a great opportunity for joint-research reports to be produced, basis the availability of real-time granular data from micro-markets, that could link up to some great thought leadership initiatives.