7 Benefits of Being a Real Estate Negotiator (REN)

Written by: Sr. KC Law, Principal & Valuer at Action Real Estate & Valuers

perks of being a real estate negotiator

1. You have flexibility of time

You are not bound to the 9-to-5 office hours. That means saying goodbye to the frustration of being stuck in bad traffic every morning.  You are your own boss, you determine and set your day-to-day-schedule that best suits you and your clients. If you dislike to do viewings on weekends, then the best option would be to consider commercial real estate. There is no specific work hours, if you wish to work only 5 hours per day, as you wish! Perhaps by doing so, you would finally be able to make it to the gym and fulfill your resolution of living a healthy lifestyle! Solely due to this benefit, many retirees or even house wives are turning to real estate business.

2. Have ownership over your own business growth

Being a real estate negotiator is equivalent to running your own business. You are your own boss! You get to decide where and which areas you like to specialize in, type of properties you like to sell (industrial, commercial or residential), execute your own marketing strategies and see the results they bring. You also have more control over your own business management and business plans, because you practically own the business! Your customer base will still be the same even if you move to a different company. Comparing this to other businesses, real estate business demands minimal operating and overhead costs. Majority of the costs involved are marketing related costs.

3. No limit to how much you can earn

Most real estate negotiators do not get paid a basic salary. Their income does not depend on their seniority or years of service. Some fresh newbies can even earn more than senior real estate negotiators simply because they are hard working, committed, innovative and creative in the way they run their business. Real estate negotiators’ income comes in the form of commissions from selling a property/renting out a property, which is typically about 2-3% of the transacted property value  and 1 to 1.75 month’s rental/lease (based on duration of tenure) respectively. Of course a small portion goes to the estate agency at which they are attached to. For example, selling a bungalow worth RM 2 million, will entitle a real estate negotiator RM 60,000 in commission (assuming 3% commission). There is  no limit to how many properties he/she can sell within that month, the only limit is themselves! This certainly does not come as a breeze. It takes consistent effort, hard work, commitment, creativity, intuition to build goodwill and trust among sellers and buyers.

4. You get to find good property deals for yourself

Apart from the day to day selling or renting of their client’s properties, real estate negotiators  should also have sound property investment knowledge to be able to speak the same lingo as their investor clients. What better way to develop property investment knowledge than being an investor yourself! Being a real estate negotiator, you are already on the field looking out for good property listings, when you come across deals worth investing, you are in the front of the line to grab it! Many a times while looking for listings, I would end up being the purchaser.

5. You get to leverage on others

Being a real estate negotiator allows you to leverage on other real estate negotiators when you collaborate and do a co-agency. For example, if you have a listing but have not found a buyer, you can collaborate with another real estate negotiator who has a buyer. This way you get to leverage on their customer base, and they in turn leverage on your listing. It is a win-win situation.

6. You get to help others

Start by focusing on a small area, and work hard to build your reputation in that area and you will soon be an expert and go-to real estate negotiator within the area. It is  fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding to help others with potentially their biggest and most complicated transaction of selling or purchasing a property.

7. It is a regulated profession

There are many illegal real estate negotiators in the market in recent times, which pose a risk to the public and also jeopardize the real estate profession. In response to this,  the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (BOVAEA) Malaysia has implemented measures to ensure high level of  standards and professional code of conduct are adhered to by all real estate negotiators to protect the interests of both the real estate industry and the public. It is compulsory for ALL real estate negotiators (new projects/sub-sale) to be certified by the Board before they are allowed to practice. By ensuring that you are a certified negotiator, and wearing your REN tag (How to obtain a REN tag is described below) during viewings, you set yourself apart from the other illegal brokers in the market. Besides that, you are protected by law to collect a fee of commission for the service rendered for selling or renting out the property. (Read more about the Law here)

 General requirements for becoming a real estate negotiator

1. Any person above the age of 18 years with Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) qualification or above.
2. Must be attached with a Registered Real Estate firm (company that have E license issued by the Board) on a full time basis.
3. He/she must attend a 2 day Negotiator Certification Course (NCC) approved by the BOVAEA to obtain a REN tag (issued by the Board)
4. To obtain a REN tag, the applicant must have
– an employment letter from a registered firm he/she intends to work with.
– copy of his/her NRIC (work permit is required for a non-resident)
– complete a form prescribe by the Board.
–  copy of passport size photograph.
Within 2 to 3 weeks REN tag will be issued by the Board.

P/S: Why being a certified real estate negotiator is important? As per the Act, any person not certified by the Board is not entitled to have his fee pay for real estate services. In addition, as per the Act, it is an offense punishable of RM300K or 3 years jail or both.

Interested applicants may send their resume to action.e2520@gmail.com

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About the Author


Sr. KC Law is a Registered Valuer, Estate Agent and Property Manager with The Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVEAP) of Malaysia. KC Law is also an electronic engineer registered with the Board of Engineer Malaysia (BEM) and received his engineering training from Tunku Abdul Rahman College Malaysia and later at Hatfield Polytechnic United Kingdom. In the 1990’s he was involved with the digital transformation of Telecommunication infrastructure for Maxis and Telekom Malaysia. His passion for Real Estate in the 2000s led him to practice as a real estate negotiator in Ace Realty and later valuation and property management in Rahim & Co International. Several years later he founded Action Real Estate and Action Valuers & Property Consultants. His areas of expertise are in Real Estate Agency, Property Valuation, Property Management and Business Valuation. He is Member of The International Association of Certified Valuation Specialists of Canada, Member of Royal Institution of Surveyor Malaysia and Member of Malaysia Institute of Estate Agents.

Are You Dealing With a Certified Real Estate Negotiator?

Q: How can I tell if I am dealing with a certified real estate negotiator?

Here are some FAQ adapted from the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents’ (BOVAEA) brochure, which I find quite beneficial for you to be aware of. Do take time to read on!

There’s only ONE tip in buying, selling or renting any property! Engage a certified Real Estate Negotiator or Registered Estate Agent

Who is a Real Estate Agent (REA)?

An Estate Agent can operate his/her own Real Estate firm. He/she can provide real estate service in selling, leasing properties or finding a property for the clients. He/she can employ up to 30 Real Estate Negotiators (REN) to assist the Real Estate Agent in providing these Real Estate Services.

Who is a Real Estate Negotiator (REN)?

A Real Estate Negotiator (REN) is an individual who is employed by a registered Estate Agent. They are not registered with the Board but certified to practice. They must attain the following requirements to be employed by the Real Estate firm;

They must attend a two-day course on Real Estate and will be issued a certificate of attendance. With the certificate they can seek employment either on a “Contract of Service” or “Contract for Service” with a Real Estate firm. The Real Estate firm then will apply for the REN tag with the BOVAEA.

BOVAEA will certify and designate a REN number & issue a tag to the REN. Only then can the REN be employed by the firm and represent sellers, landlords, buyers & tenants in the sale and marketing of properties.

What is a REN tag?

REN tag is an identification tag issued to a Real Estate Negotiator (REN). It contains all the information including their name, photo, IC number, REN number, firm name, firm registration number, quick response code (QR) and security features. It’s mandatory that the tag be worn by the REN at all times during their conduct of business so that the public will be aware that they are dealing with bona fide negotiators. See below picture for an eexample of the REN tag. Insist to see his/her REN tag! It is your right!

Can a REN use the firm’s company tag instead of a REN tag?

It is mandatory for all negotiators to wear the REN tag during the course of doing business and it cannot be replaced with any company name tag. It is an offense for someone to imitate and produce something similar to a BOVAEA REN tag.

How to check or verify whether the REN is certified by BOVAEA?

The quick response code (QR code) can be verified using a smartphone. The code reader will show all the negotiator’s information including their photograph. If in doubt, conduct a search at www.lppeh.gov.my or www.propertyagent.gov.my website under Negotiator Search. Alternatively, call the BOVAEA during office hours at 603-2287 6666.

What happens if the REN does not have a REN tag?

Then he is an ILLEGAL broker. He is not authorized to carry out the real estate service and does not have the right to demand commission as such STOP dealing with him/her. Report him to the police immediately with full information. Read the Law below (FAQ continues after this law excerpt):

Punishment Under The Law For Illegals

Section 22C of the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act states that:

No person shall unless he is a registered Estate Agent and has been issued with an authority to practice-

(a) Practice or take up employment under any name, style or title containing the words “Estate Agent”, “House Agent”, “Property Agent”, “Land Agent”, “House Broker” in any language which may reasonably be construed to imply that he is a registered Estate Agent or that he is engaged in estate agency practice.

(b) Display any signboard/poster or distribute, circulate any card letter, pamphlet, leaflet, notice or any form of advertisement offer for sale, rent or lease or invite offers to purchase, rent or lease any land, building and any interest therein whether such land building and interest is located within Malaysia or outside Malaysia.

(c) Be entitled to recover in any court any fees, commission, charges or remuneration for any professional advice or services rendered as an Estate Agent.

Section 30 of the Act states that

30(1) Any person who;

(i) Acts in contravention of Section 21 or 22C;

(ii) Aids and abets in the commission of an offense under this Act commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND RINGGIT or IMPRISONMENT FOR A TERM NOT EXCEEDING THREE YEARS or TO BOTH.

Can a foreigner work in Malaysia as a REN?

Any foreigner who wish to work as a Negotiator is required to obtain a work permit from the Immigration Department and only then will the BOVAEA consider. approve and issue a REN tag.

What about advertisements in newspapers, property portals and signboards?

All advertisements posted by a REN must contain the company E registration number with the BOVAEA and REN number besides their phone number. Do not respond to any advertisement if it does not contain all these information. It is considered illegal for any advertisement to not follow the requirements above except advertisements by property owners.

Can REN sell properties in shopping complexes or exhibition halls?

Yes. they are required by law to wear the REN tag at all times. In their name cards, other than the company details, the name card shall also contain the firms E registration number and the REN number.

Can I respond to flyers distributed by Estate Agents to my home or offices?

Do not respond to any flyers which does not contain the below:

  • Specification of type of property for sale/rental/lease/wanted
  • Flyer must produce firm’s letterhead (containing the name, registration number, office telephone number, address)
  • Contain the signature of the REA
  • Negotiator’s name with REN number
  • and this statement “Persons responding to this flyer are not required to pay any estate agency fee whatsoever for properties referred to this flyer as this firm is already retained by a particular principal”

Can foreign real Estate Agents or developer sell their property in Malaysia?

Foreign Real Estate Agents or developers cannot sell property on their own in Malaysia. They are required to engage a local registered Real Estate firm to market any foreign properties. The local firm is required to make an application with BOVAEA for approval and will be assigned with an approval number which needs to be displayed at all exhibitions and in all marketing collaterals. The local firm’s representatives are required to be present at all times during the exhibition.

How do i know whether the property being marketed by the agency is approved by the Board?

Any foreign property being approved to be marketed in Malaysia is required to display the BOVAEA approval number, example LPPEH/88/8888/KL. Separate application is required for different venue which is only valid for one month from date of approval.

This was reproduced from the BOVAEA brochure entitled “Enhancing Professionalism, Integrity and Accountability”