The University of Economics and Finance and the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA) have jointly established an Associate Degree programme in real estate this year to promote professionalism in the currently booming sector.
CVEA president Chrek Soknim told The Post on January 6 that while Cambodia’s real estate sector has grown steadily over the past 20 years, the number of professionals in the field is still dwarfed by neighbouring countries.
In fact, Singapore, with a population of about 5.7 million, has some 45,000-50,000 well-trained real estate professionals, he said. To bulk up the sector, instil trust and establish a reputation for legal excellence, experts must receive proper training.
“As the president of CVEA, I am ambitious to push for an Associate Degree in ‘Real Estate and Finance’ to take shape in early 2021. I don’t want time wasted in procrastination,” Soknim said.
He said more poorly trained real estate professionals flocking into the field will only create extra disputes and lead to consumer confidence plummeting.
“Of course, we have now made some improvements, but as industry veterans, we genuinely wish to further enhance Cambodia’s image by providing real estate services up to par with national and international standards.
“This is another new step for Cambodia towards creating a clear-cut set of skills and ethics for people employed in the industry,” Soknim said.
Syvun Realty Co Ltd CEO Sy Ratna said real estate skills and financial management courses are crucial in improving general knowledge in the sector.
More properly trained people in the field will translate into more transparent competition and a foundation of trust and confidence in clients, He said.
“With most of those who do business in real estate merely emulating what others do, the market has yet to blossom.
“We really want the sector to progress seamlessly and its professionals to be valued as lawyers are, who as a general rule garner trust by doing what they do,” Ratna said.
According to Soknim, the programme offers short courses such as “Real Estate Agent” and “Property Evaluation and Property Management”. All training arrangements are made in line with the law under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
He noted that the professors will be locals and internationals and that many stakeholders have expressed interest in the programme. The next step for CVEA will be to launch a Bachelor’s degree programme, he said.
Meanwhile, investment in the construction sector in the first nine months of 2020 fell 9.6 per cent to $5.868 billion from $6.494 billion in the corresponding period in 2019, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction reported.
It said it approved 3,739 construction projects (covering 12.91 million sqm) during the period, up 306 or 8.9 per cent from the 3,433 (on 13 million sqm) given the green light during the same time in 2019.