PropertyGuru Singapore has announced that it is to relaunch its academy program for agents and offer them the opportunity to earn certifications accredited by a local university. The initiative is part of PropertyGuru's 'Partner360' programme which the company launched last week as an umbrella title for the ongoing improvements being made to the portal and services designed to benefit agents.
The Singaporean portal has partnered with local university Ngee Ann Polytechnic to offer four certified and accredited courses for agents ranging in scope from legal requirements to social media management. On completion of the courses, which can be subsidised under a government scheme, agents will be able to add badges to their profile pages on the portal which will be a "shoutout that you’re an active, credible and relevant property agent that is worthy of their [PropertyGuru users] trust."
Property portals have increasingly been looking to educate and 'empower' their agent customers and the number of portals offering some kind of webinar, tutorial or online course has increased markedly since the beginning of the pandemic. Rightmove recently employed a former head of one of the professional agents' body to a newly created position whose role is to educate agents around legal requirements and Zoopla's 'Zooploma' series of training emails last year was a big success in terms of sign-ups.
PropertyGuru's 'Partner360' programme feels similar in scope to what Zoopla announced a month ago, basically a name and a bit of marketing noise around some tools and features that the portal would arguably have to invest in anyway to stay ahead of the curve and which agents may or may not find useful.
The partnership with a university and the offer of a "certified profile badge" on agent profile pages does seem like a smart move. If enough agents' profile pages start sprouting new badges PropertyGuru may spark a collective fear of missing out and perhaps hope to create a new standard for professionalism in the industry the path to which it controls.