|▲ President Park Yong-hyun|
Realtors, aka real estate brokers or agents, are people who represent sellers or buyers of real estates or properties. Korea introduced the Licensed Real Estate Agent Test in 1985 and around 420,000 people are estimated to have a license today. The National Association of Realtors is an organization that protects and promotes right and interests of realtors in Korea. <Power Korea> met Park Yong-hyun, the president of the association, and heard about the story.
Taking the lead as the 12th president
Park took the steering wheel of the National Association of Realtors as the 12th president January this year with 57.8% of the vote, a record high of its history. Apart from protecting and promoting rights and interests of around 100,000 member realtors, the association organizes various projects such as deductions, education, real estate information network, real estate policies and campaign.
Park has 20 years of accumulated knowledge and experience in the field who knows well what is to be done if the Korean real estate industry is to make an advance. Gathering the issues, he brought up with 10 improvement measures as his election pledge: 1) independent income and expenditure 2) nationwide free training 3) relative evaluation 4) cost-efficient information 5) cut on benevolent fee 6) disciplinary action-free elected officials 7) democratic revision of policies 8) renegotiation on electronic real estate contract 9) open service charge 10) expansion of business areas.
Innovation and improvement
“The National Association of Realtors has 30 years of history but regretfully lacked in innovation and improvement. So I’m determined to bring them forth during my term” said Park.
Realtors must have extensive knowledge about civil law, Urban Development Act and Built Environment Renewal Development Act. They also have 28 hours of job training on opening a business and must complete the 16 hour training once every 2 years. As part of systematic supports, Park played a contributing role to carry out a free training in 2016 and 2018 during the period he served as the branch manager of the association in the southern part of Gyeonggi Province.
What he lays a greater importance in improvement, however, is to standardize ‘service fee’. “There is no set guidelines on how much a service of realtors should cost. This often has caused some discomfort when it comes to charge service fee onto their clients. So it is important to set up reasonable and agreeable guidelines on fees.” Park is the one who once passed the service fee on fixed rate in 2015 at the standing committee of Gyeonggi Province and it was the first case in the industry.
Growing together in cooperation
It is Park’s will to decentralize the power of the organization. Instead, he wants to give more voices to regional branches in order to build a balanced management system. “Talented members do not necessarily be in the headquarters only but they are everywhere nationwide. So we need to take the most of their talent and ability to promote the rights and interests of members as a whole. This way, we can grow together.”
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