The year 2017 marks the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Estate Agents Ordinance and the establishment of the Estate Agents Authority (EAA). After 20 years of working closely with the estate agency trade to raise their practice standards and professionalism, the EAA now has under its purview over 40,000 individual and company licensees, with the overall standard of services of the trade noticeably enhanced over the years.
Since I joined the EAA in 2004, I have witnessed the positive development of the estate agency trade, which is a direct result of the industry’s effort in coping with regulatory changes and rising public expectations in its practice standards.
“Enhancing professionalism for two decades, upholding laws and compliance from past to future days” is the slogan of our 20th anniversary. It reflects the progress achieved in the last 20 years, and shapes the Authority’s mission to make estate agency truly a profession worthy of the respect of the community and its practitioners.
With the proliferation of the usage of smartphones and Internet which changes today’s business model, there are increased risks of non-compliances due to misunderstanding of regulations or simply recklessness. The advent of cyber business activities means an additional dimension of the EAA’s regulatory duties, as there are now more online platforms and channels for the trade to promote their businesses. The EAA will continue to step up its efforts in monitoring cyber activities of the trade and encouraging adherence to “best practices” among practitioners, which in turn will strengthen consumer protection.
The tremendous work of the EAA could not be accomplished without the unfailing hard work and support from the past and present Board members, the Government, the trade and friends from different sectors. Their sustained efforts and invaluable contributions have greatly facilitated the growth and development of the EAA. I must also pay tribute to our past Chairpersons of the EAA Board for their strategic foresight and distinguished leadership in shaping the EAA into what it is today.
On this important milestone of our 20th birthday, the EAA is positioned to reach new heights. Our combined efforts with the trade will continue to make important contributions to Hong Kong society in the decades to come.
Dr William Leung Wing-cheung, SBS, JP
Chairman, Estate Agents Authority