Jeopardising the Safety of Real Estate Agents

救救代理從業員

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救救代理從業員

In recent months, yet another tragedy concerning a real estate agent has taken place outside a development that was for sale. This was not a fight or a case of harassment, but something even more lethal. An 18-year-old young man was giving out flyers regarding the new development on the streets when he was hit by a minibus and subsequently sustained severe brain injuries. According to witnesses, the site of the occurrence is no stranger to dangerous car accidents. At the time, someone was driving on the opposite side of the street and about to enter the development site. In a bid to get the attention of this potential customer before other agents, the young man ignored incoming traffic and tried to cross the road, thus putting himself in grave danger. Given that it's common practice these days for real estate agencies to send their staff out on the streets to sell new developments, I'm afraid that what has happened will not be an isolated incident, and unfortunately may happen again.

This old-school sales practice is extremely problematic. Street space is limited, which cultivates hostility amongst agents that can lead to verbal and physical conflicts. More importantly, by chasing customers in traffic, agents put their personal safety at great risk as well as that of others. In addition, many of these young agents are unlicensed workers. Tempted by attractive commission yet with little knowledge of what they are doing, they can easily fall victim to the dangers of street sales. It is their agencies and management that should be held accountable for the unsafe work environment in which their agents have to operate.

In the past few years, a large number of real estate professionals—myself included—have asked the Estate Agents Authority to strengthen law enforcement. However, the authority's only requirement is for unlicensed agents to get proper licensing before selling real estate, but it has failed to enforce even this most basic regulation as the majority of unlicensed agents are still working without getting into any trouble—and so I ask, where exactly is its ‘authority'?

This practice of unregulated street sales is getting out of control. I have yet again suggested the authority ban agencies from using this operational model. If this problem does not get solved, it will only be a matter of time until an innocent youngster loses their life at the hands of an unethical agency.

早前清水灣一個發售中的樓盤門外,又發生代理慘劇,今次既不是打架,也不提非禮,而是涉及人生安全,可能危及性命。一位只有18歲的年青人,在新樓盤附近派傳單拉客,不幸被小巴撞到,頭部受到重創,情況嚴重,根據在場人士透露,案發現場是高危地點,當有疑似客人在馬路對面線出現,正在準備轉入樓盤現場時,駐場的「年輕人」便會奮不顧身撲出去拉客,為求捷足先登,往往險象環生,所以筆者估計今次事件並非完全意外事件,而是又一次代理公司運用「樓花組」員工,在街上拉客的經營模式引致的安全事件。

這種原始的運作摸式,百病叢生,在有限的地方下,固然很容易引起衝突,打交新聞,無日無知,在馬路上撲車,更加涉及自己的人身安全外,也連累馬路上其他使用者的安全。

參與這種行為的年輕人,當中也有不少是無牌人士,他們受到豐厚佣金所迷惑,以身犯險,大都是受無知所累,但作為他們僱主的代理公司,或相關管理層,更是責無旁貸,如果有參與鼓勵這種魯莽行為,更加是罪魁禍首。

包括筆者及不少業內人士,在過去幾年,不斷向代理監管局要求加強執法,但監管局只要求在場無牌人士掛上名牌,以資識別便可,即使這種簡單的要求,大部份無牌人士都沒有依從,監管局的權威何在?

這種「街霸式」的拉客活動,根本無法監管,差不多已達失控的地步。筆者再次建議監管局禁止代理公司運用這種模式運作,否則,始終有一天,無知的年輕人便會白白送上寶貴的生命。

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