After watching the Cambodian property market boom following the difficult times of the 2008 financial crisis, Sok Bun took helm as the fourth president of the Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association on January 30 this year.
Sok Bun, also the director Sok Bun Group – comprised of real estate companies ECG, TEHO and SBC – sat down to talk with the Post’s property reporter Siv Meng to talk about his role at the association and the challenges ahead.
What encouraged you to run for president of the CVEA?
I decided to stand as a candidate for the CVEA presidency because I thought I could help improve the education of realtors here with my company ECG, which has signed an MOU with the Singapore Institute of Management.
SIM has agreed to provide instruction for Cambodian realtors, and because SIM teaches land valuation and analysis skills, I thought it would be good to bring those skills to Cambodia and help prepare the country for ASEAN economic integration.
And I can help all the people in the CVEA because I grew up here and know the country well.
In its third mandate the association had 41 members. What strategies do you have to attract more companies to join the association?
I will mainly focus on making membership of the association free and finding more people to recruit. When they become association members, they obtain many benefits. The association also plans to pass new internal laws to protect its members.
Many people have complained about unlicensed companies negatively affecting licensed ones. How do you solve this problem?
At this point, we need more time to make regulations to protect licensed companies. But we also need to bring the unlicensed companies into the fold. The unlicensed companies usually do their work without any skills or research. So how do we take action? To start, we should pave the way for them to enter the association. But we should let them in on an interim basis, since they have a lack of knowledge. Letting them become an interim member will give them time to gain the knowledge required for them to become full members.
We will have an attorney to help them sign up if they have any problems. And we will concentrate on instruction thanks to the MOU between ECG and the Singapore Institute of Management, which will provide a proper course for them to talk about the real estate sector.
What role does the association play in the real estate sector’s development?
The association has many roles, as we work with both the public and private sectors. We spare no effort to help prepare the city for development, because we are skilled at valuing land and analysing transactions, so we can complement the government’s existing capacities.
Compared with other countries in the region, how skilled are the associations’ members?
I wouldn’t say anything about the assocation’s capacity level while we still have ground to cover. We will be solid and clear when we make up that shortage.