The much-maligned world of property agents is changing

The much-maligned world of property agents is changing
Photo used for illustrative purpose only

dubai - The Rera has made serious efforts to improve practices and root out any bad eggs

By Lukman Hajje

Published: Tue 27 Sep 2016, 1:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Sep 2016, 3:29 PM

Let's be honest, real estate agents don't enjoy the best reputation. As with car salesmen, there is still an existing stereotype - perpetuated by movies and TV shows - of sharp-suited, silver-tongued hustlers just out for a quick buck.

It's a global problem. Indeed, in a recent Image of Professionals Survey published in Australia, real estate agents were ranked among the least trustworthy - lower even than politicians! Which should make us realise we have it pretty good here.

Sure, in Dubai over the past couple of decades, there have been some rogue agents plying their trade - however, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) and the industry as a whole have made serious efforts to improve practices and root out any bad eggs giving the rest a bad name.

Just this past May, four real estate agents were hit with hefty fines and suspended from working for three months after being found to be making unsolicited 'cold calls' to sell properties - which is against Rera rules and regulations.

But instead of making this column about how to spot a bad agent, let's focus on how to recognise a great one instead, which is what propertyfinder prides itself on - working with the best agents in the city. Which coincides with us recently launching the new 'Find Agent' section, which presents trusted and reliable agents, empowering the end-user with more tools to find the agent who will find them their next home with the shortest path.  

First of all - great agents communicate. As a house seller or buyer, it can be stressful dealing with a broker who regularly goes silent. The real estate market is time-sensitive, so you need someone who will let you know quickly where you stand with your current buying or selling situation, so you can move on quickly to another property or potential buyer.

A crucial point is that they will also submit a perfect listing on your behalf, with accurate facts and figures - without resorting to any trickery such as misleading price information or exaggerated facilities. We hear about agencies that don't play the game fairly and we refuse to work with them - end-users should too.

A good agent should also be proactive and constantly call potential buyers, communicate with existing customers and chase new leads. In other words, they will do everything they can to actually earn their commission.

It is also important that they can adapt to your needs - in other words, they can 'read' you. Maybe you are so busy you would prefer to communicate via e-mail or perhaps you are the type of person who likes a phone call to chat about what is happening with a transaction. A good agent will suss out what works for you and act accordingly.

Finally, a great agent is not afraid to give you their last 10 clients as references. Not selected clients, literally the last 10. A top agent should be able to do this easily - and it's important if you are about to put down a large amount of money.

So, to sum it up, the winning formula is: transparency, tenacity, understanding and a great track record.

The writer is Group CCO at Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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