Broker profile - 'Don't wait to buy real estate'

Deja Vu Real Estate BrokersFrom left: Saiqa Amir, Managing Director, Kamal Sader, Head of International Market, Nadeem Ahmed, COO and Sales Head, and Ahid Shaikh Mohammed, Chairman of Deja Vu

- Your most significant achievements in the last 10 years?

We have believed in Dubai right from the beginning. Over the years we have received several awards in recognition of our work, including Emaar Top Broker for 2014 and 2016, Dubai Properties Top Broker for 2015 and 2016, Nshama Top Broker 2015, Dubai Select Group Top Broker 2015 and Rera Top Broker 2014. I am proud to say that I have a team that has an unshakeable trust in Dubai and the leadership of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

- How do you take care of your clients' portfolios?

We have been managing several portfolios which can be valued at more than Dh100 million. We have senior members in the team, who not only understand the Dubai real estate market, but also keep a close watch on other international markets. We also keep a keen eye on competitive products like fixed deposits, commodities, hedging against currencies and stock markets.

We have field experts from banking and analysts who take an overall view and place funds in different segments of real estate. We look into all relevant angles while constructing strong portfolios for clients.

- What's your best property deal in the past year?

We have made several good deals, including more than 15 plots and numerous villas in Dubai Hills. We have also closed multiple high-value retail units with lucrative rental yield objectives. Recently, we have become one of the companies to be registered with Tamleek to sell the Al Habtoor City project.

- How should buyers balance price, quality, payment plans and handover dates?

The Dubai real estate market is highly competitive. We make sure that we first understand what the customer wants, rather than dictate what he should want. We are aware of every single development in Dubai and have a dedicated specialist for each area. We offer a product based on the client's budget, cash flows and other requirements. We also advise our clients to invest with reputed developers.

- What properties are selling most in the market?

Affordable housing and easy payment plans are some of the trends that we will see in Dubai for the next five years. You'll be surprised at the kind of products that have been sold by developers. For instance, Sidra and Maple villas at Dubai Hills Estate from Emaar, and Serena and Arabella villas from Dubai Properties Group have been sold out. Nshama has been able to sell its affordable apartments and town houses. Secondary market investors are looking for smaller-ticket projects and rightly so; most of them are looking for higher rental yield.

- What are the challenges unique to this market?

One is the base population, which is very less compared with supply. Therefore, we have to expand by tapping into international markets. Thanks to Dubai's phenomenal presence across the globe, it becomes very easy for us to sell to international investors. Talking about challenges, I often see private developers struggling to compete. If incentives are created by the government to help them grow, I think they will bring more money and investments and create more jobs.

- What are the biggest mistakes you see buyers make?

People often invest in real estate with a very quick exit plan. Wealthy people never sell their assets; they keep building their assets. There is a saying, ''don't wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait.''

- What's your advice to agents who are struggling to close deals?

It is the same basic formula: become the master of what you are doing, be passionate about your work, plan your month, plan your day, set goals and keep enhancing your knowledge.

- You consider yourself more as an investment advisor as opposed to a real estate broker. What is the difference?

I believe brokers should stop calling themselves brokers and instead call themselves investment advisers. Imagine people coming to you with their life savings to buy a house. They believe in you and take your advice. What more respect can you get?

Deja Vu Real Estate

Celebrating 10 years in Dubai, Deja Vu Real Estate is one of the region's leading real estate companies offering comprehensive and professional property services to corporations, investors and individuals across the globe. The company is affiliated with some of the largest real estate organisations such as Emaar, Dubai Properties, Nshama, Dubai Select and Deyaar to name a few. It has an extensive portfolio of property listings and investment opportunities in Dubai and abroad.

Having made more than 5,000 transactions in the last 10 years, the company has managed multiple client portfolios ranging from $10 million (Dh36.7 million) to $70 million. Its diverse international client portfolio includes individuals and companies.

The company says its greatest strength is its team that comprises skilled and passionate employees with a wealth of experience in the UAE real estate industry, each bringing several years of relevant work experience to the company.

Furthermore, Deja Vu Real Estate says it encourages its team to focus on providing excellent sales, leasing, property management and mortgage advising services. The core team of the company includes chairman Ahid Shaikh Mohammed, managing director Saiqa Amir, head of international market Kamal Sader and COO and sales head Nadeem Ahmed.

Up close

Ahid Shaikh Mohammed is Chairman of Deja Vu Real Estate Brokers. He started his career in Dubai working as product manager for Canon and then spent almost two years as a senior retail and real estate analyst in a business consulting firm. He founded Deja Vu in 2006 and has successfully steered the company for the last 10 years. Mohammed believes in hard work, motivation, honesty and passion. Decisionmaking is one of his other strengths.

Check out another Broker Profile: Keeping it real by Akash Ashok Kanjwani

Source: Jobannie Tabada, Features Editor, Property WeeklyPW


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