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What’s the best property deal you have made in the past year?
While I have been successful in closing many deals in the past year, I would like to highlight one, where I secured all the tenancy requirements for the teachers of one of Dubai’s biggest British schools.
What made this deal unique was that I also advised one of my investors to buy the properties with the teachers as ready tenants. I managed to close an investor sale of 35 mixed units with immediate rental return for three years.
What is your outlook for the UAE property sector in the future?
The current market is end-user driven and it has its challenges. I would expect this trend to continue towards the end of the year.
As we move closer to the World Expo 2020, we expect to see more activities in 2017, with the stabilisation in property prices and a growth in new businesses.
What kind of properties are selling most in the market under the current circumstances?
Budget properties, offering good return on investment through rentals, are presently the most sought-after purchases in the market.
What are the biggest mistakes you see buyers make when purchasing in the market?
The biggest mistake that purchasers can possibly make in the current market conditions is to invest in off-plan property. Personal circumstances may change, which could challenge them to make the ongoing payments to the developer.
This could eventually lead to penalties or losing the property due to unforeseen circumstances.
Are genuine sellers able to attract serious buyers in the present market?
A motivated seller can always attract buyers, but it is critical to have the right agent with realistic expectations.
We see too many sellers advertising with numerous agents, all at different prices — often overpriced — and they achieve few or no enquiries. This is a sign of bad management of the clients’ assets.
What would you advice to buyers and sellers?
Buyers should always ensure that the agent knows what they want, what they can afford and their personal circumstances.
Buyers also need to clarify to the agent why they are buying a property: Is it to live in or to rent out? Always be sure to secure your finances before you start looking for property. Keeping your finances in order always makes negotiations more favourable.
Sellers need to be very careful, especially while choosing an agent. Do not fall into the trap of using multiple agents and flooding the market with your property. It is always advisable to choose an exclusive agent and decide on an achievable price.
Always ensure your agent has covered due diligence to avoid silly pitfalls and possible delays.
What is your advice to agents who are struggling to close deals in the current market?
Apart from knowing their clients well, agents must explore all the options and investment opportunities to close deals. They should also offer the option of short-term rentals to clients, as this can produce over 8 per cent return on investment.
Also, agents must have links with preferred mortgage providers and other industry professionals.
What type of training is mandatory for new agents in your company?
It is mandatory for all of our agents to be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency.
Additionally, P.K. Properties offers a unique, hands-on customer care training. We use a trusted and very experienced training consultant to ensure we are able to maintain our standards.
Established in 2002, P.K. Properties specialises in buying, selling and property management. Its management and sales team are all certified by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department, and experts in Dubai’s property market.
The company boasts a management portfolio of more than 300 high-quality and fully furnished properties. Its apartments and villas, located in the heart of New Dubai, are fully serviced and can be rented on short or long-term basis. Licensed and authorised by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, its new company, P.K. Holiday Homes Rental, was established last year to provide vacation home rental and short-term rental properties in Dubai.
Audited annually by Ernst & Young, one of the top five financial service institutions, some of the services offered by P.K. Properties include property buying and selling, property management, property transfer and title deeds, professional photography and video, connection and payment of utilities, payment of property annual maintenance fees, advertisement of property through a comprehensive marketing campaign, rental and property maintenance.
Yvonne Hunter has been in Dubai for more than 25 years, witnessing every change the city has undergone in the past two decades. While working in the FMCG industry, which initially brought her to Dubai, Hunter made many business and personal contacts, which helped give her an excellent start when she ventured into real estate in 2002. As sales manager for P. K. Properties, Hunter encourages her staff to focus on personal touch, which she believes is a critical tool for success in the business.
Source: Jobannie Tabada, Features Editor, Property Weekly