Property Weekly How To: Masters of the trade

PWProperty Weekly

Being a realtor is exciting. You wear many hats and often you have to handhold clients through- out a complex, life-changing buying process.

But good real estate agents are hard to come by. PW asks industry veterans to give us a better picture of what a successful property consultant should be.

Elaine Jones
Director, Hadley Gates Real Estate Consultancy

Learn to listen: a good agent hears what clients say. Use this as basis of a property search, but accept that often the property selected does not match the initial criteria. Understand a client’s requirements and then identify property that — even though not strictly within those confines — is offered. Introduce alternatives that clients may never have considered. Follow up; there is no point in showing a property if you don’t follow up. The advantage of customer management tools cannot be stressed strongly enough. If you don’t have a formal system, update your contact information with every phone call and action taken, information shared and then set a phone call reminder. Give clients the terms and conditions of working for them. Put your fee in writing and use the Rera forms where appropriate.

Zhann Jochinke
CEO, Keller Williams Real Estate Dubai

Be a people’s person. Understand first and foremost that while real estate is a sales business, it’s much more of a people business. Always put your customer first, be a great communicator and deliver on what you say you are going to do. Ultimately, it is your job to provide value; if you do that you will have a successful and lasting career in real estate. Even if you are an employee, understand that you are running a business, your real estate business, where people chose to do business with you. Your business is built off your efforts, your contacts and your negotiating and sales skills; the customer ultimately chooses to work with you, not your brokerage. Make sure that you are in an environment that supports your goals and helps you grow. Once a transaction is complete, stay in touch with clients as you’ll more likely enjoy repeat business and recommendations.

Ian Hollingdale
Director of Dubai Sales and Leasing, Chestertons

Find your niche. A broker must concentrate on a specific area or neighbourhood and strive to become an expert in that community. This includes knowing vital information such as the styles of the properties available, prices, sizes and local amenities such as shops, schools and open spaces. By knowing the ins and outs of a specific community, you will have all the information prospective clients need at your fingertips and can more easily match their requirements. In addition, demonstrating thorough knowledge will boost the level of trust between you and your clients, as well as making the entire process more efficient. Also, remember that a client has access to so much information today, so you have to be a step ahead and know everything about your area of specialisation, from property layouts, recent sales and rentals, demographics, how a locality has changed and the amenities that are on offer, including ease of access and proximity to key lifestyle hubs.

Helen Tatham
Managing Partner, Prime Places Real Estate

A good property agent should earn a client’s trust and the key words are transparency, regulations, understanding, service and tenacious. Be honest. Inform your client if a property is overpriced or indeed underpriced. Your motive should be to fulfil your client’s requirements. A good agent should possess all qualifications and licences. Professionalism goes hand-in-hand with respect for the system. Understating your client’s needs is key to building a good relationship and delivering satisfactory results. Service is key as owners need to feel comfortable; they appreciate regular feedback to make pricing adjustments. Be firm in what you believe is right. A good property agent should have a strong working knowledge of the market and know the most suitable options and not be swayed by the easiest deal to close.

Gregory Lewis
Senior Negotiator, Knight Frank

There are some key aspects of your personality that will determine if you can become a good agent. If you have good communication skills, such as letter writing, marketing, returning phone calls and calling clients as often as they require; if you’re detail-oriented and care about the quality of the information relating to a property, including good photography, floor plans and well-written descriptions; if you are good at coordinating and keeping a track of complex chains of communications at each stage, while explaining everything to clients on a regular basis; if you have the ability to deal with difficult solicitors, surveyors and other professionals as well as act as peacemaker, and if you are diplomatic and can keep everything progressing smoothly from exchanging contracts to the ultimate handover, then you have what it takes to be a good agent.

Source: Sanaya Pavri, Special to Property WeeklyPW


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