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* Tell us about your company Tidewater Properties.
It is a privately held, full-service real estate broker and investment firm based in Dubai. With over 10 years of experience, our office offers comprehensive service of all aspects of buying, selling, renting and investing.
* What’s your role?
As general manager, I look after the welfare of the staff, oversee all of the firm’s marketing, sales and business development functions, as well as the day-to-day operations of the business.
* What’s the best property deal you have made in the past year?
Selling a bulk deal of 15 units to an investor.
* How many new agents has your firm hired in the past year?
Hiring in this business is a day-to-day work, as we are always in the search of the best sales staff possible.
* What is your outlook for real estate this year?
I do not see a crash or bubble on the way as what people keep talking about. I am optimistic. I would describe the market outlook for 2016 as “stable yet soft”.
* What properties are selling most under current market conditions?
Off-plan is in higher demand, though we have started to see demand from end users, which is encouraging as they tend to stabilise the market contrary to investors.
* What are the challenges unique to this market?
The major challenge is that most people act based on short-term — and not longterm — goals. The Dubai market is unique and can’t apply the same fundamentals available in other countries such as Europe or the US.
* What are the biggest mistakes when purchasing property?
Unfortunately, many new buyers search to buy the cheapest they can find based on hearsay or unprofessional advice, neglecting many factors such as the future of the area they are buying in as well the developer history.
* Are sellers able to attract serious buyers in the present market situation?
You need to do your homework properly if you are to sell. Understand the area around your development, the near future as well the distant future, and the attractions available in your area today and in the future, such as shopping centres, schools, public services, etc. These will affect an inves-tor’s decision to buy and attract people looking to rent.
* What would you advise those who want to buy or sell property?
Be sure of the purpose of your purchase and always look long term. Make sure you are selling for the correct reasons and not what you hear in the market.
* What is your advice to struggling agents?
Always look for new customers even outside the geographical area of the UAE.
* What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the business?
It is not easy as people tend to think. Prepare yourself to work 24 hours a day intelligently.
* Does your firm have a designated trainer or mentor for new agents?
A well-experienced agent is the best person to act as a mentor for new agents.
* What motivated you to pursue a career in real estate? How long have you been in Dubai?
I have been in Dubai for 22 years. I saw it evolving and competing with the best developed countries in terms of infrastructure and construction. It fascinated me and got me professionally involved eight years ago.
* Which significant events in the industry have left an impression on you?
Dubai is a unique place, and everything that is being done here is unique. Creativeness placed Dubai on the map with mega projects such as Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah. The organisation and commitment you do not see it much elsewhere.
* What is your greatest strength?
Forging strong, long-lasting relationships. A repeat client is the best client you might have. I often notice agents completely ignoring the client after the deal is done. Wrong, as the client bought/sold property through the agent based on trust and will continue to rely on the agent’s assistance in the future.
Tidewater Properties is a privately held, full-service real estate broker, investment and management firm based in Dubai. It has more than 10 years of experience in the industry. The company assists customers in all aspect of the buying, selling, renting and management of property.
Building long-term client relationships is core to the company’s business strategy. And in line with its mission to “provide the highest quality real estate services for every customer”, Tidewater also conducts ongoing training for its all agents.
The company offers property listing services as well as sales and leasing for both residential and commercial property, taking advantage of a “national and international network of buyers, sellers, brokers and other agencies”. It also provides asset management and property management services.
Tidewater is the sole agent of Wahat Al-Zaweya in Dubai and the northern emirates. Wahat Al-Zaweya is a unique master plan development on the borders of Dubai and Al Ain. The Dh6-billion project comprises 6,400 freehold plots for residential, commercial and hospitality development.
Samer Jammal started his career as a banker before he joined Bonyan International Investment group, a Dubai-based developer, as Commercial Director in 2008. From property development, he moved to the real estate brokerage industry by joining Tidewater Properties as General Manager in 2013.
Source: Jobannie Tabada, Features Editor, Property Weekly