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* What’s the best property deal you have made in the past year?
This was for an investor in Canada, who had to sell off a major portion of his portfolio in less than a month’s time in March. We had to find buyers for eight to nine properties, comprising studios, three-bedders and villas at the International Media Production Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Jumeirah Village Triangle. Moreover, the seller was in Dubai for only five days and we had to accommodate all the no-objection certificates (NOCs) and Dubai Land Department transfers within that time frame. Thankfully, our agents jumped in and we were able to pull off the task.
* How many new agents have you hired in the past year?
We hired six well-experienced agents in the past six months and we are still looking for more agents. We plan to increase the [number] by three fold by the end of this year.
* What is your outlook for the UAE property sector in 2016?
After the softening and correction of the market last year, we hope to see a reversal in the real estate market this year, given that oil prices have recovered 20 per cent from the beginning of the year. This has helped consolidate the market, while providing confidence to investors. We expect the real estate market to improve by the third or fourth quarter of this year.
I believe, now is the best time to invest in the property sector, as prices are comparatively low. Prices of property are, however, going to increase further in the future.
* What kind of properties are selling most in the market under the current circumstances?
Currently, small-ticket units are seeing stronger growth compared to larger units, as end users and investors perceive these [units] as low risk items.
Off-plan units are also a big hit in Dubai, especially the ones which offer payment plans, with the option to make the bulk of the payment after the handover.
* What are some of the challenges unique to this market?
Duplicate and fake listings of properties on various portals and an absence of accurate transactional data make things difficult for clients, investors as well as evaluators. Duplicate listings give buyers a sense of false hope and often misguide them during negotiations, while making the entire process very frustrating.
* What would you advise to buyers and sellers?
Buyers should fully understand their requirements, budget and the time-frame within which they want to finalise the transaction. Gen erally, buyers end up wasting their time and opportunities for good deals by over-leveraging themselves.
A seller, on the other hand, should limit to listing his property with 1-2 agencies, as this not only allows him to have a better control during the process of negotiations, subsequently yielding better prices for his property, but [this] also helps the buyer make faster and informed decisions. This simplifies the transaction process.
* What type of training is mandatory for new agents?
Apart from the usual Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) certification, we offer in-house training to our new recruits in conjunction with on-site visits.
This helps them to handle customers efficiently and deliver better service.
* What motivated you to pursue a career in real estate?
I have always had an inclination towards houses and architecture. That’s why I got into the real estate sector and more recently into property development. I have been in Dubai for the past nine years. The city has witnessed tremendous development in a very short period of 30 years. Massive construction and development of infrastructure and real estate projects have enabled Dubai to achieve the status of a hub city in the MENA region. Hence, we felt that our presence in this part of the world was essential.
With an office on Shaikh Zayed Road, Modelux Properties started its operations in 2008. By infusing intelligence and innovation into the way people search for properties, find buyers and tenants, and locate experts, Modelux creates a unique property experience for all its customers.
It is involved in property management for residential and commercial properties in Dubai as well as international markets. It offers family residences and community living at affordable prices for both buying and renting across the key areas in Dubai.
Its newly launched entity, Modelux Homes, is a privately owned real estate development company, covering the entire spectrum of building development, from land acquisition, building design, engineering, and construction to full multi-channel marketing and sales.
Modelux Tower 1, the launch project of Modelux Homes, is located in Dubai International City Phase 3, featuring a total built up area of 102,000 sq ft and 85 units. Spacious balconies and terraces open onto the landscaped courtyard and the expansive greens. These premium residences are set to leave a mark on the luxury living segment in Dubai.
Sameer Adam is CEO of Modelux Properties. He started his career as an investment portfolio manager for properties in Dubai and launched his own company in 2008. Prior to that he headed the Marina Group in Canada, which is involved in various businesses, ranging from textiles and commodities to real estate. He is a postgraduate in International Marketing from Humber College, Canada.
Source: Jobannie Tabada, Features Editor, Property Weekly