By Mohanad Alwadiya
Does your agent do things right? Here’s what you need to look for:
We work in an industry that stirs up as much emotion as it does distrust and, in extreme circumstances, disdain. As an industry professional, I am not always comfortable with how my profession has been categorized, being compared at times to dodgy lawyers and unscrupulous used car salesmen. Not fair, I say.
There is no doubt that there are both good and bad practitioners in every profession; the trick is separating the gold from the gravel. Finding a strategic real estate partner to manage your project, however large or small, and act as a real extension of your team is not easy. There is a lot at stake and you want to engage a capable and reliable ally who you can trust to deliver the results that you expect. As the owner-occupier or investor, there are many considerations you have to take into account.
Look for an experienced and passionate team. You want people who really enjoy what they are doing, not just collecting the commission. It also helps if you engage an agency that can provide you with a broad range of services because investing in real-estate typically does not stop with a single transaction. Check whether the agency has a history of innovative solutions delivering tangible results. It’s a crowded market, and you want somebody who can make your property or project stand out. The key to getting the price that you want for your property is generating high levels of interest and intrigue. This requires excellent marketing and sales skills, and your broker should possess ample expertise in both.
The broker should also be in a position to immediately provide examples of past successes. An important part of the skill set that your broker must possess is the ability to advise how to best stage your property. Too many brokers limit their property presentation advice to a coat of paint and sweep of the floor. A properly staged property will always stand a much greater chance of commanding a premium price. Look for longevity.
The recent recession cleared out lot of marginal operators from the industry, and those who survived must have been doing something right. Seek an agency with strong network of corporate and industry partners. The agency that has good relationships with key industry stakeholders such as the major developers and authorities such as the Dubai Land Department, Real Estate Regulatory Agency, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Department of Economic Department will be able to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Find a company that exhibits a breadth and depth of industry knowledge and expertise. Those who under-stand the industry are more likely to succeed within it and the advice that you receive from a knowledgeable, experienced and committed broker can save or make you tens of thousands of dirham’s. And finally, look for an agency that has received some form of industry or peer recognition. These are the hardest plaudits to get.
Mohanad Alwadiya is Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate and advisory board member and instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute, the official training and certification arm of the Dubai Land Department.