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What is the main job role of a real estate agent?
Across the world, such as the USA, Canada, France and the United Kingdom, the roles are defined clearly and are fully understood.
However, in Dubai, many real estate agents, even in the field, are still confused with their many responsibilities.
Some believe that it is running around showing properties; some think that agents can make buyers pay more, or sellers sell for less.
But the worst, by far, impression that agents have created for themselves is that they are greedy and cheat at every opportunity to make quick money.
So, how did we get to this stage and how do we reverse the negative effects that we have created for the market?
In Dubai, with the market being healthy and substantially better than most countries around the world, this is something that we should collectively be capable of.
To reverse these bad opinions, we have to first define our role in the real estate market.
On a basic and standard level, our first role is that we have to be capable of selling what we currently have listed with owners.
Many agents in the current market are forgetting that they have properties listed at competitive prices and with motivated sellers.
However, the same sellers get fed up with the agents as they feel that they are not doing enough in selling their property.
Sellers have a very good point because the current agents in the market are trained to get listing after listing and are being told that they will achieve more sales by increasing their number of listings. However, this is fundamentally wrong on many levels.
Increasing the number of sales is achieved by having good quality properties advertised correctly and systematically to a high standard.
The main reason why this is not possible for agents is because of the number of properties that they are aiming to collect so they can list more properties.
By increasing the amount of listings, they are limiting the time that they can spend on each property and ensure that every property is advertised to a professional standard.
A fundamental part of an agent’s role is to ensure that he/she highlights the features of a property by taking professional pictures, creating descriptions, finding information, qualifying buyers, doing viewings and handling transactions.
All these need to be done for each property.
So, by taking this into account, the more listings you have, the less time you have to spend on each property. That is the main reason why sellers are constantly fed up with agents listing their properties.
Recently, at the Dubai Property Expo, ideas were flying around from investors, land department staff, agents and different other sources.
A good idea that was brought up was limiting the number of listings for each agent as well as a separate idea of cancelling agent broker cards if they are not doing transactions.
We feel that a combination of both the ideas, with an understanding and collaborative approach with the real estate company owners across Dubai, would help.
A middle ground can be found by ensuring a limit of listings per agent; at the same time, this will not affect the good agents.
Setting the limit according to sales achieved by a company can be a good idea.
As an example, if you sell a certain number of properties, you can list 40 units; if you sell more, you can list 60 units and so on.
With this in mind, now, like never before, is the right time to act. Will you?
Get tips on embracing conflicts in the workplace
Source: Safura Abas, Special to Freehold
The writer is General Manager - Aston Pearl Real Estate