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Dubai's real estate industry is in the best shape it has ever been with the Dubai Land Department (DLD) implementing and continuing to introduce rules and regulations to streamline the ever-growing industry.
A comforting sight for investors is that the DLD has placed safety nets to help prevent another crash or bubble. The top-performing real estate agencies are also taking the necessary steps to ensure a continued increase in turnover by investing wisely in staff selection, including educated leaders.
It is important to select team leaders, not managers, to guide an agency's team. Leaders will show the staff members how it is done, while managers will tell them how to do it, often based on stale methods. As Sir Richard Branson has said, treat your staff well and they will take good care of your clients.
Dubai's real estate industry has to deal with new agencies opening on a daily basis, many of which are recruiting staff that have either very little or no sales experience, or experienced agents who think they are still are living in the glory days of 2004-08.
Dubai currently has in excess of 2,200 brokerage firms, with more than 5,000 agents on platform level. Add to this in excess of 560 new agency offices that set up in Dubai since the start of the year. This is still a far cry from the pre-crash days that saw more than 10,000 agents operating without any structure in place.
Very few of these agencies take the time to invest in their success by way of weekly or monthly continued training programmes. Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) requires a two-day crash course for brokers to be certified, and agencies and agents are often misguided into thinking that this is all you need to secure a successful career.
Instead of just sending agents out into the field without purpose and direction, we strongly suggest agencies consider the following options for their agents to specialise in: project-based agents, area specialists, secondary market or off-plan specialists.
At The Fresh Ideas Company, we educate agents in a way that will establish them in the market. The following simple steps are great tools to improve an agent's expertise and performance:
- Meet the master developer to understand the vision of the project.
- Research your area or your project.
- Meet competing developers in the same area to research similar projects.
- Know the launch price and the current rate per square foot. Also know the date of handover, service and maintenance fees per square foot, amenities and current and future facilities in the area such as schools, malls, etc.
- Memorise the layout of the project.
- Be aware of the road access points and locate its position relative to major roads such as Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Khail Road or Emirates Road.
- Know the other agencies in your area or project.
- Establish a regular comparative market analysis on your projects, apartments or villas to understand the values you are marketing and advertising.
- Make an effort to meet sellers, investors (buyers), landlords and developers.
Based on our experience with agencies, we suggest new agents who have sales experience undergo thorough training programmes. This requires patience, especially for agencies that normally chase overnight success.
New agents are much easier to mould and are more passionate about their responsibilities, as opposed to old hands who try to impose their own terms, packages, etc., on the company.
Times have changed and the market has become stronger with more regulations in place. Under current market conditions, the most successful agents live by a simple concept I call ''SKI''. This means the agent's has a structure that is systematic, knowledge of product or area and is informed about Rera and DLD regulations.
In a bid to curtail the high influx of agents and to ensure better-quality agents are serving this lucrative industry, Marwan Bin Ghalita, CEO of Rera, announced on September 24 that the pass rate of the Rera broker's exam will be increased from 75 per cent to 85 per cent by April next year. We should all rejoice because this is a positive thing and not negative as many are complaining.
The team matters
Considering the above and the fact that many agency owners are managing their agencies as brokers and not as managers, little wonder Rera has placed heavy fines on reckless trading practices such as cold calling, email blasts and bulk text messages.
Investors don't necessarily invest in property, they invest in the strength and success of your team presentation.
In conclusion, you are only as successful as the staff you employ. So go that extra mile and push for alternate training methods to educate your staff.
Find out why hiring smart people is not that easy
Source: Lee Levy, Special to Property Weekly
Lee Levy is a success skills coach who has trained more than 700 real estate agents in Dubai in the past few years. As CEO of The Fresh Ideas Company, he has also conducted management training, marketing, advertising and motivational workshops for more than 40 agencies in the UAE