GNcareers, from Gulf News

What it takes to succeed in real estate

What it takes to succeed in real estateSafura Abbas

Day-to-day business in a real estate office includes many different tasks and objectives – from organizing viewings to expanding your client base, knowing when to invest your time and when not to. But where do you start if you have just joined?

The biggest reason why many choose to have a real estate career is because of the money factor, and the expectation is that it will enable them to get rich overnight. Many, however, fall at the first couple of hurdles because they have not been given the right advice and information before joining the industry.

Almost all companies in Dubai offer 'commission only' positions, and the rare few that offer a basic salary may not have regular business. Working in a commission-only day job means that you could find yourself very quickly in financial difficulty, and unable to cover the costs entailed in doing your job. But if the risk is so high, why, then, are so many people taking the step to change their careers – from one that they already have into real estate?

About ten years ago or so, to become a real estate agent, all you needed was to be in your 20's, be polite and well-spoken as well as owning a couple of good suits or proper business attire.

The industry, however, has come a long way since, and the first requirement now is for the applicant to be hardworking, dedicated and committed.

Plenty of people will consider themselves hardworking because they work from 9 to 5 each day, and they believe they will only need to be able to answer a few extra phone calls. The truth is very stark though, as you have to be working round-the-clock, according to the schedules of your clients which, most of the time, would be after 6'oclock. And if you can't be available at those times, then there is someone else that will be.

The second requirement which many people underestimate is the ability to be a salesperson. A few candidates that we interview consider themselves good sales people because they believe the work is just about talking.

However, being a salesperson is a much bigger task. You have to be able to spot business opportunities as well as create them. It's easy to sell when everyone is buying, but more difficult when buyers are more careful in choosing their investments. You have to first find a good opportunity and then be able to convince both buyer and seller to agree to a deal.

In a market where most sellers have multiple agents selling their properties, it can be very difficult to build relationships with them as clients. This has made things much more complicated because the regulations for agents to work together are not stable enough, and there is always a degree of distrust.

There are also thousands of unregistered agents working for different companies which makes working in the industry much harder. It is, therefore, difficult to get the clients needed to be successful if you do not have the dedication required.

Many of you will ask: What do I get for all the effort I am putting in? What will be my rewards? The biggest reward comes at the end of the month, knowing that you have a 'sky's the limit' potential in terms of how much you get paid is great.

But the real reward is from the relationships you build with various people living across the country, and from all walks of life. The reward is always the same, the feeling of building and being part of the community.

Of course, there is always the monetary reward for the work you do, but there is also the thrill of doing your first deal every time, as the excitement in every sales transaction will always be as strong as what you felt during the first deal you had ever made.

Source: Safura Abbas, Special to Properties

Safura Abbas is General Manager, Aston Pearl Real Estate