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Choosing The Right Real Estate Brokerage Company In The UAE

We all want to make the best use of our hard-earned capital and make the right financial decisions when it comes to investing funds, especially in the real estate sector. But also, we can’t close our eyes to the scammy nature of the real estate market due to the presence of a few black sheep in the industry. Under such a dilemma, finding the right and trustworthy property brokerage company is no less than a daunting task.

Rest assured, Land Sterling understands the insights of the market and chalks down some useful points that investors or individuals must consider while planning to transact property in the UAE.

Brokerage License & Company Registration

The first and foremost aspect property buyers should consider is the license status of the brokerage company as well as the agent you have been assigned. Don’t feel shy about carrying out comprehensive research through relevant websites such as RERA and DLD by checking the license status of the agent. You should also ask the brokerage company to provide you with their trade license to double-check the company’s legal status through the business registration authorities in the UAE.

Choosing The Right Real Estate Brokerage Company In The UAE | Land Sterling
Choosing The Right Real Estate Brokerage Company In The UAE 1 Land Sterling

Broker’s Reputation And Credentials

The first brick in building the trust relationship is collecting information about the company’s background, experience, and reputation. Imagine you are hiring an employee for a specific position, you are surely going to cross-check one’s credentials such as experience, skills, educational background, and even the LinkedIn profile before offering a job. The process you should follow to hire a real estate broker should not be very different. A 360-degree invigilation check is a must and the below checklist will help you not miss any of the key points:

  • Social Media Handles: Visit the company’s social media handles such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to read through the comments posted by previous clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Also, check the frequency of social media posts and the quality of information provided in them. Make sure there are no red flags and that company is considerate towards the viewpoints of their clients.
  • Google Business Account: Search by the company’s name and check out the company’s  Google page. The ratings and reviews speak a lot about their service quality and professionalism. Pay attention to the negative reviews to understand what people are mostly complaining about. If you see any glimpse of a scam, stay clear of the company.
  • LinkedIn Accounts: Yes, it does make sense to check the broker’s LinkedIn account as it speaks about the company size, its connections, current and ex-employee reviews, and their experience with the company. Make sure there is no blocked accounts, the page is active, and frequently posting about the company and real estate industry, about their agents and achievements.
  • Company’s Website: While you have collected enough information about the company through social media channels, it is also important to check the company’s website. Make sure the website is updated with agents’ verifiable information, the landline phone number, the business address that matches with that on the Google page, the latest property listings, registration and licensing numbers, etc. If not all information is mentioned, then you can always ask your point of contact to provide any details you may need to have peace of mind.

Critical Observations While Meeting The Agent:

As you have completed your background check through online research, now it is time to connect with the agent and take the discussion to the next stage. But remember! don’t hurry in selecting the brokerage company until you meet the agent face-to-face and be sure about the points below.

  • Discipline: It is important to note that the agent has arrived at the given time, and is there to welcome you at the site rather than you waiting for him/her.
  • Physical appearance: The agent’s dress should be appropriate and he/she should not be wearing a casual or revealing dress that can make you or your family uncomfortable. The factor of decency must be maintained at all levels.
  • Property details: The agent should be well aware of the property. He/she should come prepared with all the necessary information such as the price, amenities, service charges, maintenance policy, occupancy status, and know-how about the area, such as entry-exit points, and more. If, for some reason, all the details are not readily available, he/she should be quick to share them with you after the viewing is complete. 
  • Means of communication: Agents tend to use mobile numbers more often than landlines, but make sure that the agent has communicated with you through the company’s official phone numbers at least a few times during the process. If it is on the email, then no communication from a personal email ID must be trusted except if it’s verified by the company. Always try to document the communication via email or WhatsApp and don’t assume verbal communication as a commitment.
  • Social values: In practicality, the alignment of your cultural values with that of the agent, plays an important role in selecting a brokerage company. The more an agent understands your culture, religious values, lifestyle, and social status, the better he/she can advise.
  • Professional communication: Agents are known to care less about this aspect of service. If your agent is delaying communication by ignoring your calls, emails, and WhatsApp messages or deliberately providing incomplete information, it’s a big hint to stay cautious.

Broker’s Commission & Authority’s Fee

Real estate brokerage is infamous because many brokers tend to overcharge the clients in terms of brokerage fees. Thanks to the UAE government, which has laid down very clear regulations about it. Make sure you know these rules and don’t let the brokerage company charge you more than what it deserves. The best way to prevent yourself from such last-minute setbacks is to agree, document on an official paper or email, and then pay accordingly.

If there are any other charges related to government authorities, the same should be paid by yourself, or ask for an official receipt in case the brokerage company made the payment on your behalf.

Real Estate Market Knowledge

One of the primary jobs of a real estate broker is to stay up-to-date with market trends. The launch of new projects, government policies, rental index, and area-specific updates must be at the fingertips of an experienced realtor.

For example, many believe that traffic from Dubai to the emirates of Sharjah, in the evening hours, is a nightmare for drivers, and it can be a big turn-off if you are planning to buy a property in areas such as Al Qusais, Al Twar, and Muhaisnah. As an individual buyer or a seasoned property investor, you expect your agent to rightly advise you on these matters.

Secret Tips:

Don’t leave everything to agents! – It’s your money, and you have the biggest responsibility in the property selection process.

  1. Do your research about property price, rental yield, and potential capital appreciation.
  2. Meet people already living in the building and collect their feedback about the facilities, management, and other important aspects.
  3. Find if there is any owners’ WhatsApp group and try to get into it to find the ground realities.
  4. Research about the developer, their track record, and their credibility in the market.
  5. Use Google Maps to get the approximate time of commute to and from the location.

To Wrap Up

The real estate broker is a pivotal component in the process of purchasing or renting a property. Make sure you select a brokerage company that has a proven track record, solid credibility in the market, and expertise to execute the transactional process to your benefit and in compliance with the regulations laid down by the authorities. This is the broker’s selection that determines the financial viability of the property and the peace of mind for your family.

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Vinodh Mahadevan MRICS

Author

Vinodh Mahadevan MRICS

Vinodh Mahadevan is the Head of Business & Strategy at Land sterling and a Member of MRICS. With over 14 years of experience in investment advisory, consulting, valuation & advisory services, he has gained extensive exposure to valuation engagements. Vinodh's expertise includes due diligence exercises, appraisals of commercial and residential properties, mortgage and collateral appraisals, retail malls, large-scale industrial parks, hospitality and entertainment projects, and other special use real estate valuations.

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