I received an SMS from a Real Estate Negotiator (REN) recently. She asked if one of my condo units were available for sale. I told her I have already sold it earlier but I would love to know if there are any apartment / condominiums that I can buy for RM250,000. She SMSed me a reply. In her exact words, ‘RM250,000 can only buy a flat.’ I am sad. If she is a good agent, she should at least note that for RM250,000 there are definitely choices around even if it may not be those luxury, high density or even the usual more popular areas. Sorry to have some expectations for RENs here in Malaysia because I feel that if you are earning a commission from me, it should involve much more than just some calls and accompany me in my viewing.They should preferably have the following:
More knowledgeable than the average buyer. Truth is, a REN who is able to also give professional advice is much better than one who knows nearly nothing and only focus on just the price, the price and the price. The person should at least know what’s the overall property market of today. It is not enough that the REN knows about slowdown. The REN should know where some opportunities may be.
Be an investor themselves. Yes, if you are also an investor, it will force you to know more than just simply buying. Once you are an investor, you can then speak the language of the buyer too. Besides, once you are a buyer, you would quickly note that not all condos are RM800,000 and not all flats are RM250,000. Come on, if this is the case, bubble has burst long time ago. Have the fears that the buyer has as well.
Good listener and communicator. If someone asked you a specific project with a specific target price, chances are they already have some prior understanding. It does not hurt to ask a few more questions after running some search online. Chances are the buyers can feel that you are pro-active and serious.
See, my requirements are so few and I would already treat you as a good REN. Yes, I have many REN friends who are excellent in their fields. Perhaps that’s why they are doing very well. Okay, maybe all these boils down to the inadequate property knowledge training from their agencies. If this is the case, then I think my article is aimed at the agencies. Are you a good one or just another one of the usual, ‘I know little’ type of agencies? Happy soliciting services from those who know very slightly more than the usual buyer.
written on 1 June 2015
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