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Mon 5 Oct 2009 07:53 AM

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61% unhappy with UAE estate agents - survey

Only 12% of home buyers praised their broker in poll highlighting short-comings.

61% unhappy with UAE estate agents - survey
UNHAPPY BUYERS: More than 60 percent of survey respondents were dissatisfied with their real estate broker.

More than 60 percent of people who have bought property in the UAE in the last two years were unhappy with the way their estate agent brokered the deal, a new survey published on Monday reveals.

Dubai-based Harbor Real Estate Brokerage said that 61 percent of house buyers polled rated their brokers as either poor or very poor.

The study interviewed 178 property owners over a four month period in a series of face-to-face interviews.

Participants evaluated property brokers according to knowledge and skills, ethics and behavior, consultative ability, and empathy

Mohanad Alwadiya, managing director of Harbor Real Estate Brokerage, said: “What we have here is an indicator of an industry which is still relatively immature. The level of proficiency in effective consultancy, based on sound knowledge of the market and an understanding of the buyer’s requirements, appears to be the main shortcoming.

"Buyers today have choice and are more knowledgeable about the market, and they seek advice from professionals that they feel they can trust. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, consumers are left feeling disappointed.”

Of those interviewed, 73 percent had purchased their property prior to the impact of the global meltdown while the remainder had purchased their property after October 2008.

About 23 percent of those interviewed purchased within the last four months.

Only 12 percent of consumers who made their purchase prior to the downturn stated that their experience was excellent or good.

In the post-recession period, that number fell to about 11 percent, although satisfactory ratings improved from 25-31 percent.

In the post-downturn market, 58 percent of respondents rated their experience as poor or very poor, bringing the two year average of dissatisfied customers to 61 percent.

The main causes of buyer dissatisfaction were in the areas of knowledge, consultative ability and empathy.

“What we are seeing globally is a race for improvement,” added Alwadiya. “Real estate has been under tremendous pressure due to the recession, and those who wish to thrive in the market will only do so by identifying and responding to the needs of their clientele.”

John 10 years ago

With apologies to lawyers, take your foot off his head. The only way to get rid of the scum is to make them sit exams, show police records and clean their finger nails. There are, indeed, some professionals out there and they should name and shame the dross, because the whole industry is held hostage to the lowest common denominator.

Billy 10 years ago

The really frightening part of this survey is that 39% of those questioned said they were happy! OMG how will the industry ever get better if some people are happy with the crap that is available now?I have lived here 16 years, bought 4 properties and rented about 6 and I have never met a single real estate broker that deserved a single Dirham of the fee. The big companies are no better than the small ones. Solution - fire every single employee, and close every real estate company down and then start again with highly regulated, trained and qualified people.

Muhammad 10 years ago

In any field like estate agent, computers, IT or even doctors. The client or customer or in case of doctors its patient should have trust on what he has been dealt. Unfortunately, the trust is gone and the customer has to really work hard in order to get the deal out of these people. These people should create some sort of refresher courses for these people to make them understand that dealing is different thing and cheating is another thing. Unfortunately, most of the customers, clients or patients have been cheated rather than be dealt. The have to improve the level of trust in their field by reducing the cheating level or completely eliminate the cheating level. I know some people are saying it is all within professional ethics but what these ethics are hampering other person health or wealth.

melanie 10 years ago

Real estate agents are representatives of buyers and sellers so if you are unhappy with the services it is because you were either a bad seller or a bad buyer. And unfortunately the real estate agents are the face of the buyer or the seller. So a little eself reflection will be much appreciated

Muhammad 10 years ago

It means more than 50% of the market brokers and customers are bad. How come a broker become a reflection of a client? That means if they have a good deal they will pass the good deals to the client. Brokers are the middleman/consultant between seller and buyer and they have to justify if the deal is good or bad not the seller or the buyer.

PRB01 7 years ago

I sent a few emails a few weeks ago to several estate agents in Dubai as I am moving there to live. I have yet to receive a reply. I guess no much improvemente since. BR

not a Dubai RE fan 7 years ago

we have got to give Harbour real estate their due for even bringing out this survey and on their own team.
Well done to them.

Now, I wonder if others will do so? AB should if they do not.

It certainly backs up the strength of Anil's article earlier though. You were vindicated Anil, well done!