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.
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 05 Oct 2009 07:53 AM

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.”

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