Almost two thirds of people buying property in the UAE critical of real estate agents

More than 60% of people who have bought property in the United Arab Emirates in the last two years were unhappy with the way their estate agent handled the sale, according to a new survey published today. (Monday October 07)

Some 61% rated their real estate agents either poor or very poor, the poll by Dubai-based Harbor Real Estate Brokerage found. They were asked to assess the agents according to according to knowledge, skills, ethics, behavior, consultative ability and empathy.

‘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,’ explained Mohanad Alwadiya, managing director of Harbor Real Estate Brokerage.

‘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,’ he added.

Of those interviewed, 73% had bought their property before the global downturn while the remainder had purchased their property after October 2008. About 23% of those interviewed bought within the last four months.

Only 12% of consumers who bought before the downturn stated that their experience was excellent or good. That fell slightly to about 11% who bought more recently although satisfactory ratings improved from 25 to 31%.

Since the global economic crisis 58% of respondents rated their experience as poor or very poor, bringing the two year average of dissatisfied customers to 61%. The main causes of buyer dissatisfaction were lack of knowledge, consultative ability and empathy.

Alwadiya said that is sends a strong message to the industry. ‘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,’ he said.


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