Thursday, October 29, 2009

Excuse Me, Are You A Property Agent? (13)

I am glad that the government is now doing something about regulating real estate agents. I sometimes wonder why this has not been done earlier. Paradoxically, housing involves everyone, for everyone needs a roof over his head, and yet, almost every John, Dick and Harry could just easily enter the real estate market without proper training! So many people want to enter the real estate market because of lucrative commission, but sometimes they do not realise that real estate work is not their rice bowl. It is ironical that man can try to understand the moon and the stars, but he does not understand himself. I made that mistake too when I had just completed high school. Anxious to do something and following the examples of my peers, I had applied to do nursing in England. Eldest Sister Lee Lee discouraged me and told me that nursing was not my cup of tea. I would be more suitable to train as a school teacher. How wise of my Sis.! This is probably why for every 10 real estate agents and insurance agents, 8 will eventually leave the market.

I have often been asked to try insurance work. But I am not keen at all because it is not as tangible as bricks and stones. Moreover, insurance work involves a lot of numbers and I dislike too much of numbers and calculation.

I like to look at designs of buildings and houses, and hence real estate work is more appealing to me. I have also realised that a good agent has to use a lot of initiative to analyse and think through issues, and not just go around working perfunctorily. It is very frustrating for me to cobroke with agents who do not really know what their clients want, and whose idea of showing properties is to bring their clients around to view a host of buildings. Sometimes these agents will line up one viewing after another, and they confuse the clients even more. When they are delayed with one viewing, it affects the rest of the appointments like a stack of fallen cards!

Once an agent insisted on a 3p.m. appointment. I asked her to make it at 4.00p.m. but she was adamant. I rushed to be on time, only to find that she was late. After 15 minutes, I called her, and she said, "On the way. Soon." Another 20 minutes, and she was nowhere near the building. I sent her an sms and she said 5 minutes. Her 5 minutes implied 15 minutes. In exasperation, I smsed her, "It's almost 4p.m. now. You're impossible! I am leaving now." Just then the phone rang, and a strange voice answered, "Susan is coming up now. We detoured to view another unit. She's not impossible".

When the agent arrived with her client, there was no apology at all. Such arrogance and ignorance.! I told her it is not a crime to be late, but if it was not so "soon," then I would appreciate she could let me know just how long it would take. Of course, her "keen" client turned out to be not so keen after all. Agents like such would appear to be more like tourist guides or chauffeurs. They are in the momentum of working hard, but not achieving results. They take their clients on a merry-go-round of viewing after viewing, and their clients do not purchase because they have not quite understood the clients' needs and requirements.

Real estate work is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding and it is imperative for an agent to work not only hard, but smart as well, so that he does not burn out too easily.

Gan Chau

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Choo Choo,

You are so right! Keep it up.