Real Estate Negotiator: The Perks
Setting Your Targets
As a real estate negotiator, you’re only answerable to yourself. In other words, you are your own boss. You decide how much money you want to make each month and you work in accordance with your goal. Work hard and you get a good sum, slacken your pace and you get nothing. There’s no pressure from anybody else, since you’re not paid a fixed salary by your principal (that’s what we call the estate agent you work for), but a commission based on what you sell.
Another good thing about this service is that you are not desk bound all day. You should ideally go to the office as often as you can because you need to interact with your fellow negotiators to find out what’s happening in the market and to learn the ropes (especially when you’re new and know next-to-nothing!).
However, there is no fixed time for you to be in the office unless specified by your principal. You’re free to schedule your office visits at your convenience, such as when the children are at school, or your household chores are finished.
Stepping Stone To Bigger Things
If you find that selling and renting real estate is exactly what you like to do, you can study to take the two-part real estate examination mentioned earlier and work your way up the ladder to become a registered agent. This means you no longer need to work under another agent but you can set up your own practice and engage negotiators to work for you.
However, be mindful that registered real estate agents must set up an office and operate the business from there.
Qualities To Become An Efficient Negotiator
- Good Communication Skills
You should be able to speak well. If your English is not good, you can decide to focus on Chinese, Tamil or Malay speaking clients. It’s not only the English speaking who need property, you know.
- Know How To Handle People
You must like meeting people. In this industry, you’ll come across big shots and small guys, at least in the beginning, when you should be willing to take anybody on as a client.
You must be able to communicate with perfect strangers over the phone or take them around to view properties. No place for shyness here.
- You Should Be Mobile
It’s a definite convenience if you have a car because you may have to run around to show property, pick up house keys, etc.
- Be Presentable
Dress as you would for an office job because it inspires trust in clients. Wear light make-up, proper shoes and decent clothes when you’re meeting clients or going to the office.
- Be Disciplined And Organised
Like all other types of businesses, you must be disciplined. You have to set aside time to see clients, make calls, go to the office, complete your paper work and so on.
- Care About People
It’s not enough just to complete a deal, take your money and walk away. Keep in touch with clients, get to know them and you’ll find them referring others to you, indirectly helping your business grow.
There are times when listings appear to dry up. That’s when you must be bold enough to approach potential sellers or landlords and offer your services.
How To Get Started
First, you have to identify a suitable agency to join. Here are some pointers:
- Look for one near your home for convenience.
- Find out if it provides training. Training at the outset is vital if you are to succeed. If it doesn’t, check with the Malaysian Institute Of Estate Agents (MIEA)if there’s a training course for negotiators and sign up.
- Find out the incentives given in addition to the commission, e.g. EPF, advertising allowance, bonus, etc. Sign up with an agency that cares about your growth.
- Make sure the agency is willing to give you a letter of appointment as proof of your employment so you are empowered to act on its behalf and for collection of commission.
- Make sure the agency offers good administrative support, a respectable office with a strong image and is one that carries out ethical practices (e.g. it should not collect any additional fees other than specified under the Act).
Watching Out For Yourself
- Once you’ve signed up with an agency, make sure that for every client you represent, you have a letter of authorisation. For example, if Mr X wants you to sell or rent his house and says he will pay your agency 2.75 per cent professional fee, make sure you have a document (standard versions are obtainable from your company) that says so. This is to ensure he does not back out on the deal once you’ve found him a buyer. If he tries, you can use the document in court to claim your fees.
- Similarly, for every potential buyer or tenant you show a house to, get an acknowledgement, lest the seller/ landlord later claims that you were never involved and tries to by-pass you in the transactions.
- Once you’re in the business, take the necessary precautions when meeting with clients. Never take a stranger to a new housing estate and never show unknown persons an empty house at dusk alone. Always make sure you have a colleague or somebody else with you in such instances. Never hop into a new prospective client’s vehicle alone – drive yourself there.
- When you advertise your services in newspapers and magazines, never put your name in full, especially so if you are a woman. Rather, use initials to protect your identity.
- Try never to collect cash from your clients. Ask them to issue you a cheque instead. If they insist on paying cash, try to get them to pay it directly to your agency office. This is to reduce your liability should something untoward (like a robbery) happen.
- Finally, get all your contacts organised, even those you approach who refuse to buy or rent from you. You never know, they just might in the future.
Related Article: Real-Estate Negotiator: Selling And Renting Real-Estate