Real Estate Agent Profession Needs Better Regulations in Dubai

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If you are looking to rent or buy property in Dubai, think twice before you grab the phone to make calls and embark on countless viewings. At least you can research online about the type of home that might be suitable to your needs.

Why do you need to do that?

Real estate agents in Dubai are often employed with a zero amount salary and earn only a portion of the agency fee, brokerage firms charge to buyers and renters. This means that if you plan to explore the city in the car of a real estate agent, he or she pays for the petrol, the vehicle’s maintenance and the parking fees. In addition, the real estate agent pays for his own phone and internet bills, and general upkeep.

So, if you are not seriously looking to rent or buy property, you are cunningly getting advantage on someone who is struggling to make a living as a real estate agent. You are wasting his time and resources! Would you like someone to treat you like that?

Contrary to some articles you may read on local websites stating that a real estate agent can earn AED 60,000 on average per month, the harsh reality is that the amount looks more like AED 6,000 and it is not guaranteed. During some months, an agent can earn AED 12,000, while during some others the “salary” could be postponed to the next deal.

Gone are the days when people were queuing to become real estate agents in Dubai. The profession is now viewed as the least attractive by job seekers and as “a high risk” by local lenders. Real estate agencies have difficulties to hire decently educated and well mannered workers with average understanding of the job. Moreover, the majority of brokerage firms doesn’t invest in training new staff, but solely relies on the three-days mandatory introduction course by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority.

In recent years, it has become obligatory for real estate agencies to provide medical insurance for their staff, but often this insurance is the cheapest available and doesn’t cover many medical procedures.

Never in the history of the profession of a real estate agent in Dubai, brokerage firms offered accommodation allowances or plane tickets to expat workers, let aside any other benefits. In general, brokerage firms try to exploit agents up to the maximum as they are legally allowed to do that.

With so little provided by the employers, real estate agents in Dubai are often suffer to make ends meet. More than often, they are treated with lack of respect and taken for granted by their employers and providing services free of charge.

What could be done?

As for the start, a mandatory minimum salary should be imposed to all real estate agencies in Dubai. And along with that, there should be penalties for firms that hire workers without a minimum salary stated in the employment contracts. With the cost of living in the city firmly on the rise and the market continuous slowdown, real estate agents find themselves forced to do whatever they can to get a client or even a property listing. Hilarious advertisements promise them riches, but after a few months on the job people realise that the riches go only into the accounts of the brokerage firms and lose faith.

In addition, the Real Estate Agency Regulatory Authority can introduce quotas for the number of agents real brokerage firms can hire. With zero salary on offer and minimal additional hiring costs, employers are offered green light to speculate with basic human rights. Some brokerage firms, the largest that advertise the most, even reach so far that they employ hundreds of agents with the hope to generate higher revenues and without evaluating the current market dynamics.

Quotas for the numbers of real estate agents could be introduced also based on the city districts’ size and the statistics on the property transactions. For example, you can’t hire 4000 real estate agents to work in an area where only 800 property transactions have been registered in the course of a whole year.

In general, the profession of a real estate agent in Dubai needs to be elevated to a different level. Property buyers and tenants should perceive agents as professionals whose services justify the fees, but not as people who wait in their cars in front of buildings or make cold calls to thousands of mobile numbers from databases sold on the internet.

No, it is not easy to earn an income as a real estate agent in Dubai. This is why most of the people who explore the opportunities in the field quit rather sooner than later.

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