10 customer service skills for real estate agents

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Infographic courtesy of http://www.Househunt.com

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An agent that sounded like a loan shark…

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My morning started well with a nice breakfast and follow-ups of my current estate requests. While updating my listing, I received a message from my fellow agent requesting for a place to rent in KLCC for his tenants. So I replied his message saying that I may have something for him.

I quickly went to my listing and search for it. Since that one was taken a couple of weeks back, I decided to try looking for another on the internet (to remain anonymous). I came across an agent disguising as the owner of the unit. However, he voice messaged me and told me he is an agent and would like to co-broke with me on this one.

I would have no issue co-broking. The problem is, my fellow agent, don’t fancy a 3-way co-broke (for whatever reason), therefore, I politely declined the offer.  I thought I’d go elsewhere and look for another one when another voice message came in.

“老板,你不要,很多人要。这个世界,不仅你是地产代理。你觉得钱腥。不必这样。你不想要,很多人要。我也是地产代理。一个经验丰富的一个.”

Basically, it translates to:

Boss, you don’t want, a lot of people want. In this world, you are not the only estate agent. You think money stinks. Don’t have to be like that. You don’t want, a lot of people want. I am also an estate agent. A seasoned one too.

Wow. Just wow. Are you on weed or something? Why so butthurt bro.

There will always be a reason why certain things don’t work out and this is one of the instances where a decision doesn’t necessarily lie with that particular agent. Money is essential to all of us and if situation permits, anything goes.

Again and again, I do think that an agent is just a person bridging a customer with a property, nothing more. But a professional agent is accountable to what he does and how he does it. Ethics, manners, integrity and professionalism are only acquired when you represent a reputable and accomplished agency that coaches you to present yourself at the highest order and also learn to treat your counterparts like how you treat your clients.

I’m still learning every day and this definitely a lesson I would take seriously. I’m blown away by the attitude of the agent and how he managed the whole affair.  A seasoned estate agent reacting this way? Why?

To be fair, this is my side of the story and told exactly how and what happened. Just want to share this with everyone that no one, absolutely no one should behave such way and going around the market behaving like this. We work together, all for the better. Stay cool agents!

No to African and Middle Eastern tenants? Why..??

Recently, while I was around town talking to one of my clients, we spontaneously brought up the issue about renting out to Africans, China Chinese, and Middle Easterns. Not that this is new or even something we want to talk about but recently, there seemed to be this spark from residents, especially condominiums’ about the refusal of renting out to specific races, especially the Africans. She was quite insistent on not having her unit rented out to the above categories. I’m not too particular about this but having her asking me what is my view on this is a little awkward.

To be honest, a tenant is a tenant. As long as they entered the country officially and legally and most importantly, able to pay the rentals on time, who are we to turn them away? I would usually request for some background details before proposing the potential tenant to my client. Although not much we can get from these profiling work, at least some due-diligence was executed nonetheless.

Yes, we (estate agents) have encountered or somewhat heard from our counterparts about how some of these tenants wrecked the place, lousy paymasters and sometimes, even disappeared after awhile running away with some of the items from the house/condominium. But this happens even with local tenants. Why are we looking at the black dot on the whiteboard rather than acknowledging the white spaces around it that more or less represent a healthy rental market from these categories of people?  We can’t generalize the entire nation just because one or few of them behave that way.

I have really good Middle Eastern tenants and they can be the nicest and most flexible tenants to work with. They also pay their rentals on time too. Well, about wrecking the place, it’s a 50/50 thing. After a few years staying in the same place, especially more than 2 years, using the same items and utilizing every space available, it is fair to say that the wear and tear usually turn out slightly worse than those after a year. Some are born more ‘heavy handed’ (more careless and reckless) hence a little rough in handling the appliances and such. Therefore, nothing much you can do about it but to dig into the Tenancy Agreement and re-highlight the T&Cs which would trigger the security deposits.

And to be honest, yes, I’ve heard and seen that the locals are terrified when they are in close proximity with the Africans. They are pretty imposing at times and the stuff we heard about some of them do make the case. But generally, they are friendly people. At least they greet the people they meet in the lift.

But demanding the owners to refuse renting to these races by the resident committee or the condominium management at certain extent is really out of place in Malaysia. It’s a blatant act of racism if you ask me. Maybe I don’t know what happened between these folks and the Africans, but it doesn’t warrant them to issue a blanket order as pictured above. Coupled with 2017 KPI of 0% rentals to the Africans some more… that’s is a little absurd. Really people?? Seriously?

Take a look at the following video. You sort of feel for the African guy looking for a place.

Is there racism in the Malaysian property rental market? Three R.AGE journalists of different races called the same 30 listings to find out

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156301014844741&id=95743749740

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Then again, I’ve come across owners and landlords that are very accommodating too. They acknowledged the current soft market and think nothing more than to be able to rent out their units asap. Yes, they do have concerns about the type of tenants tenanting their place but if they try to be picky and discriminating as what we discussed earlier, it would only eat into their pockets and making life difficult for themselves.

Agents like us play an important part in profiling these potential tenants to the owners. Commission aside. We are the bridge for the tenants and the landlords. We have a job to do besides just introducing the units and getting the deal over the line. The good sense of responsibility and accountability separates a good agent and those fly-by-nights.

I am more curious if the banner of requesting the owners not to rent to the Africans, if at all legal and law abiding? Who sanctioned the move and did they seek the proper authority for execution before they do so? What would the impact be for the owners, the agents, the tenants and the nations?

Racists and racism is a strong word. We would avoid it at all cost if we could. There is no room for that everywhere. Think about our actions and what we can do to mitigate the issues before going down the path of branding ourselves as racists. And for the agents, please, even if you are representing an owner who doesn’t want to be associated with such tenants, at least, be more tactful when declining the offer. We all have emotions and feelings too.

Our latest open house at Selekoh Tunku, Bukit Tunku last weekend

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What a weekend. We just had our latest open house at Bukit Tunku over the weekend and what an experience.  Weeks of preparations and arrangements finally paid off with a successful event. We would like to thank the office for the support, especially the Boss, Nieyko, Stephanie (our newbie support), Naz for your ‘cheerleading’ and all who came-by pre and during the open house.. Thank you so much!

And of course, the main figure here is Ms.Billie, my partner for this open house. Thank you for this opportunity, for me to experience my first Bukit Tunku open house.

We were all very excited leading to the day. Flyers, signboards, newspaper ads, and invitations. For me at least, it is not common to have open house around this area and open to all to look at one of Kenny Hills’ (before it was renamed to Bukit Tunku) classic bungalows. So, it is both a marketing and exposure experience for us.

The Selekoh Tunku address has some prominent residents lining up the street too. It would make a great neighborhood and furthermore, this is pretty close to the Jalan Langgak Tunku area – the happening place in Bukit Tunku. Fancy having a nice breakfast at the Kenny Hills Baker or having your lunch at the sumptuous Kenny Hills Bistro or just simply hop over to Sids at night for a quick alcohol fix? It’s just 1 min away.

Over the past 2 days, we had not many visitors or buyers. However, the quality of the visitors supersedes the lack in numbers. Most of them, when asked, came to know about the open house via the sign boards around Bukit Tunku. The interesting thing is, we do have keen individuals and some offers to bring back to the owner.  In fact, there was one who came back 3 times to view the unit! Talk about loving it. But of course, the negotiation is still in its early stage. We just hope for the best.

We ended the open house on Sunday afternoon and we have a total of 2 offers to be brought back to the owner. What an eventful 2 days and we got away with it even though we had it on a King’s birthday. Heh.

There you go. Our next chapter is already in the works and after today’s meeting with the team, boy, do we have a BIG one coming your way to Bukit Tunku very soon! So, stay close to this blog/facebook update and get to know more about what’s going to happen.

Ciao!

Good to know who is who and their roles…

Was a little busy for the past few months.  Been following up few low-hanging listing and would like to close these before my deserved trip to the North next week. Things have been kind to me lately and hopefully after our Bukit Tunku open house this weekend, it gets better!

Been running around collecting listing and meeting with owners recently and noticed that some if not all, are still a little fuzzy about the agents that are representing them. And to top it off, some agents (possibly newer ones) are also somewhat unclear about their roles. It is a good time to learn together now and I have just the infographic here to illustrate that nicely. Take a look, guys.

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So, just to summarize, a listing agent is the one representing the owner of the house/unit. If he gets a buyer and closes the deal by himself, he/she gets the full (2% commission – that’s our fee) from the sale price. And if a buyer’s agent is in the mix, the 2% get shared equally between the two. We call this a ‘co-broking or co-agent’ deal.

If a non-agent (means he/she is not officially registered as a REN/REA) is representing a homeowner and wishes to get something out of it, he/she is only entitled to a referral fee. Usually, these are the relatives or friends of the owner. Normally it’s a 10% of the total commission received by the buyer’s agent – although it may vary for different agencies. So in this case, the buyer’s agent somewhat act as a listing agent too.

Now, let’s go out and tell our owners, buyers and fellow agents what we can achieve together! If you wanna go fast, do it alone… if you wanna go far, do it together!


Infographic courtesy of http://www.Forbes.com | http://www.Redfin.com | PHA Realty

Malaysia 60th Independence Day

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This post is late! Gosh.. 1 more day to go. We are almost reaching the end of the month of August. And what does that bring us to..? Yes. It’s Merdeka time again! It is the 60th independence day for Malaysia since 1957. On the 31st of August every year, we Malaysian celebrates our ‘Merdeka Day (independence day) with a public holiday for all and usually a national parade of performances and activities in the central of Kuala Lumpur.

31 August 1957

On the night of 30 August 1957, crowds gathered at the Merdeka Square (Padang) in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 p.m. and joined members of the Alliance Party’s youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness.[2] On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.[3] The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of “Merdeka” by the crowd.[2][3] Tunku Abdul Rahman later gave a speech hailing the ceremony as the “greatest moment in the life of the Malayan people”.[2] Before giving the address to the crowd, he was given a necklace by representatives of the Alliance Party youth in honour of this great occasion in history, with a map of Malaya inscribed on it. The event ended at one in the morning the next day.

On the morning of 31 August 1957, the festivities moved to the newly completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet, and citizens.[4] The Queen’s representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence.[4] Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of “Merdeka!” seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played by a military band and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honour of this great occasion.[4]

The day followed with the solemn installation of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, at Jalan Ampang, and the first installation banquet in his honour in the evening followed by a beating retreat performance and a fireworks display. Sports events and other events marked the birth of the new nation.

I’m proud of my country Malaysia despite some of the ongoing frictions between the government and opposition and a certain fiasco that was blown out wide. But this country is well known for its peace and harmony and shall be forever seen that way for many years to come.

Why I liked Malaysia? The people of course! We are friends of friends of every race. The food! What you can’t find in Malaysia..? The places of interest – historic, sandy white beaches, highlands, Metropolitan, and forests… you name it! The culture – games, dance, food, performances and even the architectures. Finally… grateful that there aren’t any violent natural disasters (wishing all my fellow friends from Hong Kong a safe recovery from the recent typhoons Hato & Pakhar) to hit the country.

To those who are new to Malaysia or just arrived, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay and stay around for the celebration. There’s so much to do that’ll keep you busy the whole weekend! Avid Estates & The Fresco Apartment would like to wish Malaysia, A Happy Merdeka Day 2017!!

So, let us welcome 31st August 2017 with 3 cheers …. “Merdeka’… “Merdeka”…”Merdeka”!!


Merdeka details courtesy of Wikipedia

Wikipedia needs help!

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Dear all my fellow friends and readers. Recently, Wikipedia is calling out to all its users/readers/contributors for some donation to their project which I personally think is pretty dire and deserve our highest of attention.

For the past 16 years, Wikipedia has been offering free online content (encyclopaedia) to everyone and have been the ‘go-to’ site for most of us in search of quick information. Although not entirely accurate for some ambiguous topics, most of the information by the public and anonymous writers are pretty close to its definition and would be a good enough source for anyone needing a quick understanding of the searched subject.

So, please do your part to contribute back to this wonderful project and more importantly, the society by giving a little spare change to keep this running.

The following link directs you to their donation page and its modes of payment:

Ways to Give

For the love of free information! God bless.