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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
/START RANT/

I do not understand why agents in the UAE are so shady and dishonest. I have been looking for a new place to live for about a week and I have already witnessed dishonesty, laziness, and a whole bunch of other crap.

What is wrong with the system in the UAE? Why can't they fix this system and make the agents, landlords, owners, etc. more honest and willing to work?

Dishonesty - I have seen a variety of ads (on Dubizzle for apartments for about 120k) and when I have called about them, the price goes up to 130k or 140k. When I ask about this, they act like I am lying. I had an agent tell me that I would never find this apartment for the price I want and that I did not find her listing for that price; I emailed her the ad her company posted for the same apartment and the price and she tells me it is an error (her secretary made). Then her company goes on to list the same apartment for the same price for three days in a row (Your secretary must suck something awful).... WTF?

Some agents in Dubai, I think, are like used car salesmen back home... they do the old 'bait and switch.' A few agents I have called have told me that apartments I am calling about are gone, but wait, they got other apartments available, but for higher prices.

Laziness - Why are agents so lazy in this place? In the last week, I have seen ~5 apartments without agents. I call the agent and they tell me that the apartment is open and just look/check it out. They then ask that you call back and let them know if you liked it or not. So I have to go and look at the apartment and then I have to call you and tell you how if I like it? Wow, a lot of work you did to earn my business. If you check Dubizzle, you will see that agents use standard pics of buildings that are old or even artist renderings of what the place would look like (I saw an ad with a pic of a building being built in the background, that building has been open for a while now). Why don't agents actually go and look at the apartments and take pictures and advertise them properly? They rely on information given to them by the landlord/owner and I have found this info unreliable. I called a guy today about an apartment and his ad says that the apartment is on a mid-level floor and has views of lakes, golf course, and pool. Of course I am skeptical that an apartment can have all these views, so I call and he tells me to go look at it (again, the apartment is open) and that it is on the third floor. Third floor on a building that has 25+ floors is not mid-level. I did see the apartment (via another agent listing) and knew that this apartment does not have views of the pool or lake (there is no lake in the Greens), and there is a partial view of the golf course that is blocked by another tower..... WTF?

I had an agent (after I looked at a place via another agent) tell me that I should go through him and he can write up the contract faster. So agents literally steal customers from each other?

This game needs to change..... The UAE needs to implement something where there is commission sharing, allows agents to look at other agent's listings, and also lets landlords/owners know that listing with multiple agents is detrimental to them and creates artificial demand. When multiple agents are going to the landlord for the key, he assumes that there is a lot of interest in his property, not realizing that it is the same one consumer that saw his property advertised varying ways with various agents, so he tries to increase the price.

There needs to be honesty and respect in this system and process....

/END RANT/
 

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Totally agree with you guys here. Thought it was bad in UK with estate agents but realise I have had it very lucky :)

Looked at ads in Dubizzle, was told to go look myself, or that particular appartment has gone but price has mysteriously changed.

What gets me is the requirement for payment of a year's rent in advance. Where does that come from? Sure I can accept 2 months rent in advance and a deposit but a year???!!!! If as a newbie expat who hasn't earned a single dirham, how am I supposed to come up with that amount of money?

Answers on a postcard lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The landlords are just as bad in most cases, there seems to be an inherent lack of intelligence and common sense in this part of the world.
Agree. The landlords are just as bad if not worse... they play games as well. They say they got an offer for higher price (when they don't). I also see that they are willing to leave the apartment vacant for a few months just to obtain a few extra thousand dirhams not realizing the money they lost out on with that decision.



I am used to an organized system in Houston (US)... where...
1. There is only one site where you can list the property
2. The listing is given to one agent (certified) and the agent gives it a identification number (MLS)
3. The buyer's agent and seller's agent will share the commission (6%) which is paid by the Seller (not the Buyer which is how it is in the UAE)
4. The keys to properties are made available via locked/tamper-proof boxes which can only be opened by licensed/certified agents. The boxes keep a log of the agent's who have accessed the box.
5. Information listed can be verified with public records (no saying that the property is 2,000sqft, when the records say it is clearly 1,000 sqft).

Of course there are games that are played in the US as well (telling a seller his property is worth A to get his listing, and then telling him that realistically it is worth B, etc.) but at least the information is honest and verified....
 

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The problem Indo is that people who do DO the work (like me, well hopefully) generally work in the higher end of the market because the rewards are a bit better, for what is a hit and miss way of earning an income. I have asked my colleague to contact you again.....
 

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That is what I could never understand.

When I was apartment hunting two years ago I made an offer on a two-bedroom flat in the Marina. Asking price: 100K. I offered 90K. This was back in 2010 when rental prices were still declining sharply. He turned me down.

Then I unexpectedly ended up staying in my old villa for an extra three months.

Resumed the apartment hunt. Same flat in the marina is still available. Asking price has come down to 95K. I offered 90K. He turned me down.

Took another apartment elsewhere. I found out from a friend that the Marina apartment was finally leased at 95K. I suppose the landlord got the rent he wanted but he lost out on 4-5 months' rental income....between 30,000 and 37,500 AED.

Astonishing.







I also see that they are willing to leave the apartment vacant for a few months just to obtain a few extra thousand dirhams not realizing the money they lost out on with that decision.
 

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Yeah, you do have a fair point.

I must have called/emailed a minimum of 30 agents before finally finding the apartment I wanted. Out of 30 agents only one person walked away with the commission.

When someone rings you asking about a flat, you know the odds of that person actually signing the lease is so low and you also know that there's a half dozen other agents with the same listing all fielding calls from prospective tenants, so it's hard to get too motivated when it comes to customer service.

Not that I'm justifying the appalling state of behaviour, conduct and ethics among many agents in Dubai, but it is a dog eat dog world for these people.

The problem Indo is that people who do DO the work (like me, well hopefully) generally work in the higher end of the market because the rewards are a bit better, for what is a hit and miss way of earning an income. I have asked my colleague to contact you again.....
 

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Yeah, you do have a fair point.

I must have called/emailed a minimum of 30 agents before finally finding the apartment I wanted. Out of 30 agents only one person walked away with the commission.

When someone rings you asking about a flat, you know the odds of that person actually signing the lease is so low and you also know that there's a half dozen other agents with the same listing all fielding calls from prospective tenants, so it's hard to get too motivated when it comes to customer service.

Not that I'm justifying the appalling state of behaviour, conduct and ethics among many agents in Dubai, but it is a dog eat dog world for these people.
I actually went through the same experience as Indo looking in the same area, even though I am in the field so to speak. That was the inspiration behind the ultimate guide sticky I wrote....
 

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That showes that even the property crisis has not changed anything to positive.
It is getting worse. Every Landlord in collaboration with the real estate agent is trying to squeeze as much money out of us as possible. Lying, cheating, are common tools in this market.

Thats why I have an allergy against real estate agents, big time...!
 

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Thats why I have an allergy against real estate agents, big time...!
It happens in any occupation where remuneration is largely from commission. The motivation isn't to do a good job or provide a service to the customer, it's to make the sale and put food on the table.

Recruitment consultants are the worst.

The Financial Services advisors are bad too, but it's easy to tell them where to go, unfortunately you need to rely on the recruiters if you want a job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The problem Indo is that people who do DO the work (like me, well hopefully) generally work in the higher end of the market because the rewards are a bit better, for what is a hit and miss way of earning an income. I have asked my colleague to contact you again.....
She did and I think I will expand my search to include more areas of Dubai. Thanks.

I actually went through the same experience as Indo looking in the same area, even though I am in the field so to speak. That was the inspiration behind the ultimate guide sticky I wrote....

I read your sticky and one thing I would like clarification on.....
Also try to only see properties that an agent has direct, as if there are more agents invloved they will try to charge more commisssion to make it worthwhile.
How would we know what agents have a direct property listing? This information is not listed and aside from the common, "Agents Excuse" or "No Agents" how would one determine if a listing is direct. Also, do the above references usually mean that the listing is direct?
 

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If you are thinking of other areas, another friend of mine has moved to Business Bay. The apartments have a funny name that I cannot remember but they are opposite the cheese grater building and you deal direct with the building management. If you don't mind the fact that there is no infrastructure there, the apartments are stunning, high tech, with massive balconies.
 

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Hehe, glad you knew what i was talking about and have just remembered it's called Ubora. She has a two bed with a massive maid's room and more bathrooms than you would know what to do with and I think it's around AED 70 to 75K. But I think they may have gone up. The apartments are really well finished and the master bedroom has a fantastic bathroom cum wet room. Really impressed with it plus they take dogs.
 

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Hehe, glad you knew what i was talking about and have just remembered it's called Ubora. She has a two bed with a massive maid's room and more bathrooms than you would know what to do with and I think it's around AED 70 to 75K. But I think they may have gone up. The apartments are really well finished and the master bedroom has a fantastic bathroom cum wet room. Really impressed with it plus they take dogs.
that sounds lovely, many thanks for the info :) I have a friend in that area who might be needing to move somewhere bigger so that sounds like a great option :)
 

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dizzyizzy said:
that sounds lovely, many thanks for the info :) I have a friend in that area who might be needing to move somewhere bigger so that sounds like a great option :)
 happy to help. Hope it works out.
 

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Best to try go direct to the Mgmt company direct why pay the estate agent 5% for letting you into a property and do nothing. Best go direct to buildings and see the security guys and ask them who to deal with.

I went to BH today the guy was so laid back and couldn't wait to get rid of me useless, Refuse to pay these estate agents pointless waste of money and time, I have yet to find an agent who can show me properties in Soul Al Bahar, as for other places I met an agent the other day and her response to me was if you dont take it they will go, simple

Thinking of opening a proper agent if anyone is interested
 

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BedouGirl said:
If you are thinking of other areas, another friend of mine has moved to Business Bay. The apartments have a funny name that I cannot remember but they are opposite the cheese grater building and you deal direct with the building management. If you don't mind the fact that there is no infrastructure there, the apartments are stunning, high tech, with massive balconies.
You are talking about UBORA Tower. Yes, they Re excellent and the developer/ management rents the. Directly.
 

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The problem Indo is that people who do DO the work (like me, well hopefully) generally work in the higher end of the market because the rewards are a bit better
I understand your point, honestly the standard commission of 5% (I don't know if it's imposed by law?) is quite low, especially for small properties, for the agent to make a living. In Italy for example the standard market one is 1 month by the owner and 1 month by who rents, that works out at about 16% total.

I would gladly pay more than 5% (especially since my company reimburse the agents fee up to 15% of annual rent) for an hassle free experience, but apparently the market is not mature enough to sustain this kind of agent, especially on the lower end of the market, and then also the landlords seem idiotic and unable to do any basic math as already reported before.

For this reason myself I will probably resort renting directly by the developer, or going trough common friends, stuff like that.
 
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