Fancy being a Real Estate Broker in Dubai? - The need to know guide....

Posted on: 27th July 2017

Many people come from overseas to Dubai to work in the real estate sector.  And many fail. Previous sales experience may not count for much here because to be successful in this city, you need to know how it works.

Let’s start with the basics. Being a real estate agent in Dubai does not happen within a retail environment - there are few real estate agencies with shop fronts as in other towns and cities around the world Instead, business is conducted via the Internet, social media, email, telephone, hotel lobbies and coffee shops.  Typical business hours from 9am to 6pm are not respected by the real estate industry where a normal day can exist anywhere along the 24/7/365 range.

The reason for this is simple – most investors live outside the UAE in countries with different time zones who may be thinking about purchasing a property on the weekends (most North American, Indian, and European weekends consist of Saturday and Sunday while Dubai’s weekend begins on Friday with the first day of the working week on Sunday) or back at home after 7pm in the evening.

Agents need to be contactable all day, every day if they wish to begin a sales journey that may result in a satisfactory purchase by an overseas investor.

In addition, maintaining the highest possible standards by delivering world-class service to demanding and discerning customers who expect very high levels of service makes this job extremely difficult to do well.

So, what does it take to be a successful real estate agent in Dubai?

Some previous sales experience may be useful along with local knowledge, integrity, a strong work ethic, patience, self-motivation, and enough resilience to get back on to your feet when you’re knocked back by a fallen sale.

Local knowledge is the #1 asset but getting to know the city, where the key developments are located, how each area works, prices, rents and costs plus minor details like how to travel there efficiently can take anywhere between six months to one year.

Since 2007, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) sets policies and plans to regulate the real estate sector in Dubai.  RERA provides transparency and effectiveness of a legal framework, where everyone involved in the property market can safely conduct business.  To work effectively in the sector, you need to learn how the structured administrative process works and to adhere to it.

Many real estate companies are continuously recruiting local and overseas sales people in order to maximize the target audience across a number of different regions and countries.  Attracted by sometimes exaggerated offers of potential income, reality hits hard when confronted with a low basic and commission based salary which most find difficult to live on in the first six months as they develop their network and establish relationships.

While some previous sales experience may be useful, the truth is that ‘Dubai experience’ is much more important than experience in other countries. As the US novelist Truman Capote once commented about living in a city, you don’t really understand a place until you feel that you “belong to it.” And this takes time - learning to navigate Dubai’s streets and highways is simple using a GPS but understanding its social and organisational culture, its modus operandi, presents a real challenge to establishing a successful career in the Dubai’s real estate sector.