How long have you been in the industry?
"I’ve been in the industry for just under three years."
Why did you decide to become a real estate agent?
"I had been in a different industry back in the UK for sixteen years. I fancied a change, so I came here to see what opportunities there would be for me within that field. The one thing I kept noticing that was proving attractive to me was the real estate market. So, I thought I’d give it a go!"
How would you describe the current property market?
"I think the obvious, and lazy answer, would be to say that it’s coming down. Purely for the reason that it’s been coming down for some time, and a lot of people are still willing it down. As you can probably see from the sales I have done this past month, which was two villas on the Palm, and then two smaller apartments in the Marina, we’ve got big ticket buyers and then smaller, more casual investor type of buyers, coming back into the market at the same time with the confidence to buy. So that to me is a good sign that there is going to be some form of stability going forward."
Tell me about your big achievement? Last month’s big sale(s)
"Two days before heading back to the UK for Christmas, I got an inquiry through Property Finder on some villas I had for sale on the Palm from a person who was here on holiday with his family. I went over various options with him, including some of the larger custom built villas. Within a couple of days of being back home I got a formal offer through for two villas, not just the one. I was trying to handle all the regular objections you get, with various back and forths between buyer and seller, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to deal with these as I would do normally. So, with no financial commitment from the buyer, I made the decision that I needed to be back in Dubai. Within a few hours I was on the plane, heading back to DXB!"
How do you tailor your approach so you set yourself apart?
"I’ve always adopted a ‘customer is king’ style of approach. Sellers and buyers are both important to me, so I always make sure I give them both the attention they deserve. I have a very rigid policy that I go to all my viewings. I don’t over qualify, which is something a lot of agents do here. I simply try to do my best to go above and beyond, treat buyers and sellers, as they should be treated. Like I just said “customer is king!”
"I’ve always adopted a ‘customer is king’ style of approach. Sellers and buyers are both important to me, so I always make sure I give them both the attention they deserve."
Matthew Solomon, Palm Jumeirah Specialist at haus & haus
Any words of advice for someone looking to sell their property in Dubai?
"Pick the right agent or the right agency, don’t go to too many. Pick an agent that you trust. Clearly the market has been up and down, it’s a very volatile market, and it has been for a couple of years now. So you need someone you can trust who will give you honest advice. It might not be the advice that you want to hear, it might be that the property is worth a bit less than what you’d like to sell it for. But chose that guy, listen to him and what advise he has to give, and he will sell it."
What’s your best-negotiating tip?
"Listen. Don’t talk too much. If you listen hard enough and you allow the buyers and sellers to talk, then they will feel more comfortable and more open. Indirectly, through what they’re saying, they will give you the answers that you need, and you will know where you stand on both sides. Listen. 100% that’s the most important tip!"
What’s your favourite thing to do on your days off?
"My brunch days were over long before I even came to Dubai ? I live on the Palm, I spend a lot of time relaxing on the beach!
If you didn’t work in real estate, what career would you pursue?
Honestly, I don’t think I would consider anything else outside of real estate. I have done it now for a few years, and frankly speaking, if I didn’t do a job that involves real estate, I think I’d want to be involved in developing my own small portfolio. I don’t think I would do anything different now!"
What is the question you are most often asked by property seekers?
"What’s the best price? Which is and understandable question, but it’s a difficult one. You’ve got the buyer who’s there to buy, and the seller who’s there to sell. You’ve got neither of the parties there to both “buy and sell.” Again it comes back to the listening approach I mentioned earlier. At the end of the day no one is going to tell you their best price, no one is going to say their maximum budget, that comes out when you find the right buyer for the right property, and then you make it happen."
How big of a role does Property Finder play in your job? What specifically do you use Property Finder for?
"Massive! Obviously the majority of my leads, and our company’s leads come from Property Finder. It plays a very big role at the back end of our business as well: Firstly, I like to use Property Finder to keep a close eye on the properties I have for sale. Particularly Property Finder Manager, I use that as an easy way to manage the portfolio of properties that I am working on. Lead Tracker and Price Finder help me a lot as well in discussing various points with my clients.
My favourite features would probably be the Price Finder, and the Marketing Reports. These have been very useful. I still send them out every week to pretty much all of my sellers. It’s simple, and it’s fact based."
This article was originally published here on propertyfinder.ae/blog