Real Estate is a Funny Business
As top real estate consultants in Mumbai, we are privileged to meet with and interact with some of the most wonderful real estate agents in the whole world! On the other hand, we also deal with some of the shrewdest agents who refuse to honour agreements and do not think anything of stealing our clients! That is the nature of the business. However we are never too hard on professionals who choose to behave unethically because in the business of real estate in India and all over the world it is every man on his own. Instances of unethical and selfish behaviour is also common whenever there is money involved. We on the other hand believe as educated and informed professionals, we do not have to conduct our businesses greedily. By conducting our business and our personal lives with ethics and principles, we believe that we are likely to stand out in a crowd when it is most important.
Real estate is also a funny business. Clients can change loyalty at anytime and our clients at any point of time can also become some other estate consultancy’s client and vice versa! So when we find a loyal client, we treasure them because they are the people who send us referrals and remember us when they require the services of a real estate agent again. In sales-oriented jobs where large commissions are involved, it is difficult to trust anyone. We always tell interns and young agents to resist the temptation to be honest with others and be straightforward in all business dealings. It is the only way to be successful.
A Fair Start
Anyone entering the real estate business in India has a unique opportunity for a fresh start to a growing career. Regardless of whether one is starting off in this business as a fresh college graduate or whether someone is contemplating a career-switch, a fresh start affords opportunities to conduct business in a fair and ethical manner. Regardless of what one may have done in the past or how one may have conducted a previous business, one can always start afresh on the right foot. This quality is especially important for a young real estate agent to cultivate because of the bad reputation that our breed of consultants have acquired in India over the years. People in India more than ever want to do business with people they can trust rather than the old days and even today where sometimes a handshake does not mean what it used to.
For new agents, setting standards of excellence and ethics right from the very starting point of a career can be as crucial as setting financial goals. There are a few things that a real estate agent must never get involved in. Let us enunciate them in bold below:
- You will always disclose the truth to you clients.
- You will always put the needs of your clients first.
- You will never lie to a client in order to make a sale.
I could actually write a whole book on the things that a broker must avoid but suffice it to say that you need to set your own standards as a real estate consultant and abide by them without fail at all times. And if you are ever placed in an uncomfortable situation with a client or fellow broker, our advice: walk away!
Tips For Real Estate Agents
Treat Others Well
Always treat others as you yourself wish to be treated. Never give more consideration to one client over another. Treat everyone as equal. While a commission on selling a Rs. 15 Cr home can be wonderful, you will be likely to gain more referral business from the person who is buying a 1 Cr property who is being treated as if he / she is buying a 15 Cr home! As a high end property consultant, I can tell you that people who are in the market for buying high end homes and apartments often do not notice exceptional customer service because they are used to getting it all the time. But those who rarely make big purchase are more than likely to remember the people who gave them a royal treatment and service.
People Dont like to Be Lied To
In other words, everyone wants to be told the truth. If you always say the truth, it may cost you the occasional sale, but it will also earn you many others. When you are working with a client, you are under obligation to disclose to the client anything that you might know is wrong with the property that he / she wants to buy and if you fail to do this, it will cost you dearly in the future. Make it a point to always disclose everything that you are aware of about a property to your buyer and always be honest with your sellers about the chances of selling their property. There is simply no substitute in this world for honest and transparent business dealings.
Buyers and Sellers Are More Informed
In today’s interconnected world, both buyers and sellers are more knowledgeable about real estate than ever before. The internet can educate everyone on all aspects of a real estate transaction and one can dig up more of past information oneself than ever before. The days of bluffing someone and getting away with it are long over! As a real estate professional, you must know what you are talking about if you want to be successful in the business. You must put in long hours of study and research and gather all the information that you can on your watch and try and study all aspects of a real estate transaction with a fine tooth comb. Do whatever you can to become a master of your domain.
You have a Fiduciary Duty to Uphold
As a real estate agent you have a duty to perform and conduct your business by abiding to the highest moral standards and ethical values. Confidentiality is a must and all your clients deserve to have their records confidential wherever it matters. If a real estate agent cannot uphold his / her fiduciary duties and responsibilities then his / her days as a real estate agent are numbered. Legally you will be expected to abide within the parameters of a client-agent relationship. If you cannot abide by this most important principle, then you have no right to be in the business of real estate.
Pressurizing a Buyer to Buy
A real estate agent is in the business of making a sale and there are times when a buyer will not buy unless he / she is pressured into buying. However the way one does it can cross the line into unethical behaviour. if one lies. Typical sale lies are: ‘there is another offer also on the sale’.
Basically these above pointers should point real estate agents towards leading a more productive and enriching career and point our clients towards real estate agencies who only practise ethical behaviour. It is understandable that most real estate agents and consultancies including us have to hard sell in order to make enough sales to place us among the top real estate agents in Mumbai or whichever city that one operates in. But it is a reminder to everyone to learn the pitfalls of the trade and also to learn how to bring ethical practises into our business In the end we are glad that ethics is our number 1 guiding principle because we know that after a hard day’s work, we can sleep peacefully at night 🙂