THE FACTS ABOUT CERTAIN REAL ESTATE AGENT TACTICS
A wolf in sheeps clothing
I'm sorry but I have to get this off my chest! As readers will know, my wife Karen sponsors this website as part of the service she provides to her clients in the hope that they like what they see on the site, without any requirement or conditions of using her services as a real estate agent. The site is intended to inform, and educate, whilst having the ability to expand her real estate brand awareness with the aim that users will at some point come to her for property advice. A relatively simple and I believe admirable offering.
The other side of this is, in my mind and I am biased, my wife cares not only for her clients but also for how she is perceived for her business ethics. Ethics seem to be very limited in general in this industry and keeping one's head above the waterline of what is the standard cesspool of things underhand and foul play is difficult as the deck of cards of the real estate agency world in Mauritius is not evenly stacked. However, Karen's sole focus is her clients and nothing else, so here is just my take on one of the underhand practices you will come across.
image: Pinocchio business practice
How should they work together?
How do real estate companies work together?
The right question to ask is, "How should they work together"? As you know there are two parties involved in every property rental or sale, the owner of the property and the buyer/renter. The owner will list the property with one or several real estate agents and in an ideal world, the same agent would also find the buyer or renter. I say "in an ideal world" as there are two commercial sides to this transaction.
Pre-agreed fees will be paid to the real estate agent separately from both the parties so what should happen is that if one agent brings a buyer/renter to another agent the fees are therefore separated, the listing agent is paid by the owner, and the other agent is paid by the buyer/renter.
image: Poor standards of ethics in Mauritius Real Estate
What we are talking about here are agents whose business tactics and ethics are based on databases and claiming they are a registered CLIENT of theirs. Say you have a potential client that you have been working with for several months and have spent many hours searching for their perfect property, you have shown them around numerous properties and driven them to different locations and regions of the island spending time getting to know them and their families. This is the part that most people don't see looking into the life of a real estate agents life. For every client, there are potentially ten that come to nothing, so when you have a client that you want to show a property to another agent and they reply "we already have them on our files" what do you do, give the client away or take them elsewhere?
Whats even worse, and in my mind tantamount to ambulance chasing is when you make such an enquiry about a property and ask if the client is listed with them, they reply "we already have them on our files" then the next day they send an email to your potential client you are working with along with the details of the same property you were enquiring about on their behalf!
house for rent in mauritius
image: Fingers Crossed Word Doesn't Get Out
Even to the extent real estate companies will use husband and wife listings as an excuse to say "we already have them on our files" meaning say, John Smith of 999 Rose Lane, Durban has made the only enquiry 18 months ago and you are asking if Anne Smith of 999 Rose Lane, Durban which is one of your registered prospects that you are working with to find a property is registered with them today, the answer will come back "we already have them on our files".
image: Ambulance Chasing
Karen's company (propertyfinder.mu) has also tried registering a client for a property with another agent under a false name to which they got the response "we already have them on our files"!
What does registering with a real estate company online mean? Well according to some agencies, it means they own you.
Yes, work with an agent or a number of them but don't register online with everybody as it makes their work almost impossible. The agent can not be expected to work without hope of being paid as no one should be, but by registering with everyone that's the position they are facing.
The other thing to do is to insert the below in the comments section if you do register. "I am providing my details based on the sole understanding that I have the right to engage with other real estate agents that may at a later date introduce me to one of your properties and in doing so does not give you or your agency the right to claim me as an existing client".
Good luck with your search.
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