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In recent days, I have had some interesting chats with other foreign investors. We were all somewhat dis-satisfied with the quality of service that we are getting from property agents in the Philippines.

We agreed that it might make sense to cooperate in coming up with a list of things that we expect from property agents who assist us as Buyers, Sellers, tenants, or landlords.  (There is also some responsibility on the client's part too, and I will plan to work that into this thread, and the final bullet points.)

I see this as a longer term project, to refine these points into something useful.  Which might even one day be handed out to agents that we want to work with.  But you have to start somewhere, right?

... so here is my first draft effort ...

DRAFT / What Buyers & Sellers want from their Property Agents v1.00

Especially for Professional-level Buyers & Sellers in the Secondary Market

+ A professional agent with a license, and strong LOCAL KNOWLEDGE of the area of interest to the Buyer.  Or one who truly understand the merits of the unit that a Seller is trying to resell.

This would include knowledge of the buildings, the flat layouts, the history, and a good and realistic idea of recent transactions: Selling levels and Rental rates.  It would help a lot if the agent can give a list of recent transactions.  Even better would be if they have keys, and are able to show units immediately.  This may require the agent to be living in the building, or to have a physical office presence nearby - so that Sellers will have enough confidence that the agent can really serve them that they will be willing to surrender a key to their unit. (An agent who has never been inside the unit, or a similar unit in the same building.  Or worse yet, one who has never visited the building itself, does not inspire confidence.)

/ NOTE: The hyper-local focus may be less important for a new project, where nothing has been turned over.  In such a case, the showroom and brochure may be best information that anyone has. Even so, a deep knowledge of the area around a new project will help the agent to "sell the area" to potential buyers. /

+ MISSION : The best way to win over a client, is for the agent to behave as if they think of the client as a long term client, who may do multiple transactions over a period of years. A long term relationship may be built up most naturally when the client feels they were given a full and realistic picture of what they are buying. And because they have made money on previous transactions with the same agent.

No property buyer wants to be treated like they a mere transaction provider, who is there to be harvested as easily as possible, and at the highest possible price (and highest commission.). On the other hand, a decent client will understand that an agent needs to make money too, and their time is valuable and should not be wasted on extensive and fruitless "property hunts."  Thus, a good starting point may not be a viewing lots of flats, but rather an honest conversation, about what the buyer (or seller) is aiming to achieve and how the agent can genuinely help in that effort

+ An agent needs to have a good working knowledge of recent transaction prices.  A good agent should refuse to take a SALES Listing where the price is significantly more than 10% or so above what they think they can achieve.  If an agent does take a listing, and no serious buyers have viewed the flat within 3-4 weeks, they agent should be prepared to give up the listing.  An agent who has no idea of where the buyer might come from and what the price "should be", and is merely passing the listing "into their network" should not be used,  The Seller should seek a different agent with better knowledge of the market for that property.


+++ NOTES, on other points that I will try to work into this...

They mostly came from some viber chats I had


If the Agent has both the  buyer and seller as clients, then the Agent should aim for a realistic and fair selling prices and full disclosure about market conditions and the positive and negative attributes of the property

The Agent needs a strong knowledge of documentation, the mechanics of the selling process, including financing (if relevant) and title transfer issues and the likely timeline for that,  Both buyer and seller should be briefed on these issues by the agent

+ I sold 10 properties in Hong Kong, and would not waste my time with agents who really did not know where the market was (in terms of price levels.)  It showed they did have not contact with many actual buyers - and maybe not enough contact with reality

+ (For a particular property we were looking at): A good agent should be telling their client: P12M = 11m + 1M is realistic.

And the agent might suggest to the Seller, that they could expect to be getting bids at P9-10M. If they see something that close, they should be prepared to negotiate.  That is how an agent should set expectations. Other advice to the Seller might be: Negotiate seriously against the best bid(s) you get in next 60-90 days.  If you can get the a satisfactory price within that time frame, consider to rent out the unit.

+ Price is negotiable.  But if you start too high, you will likely get no action at all.

+ Another approach is to aim for (as an example) a 7% yield.  So maybe assuming a Rental of P60K without parking... P60k x12= p720/ .07= p10.3m + add maybe P1M for parking, and you have P11.3M. Offer at P11.95M, and see if you get any nearby bids. If I was the agent, I would tell the seller that.
+ Thing is, many Filipino agents are too agreeable, and will not tell a client if I have an excessive price or not. (Some do not even know.)

+ LOCAL knowledge. Transparency

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Possible Topics for our Makati area Property Meet-up Next Saturday:

We have two members of our group (perhaps more), who are considering selling their properties
at decent (high?) yields and with seller finance. I want to talk about what the Seller finance
might look like, and the best way to market these properties.  There are also some other related
issues, suchs as WHEN will the Capital Gain tax be paid, and WHEN will the title be turned over?.
The proposed transactions will also have to be documented.  What will the documentation look like?
The basic concept might be something like the 10-10-10 financing arrangement that our
good member Noli has mentioned. But no one will want to wait 10 years for a Title transfer,
and the BIR may want to invalidate these transactions if they are too slow to close.

Probably a 2-3 year term would be the maximum.

BEST PRACTICE for Estate Agents in the secondary market
I am working up a little DRAFT of the mission and principles that I would like to see used by agents
that I work with in the secondary property market (I might be: a buyer or seller... or introducer.)
I would like to have people read this ahead of time, and ask for comments on how it can be improved.
If the Saturday group agrees, I will probably read through each point, and ask for comments.
QUESTION: how do we find (or create?) agents who will follow these principles?


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(I decided to bring this thread over from the Private part of my website, to the Public part... @ counter was at 16 views)

I want to remind people that there is a better and more cooperative way of agents dealing with clients, then looking them as "Leads" who need to be pushed through the "selling process" as quickly as possible

When I bought and sold 10 properties in HK, I created good relationships with many agents, by thinking about their requirements too.

"A decent client will understand that an agent needs to make money too, and their time is valuable and should not be wasted on extensive and fruitless 'property hunts.' "

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Another idea of Best practice

Seven Real Estate Customer Service Best Practices And Principles ...

Jul 13, 2017 - There's no industry where customer service (client service, if you prefer) is more essential than it is in real estate–an opinion I've found support ...
If you work in real estate, the principles and best practices I offer below will put you on your way to building a superior level of client service, thereby creating loyal customers, generating word of mouth marketing, and building passionate brand ambassadorship.
1. Respond quickly.
2. Anticipate client wishes rather than just responding to them.
3. Share information with clients—the more the better.
4. Be patient when filling positions in your real estate firm. In a real estate firm that’s aiming for superb service, a single disagreeable or unresponsive team member can erode client loyalty and team morale.
5. Completely nail your hellos and goodbyes. Research shows that clients remember the first and last minutes of a service encounter more vividly—and for longer—than the rest of it.
6. Strive to remember—and acknowledge—each returning client in a personal manner. *
7. Don’t just benchmark your service level against the prevailing standards at other real estate firms. It’s time to raise your game and broaden your insights. Benchmark yourself against the best practices
* hmm,  Does he mean: LISTEN carefully to what a client needs, and ask the Right questions
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SELLING TIPS from the Last Makati Real Estate MEET-UP
We discussed the secondary market at the most recent Real Estate meetup.

I asked a guy who has just made a Big Sale in the secondary market, (in a lunch AFTER the Meetup) what his Biggest tips were. 

HIS TIPS /He said...
1. Ask to see the Broker's ID license, and take a picture of it
2. Ask what the agent has sold locally, what the prices were, and when?
3. Ask what steps he/she will take to sell YOUR property

I think these are pretty good questions to ask, and I invite friendly agents seeking specific business within our group to answer these points
One I chatted with, offered the following comment:

Secondary Market sales - Some agents Like it !
INTERESTING attitude expressed by an agent I am talking to…
“It is an experience or feeling that I will never have selling developer inventory.
With developers, its just numbers, quotas, agent is just a statistic”
“When agent sells a secondary listing, there is something there that cant be measured by money’

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