Having moved from the UK with his family in 2009 the author has embarked on a complete career change. He entered the estate agency profession with no prior experience and little knowledge of the Hong Kong property market. He would like to share his experience during the past 2 years.
Since joining Century 21 Alliances Realty he has learnt and gained substantial insight of this industry. He has realized that joining a company which provides great support has really helped in achieve a good sales result in a short period of time. If one is new to this industry it is very important to have a mentor who is willing to provide advice and support as there is a lot to learn and take in, as this is an extremely competitive industry. Without this support an agent can find it very difficult to adapt and pick-up the good working practices and product knowledge. His mentor has guided him step by step from preparing for the exams prior to getting an estate agent’s licence, through to receiving his first enquiry, to preparing properties for viewing, negotiating and completing the various forms and agreements to finally handover of the property to the new tenants or buyers.
Hong Kong is a very compact city and a good agent will need to learn and familiarize with the many properties including apartment size, apartment views, facilities etc. a building has to offer. A lot of client will want to know information about the surrounding areas, such as schools, shops and transport links. Also an agent will need to keep abreast with the latest market trends as potential tenants and buyers will want to know how the market has preformed and which direction it is heading.
During the past 2 years he has seen many new colleagues come and go, however with persistence and encouragement from the company one can be very successful at this business and the rewards can be very great as well as the satisfaction of completing deals. It is important that an agent identify and concentrate on their preferred market and make good use of the company’s resources and marketing tools.
He is very fortunate in that he is a native English speaker as well as fluent in Cantonese, therefore together with the company’s strong database in properties in the Mid-level, South Side, The Peak and the Pokfulam areas he has been able to combine them to identify a niche market for himself as these are the location a lot of expatriates prefer.
He has seen how the Hong Kong market is very much different from that of the UK where he has bought and leased his own house. The property in Hong Kong moves very quickly and while negotiating deals, time is of the essence. One of the main reason, as he has heard from colleagues who have worked in many of the larger agencies is that agents will use all manner of tricky techniques to close deals, however if one is honest and impartial then one will gain in the long run from more referrals from tenants, landlords and owners alike.
The author is now looking to expand his team and looking for candidates who are enthusiastic about the property market and can work under their own initiative. The right person should show an interest in luxury properties as he wants his team to focus on this market. More importantly an agent should consider this job as his own business, as he/she will be responsible for their own time and the amount of effort they put in will usually reflect the amount of commission they can earn which can be limitless.
Martyn Liu, BBA
Century 21 Alliances Realty Ltd
Agent Blog: http://www.c21arl.com/agent_blog.php?agent=MARTYN
Reference website: http://www.property.hk/article_content.php?author=PHK_MISC&com=&id=16689