Provided by many qualified real estate brokers in GCC, brokerage in the Gulf region is a service that involves comparative market analysis, facilitation of a purchase or sale as well as managing, exchanging and auctioning property. Some real estate brokers also provide consultation based on a fee along with taking care of the client’s’ property exposure too.

Some brokers work as agents for buyers, only representing them, while others work as dual agents who work for both buyer and seller. Invest-Gate gives you the complete picture.

Closer Look at UAE Brokerage Market

Real estate brokers in Dubai are regulated by Law No. 85/2006, under which brokers may not carry out brokerage activity in the emirate unless they are licensed by and registered in the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

Aiming at regulating the real estate industry in Abu Dhabi, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan also issued Real Estate Law No. 3/2015, making it mandatory for all property professionals, including brokers, to be licensed by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT) before carrying out any business activities.

“As one of the oldest and most trusted real estate service providers in the UAE and a subsidiary of Emaar, we see a strong complementary relationship between roles of brokers and developers,” Mohab Samak, general manager of Hamptons International, tells Invest-Gate.

“In any property ecosystem, it is important to have stakeholders, such as agencies and property advisors, to deliver value for the end-user,” he notes. “We offer expert consultancy on selling and renting properties, and add value to the developers. We provide clients with stronger customer leads in addition to supporting them in delivering a seamless customer experience.”

“Buyers today have the opportunity to purchase directly from developers or through an agency such as Hamptons, with no additional cost. Our value-addition is in offering them informed insights on various properties, and tailoring purchase options that meet their lifestyle aspirations and investment goals,” Samak explains.

“Our commitment is to promote customer satisfaction so as to have high regard for the counsel we offer,” Samak notes.

Between January and the end of June this year, over AED 820 mn worth of brokerage commissions were made in Dubai’s real estate market, according to a report by Dubai Land Department (DLD). Dubai has 5,856 active brokers and 2,340 offices registered so far in its database.

“Property brokers play an integral part in the overall dynamics of the real estate industry. They have in-depth industry insights and understanding of all market trends, and this is of critical importance in driving the success of real estate launches,” a spokesperson for Emaar Properties tells Invest-Gate.

“At Emaar, we organize events dedicated to brokers coinciding with the launch of our major projects to inform them of our developments and unique selling propositions,” the spokesperson adds.

“Customers have more choices – to buy directly or from brokers, based on their preference. Many investors actually prefer the counsel of brokers,” Emaar’s spokesperson notes.

“With clear guidelines in place set by the government, customers have the opportunity now to make informed choices about any property purchase. As important stakeholders in the industry, we see positive synergies in their role and value to the property sector,” Emaar adds.

Watch Out Trends in Saudi Real Estate Market

KSA and UAE differ greatly when it comes to selling properties. Buying is not a common practice in the Saudi market. You can see very few “high-street” brokers, Arron Browne, managing director of Sloanes Real Estate KSA, says.

In Saudi Arabia, around 53% of Saudi families live in rented accommodation and rent disputes there can take up to a year to be resolved, the National reported, based on governmental data. With the rising demand on rents and the need to regulate the real estate rental market, the Ministry of Housing set up Ejar Program, a rental services e-network, in June 2012 to protect the rights of owners and tenants and control prices.

“KSA is quickly realizing that there is a need for property consultants, who can be transparent in their advice on where buyers can invest their money,” he adds.

In February 2017, the ministry said in a statement it launched an e-portal, through which brokers can register to be certified. For registration eligibility, the broker should be a Saudi citizen, who completed the qualification course and the brokerage should have a valid commercial registration that includes managing and renting owned, rented residential, or non-residential properties, in addition to having a verified national address as provided by Saudi Post.

Licensed brokers would be able to sign rent contracts online during the first quarter of 2017, Mohammed Al-Bati, the head of the Ejar Program said earlier in a statement released back in February.  There are around 1,086 certified brokerage firms in Saudi Arabia, according to the Ejar system’s website.

In 2014, the Saudi ministry of housing made it mandatory for all real estate firms to join its electronic Ejar system, which seeks to regulate the rental market with measures to protect the rights of owners and tenants, and control prices.

“The GCC has now a more controlled and normally functioning property market, where demand and supply dictate market activity and developers are more realistic with prices and delivery promises,” Arron adds.

Developers are a great means of going ‘direct to source’ for the best deals on their own products. However, brokers also provide an unbiased consultation on what the rest of the market offers, as well as, price comparisons in either similar or alternative locations within city or region, he explains.

“When developers’ sales departments and brokers work together effectively, they give investors a complete and transparent insight into property options in either KSA or UAE,” Arron concludes.