[ecis2016.org] We examine how real estate brokers can deal with queries from home buyers about project-related issues arising at the developer’s end that are beyond the broker’s control
Although every mistake cannot be justified, real estate brokers are expected to play the devil’s advocate, more often than not, says Ranjan Vatsala, a property agent. “After all, we have to sell a house – the most aspirational product on earth – where the buyers bombard us with the questions. It may be about the given project; it may be about the resale value of the builder’s previous project; or it may be about the overall brand reputation of the builder. We have our task cut out in any case,” adds Vatsala. The problem is aggravated, if the broker is conscious of the fact that there are faults with the builder or project. While a real estate broker, more often than not, may be considered as the least significant player in the property transaction, he remains the builder’s best defence mechanism in front of the buyers. A real estate agent has to use all his marketing skills, to make sure the sales lead actually ends in a conversion.
You are reading: Common project-related issues and how brokers can deal with it
While the challenges may be many, there are some common issues that any serious home buyer would raise. Here is a look at three key challenges that confront property agents.
Challenge 1: The project is delayed and hence risky
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Defense: This is the most common fault that the home buyers find in an under-construction project. As a vast majority of launched projects are delayed, the buyers’ apprehension with the builder is also legitimate. However, as a property agent one should never try to defend it in comparison with other projects that are more delayed. A buyer is not on the house hunt, to assess which builder has bigger fault lines than yours.
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Accept the reality and be candid with the reasons – it could be anything from land acquisition cases in the given micro-market to the approval delays in the given city and even liquidity challenges in the initial years. The best scenario for the broker, is to convince the buyer that he is not bluffing, is ready to accept the faults and then commits that moving forward, the apartment will be delivered on the promised time.
Challenge 2: The project is offering possession but the amenities are missing
Defense: This is one of the most common complaints of the home buyers, especially in markets like Delhi NCR, where the handing over of the apartment may start, before many of the amenities are in place. Denying the factual position will only drive the buyers away. Instead, be honest and admit the reasons that are justified. For example, if the project is among the first to be delivered in comparison to the other launched projects in the same year, the buyer will accept the defense that the focus has been to first offer the possession, since the initial buyers have waited for long.
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Challenge 3: The builder’s projects have the least resale value in the secondary market
Defense: While it would be a marketing failure to deny it, accepting it could put-off the potential home buyer. What could the agent do in this case? A lower resale value in the secondary market could be a result of anything – poor construction, or lack of amenities and lifestyle, or life of the property, or wear and tear of the property.
Whatever be the case, never try to deceive the buyer who is making a statement based on the facts on ground and his research of the builder and his properties. Accept the reality and offer the best possible and realistic answer to the same. The lower resale value in the secondary market could be a result of many reasons. If the builder has sold it at the most affordable rate in that given locality, it might be a case of lower resale value but better capital appreciation in percentage terms. Similarly, the wear and tear of the property and lesser amenities and lifestyle could be a result of the residents’ welfare association (RWA) not maintaining it properly, after the builder exited the project by handing it over to the society.
How brokers can deal with flaws in a property
- Accept the reality that the project of the builder has the least resale value but offer convincing reasons for the same.
- The lack of initial amenities in the project may be due to the builder’s focus on delivering the project first.
- Accept the delays thus far, offer valid reasons and commit that there would be no delays in future.
How can a broker deal with buyer’s queries about the builder?
A real estate broker should maintain transparency and address buyers’ queries in an honest manner.
What should a broker do if the project is delayed?
If a project is delayed, the broker should communicate the same to the prospective buyer along with factual explanations for the delay.
What should a broker do if a property has no takers?
A broker can market such a property by comparing it with other similar properties and listing the advantages that the unit offers over others.
(The writer is CEO, Track2Realty)
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