Agent Provocateur

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 11 years ago.

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  • #51425
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    James point on agents on the last posting is a correct one.

    The only way an agent can truly gain respect or indeed make a living (let along any money) is to have longevity here on the coast. Also, all the young cocky whippersnappers who think that they can so easily translate all they learnt at Club le Costa or Marriott can think again. Its not time share.

    Buying a home in Spain is fraught enough with all the red tape and there are too many “ifs and buts” for it to go straightforwardly and it rarely does. I have one client that is still waiting for the deal on a property to go through after nine months and its only a simple two bed apartment, and its empty!! But agents HAVE to realise that the bread and butter of there job is going to be the smaller deals and to forget going after the “big one” as it rarely happens. One agent I employed (and sacked) actually told me that “it wasnt worth his petrol money driving to Duquesa” when I asked to to show an apartment to a client. What he really meant to say was that he didnt think it was worth bothering as the client only had under 200,000 euros and he didn,t think the commission was enough, even if the sale happened.

    Who as an agent on this coast, would NOT drive 20 minutes to show an apartment if it meant that they would get even a few thousand euros? Lots of little deals add up and when the times are lean on the coast, it can be the difference between eating or not for some of them.

    Splitting with other agents has become an issue too. We all split and it works really well when you have a good relationship of trust and respect between agents. I can often call other agents to ask them about values or comparisons and we are all in the same boat. We split because two times nothing is nothing but two times something is something!!

    What I find incredible is WHY the agents all do not collaborate more instead of seeing each other as the enemy. It would make life easier for all. But there is a limit. Turning up to view a villa with five other agents present is absolutely off limits and extremely intimidating for the client who is bound to start doing some sums at that point, let alone feel pressured. Yet this has happened to me and many others.

    If we are supposed to “accredited” to a certain moral code here, then that surely means that we should trust each other? But we don.t do we. Its just another false gimmick that doesn,t work. Its not tackling the root of the problem.

    There should be agents seminars, regular meetings between companies and some sort of impartial board that regulates and supports these agents. Its also a VITAL responsibility that the managers of these property companies have and it would all be for the good of the future here if they chose their agents more carefully. Some of the idiots I have met and collaborated with is beyond belief. One guy I know who owns a large company here told me once that he would “give a blonde a job on the street if she had big tits”. A short term view that would certainly get a lot of viewings but what sort of long term attitude is that? Shall all the would be agents who cannot get work just go to Supersol and buy a pair of melons, stick them down their tops and THEN go for interviews? Blimey. If its that simple maybe they should post the advertising for jobs in Playboy instead, not the Sur.

    Anyone who is thinking of coming to Spain to live and work as an agent is in for a rough ride to start with. You must have at least three months money as you will need one months deposit for rent, one month in advance and one month before you get paid, and thats only if you sell. Many companies do a “claw back” where you can use the company car and you get the amount each month taken off your commissions when they come in. But only companies that believe you can sell will do this as often it can result in no sales at all and the company is out of pocket.

    But mostly, the new agent would be well advised to get themselves a mentor of some kind or a “buddy” who has been around and seen it all before on the coast. Otherwise, they themselves are lambs to the slaughter.

    Someone once said to me about the coast that its a place that turns good people bad. I don.t believe that. You are either like that or your not and many years of living on this coast no matter what I have seen and heard and experienced would never turn me into a lying cheating scumbag who would rob you as soon as look at you. If you have that element of bad in you, then this coast will exploit it, thats for sure. Just beware. This is not the UK. This is the Wild West and pretty soon there will be so many Morrocans, Algerians and just generally migrates here that in ten years time, if the numbers KEEP going up at such an alarming rate, we may have ourselves a lawless society.

    Lets hope not. Its up to us to shape the future of this coast for the better.

  • #60203
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    As an agent, it IS hard to survive when you come down here. You think you are going to make loads of cash from the start and it all goes pear shaped three months on, when the only sales you have in the pipe line are riddled with problems.

    The times I have spent driving about to the Notary, getting paperwork, chasing lawyers, just to get an apartment in order for sale is utterly time consuming. It feels like you offer the whole service, not just the sales negotiating.

    I think its vital to have a back up. Its not so easy when you live from month to month and would advise anyone coming here to start a new job in Spain to have a slush fund for emergencies. With the way the market looks at the moment and the dog eat dog attitude now sales are thin on the ground, I promise you, you will need it!

  • #60210
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Why DON’T I feel sorry for you agents?

  • #60212
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Neither do I. Ask yourself if they are going to tell you the truth. They don’t even get paid if they don’t sell, speaks for itself.

  • #60214
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Exactly! It speaks volumes.

  • #60228
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well not all agents are bad on this coast. Some of us are just plain right honest. Maybe thats why we are not living off some boat in PB.We are not all bad you know. Its the Costa Sharks that give us hard working lot a hard time. I read this forum because I thought this was about agent or at least on this one. I just work hard against the tide for my family for a better life surrounded by twats all day and one of them is my boss. But it seems that nothing changes. Whats the point of forums then if you are all so pre judgemental? I am just trying to earn a living. Do not feel sorry for me. Its the sharks you should feel sorry for long term.

  • #60229
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Why keep working for them if you don’t like their ethics?

  • #60230
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You make it sound like there are loads of jobs out there that are worth having. As far as I have managed to find there are good agencies to work for in property on this coast and most agents know who they are but if it was as easy at that to find one with a job going, I would. Clearly.

    I am always looking for a better opportunity and a boss who appreciates me. Who isnt? Its either that or Cyprus or Bulgaria spose.

  • #60231
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    [quote) Whats the point of forums then if you are all so pre judgemental? I am just trying to earn a living…. (unquote)

    Richard….

    The point of forums is not just to sing praises of people like you. You are apparently one of the ‘good ones’.

    The main point of forums like this is to share information about the bad ones – of which there seems loads – because whether you accept it or not, there are thousands of us buyers who have been conned, lied to and screwed out of millions of pounds (if it was all added up) by self-serving sharks i.e. the lying agents, lawyers and developers.

    Of course they are not all like this, but there are so many. This forum does a great job where peole who are all in the ‘same boat’ can share advice, info. and knowledge re. the bad ones – and tries to support those who are near despair/nervouse breakdowns about losing their life-savings to people who SHOULD BE IN JAIL.

    I’ve seen on this forum where someone who nearly bought on a development via a lying agent backed out at the last minute because they found out via here that there was no building licence in place and that the developement concerned had an uncertain future of ever being finished. Did the agent concerned mention this problem? Of course not – all he wanted was his commission…..! Just one person ‘saved’ from making such a serious, (and expensive) wrong decision is worth all the exchanges on this forum.

    Do you get the main idea of a forum now?

    Don’t be so defensive – this forum is obviously not for you. Try and find a forum that is specifically for singing your praises.

    If I sound a cynic – it is because of members of your profession and the other two in the triangle (lawyers and developers). I have not only lost money, but also my health over the Spanish government’s failure to regulate your industry properly.

  • #60232
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Forgive me if I appear naive but I thought that forums on these sites were for individuals to air their views and opinions about the good and the bad!
    In that way readers can form their own judgement about the particular issues being discussed.

    It is a pity that much of what passes for information seems to be in the form of defensive responses to an “attack is the best form of defence” communication strategy.

  • #60233
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Couldnt agree more. I am not “attacking” anyone, just my own profession and I DO regard myself as one of the good ones. Any suggestions to weed out the sharks gets my vote any time. I think its a disgusting that people have lost so much money and still are in some cases and the agents really dont care as long as they get paid. Agents SHOULD have a duty to act in the interest of there client, not just lining there pockets. My point is I think its still a long way to go filter out all the bad from the good here and that includes developers. As there are so many cases of people who have been conned and misguided into buying its no wonder agents have a bad reputation of not being trusted.

    My point is – this forum is an excellent way to vent those views from all sides, including the victims like the last post who I sympathise with. But previous negative comments about “dont feel sorry for agents” is unnecessary. No ones asking you to are they? But can anyone see how hard it is to try a provide a good service to the client as an agent, when the buyer is fully aware of the horror stories and the conmen that work this coast? Building trust between buyer and agent is harder now, with good reason.

    I think James earlier point was a correct one. A slow down on the coast to correct the bubble is maybe long term what we need. The agents should be the ambassadors of the property market here and reflect it. A slow down at least might see the sharks off to waters where there are richer pickings, hopefully out of Spain for good.

    I think this is an excellent forum. Nothing wrong with a venting of opinion.

  • #60234
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If developers built only when the proper paperwork was in place, agents would not be in the position of selling properties without licences etc.

    If Town Hall planning departments stopped unlicensed building immediately it began (or began to be advertised for sale), developers would not take the risk.

    If Regional government instructed local Town Halls to do this – and they are making enough money in taxes on new builds to afford the extra staff – the supply of unlicenced off-plan homes would be cut off.

    Am I just being incredibly naive?

    Tilly

  • #60236
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Richard wrote:

    You make it sound like there are loads of jobs out there that are worth having. As far as I have managed to find there are good agencies to work for in property on this coast and most agents know who they are but if it was as easy at that to find one with a job going, I would. Clearly.

    I am always looking for a better opportunity and a boss who appreciates me. Who isnt? Its either that or Cyprus or Bulgaria spose.

    Why not work for yourself?

  • #60243
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Work for myself. Emm. Well for starters, most agents need some sort of base to work from and offices are not cheap. Plus the one I worked for this time last year was a great little outfit but they didnt last like a lot of others, purely down to cashflow through the lean times. How is anyone to compete with bigger agents who have probably huge investments to carry them through the bad times? Advertising isnt cheap and apart from some like minded agents I know who would be only to willing to go it alone, its not just agents you need to run an office.

    I and a few other mates have thought about it. How do you suggest I go about it? Do you talk from experience Bert? You make it sound so simple. Any advice from anyone who has done this would be welcome. If only to point out the pitfalls.

  • #60247
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Have to say in the uk we have a problem with some doctors killing patients but do we trust are doctor, stop banging on about all agents, as this is the wronge imformation to be giving out,HAVE TO SAY FRIENDS OF OURS have bought and agents were 100% ok

  • #60251
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes well doctors that kill their patients are not widely complained about on forums (unless its the mother in law) as its extremely rare and not representative of the profession as a whole. On the other side of the coin, everyones complaining about the bad ones here, whatever profession. Maybe its because this is a property forum and agents are part of that that we are “banging on”. They deserve a good panning, if only to get rid.

    It would be curious to compare what the buyers THINK they pay in agents commission to what they ACTUALLY pay. The worst case I know of is an agent that over valued an apartment he knew he had a buyer for, top loaded the price, evented “splits” with imaginary agents and this shark pocketed nearly 16% in commission.

    I think there is a term for this. Extortion.

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