Stickman Readers' Submissions August 2nd, 2013

In Response to “Real Estate Agents in Thailand”

Have read with great interest Stick and another poster's unfortunate experiences with unprofessional rental agents in Bangkok.

Let me start that I fully understand the need to defend the profession by the author of the abovementioned posting.

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What turned me in a wrong way was that it was a vaguely hidden advertisement as the last few paragraphs show and if I understand correctly we are supposed to write our experiences here and not try to advertise our businesses and some arguments were, to be honest, just illogical. <Before the reader goes on, explanation is required here. The person who penned that article sent it to me as an email. I then asked his permission to run it as a reader's submission. He seemed reluctant but eventually agreed after editing it. So for the record it was originalyl sent as email feedback to me and nothng moreStick>

I have no personal experience with real estate agents in Thailand as I personally think it’s foolish to invest money in a place where if you make a small mistake, make by accident a wrong enemy or are just unlucky or in the wrong place in the wrong time you will have to pack your bags at a moment’s notice.

You may ask if I don’t have experience in the real estate market here then why do am I getting involved in the discussion. I’m a real estate agent back in my G7 country with 20 years’ experience and close to 1000 sales so I humbly feel I do have the qualifications to add my two cents.

Getting to the point, the author of the posting is defending his follow agents and like in all professions we have bad and good apples in every industry. From Stick and the second poster's particular experience it was mostly bad or very unprofessional agents.

We may say that job training is rare or non-existent in Thailand and as posted here often it should be of no surprise that many real estate agents are unprofessional here. In my humble opinion we can’t put the agents in the same boat as waiters for example as the real estate agents are just paid exponentially better so we should expect them not only to be professional but listen well to the client as well. Getting dressed in a sexy way and flirting openly just to make a sale is borderline or just crossing a line.

The author of the abovementioned posting is trying to defend his follow agents by arguing that clients are often stupid, don’t know what they want or don’t listen to sincere and good advice from agents.

All this may be true but this doesn’t change the fact of responsibilities of the agents for which I may add we get paid very well. In this profession if you don’t learn quickly that almost always the client is right regardless of the facts and truth you will not be successful as an agent. So arguing that clients don’t know what they want just to defer argument about very unskilled rental agents in Bangkok is way off the mark. This business is a numbers game. You don’t have to make a sale with every client. You just have to win the trust of enough clients to make a living.

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Just because some buyers or renters are clueless doesn’t mitigate the fact that real estate agents in Thailand should at least try to be as professional and attentive to clients as possible. I don’t mean by that showing bigger cleavage or flirting by female agents on the lighter note. I spend a bigger part of the year here and would personally not get involved in my profession here as it seems to be a hard and difficult living.

Just to sidetrack in the end, I have considered buying a small condo as there is ample selection in Pattaya region even for as low as 500k baht but have decided against it for few reasons. One that I mentioned above that nothing is permanent in Thailand and one day you may wake up as an unwanted guest here. Another argument is that prices of rentals are as low as 9k for almost new condos just 10 – 15 minutes’ walk to Walking Street that it seems like an unwise investment. Another point, if for any reasons you have to move, for example a problem ex-girlfriend or noisy neighbours when you rent it’s very easy but when you own it becomes a major problem since we know that selling a property here is a very time-consuming adventure. Last argument is that the construction workmanship here is generally poor and buildings that may last 50 – 80 years in the west here might not be in good shape in half or even a third of the time and major extra costs come with upgrading the buildings that are more than 15 – 25 years old.

I did not mean intend to offend the author of the posting but just to give a different point of view on the matter from a follow real estate agent.

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