Ever wondered what your Real Estate Agent does all the time? You hardly see your agent and often it’s difficult to get him or her on the phone? That’s probably the moment when you think, what they might do all day. Invisible for the rest of his clients the agent seems to disappear in thin air after they have listed your property or taken you for a viewing.  
In most professions people are paid by the hour or receive a regular salary. A real estate agent doesn’t get paid until the completion of a property sale. Instead, an agent follows a seemingly endless list of multiple tasks for weeks or even months to get a sale process finalised. Especially in the Algarve, only 10 years ago it was still possible to do next to nothing to sell properties and to make a lot of money in a pretty relaxed way. Hardly any regulations and offshore ownerships made it possible Since 9/11 and the Lehmann Brothers crisis also the real estate world in the Algarve changed profoundly. The current complex real estate environment forces the agents to be multi tasking, multi processing and firm information sources in numerous fields.
 

The agent needs to be well informed about the area and the local market

Not only your real estate agent should know which properties are for sale and which have recently sold to which price in the area, they also should know about the various communities and nationalities of the owners of properties in the neighbourhood. The Algarve is a melting pot and newly arriving buyers wish to get a full picture of the community they might want to join. But there is more a professional agent should stay constantly on top of the local market intelligence, being familiar with discrepancies between asking and sales prices, how long properties are sitting on the market before they sell and about average prices in specific areas. All  this takes hours of research and market analysis. Vendors in the Algarve have generally a very secretive attitude and don’t reveal easily the final price they sold for. Also agents keep their voice low about transactions. As there are no official listing price compendiums neither market analysis which could be considered, the agents in the Algarve need to have some detective skills to sample reliable data.

As agents personally lead the buyers through viewings, they need precise knowledge about the different areas. While showing the properties they have to be familiar with each and every of them, knowing their history, construction details, layout and specifications. Additionally they must be knowledgeable about nearby amenities, shops, medical support, and have to be ready for any unexpected question by the buyers.

 

The agent needs to be well informed about rules, regulations, accountancy and laws

A professional agent should be able to give preliminary information regarding all aspects around a purchase or sale.Obviously comprehensive information is only reliable by contacting your lawyer, architect or accountant, but basics are a must. Agents need to stay on top of the latest rules and regulations as to building rules in different areas of the Algarve, licensing processes and time lines, building conditions, construction regulations and be able to give you a clear picture of different ownership options with their respective tax and running costs implications.

 

The agent needs to be apt in advanced technologies and be constantly communicative

Real Estate is an industry which has made enormous progress in advanced technologies over the last few years. A real estate agent not only has to be apt in computer technology, but be able to understand Google philosophy, CRMs, website and back office set ups, drones and be a social media star. Additionally, to enhance their business acumen, the real estate agent has to participate in regular training sessions. And at the same time networking is of essence. Of course we shouldn’t forget that the real estate agent needs to be in constant touch with his vendors and buyers, so his or her communication skills should be versatile. Whether by phone, email, text messages and even messenger and whatsapp, an agent needs to follow up all steps with buyers, vendors, architects, lawyers, accountants, mortgage companies, fellow agents and colleagues. And especially in the Algarve, where clients arrive for long weekends and over holiday seasons, there is no such thing like a sunday or bank holiday for the real estate agent. regulated working times don’t exist as it is also no 9-to-5 job.


The agent needs to lead the process in a smooth way

If you buy real estate, you don’t just go to the shop, have it wrapped and take it under your arm. Buying a property is a process composed of very precise steps. The agent has to be emphatic and psychologically apt to bring people from different backgIf you buy real estate, you don’t just go to the shop, have it wrapped and take it under your arm. Buying a property is a process composed of very precise steps. The agent has to be emphatic and psychologically apt to bring people from different backgrounds and often different nationalities together and smoothen the sometimes complicated circumstances. From the first viewing to signing of the final deeds numerous and often stressful tasks and issues have to be solved to ensure a successful outcome. 

In a nutshell, to be a real estate agent, you need to be a resilient, self motivated, problem solving coordinator, researcher, negotiator and manager. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. So if you are lucky to have found a reliable and helpful real estate agent in the Algarve, you should acknowledge that you are dealing with a superman or superwoman dressed as a real estate agent!