A ‘Ghost’ Agent is Taking Half of My Commission, What Can I Do?

Question:

Good Morning, I am an agent and I run a business with a focus on rentals in Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim. We have a lot of difficulty with landlords who have ORN businesses within which they manage their residential real estate portfolios. These businesses will not do business with us without taking half of our agent’s fee, without doing any work to deserve half of this fee. The individuals involved are never able to demonstrate an RERA broker’s license and at best they might show one belonging to someone else in the company who I have never met and has taken no part in the deal. The majority of the time this [2.5%] agent’s fee is taken by the company itself: so the owner is taking both rent and half an agent’s fee. This behaviour is clearly greedy and is bad for the market – for example it means we cannot do business for clients referred by other brokers and it discourages higher quality brokers who won’t work for lesser commissions. Do you have any advice about how I as a professional can use RERA to deal with this behaviour?

Good Morning, I am an agent and I run a business with a focus on rentals in Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim. We have a lot of difficulty with landlords who have ORN businesses within which they manage their residential real estate portfolios. These businesses will not do business with us without taking half of our agent’s fee, without doing any work to deserve half of this fee. The individuals involved are never able to demonstrate an RERA broker’s license and at best they might show one belonging to someone else in the company who I have never met and has taken no part in the deal. The majority of the time this [2.5%] agent’s fee is taken by the company itself: so the owner is taking both rent and half an agent’s fee. This behaviour is clearly greedy and is bad for the market – for example it means we cannot do business for clients referred by other brokers and it discourages higher quality brokers who won’t work for lesser commissions. Do you have any advice about how I as a professional can use RERA to deal with this behaviour?

Answer:

Thank you for your email.
Your dilemma is a common one and one that many agents have faced before and continue to face now. I wish I was able to advise you accordingly as to the correct way we can eradicate this problem but sadly when dealing with these villas in the areas mentioned you are dealing with individuals who work in a certain way. As long as the companies they own are registered at RERA then they are legal and there is little you can do. I admit it is frustrating, but the problem of giving fees away is not just akin to renting in non-freehold areas. Many times before we have been faced with “relatives” of the owner popping out from somewhere with their ‘cap in hand’ demanding some of the fees. We don’t agree with, it is unfair but the choice still remains with us, to do or not to do the deal.
If we walk away and take the moral high ground, it is likely that the buyer and seller will most probably find themselves and they will still do the deal without you so I guess the real question is, is half the deal better than no deal at all?
Whilst I agree that it is a travesty of our profession that proper agents and agencies are treated in this way, it is still a competitive marketplace and one where survival is key, we still have that choice of who we decide to do business with.
I hope this has helped.

The above answer has been brought to you by Mario Volpi who is the Managing Director of Ocean View Real Estate in Dubai. Mario has 30 years of property industry experience in Dubai and London.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.