Just across the street of our flat here in La Herradura, there is a real estate office and next to it a furniture shop. Now and then, when I sit on the balcony and watch customers coming and going, my thoughts fly back to my time working with real estate in my hometown Davao where I also got deals from home furnishing companies for my property buyers.
Real estate is very much alive on the sunny coast of Spain and the real estate market is on its way up after some troublesome years. In our little beach community, there is a swarm of real estate agencies and in the center of Almuñecar, there are a lot more. I see it as a kind of sign that I ended up living surrounded by real estate businesses here and I hope to join a team as soon as my Spanish is good enough.
I entered the real estate world a year after I graduated from college. In 2005, I got a job as an office secretary at the Davao Board of Realtors Foundation, Inc (DBRFI). At that time, I was serving 52 brokers collectively and after a while, my bosses encouraged me to be a broker myself. I left the realty office, took the brokerage exam and I got my license after some years.
Then, I joined a real estate team as an associate-broker and started to dig deeper into the real estate market. Part of my training was to do the job of a real estate agent; market, negotiate, and arrange property sales. It was very enriching because I met many buyers, sellers, and developers, went to different places, developed my marketing strategies online and offline, and joined sales training.
My co-agents became my close friends; we were often together while marketing from real estate booths at the malls. We gave out fliers, answered queries from shoppers, and worked online from our laptops. We called it, ”hitting two birds with one stone” strategy. We visited open houses or manned sites and worked long hours and I made very good money.
I attributed my success to my product knowledge and confidence. I studied the properties well and familiarized the answers to questions the buyer or seller had. Most of my clients were non-Filipinos, so I was trained to set aside my shyness especially in speaking English LOL and in dealing with foreigners.
I was a part of a real estate boom and it was a very generous ride, but the good times changed and I took a job in a government institution as a Housing Processor. There, I learned the hopes and fears of my countrymen when their houses go on foreclosure. It was sad to bring the bad news to them, but I had to do my job.
Looking back, I am very thankful for the experience I gained when I was a real estate agent in Davao because I can apply the lessons anywhere. One principle that I keep in mind all the time is, never to get greedy with the commissions or take the clients of others. Sadly enough, bad acts like that are common especially when the competition is hard. It happened to me and to other colleagues so that was one of the reasons for taking a pause. I wish that the real estate industry in the Philippines is not only professionalized on paper but also etched within the hearts of the agents and brokers as well.
I would love to try my luck again here when my Spanish is good enough and I hope that my country will prosper and bring in a lot of clients dreaming of holiday homes in Spain 🙂