The Bangalore Real Estate Agent
Getting a house in Bangalore can be a tedious task. When ads on internet classified sites or their print counter parts don’t work, the only other resort is to knock on the door of a Real Estate Agent (otherwise called a broker here). I have personally dealt with quite a few over the last few days & this is an account of that. Not as someone seeking a house for rent but on the other side as someone having a house to give away on rent.
These Real Estate agents are amazingly active. Even as our previous tenant was in the process of shifting his household items we received a call asking if the house was available for rent & what is the rent we were expecting. Who was this guy? Who gave him our number? We only made our guesses.
Over the next few days we continued to get these calls. We had neither advertised anywhere nor hung up a To-let board anywhere. But the calls came. On the insistence of a broker I decided to go over to the house & meet him & the interested ‘party’. The broker turned up on time however the ‘party’ was not with him. The broker made small talk & then announced that the ‘party’ was held up in a meeting & would join shortly. And then hesitatingly he asked, “What will YOU give us?” After waiting for some more time when the ‘party’ did not turn up he said he would get the ‘party’ next day & would call me to confirm. I never heard from this broker thereafter.
Another broker I met called himself Raju. He shook hands with me & obediently folded his hands & stood away. He told me that he worked in the RBI and did this part time mostly in the evenings. Then he voluntarily clarified, “I am not an officer or Manager in the RBI but a clerk & do this for some extra money”. Then he gave details of the two ‘parties’ he had shown the house.
One other guy cut me short when I asked him details of the ‘party’ by saying “Sir I’ll show them the house first & then you can get all the details”.
These interactions with the brokers gave me an impression that they are hesitant to put across their ‘party’ to us immediately and preferred for the ‘party’ to talk to us through them. They probably did not want to lose out on the rent negotiations and as a result on the commission.
Some of these people can play an annoying game. They would give a missed call & expect us to call back. One time when I returned the missed call the guy replied, “Thanks. My currency is low….”
Some of these guys are in it for part time money, some probably as a profession. Most times there is no explicit understanding of the commission they will charge from the house seeker. That is left for later & it does require a lot of convincing ability to get what they want. One broker who had got us our previous tenant hadn’t got paid until a month after the house was occupied.
But these guys are the ones who make getting a house a lot easier. Although I don’t have much of an experience dealing with these guys from the other side I can feel how big a role they play here.