A real estate broker, real estate agent or realtor is a person who represents sellers or buyers of real estate or real property. A real estate broker works to negotiate and arrange real estate transactions. This licensed individual has daily duties that include writing contracts and overseeing transactions for sales and purchasing activities on homes, land, and commercial properties.
Real estate agents are supposed to be licensed to help sellers sell and buyers buy real estate and are generally licensed to operate, negotiate, and arrange sales under the supervision of a real estate broker. Negotiating and arranging sales can mean showing property, listing a property, filling in contracts, listing agreements and purchase contracts
Real estate brokers and sales agents typically do the following:
- Solicit potential clients to buy, sell, and rent properties
- Advise clients on prices, mortgages, market conditions, and other related information
- Compare properties to determine a competitive market price
- Generate lists of properties for sale, including details such as location and features
- Promote properties through advertisements, open houses, and listing services
- Take prospective buyers or renters to see properties
- Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration
- Mediate negotiations between the buyer and seller
- Ensure all terms of purchase contracts are met
- Prepare documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements, and deeds.
Because of the complexity of buying or selling a home or commercial property, people often seek help from real estate brokers and sales agents.
Most real estate brokers and sales agents sell residential property. Others sell commercial property, and a small number sell industrial, agricultural, or other types of real estate.
Brokers and agents can represent either the buyer or the seller in a transaction. Buyers’ brokers and agents meet with clients to understand what clients are looking for and how much they can afford. Sellers’ brokers and agents meet with clients to help clients decide how much to ask for and to convince clients that the agent or broker can find them a qualified buyer.
Real estate brokers and sales agents must be knowledgeable about the real estate market in their area. To match properties to clients’ needs, they should be familiar with local communities, including knowledge of the crime rate, proximity to schools and shopping centers, and much more. Brokers and agents also must stay current on financing options; government programs; types of available mortgages; and real estate zoning, land, and housing laws.
Types of Real Estate:
- Residential real estate: This includes both new construction and resale homes. The most common category is single-family homes. There are also condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, multi-generational, and vacation homes.
- Commercial real estate: Includes shopping centers and strip malls, medical and educational buildings, Petro stations, hotels, and offices. Apartment buildings are often considered commercial, even though they are used for residences. This is because they are owned to produce income. You have probably seen in Uganda that some of the areas that were zoned as residential have been converted into business places for bars, guest houses, restaurants, and offices. Zoning is carried out by the Physical planning authorities.
- Industrial real estate: Includes manufacturing buildings and property, factories as well as warehouses. Warehouse buildings can be used for research, production, storage, and distribution of goods. Some buildings that are used for the distribution of goods are considered commercial real estate. The classification is important because the zoning, construction, and sales are handled differently. So, an industrial property is a property used for actual manufacturing and can be considered as a factory or a plant. This is usually zoned for a light, medium, or heavy industry. These include warehouses, garages, and distribution centers.
- Land includes vacant land, working farms, and ranches. The subcategories within vacant land include undeveloped, early development or reuse, subdivision, and site assembly.
Commercial real estate Brokerage:
Commercial real estate represents a vast industry made up of countless specialties. For example, one agent may specialize in urban offices, another helps their clients purchase entire buildings for their companies, and another specializes in assisting corporations in finding retail spaces.
Most commercial real estate agents start out as generalists or they simply take whatever specialty has an opening at a brokerage.
Over time, though, one needs to find a speciality that they’ll commit to and then focus on developing themselves as a specialist in that niche. Until they do that, their prospects of closing deals in a certain market will always suffer compared to someone who focuses on making deals in a particular market and that market alone.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS
In many ways, commercial real estate is still a very traditional profession. To get ahead – in terms of knowing where opportunities lie and turning leads into clients, – Agents need to know how to network. Just like with filling your workweek, this is something agents always need to do. The moment they decide that their network is sufficient, they risk losing business.
Agents need to develop their networks. Check-in with people regularly, even socialize with them at events that have nothing to do with work. The goal is to ensure they stay top-of-mind with their clients so that when a deal presents itself, they’re at the front of the line.
Don’t forget about your fellow commercial real estate agents, either. Just like asking those above you in your business for tips, try to get some free advice from other agents who are doing well. You should even connect with agents from other firms over various platforms and introduce yourself when the opportunity presents itself.
Uganda has a Draft Real Estate Agency Act 2013.
The purpose of this Act is to regulate real estate agents and real estate salespersons in Uganda, in order to ensure honesty, integrity, transparency, and professionalism in the provision of real estate agent services in Uganda.