If the only source of knowledge is experience, wouldn’t it be smart to learn from others’s experience? We think so too! So on our Realtor Spotlight we tap into the minds of experienced realtors.
In our first one, we feature a professional & respected real estate consultant from South Mumbai – Sneha Pathak of Sneha Pathak Consultancy. Women representation in the real estate consultancy business in India is negligible and we hope Sneha serves as an inspiration for other women to join the industry. Which is also why we decided it was apt to start with her for our maiden interview 🙂
1) How did you get in to the real estate consultancy business? 15 years ago when I was looking at changing my career options, one of the leading real estate consultants of that time advised my husband and me to start this business as he felt that we had the necessary education and skills to be good in this line. We haven’t looked back since.
2) How would you say your academic background has helped you in the business? I came into this business armed with an MBA and my husband, Jaideep, had a Chartered Accountancy degree. Our education has been extremely useful as it has equipped us with basic knowledge of accounts, law, income tax operations, analytical skills and soft skills. In order to be a good realtor, these skills are very essential in addition to basic knowledge of the market.
3) What are the top 3 challenges one faces in the real estate business? I would say that the top three challenges faced by a realtor are :
i. Unorganized structure of the property broking business which allows even people without any qualifications to operate in this market. Whilst such brokers do not pose a threat to the good realtors, they have a nuisance value and can spoil the overall market for a property by floating wrong information and misguiding property owners
ii. Lack of standardization of processes and paperwork involved in leave and license and outright transactions. This means that a realtor spends a lot of time and energy just trying to smoothen the entire transaction process rather than focus on doing more business.
iii. Lack of trained manpower available for the industry. There is no credible educational programme that is turning out good, trained people to hit the ground running in this business. Six months are lost in training up a fresh recruit to satisfactory levels.
4) What are the challenges one faces as a woman in to the business? What are the advantages a woman has in this business. I have not really faced any challenges in this business which I can attribute to being a lady. On the contrary, women have a decided advantage – they have a better innate sense of what constitutes a good home, are more sincere and perseverant and have tremendous patience.
5) One way you think realtors could be better organised? The key thing for any realtor is efficient data management. If we have current market data on easy tap then a lot of productive time can be channeled in other directions.
6) What do you look for in a prospective employee when you look at hiring? I look for a pleasant personality, computer literacy and skills, integrity and a proactive nature.
7) What percentage of your business comes from primary sales? 20%
8) One way the developer can make a realtors life easy? By furnishing information relating to his project’s titles, approvals, litigations etc freely and in a transparent manner
9) Would you recommend more women to join the business? What tips would you give them to manage the work life balance. I would welcome more women joining this business. In most developed countries, this business is highly skewed in favour of women. Contrary to what people think, women are treated at par with men here and are given respect and courtesy from their male counterparts. Interestingly when I joined this profession, one of my well-meaning friends from this business called my sister to ask me to be careful, since being a lady, I would potentially meet uncouth, unpleasant brokers and clients. I am happy to say that in 15 years of being in this business I haven’t had any unpleasant encounters simply because I am a lady.
10) How has the real estate business changed over the years and what do you feel a realtor in 2019 will be like? Access to superior technology has contributed heavily to increasing business volumes for realtors. Today we cannot imagine operating without a mobile phone or a computer to record data. The old time realtors would barely have been able to manage showing a couple of properties in a day!!
2019 will see the smaller, unprofessional brokers on their way out. Expectation of service levels from clients will only increase as time goes by, so the 2019 realtor will be very information savvy, will be able to turn transactions around much faster.
11) One book or resource you would recommend realtors to use. There is a book by Rushabh Publications called Geo Mumbai which lists every building in Mumbai with a map. This is incredibly useful to us when we need to locate a specific building in an area while lining up inspections.
Have questions for Sneha Pathak? Please post them in the comments below.