In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
A member of NAR-India and the first woman registered as a member of the Chennai Real Estate Agents Association, broker Neeta Sujata Durai is a distinguished presence in the Chennai real estate community.
Her 25-year background as an entrepreneur informs the way she manages her team and provides client service that results in repeat transactions and referrals.
Find out how she learned to focus on the process all the way from beginning to end — because anything can happen.
How long have you been in the business, and how did you get started?
I have been an entrepreneur/small business owner from the age of 33. I got into the real estate business part time in 2005. It just started as a fun thing; I had heard about opportunities of doing real estate part time as an income boost when I was running a slimming parlor for overweight people. I never thought it would turn out as a serious profession for me.
One day, a weight loss client of mine suggested that I get her a house close by so that she wouldn’t have to commute an hour just to come to my office. That’s when I stepped on the gas to pursue real estate full time, and there’s been no looking back since.
It was a very slow start in 2005, then it got better in 2006, and became my full time profession in 2007.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years from now, I see myself as a developer and promoter, not just working as an intermediary.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
One big lesson that I have learned in real estate is nothing is certain until the transaction is over.
Things could go hunky dory in the first few meetings, and later, the buyer’s interest could fizzle out for any number of reasons. That’s why it’s all the more important to lead generate and manage the sales funnel properly.
How did you learn it?
We have had a seller or two wanting to get an extra few lakhs after finalizing the property negotiation with a prospective buyer and telling us this only at the time of picking up the papers for signatures. When they find out that the buyer doesn’t want to increase his price, the deal drops.
What advice would you give to new agents?
New agents should be very sure of what they are selling. They should know their listing inventory inside out, along with the market. They should make sure the docs are legally sound and clear.
They should also be very vigilant; sometimes other agents pose as buyers to glean free info about properties. Agents should always be truthful about the property they are selling and maintain a good service-based relationship with clients.
Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”