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The value of an agent

Housing Agent is a global directory of real estate and letting agents, as well property managers and many more, helping you find the perfect house. The housing market is a tough one to crack. With its stifling bureaucratic and legal measures and the enormous shortage of affordable housing in all big cities, it can often be difficult to navigate.

And with the number of expats in growing every year –with 55 Mio people across the globe and set to grow to a community of 87 Mio people by 2021. Bigger than Germany as a country. The market is only getting more crowded, expensive and frustrating to navigate.

Many clients seem understandably exhausted. A few months of looking through online advertisements with few successes can really take it out of you, especially if you’re still adjusting to your new life abroad. At this point, it’s probably smart to call in a professional.

Agents work for you
The housing market is like an iceberg: the advertisements that you see online are only the tip. Many deals go on unseen, and if you don’t have many connections in town, it’s hard to break into the circuit.
Housing agents are a way to get on the inside of this. Besides the houses that they carry in their own portfolio, agents know the whole industry inside out. They know which rocks can be turned over to find that hidden deal you can’t get online. They are connected to a whole network of housing professionals, and suddenly a series of dead-ends looks like a world of possibilities.

Insider information
The other huge advantage is the knowledge that an experienced housing agent brings to their work. A good agent knows their city like the back of their hand: if it’s important to be near your university, place of worship, or a dog-friendly park, a housing agent can find something to accommodate your wishes. They can help direct young parents to houses in kid-friendly areas, and students to party-friendly ones. An agent understands the type of community you want to call home, and knows how to help you find it.
That knowledge continues inside the house. The eyes of an experienced agent can spot all sorts of things that might be useful to know – from how warm your home will be in the winter, to what your neighbours will be like. Having an honest conversation with your agent helps them to situate you in a building that’s right for your needs.

Building lasting relationships
The relationship between a new renter and a housing agent can potentially be a long-lasting and profitable one. Almost all expats start in the market by renting a house, but many will eventually purchase their own house. And when they leave the country, they’ll want to sell or rent it again.
In situations like these, you want to be able to come back to someone you can trust. Building a relationship with a professional, hardworking agent is always useful for both parties. When the time comes, having that human connection will help to assure you that you’re in good hands.

One agent is part of a network
That being said, a single agent can’t do everything on their own. Many agents specialise in one or two areas of real estate, and in the complex world of expat life you need a whole network to move things along.

A great housing agent should know great property managers, mortgage brokers and relocation services. Being able to call just one agent who can plug you into a whole range of services means making the complicated, tiring process of moving to another country just that little bit easier.
And when you’re new in town, having that network of service is surely invaluable.

One of the reasons Martijn Schneider created the website Housing Agent was not only to connect house-hunters to the people who need them, but also to connect agents to each other for your benefit. Housing Agent is online in 100 countries and 300+ cities. The site is an ‘Uber-like’ experience for expats when they relocate anywhere in the world. A global platform of all kinds of real estate professionals to make the move of an expat a stress-free experience.

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