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Do I need more than one property agency?

Hi

We have found a very helpful and responsive agent at Quicklets who we will use when we move over.

However can I have comfort that this one agent/agency will have access to any property that may come on the market?

Should I be in touch with different companies too, to ensure we find out about all suitable properties? Also, do individual agents at the agency have different portfolios or do they share?

I'm not exactly sure how it works, whether owners engage one agent to find them a tenant, or whether all agents are competing to fill the same properties.

Thanks
Fi

'However can I have comfort that this one agent/agency will have access to any property that may come on the market? '

Simple answer is NO, many properties are with multiple agencies but not with every agent and many are also with sole agency, as were our last two properties.

Ray

Hi Ray

Thanks for this.

Do you think the best course of action would be...

When we arrive, if we see a property advertised on Maltapark or the Facebook groups which our agent hasn't told us about, then we should first of all ask the Quicklets agent if he has access to that property, then if not, contact the other advertising agent?

I'm not keen to have more than one company lined up to actively look for us, but obviously want to get the best place we can.

Just wanted to check the etiquette!

Much appreciated

Fi

I think you're just over thinking it, it's the same everywhere including where you are from.

Contact people who have properties you see that look interesting, that's it.

felinefine81 :

When we arrive, if we see a property advertised on Maltapark or the Facebook groups which our agent hasn't told us about, then we should first of all ask the Quicklets agent if he has access to that property, then if not, contact the other advertising agent?

When we were in Malta to search for a flat to rent in February, we contacted about 10 agencies / agents, 4 of which actually were interested in finding something for us within our budget (500 EUR for 2br). (One agency called us about one and a half months later, which was obviously too late... The remaining five or so never even bothered to get back to us - we had seen them personally, i.e. we went to their offices, and they told us to leave our details).

We were mainly looking in the north, St. Paul's Bay area - maybe it's different in other areas.

One agent who was really trying to find us something was from Quicklets. However, the apartments he had to offer were not really what we liked. we also got the Quicklets e-mail newsletter, and were informed about a nice apartment within our budget, but with another Quicklets agent - so we texted our agent and he said as the apartment was from another agent, he had no key / no contact to the owner, he'd need to contact the other agent first, maybe he could arrange something... By the time he had contacted the other agent, the apartment had already been taken. So, in our experience - NO, one agent is NOT enough, and as others have already mentioned in other posts here, Malta's rental market is a very fast moving one, it's first come, first served!
We also made that experience (with another agency) - we were waiting for an agent to return from the viewing of a flat we'd have liked to view, too. But after about half an hour of waiting at the agency, the agent came with another couple and told us sorry, The others had already agreed to take the flat, so we could go home again... (Not in those words, of course, but I think that's what he meant).

Bernie

yup, agree with Bernie above, you're just going to have to make yourself available in Malta the week or two you're looking and ACTIVELY CHASE THE OUTCOME YOU WANT.

Call and go see as many agents as possible, dont waste time asking one to contact another - why on earth would they? They dont get comission that way.  Do the leg work, be in the country, make sure they know you're not wasting their time.

That's it, if you're not moving next week stop fretting about it, instead make sure you have a 2 to 3 week airbnb lined up.

felinefine81 :

Hi Ray

Thanks for this.

Do you think the best course of action would be...

When we arrive, if we see a property advertised on Maltapark or the Facebook groups which our agent hasn't told us about, then we should first of all ask the Quicklets agent if he has access to that property, then if not, contact the other advertising agent?

I'm not keen to have more than one company lined up to actively look for us, but obviously want to get the best place we can.

Just wanted to check the etiquette!

Much appreciated

Fi

Can't really comment on Quicklets as whenever I have looked at there site there was very little in terms of genuine properties available, particularly in Gozo.
They were actively promoted by one of our ex-members - Redmik, on this site but they are not one I would choose if I wanted coverage of all of Malta!

Ray

Thanks everyone.

I'm not fretting about it. I just haven't had very good customer service from many of the agencies and so I want to deal with as few of them as possible. What I don't want is when I arrive to be contacted by multiple agents about the same properties.

I think the whole system is a mess to be honest. You see the same properties being advertised by the same people all over the place. If it really was the same as 'everywhere' like volcane suggests then I would be able to look up properties on the market and book an appointment with the one estate agent showing each property. Or, I could engage one estate agency and then have access to everything in their portfolio.

I'm all set up to explore all options and fight to get the right place, all I am trying to do is limit the hassle.

In my experience they're not really working for you, so don't try to be loyal to just the one that got back to you.  We did that and it was a huge mistake and cost us a lot of money.  We got here to find he'd not really bothered doing anything and showed us three overpriced holes that were nothing like what he'd been showing us before we arrived. I didn't know what the start of mold looked like until coming to Malta, I'd never experienced it, but looking back two were covered in it and when I questioned what it was he made out it was just marks and it'd be painted over.

We chose the best of the three thinking we were being stuck up and setting our sights too high.  I'd heard about those tunnel things that nobody wants, but I naively thought all apartments were like that , so that's what we ended up with.  God they're awful, don't settle for one of those!

It was an expensive mistake, the agent did nothing to help us get out of the contract when we couldn't face living there and it cost us thousands.  We looked on Malta Park each morning and aimed for the property we wanted and not the agent.  We wanted a new build if possible and was told not a chance where we wanted, yet we found two to choose from within the week.  I couldn't be happier with the one we chose, I still love it after just over a year, the landlord is great and the apartment if heavenly.  It's absolutely perfect.

It's scary, but coming over and just looking is the best way to go about it.  It's fine having an agent looking and showing you around a couple, but don't stop looking yourself or you could miss out.

Thanks Sam4321, that's really helpful.

What are the awful tunnel things?! I've read SO much stuff in preparation but i dont think i've heard about this!

You have received bad customer service because you insist on working the way they do not cater for. And insist on ignoring the advise you get given by 10s of people: wait till you are here, they won't work with you otherwise!

Just imagine the amount of foreigners who are not yet here they get contacted by? A large % of those will never make the move.

Work with the system, without trying to invent your own rules and then complain about bad service.

felinefine81 :

Thanks Sam4321, that's really helpful.

What are the awful tunnel things?! I've read SO much stuff in preparation but i dont think i've heard about this!

They're apartments that are very long and thin, so like one long corridor.  They have very little natural light and you hear noise from all the apartments around you.  We wanted a three bed, so the front room had a window and the bedroom at the back had one, but all the rooms between those were dark with no light, it's like you're living in a tunnel.  All rooms in Malta have to have a window, so they have shafts in the middle where all the waste pipes go, but the windows are usually so small and frosted because of the view that they don't let any light in.  We viewed it at night and just assumed they were normal windows behind the closed curtains. We were on the ground floor and you hear when anybody showers or goes to the toilet if your bedroom is off one of those, which ours was.  I don't think I slept, the noise from running water was constant. They're awful and very depressing, I had a lot of tears in the first couple of months after we arrived because of that apartment.  There's a lot of them, but there's no need to settle for one like we did, there's plenty of other kinds.

We live in a corner apartment now with loads of windows and loads of light.  Every bedroom has patio windows and balconies for drying clothes.  It's just heaven compared to what we had at the start.

Actually volcane I've been following advice from the agents themselves about when to get in touch, and also from my new employer.

Fair enough for when I made the first enquiries months ago-  I was new to this and didn't know about the timing. But all they had to do was send a brief reply to say, 'Please contact me when you arrive and we'd be glad to help'.

Ignoring a potential customer is unacceptable. And there is never an excuse to be downright rude to someone- even if they haven't got the timing right!

The one helpful agent who did reply, and my employer, both advised me to get back in touch a few weeks before I go, which I am doing now. They advised this because of the time of year we are moving and area we want to move to. But I am still finding most people unresponsive.

Maybe I have been given bad advice! Or maybe the one agent who has insisted we need to make a head start will actually come through for us.

yeah, Maltese gave me the same advise - contact a month ahead.  It's rubbish, trust expats who have actually done this instead.  And the advise is pretty much constant, come here and take a week or two.

Thanks. We have temp accommodation for 2 weeks. Will take the advice to contact multiple advertisers/agents when we arrive and hope for a better reception at that point.

felinefine81 :

Thanks. We have temp accommodation for 2 weeks. Will take the advice to contact multiple advertisers/agents when we arrive and hope for a better reception at that point.

Quicklets
Belair
Frank Salt

They've been more than responsive once I told them I am in Malta. Plenty of places to rent but some prices are beyond stupid

You may need more than one agency. Most do not have access to all listings. Some landlords only list with one agent exclusively, while others list with several agents. Some agents only have listings in a particular geographic area, like St Julians or Sliema, but not necessarily both. In my experience, exclusive agents can try to push you into a place that's not really what you're looking for just to get a property rented, and they will not necessarily go to bat for you on price, because they want to keep their lister happy.

We did have an uncomfortable situation when a subsequent agent we consulted took us back to a place we'd seen with another realtor because the second agent had refused to send me details of a place before a showing. It was a waste of time for all involved. (Hopefully he learned from that!)

Good luck. It can take some time to get a place that suits your needs, including price, but keep insisting. We ended up also realizing that a different location would suit us better than the one we'd originally considered. I did find an agent who has been wonderful, honest and a good listener, and has helped us again. There's at least one. :)

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