Real Estate Transparency & Ethics
Being in real estate for nearly 30 years, I’ve seen just about everything in regards to how some brokers conduct themselves. My biggest gripe in Cambodia is transparency & ethics and how every man thinks they are real estate agents, but have little or no experience in the property market and inflate prices with no regard to the real estate business, the buyers and even the property owners.
What I find even stranger is that some foreign & Khmer buyers pick these brokers, because they think dealing direct with a one man business or a “powerful Khmer” equates to cheaper prices. This in my 25 years of experience in Asia, is NEVER is the case.
The difference between a real estate broker and a real estate agent is; a broker points at a plot of land and tells you a price, but has no clue on the latest sales prices in the area (or cares) and has no other information to assist you in making the right decision. His or her whole focus is to make money for themselves and has no respect for the real estate industry, you or the seller, who in most cases does not know that price was increased.
In regards to the Koh Rong real estate market, this is now becoming the norm, with brokers coming over with their clients who they met in Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, who are trying to sell them land at silly prices.
I find it frustrating, as none of these “brokers” live on Koh Rong, they have no clue who the owners are in many cases and they are just fishing for your cash.
In many scenarios, they (“brokers” and “reputable agencies”) literally steal our property information from our website or ads and market it as their own, then once they get you interested in the property, they ask around the area on who owns it and then try and put the deal together themselves, Sometimes they even have the audacity to contact us to help them find the owner..
There is no doubt we are the first full time real estate company on Koh Rong and we have spent over 2 years putting together a great network on Koh Rong that includes all of the Sangkat Chiefs, the local people, the police, and we have many happy clients who we have helped find good investment plots and we work with these clients to help them get settled and pointed in the right direction.
What we have tried to achieve in our business model is full transparency, which means we deal direct to the owners and so do you! All of our buyers get to meet the owners and we all sit around the table and hash out a deal.
There is no silly business practice or “this is my friends land and he wants me to sell it” rhetoric, that we all hear so often. Its just good old fashioned ethical business, where everyone is aware..
This is not a complaint because we are losing business, its much bigger than that.. We want the island to be run professionally with full transparency and ethics, so both Khmer & international investors feel confident in the market and know there is someone on the island that can give them the right advice, the history of the area, the current market prices that is deduced from actual sales in the area, and the long term plans for Koh Rong.
Our advice to anyone thinking of purchasing on Koh Rong is to ask the right questions to your preferred agent and if he cannot answer those questions, he isn’t the right agent for you.
For all of you “brokers” out there, work harder, work for your clients, work for the sellers and stop trying make a million dollars on every deal.. Life will not reward you for stealing time and stealing money from your clients.
Koh Rong has a big future and we will do our upmost to be professional, ethical and transparent for all of our clients for many years to come. If you want to know the market prices for a particular area due to actual sales in the area, just ask us, we have the real data and we are happy to share it with you!