TALLINN - In an increasingly common new trend, real estate brokers throughout Estonia have begun leaving their jobs in order to try to work the market on their own, the dv.ee online news portal reported on April 9.
According to Eva Kams, the head of EST Kinnisvara OU, many brokers have struck out on their own because they feel the share of the sales they receive from companies is too small and they could earn more by working independently.
With the crisis putting a pinch on real estate buyers, the decreasing amount of sales has led many to question the amount that they are forced to pay out to the company with each sale.
Anton Popov, an independent real estate broker working in Tallinn, told The Baltic Times that many of his fellow brokers had been upset about large payouts to their companies.
"I think there are several reasons that a broker would prefer working alone rather than working in an agency. One of the reasons is that it is not fair that you work so hard but you have to share 50 percent to 50 percent or 70 percent to 30 percent with the agency," Popov said.
He also said that many brokers who strike out on their own do so because they feel they would work better that way 's and because working with a company can result in added pressure when times are tough.
"Sometimes the broker thinks they can do the same job better on their own. I know a person who has left the company as he wants to work alone 's that's to say he wants to be his own 'master,'" he said.
Many experts in the industry say, however, that working alone poses a number of problems for real estate brokers and that it is almost always better to be affiliated with a company.
"In an economic recession, for the broker to work in a company means that risks are lowered easier, and expenses are distributed," Andres Teder, the head of ERI Kinnisvara, told dv.ee.
He said that though many brokers may be upset about the percentage they have to pay to the company, they are mistaken in thinking that all of the proceeds of a sale will be profit when they work on their own. He said brokers that start out on their own will have to cover insurance and advertising expenses, in addition to a number of other costs that are normally covered by the company.
Martin Vahter, the managing director of 1Parter Kinnisvara, told the news portal it is far easier and more effective to work as part of a company.
Vahter, who has been in the business for 11 years, said clients would much rather trust their money to an established company instead of an individual account. He said it was impossible for him to imagine that clients would be willing to transfer money to an individual account 's as is common practice with large companies 's for a private broker to make a booking.
He added that companies often have an extremely extensive client base that goes far beyond what might be within reach of an individual broker.
Margarita Salminen, the head of the real estate agency Latio Eesti OU, told The Baltic Times that she thought many of the brokers had actually been forced to work on their own.
"I don't believe that the brokers leave the companies by their own will. I am more than sure that they are just fired because it is a hard time now for brokers to make many deals."
"I was also a single-broker before so I can imagine how hard it is to work on your own. My experience showed that a serious client would always go the agency as it is more prestigious and you can't totally trust a single-broker," she said.