Why we don't charge commission to tenants
It's been a few years now since City Expert started its mission - to enable tenants to find a new home without paying commission. We know that renting an apartment isn't easy we also know that good real estate agency needs to offer you support and assistance. That's why City Expert real estate agency doesn't charge the commission to tenants. They already have a lot on their plate, and that's why we offer a complete service for free. You must be wondering, how come we don't charge a commission when listing a property online costs money and when the agency has to have some profit? Find out how!
#1 Lower costs of listing properties online
40 people are working in City Expert. They work in a few different sectors where each sector is in charge of one step in the process of listing a property on the website. We have professional photographers, video editors, marketing experts, IT specialists, customer support and of course, real estate agents. Along with them, we have a legal team that offers help with documentation. This employee structure allows us to publish a property online from our office, to check out documentation and to do everything by ourselves. Properties are posted on our website where we have 250 000 visitors each month.
#2 Saving time and money by introducing virtual viewings
For every property published on our website, we create a media presentation where we publish all information about expenses, photos, and video, but also information about VAT return, etc. By posting all information online, we enable our users to see every detail of the property in advance and book viewings only if they are interested in the property. That's how we shorten the process of selling and renting apartments, and that's how we get more time to list more properties.
#3 Our commission
To make profit we charge commission. The brokerage commission covers the costs of media presentation and advertising and the cost of real estate services. See our pricelist here.
#4 Property viewings without the agent
Our real estate agents are not present at the viewings. They work from an office and work online or via phone. Their services are not much different than the job of a traditional real estate agent, as they lead the negotiation process, communicate via phone or email and give advice on administrative and legal matters with the help of our team.
We introduced property viewings without real estate agents because we know that direct contact is the best way to build trust. We wanted everyone to feel free to speak their mind. This decision enabled us to save a lot of time and money and to offer competitive pricing. It also let us have two-way communication between the property owner and buyers/tenants, that lead to faster communication, which on the hand also saves us time, ergo money. That's another reason why we don't charge a commission for tenants.
#5 We use technology
Time is money, but time is so much more. Time-saving and mobility bring more comfort, better opportunities and a chance for everyone to manage their own time. We speed up the process, we eliminated what was slowing us down, and we created a system where users can do most of the things online.
This is how we use technology:
- Property owners contact us via phone or the website form
- After the conversation, agents will decide if we can offer brokerage services for the interested party. We only work with registered properties, or if we choose to list an unregistered property, the owner must have all documentation ready so the property can be registered in the Cadastre.
- Property owners can send documentation by email, or just snap a photo and send us the pictures.
For all this, we use electronic communication, access to e-cadastre and use our resources, our people and our experience to do all this without asking for your presence.
Then, we use technology and do most things via our website.
- Photographers visit the property, take photos, record videos and make floor plans
- Our media sector creates the presentations
- Our marketing team advertises the property
- Real estate agents communicate with property owners and potential buyers and tenants
- Users book viewings online, using our automatic scheduling system
- Property owners and interested buyers and tenants communicate via phone or email
- Agents lead the negotiation process with both sides via phone and email
After this process, we organize signing the contracts in our offices in Belgrade and Novi Sad and then we officially complete our task. Tenants have quite a lot on their plate already (deposit, bank loans, rent, and moving), so that's one of the reasons we charge a commission. We invested in technology that allows us to have a business model with the reduced cost that pays off to both the property owners and us.