Zoom Property: Tell us about Haus & Haus, who you are, what do you do and how do you do it differently?
Charlie Bannan: I’m Charlie Bannon. I’m the sales director at Haus & Haus Real Estate. At Haus & Haus, we cover every aspect of your property needs based in Dubai. Everything from residential lettings, re-sale, off-plan, property management, short-term rentals or commercial (properties). We cover it all.
Zoom Property: What are your thoughts on the current market situation during the COVID-19 and the industry reaction during the lockdown?
Charlie Bannan: During the lockdown, we saw less inquiries coming through property portals, but at the same time, we got a very high conversion rate. So, the people that were inquiring were very serious about their search. Since coming out of the lockdown, inquiries have been the busiest they’ve been this year, for us personally, at Haus & Haus.
So, what we’re finding is that managing Dubai’s expectations on what is actually available and the current pricing. That’s what we’re managing at the moment. Quite successfully, these number of transactions we’re seeing have been very positive since coming out of the lockdown. Lots of sales and leasing have been happening on a day to day basis.
Zoom Property: What are the biggest challenges being faced by the UAE Real Estate Industry right now?
Charlie Bannan: During the lockdown, I think it was unknown how long we will be in lockdown and when we are going to be released into the world, to be able to conduct viewings. So, I think, during the lockdown, it was just working till an unknown day when the restrictions would ease. Now that we’re out, I think the biggest challenge for us as a business is managing the amount of inquiries we’re getting and ensuring that the brokers are spending time with the right people.
Zoom Property: Which developments or Communities have surprised you with their performance/ resilience during this period?
Charlie Bannan: I wouldn’t say that any have surprised me as I think most of the areas we cover as a company are the main expat hubs of Dubai. They’re always transacting. All I would say is that now we’re seeing townhouses and villas get a bit more attention from the portals. I can only assume that the people want the outdoor space, given what’s happened recently with the people trapped in 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartments. People probably prefer a nice garden, a swimming pool in the yard. That’s getting them more interested.
Zoom Property: With respect to the style of the properties, what major differences do you see in the UAE compared to the rest of the world? What has changed?
Charlie Bannan: I think, compared to the rest of the world, Dubai Properties, the developers are releasing new properties or communities and I think with that, we’ll see more modern and contemporary properties coming into the market at a quick rate compared to the rest of the world. Which is very exciting for the expats to be able to purchase and move in relatively quickly compared to large cities.
Zoom Property: With respect to industry demand, which kind of properties are popular in 2020?
Charlie Bannan: Given the situation of the lockdown, we’re seeing more inquiries coming through on properties with any type of a garden. Whether it be a townhouse or a villa, so the main expat areas such as The Meadows, Arabian Ranches have been very popular along with Jumeirah Golf Estates. In townhouse communities, the smaller properties in Arabian Ranches, Palm Mira, Al Reems, The Springs, Jumeirah Village Triangle. We’re seeing lots and lots of traction there and a lot of transactions happening. And a lot of these guys are coming from apartment-living, to have that extra space outside.
Zoom Property: What role does industry data play in devising marketing strategies?
Charlie Bannan: Industry data is huge for us because it allows us to know where to spend our time and attention. It helps us advise vendors that are coming to the market about what rates or what price in point to start at. And obviously with that data, it’s impartial, it’s hard facts that can’t be denied. So, it plays a huge role for us to make sure that the pricing is right for the seller’s side of things. And obviously, that helps us to bring the buyers’ inquiries through the company because we got the right listings for the right price which means that we got the opportunity to create business and complete sales.
Zoom Property: How has Zoom Property helped you in reaching your marketing goals?
Charlie Bannan: Zoom Property is definitely helping us by completing video campaigns such as this one, helping us touch pace with the market price to receive leads, data generation and also providing us with incoming leads for both buyers and sellers on a daily and weekly basis which helps us to complete business in the market.
Zoom Property: What are your predictions for the real estate market for the rest of 2020 and 2021?
Charlie Bannan: I think that the rest of this year and the rest of 2021, we’re going to see a really high number of transactions and that’s just based on what we’ve seen in the last 8 weeks. With the number of buyers that are coming into the market that wasn’t there previously. Especially with the changes in the loan amounts offered by the government lowering by 20% for first time buyers. Incentives like that are driving a lot of buyers into the market which is very exciting and I can’t see that slowing down for the next 18 months. If anything, I think it will pick up more momentum as it gets to the media that people are buying houses. It spreads that positivity which will create a lot of business for agents, agencies and the general public as well.