There are two types of real estate agents in Shanghai, one is mainly dealing with Property selling sector, and another is specialized in the leasing sector. You can tell it by where they operate; Selling agents usually have a shop on the street where most of their clients find their location. Leasing agents often operate in an office building. They advertise online, you can find their websites from internet, such as search engine like google, or online classified website like craigslist
..For expats looking for apartment
in Shanghai, the second way is more effective.
However, the selling agents sometimes deal with leasing business while the housing market is down. But most of their clients are Chinese, so we call them local agents. The leasing agents only focus on the leasing market, their clients are expats. So they are expat agents.
Expat agents understand expat client’s needs very well, once they get an inquiry, they will search from their database and recommend the right property. Local agents, on the other hand, don’t seems to know it very well, they don’t have much experiences with expat clients.. It is more likely you will waste a lot of time on a local agent and get no results. Time is precious for everybody.
Local agents don’t speak English, plus their office is on the street with no English sign which make it more challenging for expat clients. Besides, in our business, finding the right apartment is just the beginning. During the lease, a good agent will help to communicate with the landlords regarding any repairs and fixing issues of the house. The customer service is the key value of the expat agents.
Finding the right agent not only can save your time, but also will be a huge help during your stay in Shanghai. So how to tell if the agent is professional? Well, you can visit their website first (an
English website is must not those Bilingual website I must say) or send an email or connect in wechat in advance.. then you reach out, after a few chats or emails, you will feel it.
Hope this article will be of helpful next time when you are looking for an apartment in Shanghai.