Stock - Dubai property
Dubai's new rules require that no more than 3 brokers can advertise any particular property at a given time. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Property portals in Dubai are hiking their advertising tariffs ahead of new rules on listings that will come into effect from October.

The hikes have been by 3-4x times of what ad listings were just last week. This definitely impacts our business in terms of lead generation.

- Mohammad Imran Khan of Atomic Properties, an estate agent

Sources confirm that some of the leading property listing portals have increased rates, or are planning to within days. Recent changes in the way properties can be advertised in Dubai have strengthened the hands of portals.

Last week, Dubai Land Department issued directives limiting the number of brokers/agencies who can represent and list any particular property (typically those sold in the secondary market). From October, any such listing can only have a maximum of three agents associated with any transaction.

These listings will have to feature permits that need to be taken in advance from the Land Department. The changes will effectively put a halt to more than three agents trying to sell a particular property. And once sold, all listings will need to be removed ASAP.

“The Dubai authorities are bringing in greater transparency to the marketing and sale of property,” said an estate agent. “Requiring prior permits and, now, capping the agents per property is part of the changes.”

Sharp rate hike
Ad rates have gone up from Dh60 to Dh300-Dh400 for each rental property listing at leading portals.

This implies the volume of ads will drop considerably once the new rules by Dubai Land department come into effect. Plus, portals have to make sure multiple or fake listings are removed.

"Portals will still keep giving bulk discounts," said a broker who is renegotiating terms with a portal. "Users of these portals will benefit from greater accuracy and a chance to better evaluate market trends at the ground level."

Sudden hikes

It was a given that property portals would hike their ad rates after this. This was because the number of listings by multiple brokers would have taken a hit after the new rules. So, portals would have had to compensate by charging more per listing. But brokers were expecting that to happen only by next month.

“We are currently in negotiation with portals to allow some flexibility,’ said Khan. “They had earlier such we can continue to service our clients and bring in investment to the real estate sector. These increase would squeeze our margins as the conversion ratio from leads is already at a low percentage. We hope for a favorable compromise.”

The hikes have been by 3-4x times of what ad listings were just last week - this definitely impacts our prospects

- Mohammad Imran Khan of Atomic Properties