SPECIALIST vs GENERALIST

In real estate, there are 2 categories of real estate agents/negotiators.

  1. Generalist
  2. Specialist

Generalists focus in a general location without a specific location. For example, a generalist covers Petaling Jaya (PJ), Kuala Lumpur (KL), or Shah Alam. These are still very wide districts in themselves. In PJ, there are many townships – Damansara, Kelana Jaya, Bandar Utama, etc. Furthermore, there is a wide range of properties in a vast area to be covered. Generalists tend to take up any listing within the general location and sometimes beyond it as well. They take up all sorts of residential, commercial, industrial, and land listings.

On the other hand, there are some agents who specialise in specific locations. For example, an agent may specialise in Bandar Utama. Another agent may specialise in Bangsar. Other agents specialise in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI). These 2nd category of agents are known as Specialists.

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To be a specialist, it doesn’t have to be based solely on location. Agents can also specialise in different types of properties. Some agents specialise in industrial properties. While some agents specialise in land. Other agents only specialise in million dollar properties. While other agents only specialise in projects or under-con properties. For the sake of this article, we’ll only focus on specialising in sub-sale or secondary market properties. Specialising in projects will be the focus of another article.

Thus, there are two categories of specialists: Location Specialists and Property Type Specialists. As briefly explained earlier, a location specialist specialises in a specific location, such as Bandar Utama (BU). Bandar Utama is a township consisting of 12 sections: BU1, BU2, BU3, BU4, BU5, BU6, BU7, BU8, BU9, BU10, BU11, and BU12.

The (Bandar Utama) specialist is a walking tour guide and google map. The specialist knows every main road, inner road, and junction by memory. Even just by looking at a picture of a house; the specialist knows the type of the house (whether its 2-storeys or 2.5-storeys), which BU and road the house is located at, and maybe even know who the owner is. It takes months of experience and hard work to reach this level of specialisation.

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As its title states, property type specialist only specialises in certain categories of properties, such as land, commercial properties, or industrial properties. For example, when sourcing for a land, the land specialist will need to know about the land’s:

  • Location
  • Tenure: Freehold/Leasehold
  • Size: acres and hectares
  • Title: Residential/Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural
  • Zoning: Residential/Commercial/Industrial
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Then, for an industrial property specialist, they’ll need to know the following information when sourcing for the right industrial property.

  • Location
  • Land area: square feet, acres, hectares
  • Title: Residential/Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural
  • Zoning: Residential/Commercial/Industrial
  • Nearest TNB substation
  • Nearest Bomba station
  • Nearest residential area
  • Is the property for heavy industry use?
  • What is the factory’s built-up?
  • Ancillary buildings if any
  • Total amp/hour
  • Does the factory have reinforced concrete?
  • What was the factory previously used for?
  • How old is the building?

These are some of the criteria specialists need to fulfil before sourcing for the right property for the client.

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Therefore, one of the ways to REALLY earn substantial and consistent income in your real estate career is to specialise. Specialising in your real estate career early on has its benefits and attractions. Specialising has advantages over generalising.

Property owners may have greater faith and ease of dealing with you, the specialist, because you’re an expert at the subject location. You know which house was sold and at what transacted price. You know the history, demographics, and culture of the location. You’re able to provide valuable insight to vendors. This adds value to the vendors.

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Thus, you’ve stocks in hand to propose to prospective purchasers. This saves you time from researching and scouting for properties to propose. You’re able to shortlist the properties in a short period of time. Then, you’ve the advantage in numbers, because then you can swing the customers around. If they don’t like this unit, there’s another (better) unit available. You get to show them the highest priced property to the lowest priced property in the vicinity. Hence, its a volume game. The more the hits; the higher the chances of sealing the deal.

Instead of you, the real estate agent, following the purchasers; the purchasers will be following you, the specialist. They do not see the need to contact other real estate agents. They need your services because it fulfils a need.


In summary:

  • Generalists
  • Specialists
    • Location Specialists
    • Property Type Specialists
      • Residential Property Specialist
      • Commercial Property Specialist
      • Industrial Property Specialist
      • Land Specialist

They need your services because it fulfils a need.

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IQI Realty Sdn Bhd
9-3, 3rd Floor, Medan Klang Lama 28,
Jalan Klang Lama, 58000 Kuala Lumpur

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