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Negotiating for lower rent (Doha)

I share a simple experience core to the expat experience....I just completed a multi-month search for an apartment.

The search itself was time consuming with many challenges...endless hours web-searching, Ramadan delays, working with distracted brokers who could never remember my name, brokers who never returned calls, and some who didnt show for appointments. And, of course, multiple site visits to places that just didnt work.

The most difficult challenge when a good unit come on the market was watching others who were willing to put down a reserve (QR1, Protected content unseen, effectively removing the property from the market the minute it was listed. This stopped me in my tracks several times....Personally, I didnt want to take this risk.

Fortunately, I found a great apartment thanks to a broker who showed it to me first and prior to public listing. A good break! When the time came to lock-in a contract, I confronted price negotiation. I share a simple tactic for getting the rent level down. I cant promise its works always, but it worked for me.

I asked for a reduction of QR2,000/month. I was promptly rejected: the request was too much, my broker didnt have ownership, and he knew the owner to be difficult. It was also clear he didnt have enough skin in the game to even try for me. In fact, my reduction would have reduced his commission.

The solution was simple: I offered to increase the broker's commission by QR2,000 if he got my monthly rent down QR1,000, allowing me a net annual saving of QR10,000.

We're not talking a fortune here, but the inducement was enough to get him to act, where previously there was no interest to confront a tough owner. When he called the owner, a loud argument subsequently followed and it was clear who the broker was fighting for. He wanted that cash and he didnt let down. The owner subsequently agreed and then pushed the broker to get his next property signed just as quickly.

Again, there may be other ways to get your rent down....this is just one idea. This topic doesn't enjoy a lot of attention here, so I thought I would share my experience.

Doha Forum