Real Estate Agent vs. Property Manager in Dubai


August 29, 2018

If you are renting out your investment property in Dubai, consider having a professional by your side to guide you through the process. This can be either a real estate agent or a property manager. They will help maximize your profits, optimize and grow your real estate portfolio.

Hiring a property management agency in Dubai can be confusing. This is because a real estate agent in Dubai also works as a property manager. In most western countries, this is not the norm. However, in Dubai, licensing requirements for selling and buying properties are different than managing rentals.

view of Dubai buildings and beach

Dubai property values are sky high

This doesn’t mean you can just hire any real estate agent and receive expert property management service. There are brokers who have specializations in only one type of work – either property transaction or property management. Also, there are leasing brokers in Dubai who only advertise properties for rent. They don’t provide property management services independently. If you are hiring someone to manage your rental, you need to make sure that he or she specializes in this type of service.

What does a real estate agent do?

A real estate agent helps people buy and sell properties. Dubai Land Department’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has put specific regulations in place for buying and selling properties. Some of these rules also regulate real estate agents (often called real estate brokers) so that transactions are performed with transparency. A real estate agency in Dubai will list a property for sale and help you with all the legal formalities as a seller.

What does a property manager do?

The responsibilities of a property manager are completely different from a real estate agent’s. Property managers help landlords manage their rentals and come up with strategies to optimize the rental income. According to the Dubai Land Department’s website, a license for ‘Leasing and Management of Other People’s Property’ is required before a firm can engage in managing commercial, residential or industrial buildings. Through contracting with the owner on subcontracting bases, handling contractual arrangements with the firms in charge of maintenance and security,  as well as issuing tenant contracts. Managers are required to get access to the Ejari system before starting this kind of business.

A property manager will:

  • Advertise the property to fill vacancies
  • Facilitate property showings for prospective tenants
  • Perform tenant background verification
  • Have tenants sign customized lease documents or rental agreements
  • Collect rent
  • Help with bookkeeping
  • Look after the property’s upkeep
  • Make repairs whenever necessary
  • Maintain landlord ledgers
  • Help when legal disputes arise

Some considerations

When you hire a property manager in Dubai, you should discuss what your expectations are. Also, the scope of services that you need. Here are a few things you should discuss with your manager:

  • Short-term or long-term: In Dubai, the lease period is about 12 months on average. Most landlords rent out their properties on a 12-month lease.  However, the trend of short-term rentals is now getting popular. So, when you hire a property manager, consult with him about which route to take. If you are renting out on a short-term basis, your manager should ensure that you comply with regulations. It has now become mandatory in Dubai to register short-term rentals with the Department of Tourism Commerce Marketing (DTCM). You need to comply with many other regulations and licensing requirements. A property that is rented out for less than six months is considered a short-term rental.
  • Know your manager’s commission. A real estate agent in Dubai charges up to three percent of the income on a long-term basis. The cost of a full-service short-term agent may be as high as 30 percent of the rental income.
people in suits having a meeting at a wooden table

Do some research and know your options

In conclusion

Don’t confuse a leasing brokerage with a property management agency in Dubai. Real estate agents who work as property managers should have an appropriate license and comply with the mandatory RERA regulations. You also have the option to work with a company such as Blueground. We handle all aspects of managing your rental in a way that is easy to understand. You won’t have to worry about licensing requirements, as Blueground specializes in handling long-term rentals.


United Arab Emirates