You will face competition whether you want to rent or buy space.
Typically renters or buyers of flats (and even investors with deep pockets) tend to view the real estate market from the point of view of a normal consumer. So they end up hoping or asking for services which in most cases won’t be provided. The property market doesn’t necessarily follow the rules of a typical consumer market. In a consumer market, supply is typically not a problem, and sellers with similar products focus on distinguishing themselves by service or other factors. The client is king – and could walk out of your door at any given time and buy somewhere else.
But the property market does not work like this. At least not in Germany. The products are not similar, as the location is a big factor for the buyer/renter. On top of that supply is very limited, in time and quantity. Typically you would search within a certain geographical range and in a very short time period. So walking out of the door is not really an option.
Also, the German fee structure for brokers is highly regulated. A broker can only ask a fee from you if successfully closed a deal. And most brokers don’t share deals, especially not in a tight market like Berlin. In other (more mature) markets like the USA, agents share deals and a broker with a buyer, works with the broker of the seller. In Germany, brokers tend not to share their deals with other brokers.
All these factors together lead to the real estate service providers to focus on the property and not on the clients or their needs.
Let’s face it, there will be no service provider that will search for you. Brokers or landlords will offer the property they have available right now. Take it or leave it. At least in a sellers market like Berlin. By the way, the same applies to the rental market (which is a landlord market here).
And the sooner you face this, the sooner you will succeed.
I will explain the “Do’s and Don’ts” or better “How to successfully rent a flat in Berlin, Germany” in this post and in the following post I will explain “How to successfully act as a real estate buyer”.
As someone with deep insides of the real estate market, I experience problems people have with customs and habits in this market daily.
Originally written for a friend I thought it might be use full information especially for foreigners new to Berlin or Germany.
Post 1 is for renters:
1. How to successfully rent a flat in Berlin, Germany
Post 2 is for self-user / flat buyers (but not published yet):
2. How to successfully buy a flat in Berlin, Germany.
Post 3 is for investors (but not published yet):
3. How to successfully acquire real estate investments in Berlin, Germany.
This post is written by Alexander Korte. I am a Berlin based property developer and investor, I regularly contribute to real estate relevant themes in the international press.