Interview : Independent estate agents: advantages and disadvantages

independent estate agentYannick Chalopin,
independent estate agent in Nice:

“The independent estate agent is a real estate professional who acts as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer of a property.”

Could you tell us about your professional background?

I have always been involved in commerce, since my early childhood when I helped my parents in their pastry shop (on Cessole) and then when I worked as a shop manager on Nice’s pedestrian street.

My wife, being a teacher, had professional transfers, and by choice I followed her in her movements while trying to renew myself in my professional environment (always in commerce).

When I came back to Nice in 2018, again following a transfer of my wife, I had the opportunity to start training in this new profession of Real Estate Commercial Agency, with Mr Thomas Zammout of the Gairaut Immobilier agency.

What is your geographical area of intervention?

The agency is specialized in the area of Nice Nord, but we often go to the surrounding communes such as Aspremont, Levens or Contes. We also work with clients in the Alpes-Maritimes from Cannes to Menton, but on a very limited basis

Can you tell us more about the status(s) and missions of an independent estate agent?

The independent estate agent is a real estate professional who acts as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer of a property. He is the main interlocutor between the different parties during the follow-up of a sale, including the notary who will make the sale official with the signature of the deed.

The independent estate agent accompanies his clients on several points:

  • estimation of properties,
  • signing mandates,
  • visits,
  • participation in financial negotiations,
  • publishing real estate ads on websites…

He is of course registered with the SRCA (Special Register of Commercial Agents).

Generally, the independent estate agent is a commercial agent with his own company (I chose auto-entrepreneur).

What made you decide to become independent?

In the real estate business, you are either employed or self-employed. Who hasn’t dreamed of being your own boss, of doing what you want when you want, of being able to arrange your hours to suit your family needs?

Why did you choose Gairaut Immobilier as your “employer” network?

I have known Mr. Thomas Zammout of the Gairaut Immobilier in Nice for many years, as he has helped my family buy or sell property on numerous occasions. It seemed logical to me to learn this business from him.

Can you tell us about the advantages of becoming independent?

The main advantage of the independent real estate agent is his independence. They work from home or from the agency according to their needs, they are autonomous in their organization and functions: they manage their own work schedule and their visits’ agenda, for example. Moreover, they are not subordinate to either their clients or their colleagues – no more hierarchies!

What do you think are the disadvantages of your job as an independent?

The profession of independent estate agent also has some disadvantages.

There are two major disadvantages to this profession:

  1. First, the independent agent is faced with a relative autonomy of work. In practice, he signs a collaboration contract with a real estate agency, but as an “independent real estate negotiator”. In this way he maintains his independence.
  2. Secondly, this profession offers complex statuses. Between the status of commercial agent and auto-entrepreneur, the independent agent finds it difficult to make a choice in order to get started.

Has the health crisis had an impact on your activity as an estate agent?

Yes, the health crisis has had an impact on our activity, however the market remains very dynamic and the demands for houses and green spaces are amplified following the confinements.