Let's Get Real: Mark Andersen

Lets get real Mark Andersen Main Image

What made you move to Dubai? 

I moved to Dubai for a challenge. I had heard of the tax-free earnings available in the UAE and it certainly sparked my interest. I was working in real estate at the time in Denmark, so I had heard a lot of talk about the Dubai property market and it always made me curious. I had been in the same job for a few years at the time and I was looking for a new adventure. 

What were your first impressions of Dubai and the company? 

I had never been to Dubai before, crazy I know, but I wanted a complete change and that is definitely what I got! One thing I noticed about the city from the get go was how shiny it was! All the buildings looked so impressive and they still blow me away today! I found the city so easy to get around with taxis available everywhere you go, the metro and, of course, Uber. I instantly felt like I would fit in and nothing felt too strange which was reassuring. 

My first impressions of Allsopp & Allsopp were great! Everything was in order and I knew from the get go that they were professional. They had a step to step process to help with every aspect of joining and Kameron and Jo were there every step of the way. I really felt that they cared and wanted me to feel comfortable with the move. 

I had been following Allsopp & Allsopp on their social channels for around 2 years before I reached out to them over Instagram to see what career opportunities they had and Kameron got in contact with me shortly afterwards. I had looked at other companies but only reached out to Allsopp & Allsopp because I could see they were one of the top companies in Dubai and I liked their tone - it really stood out to me. 

Kameron arranged a skype interview, but I had never experienced this type of interview before so I must admit, I was slightly nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I made sure I did my research before the call and I wrote down all the questions I wanted to ask so I was prepared. Kameron was great - he really put my nerves at rest and we had an open and honest conversation. He was so friendly and down to earth, he made me feel like he really cared and was so helpful - in fact, he still is! He always checks in, even now, to see how I’m doing and I’m grateful for his support. 

Biggest Challenge? 

I didn’t know anyone at all. It is very daunting coming to a whole new country and working for a company full of people I didn’t know. Dubai itself was also so different to Denmark, so not only did I not know anyone but my environment was so unfamiliar. In saying this, these challenges were what threw me into the job head first. I felt that if I wanted to make this work, that I would have to ignore my doubtful feelings and get on with it! It really helped that I started with a few people who had also moved from their home countries to start anew, so we had that in common. I also tried to get out and meet as many clients as I could to talk to new people and get to know the cultures. I actually met a few clients from Denmark in my first month who I am still friendly with now!

A few people I joined with would say that the commission only role was their main concern but I had come from a similar role in Denmark so to me, that wasn’t so much of a problem - I had prepared myself for this aspect. 

Another challenge is definitely being away from family. It is a sacrifice that I am willing to make for myself, my career and my lifestyle but I won't lie, it can get really tough! I have missed the birth of my niece and missed many family birthdays. I actually haven’t been home yet. I had considered going home for Christmas but saw it as an opportunity to stay in Dubai and work as many other agents would be going home. In doing so, I saved the money I would have spent on travelling home and as a result hope to book my family flights and a hotel to come and visit me very soon which I am beyond excited for. This is the perks of the job and really pushing yourself to work hard pays off! 

How did you find the transition from real estate in Denmark to real estate in Dubai? 

It is completely different! In Denmark there isn’t a leasing market, so I only worked in sales. At Allsopp & Allsopp I have started off in leasing and it is a much quicker pace to what I’m used to. I don’t know whether this is a normal leasing market trend or whether it is only Dubai, but I find there is so much competition and properties that come to the market at the right price will only be on the market for a day or so, so you must act quick. I feel like I never stop but it's exciting and like I said earlier, I like a challenge. In Denmark, sellers would work exclusively with one agent. That isn’t always the case in Dubai and there can often be 5 agents working to lease out the same apartment. I found this challenging to begin with but I am in the swing of it now. 

The working environment at Allsopp & Allsopp was a vast contrast to that of my old office in Denmark. The music is loud, the atmosphere is lively and energetic, whereas in Denmark the office was completely silent with only a few people. This change took awhile for me to adapt to because it wasn’t like any working environment I had experienced before. However, I do feel like the vibe in the office is very uplifting and motivating.

Biggest Achievement? 

My biggest achievement is getting a call from Branch Director and one of Allsopp & Allsopp’s top agents, Darren Murphy asking me to join his team. I hadn’t even applied for the leasing role at his branch so it was so reassuring to have him call me. I felt as though I must have been doing something right for him to want me to take one of the 8 seats in his office. It has given me even more confidence and drive to do the best I can and I am so grateful for the opportunity. 

Any Regrets? 

I should have made the move sooner! Moving to Dubai to work in real estate had been something I had researched for years before I moved and I kick myself for not going for it back then, but, I’m here now and I’m ready for it! It hasn’t been easy though, I won’t ever say that I have sailed through smoothly. There have been ups and downs and I’ve even cried myself to sleep but it has been worth it and the hard work, frustration and sleepless nights are completely worth it! The positives definitely outweigh the negatives. 

What’s your favourite part of the job? 

I love meeting all the clients I work with and learning all about the different nationalities and cultures that culminate in Dubai. It’s also a pleasure to show people the incredible properties Dubai has to offer and the weather isn’t too bad either! 

3 Tips for someone looking to make the move?

  • Save enough money and ease the stress from day one. It will take a little bit of the pressure off. 
  • Do as the management and trainers tell you. I remember Lewis and Carl telling me to avoid the social scene for the first month and get my head into work straight away. I can definitely say that this is incredible advice and has made a huge impact in my success. 
  • Be prepared to miss your family. I miss my family every day, but I am doing this for them as much as I am doing it for myself and I can’t wait to bring them to Dubai and show them where I live! 
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