The Makelaar Blues
OK, say it clear, say it loud I’m a Makelaar and I’m proud! It’s a great thing, yes a wonderful thing being a Makelaar. These times are difficult, we have a bad economy, and we are here to provide a valuable service to you Expats, not to rip you off, no, we try for a win/win situation. Yes we make a bit of money, but we have to eat too right?
On a normal day, naive Expats used to wander to our office like lambs into an abattoir, and unlike an abattoir we don’t cut up the whole lamb, no, we just take most of the wool, the lamb is still left alive. Business used to be so good in Amsterdam, but now, this klootzak, the shallow man is causing me, I mean us, my profession, problems. Lots of Expats start negotiating with me on prices, this never used to happen before. It used to be so makkelijk/easy to get expats to pay almost any price for property, but now they ask questions such as, “what’s the average price per square foot of property in this neighborhood?” They even go to the Funda website to research local rental prices before meeting me.
This cannot go on. I was going to buy myself another pair of Van Bommel brown shoes this month, but won’t be able to. My commision is getting smaller. My partner, Lieke is getting worried as if this continues, she might have to start working four days a week! How is she supposed to meet her friends for coffee at Cafe Binnen en Buiten in the afternoons, do Yoga and spend her time shopping for yet another pair of jeans? Sad times.
Yesterday, I showed a British couple a ninety square meter apartment in the Overtoom. Yes, it was not in the most optimal state, and ok it did smell of smoke and the furniture was 1980’s Ikea, but it was a good price at 1700 Euros a month. This couple had read the shallow man blog and started asking me awkward questions about similar properties in the neighborhood. They started showing me apartments on offer in the neighborhood that cost less. I hate the Internet and in particular the shallow man.
After a good lunch at De Duvel, (I’m spending less money now on lunch) I had to visit an Expat for who I had arranged the rental of an apartment to in the Pijp for three months ago. Seventy five Square meters for 1400 Euros a month. Those were the days. Now, not only is threatening to contact the huurcommisse about the price, he is complaining to me about mice! I tell him that mice are a normal part of Amsterdam cultuur. That there is no point wasting time trying to kill them, simply leave cheese for them in one part of the apartment, then they will stay there and leave the rest of the place alone, as they don’t need to search for food. Win/Win! He called me some not so polite words and showed me how he had imported mouse traps from the UK and that they had killed plenty of mice already. I now have to go back to the owner and lower the rental price.
Dus, times are hard for us Makelaars at the moment. If this continues, I’m going to have to do a deal with the devil!
Some Makelaars may have been hurt during the writing of this article.
Buy the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man. Hated by Makelaars everywhere.