Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Peggy from US

I have been a tenant and prospective tenant both here in Japan and in the US. I've also worked in real estate before. My father is a broker himself, so I know the difficulties that each side faces.

Usually, brokers get prospective renters who make long lists of requirements for an amazing apartment at an unrealistically low price.

Renters usually complain about brokers who show them apartments that don't match their criteria at all, or only barely, or are above their budget.

This was not the case with Harada-san, despite our admittedly long list of requirements. He didn't waste our time pushing apartments that didn't meet our criteria. At his office, before even seeing any apartments, we had a brief discussion about what we were looking for in an apartment, and spent about an hour looking at all the various possibilities in the database. We saw only 3-4 before seeing and deciding on the perfect one.

Compare this to the experiences we had around the same time--a broker who printed out some listings and then showed us some that explicitly violated some of our deal-breakers. There was another broker who basically laughed in our faces for starting to look for apartments one month before our scheduled move instead of the apparently usual two weeks before.

Harada-san is the consummate professional-- extremely helpful with translating documents, speaking to management offices, other brokers, and landlords on our behalf. He was very patient in explaining various things--about setting up utilities, moving in, etc.

One of the things that impressed me most was his responsiveness. Literally 30 seconds after I hit "send" on an email asking for more information about an apartment listing I saw on GaijinPot, Harada-san called me. I did most of the emailing for me and my husband, but Harada-san made sure to CC my husband on every email. He missed only one, which he self-corrected before I even noticed. Even my wedding planner wasn't as thorough!

He even took the initiative to negotiate on our behalf--without our even having to ask--for an effective reduction in rent, lower deposit, and lower key money.

We are moving into our new place in a few weeks, but Harada san said we can email or call him anytime if there is a problem with the apartment. Now that is service! You definitely don't get this kind of after-care in the US.

I'm not getting any money or other benefit for my review; I'm just a big believer in rewarding quality professionals with positive reviews and more clients.

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