Wakefields Real Estate, The Pearls, Umhlanga
What are your top three secrets to success?
Most important is hard work because nothing great was ever achieved easily; effective communication with clients is paramount; and lastly, honesty, because your word is what you build your reputation on.
What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you or told you when you first started out in property and why?
I was very fortunate to have a mentor and friend, as well as a Principal, who were both fantastic! I’ll never forget how helpful they were, even offering the use of their cars if needed. They taught me all the basics and more. Only one thing…I wish I had known that this profession is not as easy as people perceive it to be – it took years to acquire the knowledge and experience which has molded me.
What is the most vital business tool that estate agents should have at their disposal in today’s market and why?
Technological tools are extremely important – you must have a cell phone, laptop, car and exposure on social networks in order to build a client data base. All these tools speed up communication in a highly competitive business. There are many skilled and professional agents out in the marketplace chasing the same business, so you must be able to deal with client’s enquiries immediately.
Do you remember the first property you sold? Please tell us about it.
I sold my first property in 1994 (with the help of my mentor). The clients were looking for a two-bedroomed flat for R120, 000, but liked nothing in that price range. They ended up buying for R850, 000, and referred many friends and family members to me. This same client has subsequently bought three properties from me, the most recent at R4m. And like many of my clients, have become very good personal friends.
What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success in their career in property?
You must demonstrate honesty, integrity, commitment and passion at all times, and you must be prepared to make personal sacrifices. In this business, you work every day, 7 days a week, and no half-days. Follow up on every opportunity immediately, and all clients must be treated the same way, no matter how big or small the sale. Show confidence to every buyer and seller, and if you don’t know the answer to a question, never be afraid to say so – always tell the client you’ll find out and get back to them. It always pays to do your best and be dedicated. Find a good mentor to guide you. But most importantly, be in love with the profession – that is what keeps you going.