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Shirley Finnemore


What are your top three secrets to success?

Keeping in touch with all clients on a very regular basis, giving sellers feedback on buyers’ comments after every appointment. Sitting as many show days as possible and not using sitters unless essential. Supporting our ‘Farm Area’ Residents Associations, giving financial assistance to them where possible. For example, we maintain the local library gardens and offer a full weekly landscaping team who keep it looking well cared for. The playground equipment in the garden attached to the library is painted regularly by us as well.

What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you or told you when you first started out in property and why?

I started out as an assistant to a successful agent and learnt the ropes from her. I am sorry that I didn’t get my own farm area and get going long before I did.

What is the most vital business tool that estate agent should have at their disposal in today’s market and why.

An iPad and cell phone. It speeds up communication in a highly competitive business. There are many skilled and professional agents out in the marketplace chasing the same business. Tomorrow is often too late to deal with clients’ enquiries.

Do you remember the first property you sold? Please tell us about it.

The first property I sold was for a young couple moving down to Cape Town. A lovely character home set in an attractive treed garden. It was quite difficult to appear the expert, having not sold anything before. I decided to mention this to them at the time of the interview, which they appreciated and my enthusiasm won the day – they gave me the mandate to market it for them. This was something I learnt very early on in my career – that there is never any valid reason for not being authentic in a negotiation.

What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success in their career in property?

Get to know the property market in your area and keep track of what stock has sold and at what price. Also, take the opportunity to follow up on other agents’ stock on the market, where their mandate has ended and the property has not sold, as you can then approach the sellers to give you a try. Always be enthusiastic.

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