Kate Smith

JAWITZ PROPERTIES JOHANNESBURG

Why did you decide to pursue a career in property?

Although based in the United Kingdom at the time, I was keen to invest in property in South Africa.  As a result, I spent many hours with my agent going backwards and forwards between Johannesburg and London, sorting out paperwork. My fascination with the industry grew as I often ended up accompanying my agent to appointments. These were invaluable as they gave me a really good insight of the dynamics of buying and selling property. During the process of my offer and bond application, I took the liberty of referring buyers to available properties that I had previously viewed. To my delight, four of them bought.

What do you find to be the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of the job?

Helping people realise their dreams. Finding the right home for a buyer is incredibly satisfying; as is achieving an acceptable price for a seller. With everybody happy it really is a win-win situation. One of the most challenging aspects is aligning people’s expectations with the prevailing market.

What characteristics, in your opinion, make for a great estate agent/broker and why?

Firstly it is essential to be up to date with legislation pertaining to property in addition to the latest bank lending criteria. An agent should be professional, transparent, knowledgeable and enthusiastic in order to build trust with buyers and sellers.  Maintaining a constant flow of communication keeps parties informed of what is happening at all stages of the process. Being a self-starter and one who thrives on competition is vital. The industry is exceptionally competitive and it’s up to the individual to make things happen. Being a competent negotiator is a prerequisite as is the ability to empathise with both buyers and sellers. Buying or selling a home can be very emotional for most people. Staying up to date with local market conditions such as the latest prices, buying trends, the length of time on the market, tracking what is happening in the market and researching sales prices achieved via the deeds are all essential elements.

What are some of your career goals?

To be the first name my residents think of when they think of property – in all aspects of the market such as proposed alterations, market information, buying, selling or investing.

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