What are your top three secrets to success?
What I have found to contribute largely to my success includes:
• Clear communication, which includes listening. It is important for both me and the client that I fully understand the client’s requirements. The client must have the confidence that I know his/her requirements. Once I fully understand the client’s requirements, it is important that I clearly communicate to the client that the process will be going forward, with the focus being on the next action point.
• Faithfulness, which means being true to my word. If I commit to respond to a client by a certain time, I need to ensure that I respond to the client at that specific time. There is a common saying, which is very true: “Don’t over-commit and under-deliver”.
• Urgency – treat every client as if they are the only client that you are dealing with. Respond quickly to the client’s requirements. Keep the momentum through the entire deal process.
What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you when you first started out in property and why?
I wish someone taught me the entire deal process, and guided me through my first few deals. Because if I compare myself to the brokers with whom I have been involved in training, they have grasped the deal process and property industry far quicker than I ever did.
What is the most vital business tool that estate agents should have at their disposal in today’s market and why?
• A smart phone which enables you to:
• Receive and make phones calls.
• Send and receive emails.
• Manage appointments via a calendar.
• Search the internet, for researching the client.
• Take photos.
• Use a calculator.
• Use a torch.
• Write in a note pad.
• Navigate via GPS.
• All in the palm of your hand, literally, which provides you with flexibility and the ability to respond to clients’ needs quickly and professionally.
Do you remember the first property you sold? Tell us about it.
Yes, I have fond memories of my first deal. At the time, there was a newly built light industrial mini-park in Midrand, which I presented to a particular client. The units were perfect. They were modern, neat, ideally sized and had great exposure to the main road, which was exactly what my client was looking for. My client was so impressed with the units that he said to me that he would like to purchase two units, one for each of his businesses. He didn’t want to pay VAT so we structured the deal in such a way that enabled him to achieve a zero rating on VAT. In order to achieve this, the properties needed to be seen as a ‘going concern’, which means that they needed to be generating an income. This meant that my client’s trading companies would first rent the two units and his property holding company would buy the two properties with his trading companies being the tenants, providing the income, which enabled my client to achieve a zero rating on VAT. This, of course, meant that this one deal ended up being four deals: two leases and two sales.
What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success of their careers in property?
Surround yourself with other experienced brokers so that you can learn from them. Ask as many questions as you can and don’t be afraid of making mistakes; if you do, just ensure that you learn from them. Be faithful, dependable and act with urgency.