It’s time to step up

It’s time to step up

MAIN IMAGE: Idwala Property Group CEO, Nondumiso Mthwa, speaking at a Standard Bank Top Women’s Regional Conference.

It is time for the previously disadvantaged majority, especially women, to step up within the real estate industry says Nondumiso Mthwa, CEO of Idwala Property Group. She recently delivered this address at the Standard Bank Top Women’s Regional Conference.

When one thinks of the real estate industry in South Africa, the first thought is that it’s a male, white-dominated industry. This, unfortunately, is true. Only 7 per cent of the more than 43,549 registered estate agents in South Africa are black principals, which is a far cry from the target of 35% that was meant to have been achieved by 2012.

We need to get serious about transformation, from both a race and gender perspective.

I believe that as a previously disadvantaged majority, it is time for us to step up within the industry, women most especially. Yes, it’s challenging, and at times it seems that you need to work three times as hard to gain the recognition that you deserve. However, those are growing pains. Once you crack through the glass ceiling, you will realise that it’s one of the best decisions that you could have ever made.

Research has shown that women make up the majority of estate agents in the workforce. This is a step in the right direction. I’m of the firm belief that as women we need to continually pursue success in a society where favour remains slightly skewed in men’s favour, and this we can only do together. We need to draw strength and inspiration from each other.

For most people, buying a property is one of the biggest investments they make. The ability to facilitate that process is not only financially rewarding, but also personally satisfying. Owning a real estate agency, where one can deliver on this on an exponential scale, all the while building a legacy is even more rewarding. Let us strive towards that goal.

I believe it begins with these 7 things:

  1. Be passionate about the property market
  2. Have an affinity to connect and learn from other women
  3. Have a heart for people
  4. Have business acumen
  5. Be committed
  6. Have perseverance.
  7. Make sure that you comply with the regulations of the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

I started as an estate agent without a car and rose to be the top agent within three months. Today, 13 years later, I run a real estate agency with 14 staff members. With so much access to resources, any woman can achieve this, perhaps within an even shorter timeframe. The key is to start.

End.

About the author: Nondumiso Mthwa is the founder and CEO of Idwala Property Group in Kwa-Zulu Natal. She has over 14 years’ experience in real estate and loves sharing her passion for the industry.

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