Real estate in her blood
MAIN IMAGE: Karryn Cartoulis, RE/MAX Life Cape Town, has the sole mandate for this R150 million mansion on the Atlantic Seaboard.
To get the sole mandate to a R150-million mansion on the Atlantic Seaboard is the stuff of dreams for most estate agents – the chance of a lifetime.
But for veteran estate agent Karryn Cartoulis this is the second time that she obtains a sole mandate to one of the most expensive homes for sale in South Africa. Last year she sold a R100-million home in Fresnaye, also on the Atlantic Seaboard – the biggest sale made by RE/MAX in 2019. Karryn is an independent sales associate of RE/MAX Living Cape Town and has been placed first in the country in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. She has been the number one selling agent in the Western Cape for RE/MAX for the past 4 years consecutively, making her also the most awarded property professional in the history of the company. What is her secret?
It runs in the family
Her parents are both in real estate, yet Karryn took a while before following in their footsteps. After she finished school in Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu Natal, where she grew up, she travelled extensively and lived abroad for almost six years. Then when she met her husband in Cape Town in 1996, Karryn knew this is ‘home’.
Another ten years in the clothing industry followed before, as she puts it, “I stumbled on my passion, real estate”. “Real estate is simply in my blood,” Karryn says. She loves being a real estate agent. “I love meeting people, getting to know them and matching a buyer and seller. Seeing the expression on their faces when (after weeks, months or years of working with them and building a long standing friendship) they get “that feeling” that they have found their perfect home is the most rewarding and priceless experience for me!”
She believes the role of an estate agent is to guide clients to make the most informed decision. This is a role that she fulfils with so much passion and professionalism, that Gavin Varejes, the owner of the R150 million home describes his experience working with her as “an absolute pleasure and the most professional real estate experience and dealing” they had ever enjoyed.
In 2007 she joined forces with her mother who has been in real estate for 38 years this year. “Together we work by the philosophy that whatever you do in life, you have only your reputation to fall back on so always act with integrity,” says Karryn.
Real estate can be fast paced highly competitive environment. Like most estate agents, Karryn also finds challenging sellers with unrealistic price expectations and buyers who do not know what they are looking for. Part of her survival strategy is to set firm boundaries and to focus on the positive aspects of the job. She works from home and while working says she tries to work smart, and also not get involved in office politics.
Herself also a mother, Karryn’s firm philosophy is to never ‘give up your family for your clients’. “The clients will respect your boundaries,” she says. She only works until her children had finished their school day and never after 5pm. Almost unheard of, but Karryn says she also doesn’t work weekends, except on rare occasions.
“You have to give yourself very strong boundaries as this job can completely consume you if you don’t,” she says. Reflecting on current state of turmoil in the world, Karryn says she tells clients who are sceptical about investing in property in South Africa that no country is better than the other. “We have a wonderful quality of life in South Africa and so many positives. We are hardened as South Africans, having been through this roller coaster many times… and it won’t be the last.”
Karryn’s tips of advice
- Give yourself very strong boundaries as this job can completely consume you if you don’t!
- Never give up your family time for clients, they will respect your boundaries.
- Always share 50/50 with every other agent on your listings from the beginning. Let the sale be a win-win for all parties.
- Never walk away from a deal because of commission, make it work as your reputation is worth more and you will gain repeat & referral business from it.
- Try to focus on fewer areas and become the expert in your areas.
- Never push a sale, the property will sell itself.
- Keep the lines of communication open, especially during the transfer process as we know the industry/protocol but they don’t.
- Treat the client with the utmost integrity all the way through.