29 January 2019
Described as “a force of nature", Yolanda Cornelius is like a whirlwind. Her strong character and boundless energy hide a humble and warm heart that draws everyone who meets her.
Yolanda's two decades in bond origination saw her winning Top Performer awards from institutions like Nedbank and ABSA, paving the way for her what she describes as the "adventure" she embarked on as a Just Property franchisee in November 2016.
It turned out to be a good fit. Just Property CEO Paul Stevens says that the real estate company looks for qualities like integrity, imagination and people skills in their franchisees. "Yolanda's profound sense of service and need to create the ultimate customer service experience is the perfect match for Just Property. She loves to be able to assist people in realising their dreams and being there every step of the way for each individual and that Is precisely what our “Property Journey" is all about. I am not surprised that her clients have given her the honour of voting her into the top three."
As testament to her positive contribution to the real estate industry, Yolanda was recognised by Just Property Head Office as New Franchisee of the Year. Yacoob Moosa from her Empangeni branch was recognised as the Rookie Agent of the Year, both in 2017/2018
Yolanda currently manages more than 100 free-standing and sectional title properties and 306 sales listings from her Zululand franchise. A focus on world-class administration allows their landlords to confidently mandate them to collect R700 000 worth of monthly rentals.
Yolanda sees her team as partners: "Their success ultimately leads to my success and at the end of the day that is all I can really ask for. I try to be a present, supportive guide for each and every individual through any challenges that they may face." This has clearly had a remarkable effect - the franchise demonstrated some phenomenal results in the past year: 140% increase in the number of properties sold and registered and 38 new leases signed.
When asked about her recipe for success, Yolanda doesn't hesitate: "My approach to Service Excellence has been influenced by a combination of experiences, challenges, opportunities and the people that I worked with. I think my sporting career taught me the drive and discipline needed to excel on a provincial and international level and I still apply those skills to my work and life today." When asked about the reasons for the success of her franchise, Yolanda shows her strategic side. "As a new franchise, we spent a lot of our time analysing the market. That data and the experience I had from my extensive background in Bond Origination, showed us there was a real opportunity in the affordable housing market”.
Yolanda and her team have the background and understanding that can only come from living and working in a Zululand, but the data she mentions is drawn from highly credible data sources like Lightstone and TPN, much of it not readily available to the public. But Yolanda is always happy to share and give advice. It's part of her customer service drive.
For example, she mentions that “in December 2018, there was a total of 3 484 properties for sale in Zululand, and 151 of these were new to the market. The average sale price of houses in our area was R1.2-million and R750 000 for apartments (a slight increase from 2017). The average estimated value of houses in our area is around R1,150,000.00 and apartments R760,000.00.”
She continues rattling off the figures she has at the tips of her fingers, showing her passion and in-depth knowledge of her area and her industry. But she credits the support she has from the Just Property Head Office, who place “significant emphasis” on technology and continuous learning.
Another fascinating nugget of information Yolanda shared was the age profile of Zululand: Long-time owners in Zululand are aged between 36 and 49; new buyers in our area are aged between 18 and 35, and recent sellers in our area are aged between 36 and 49.
“Isn’t it interesting that the long-time owners and recent sellers are in the same bracket? I must look into that,” says this graceful dynamo as she turns back to the offices of Just Property Zululand. You get the sense that there’s going to be some more data analysis tonight unless a client needs her because, for Yolanda, the clients will always come first!
For more information on Just Property please visit www.just.property or call (087) 004 0149
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