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Taking the Stairs - How To Become a Successful Property Agent

Taking the Stairs - How To Become a Successful Property Agent

28 February 2020

Successful Just Property estate agent, Peter Mabale, gives some insight into what makes for a successful career in property. 

Growing up in Tzaneen, Limpopo, Mabale was always fascinated by learning new things. While he loved conquering the unknown and turning it into the familiar, he says that his “aha moment” came in his final year of school when he realised that “matric was not a mattress”. In other words, average matric results were not going to get him the life he dreamed of. The only way to break the mould at his rural high school was to get the marks required. He put his head down, finished with distinctions and secured a position at a state-owned company in Gauteng.

Over the years, Mabale has continued to study and has worked his way up. He held various senior positions but as someone who comes into his own in situations of uncertainty, he was becoming uncomfortable with the comfortable. After almost two decades in corporate, Peter left to join the property industry, starting at an entry-level position. 

With self-discipline and hard work, Mabale finished his internship and received a national Sales Award in the same year.

His big break came when a property developer offered Just Property Midrand, the company he works for, a few stands in a property development close to a township. His more experienced colleagues were reluctant to divert their attention from their “suburbs”, so Mabale raised his hand and pitched his company gazebo every weekend, handed out flyers, spoke to anyone who stopped to listen and responded to all online inquiries. 

“I worked hard and, in consultation with my mentor, successfully prequalified all buyers, assisted with finance applications and sold out the sites in three and a half months,” he says. Months later, many other companies there were still struggling to sell their sites. 

Now a successful, fully qualified agent, operating in a tough industry and depressed market conditions, Mabale attributes his success to self-discipline, dedication to his work and awareness of market cycles and the dynamics of the area he focuses on.

How did he build a reputation that draws sellers and buyers? “Once I determine the needs of property stakeholders in my area, I focus on offering value to all. This is an emotion-driven business, so I have also learnt to remain calm and solutions-oriented in tough situations, and I don’t dwell on negatives”.

“The value of an agent is to bring the buyer and seller together and to facilitate a win-win solution to their needs,” he says. “It is not easy but I am able to build trust using the tools I have at my disposal. For example, I am able to show both parties what realistic prices are for an area, and once their expectations are aligned, they see the true value of working with an agent.”

If realising the dreams of his clients is Mabale’s greatest motivator, his deepest frustration is broken promises: “I feel it is much better to under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver.”

Peter Mabale’s Top Tips to Aspiring Agents

  • Master the dynamics of a limited, defined area. Stay abreast of any new developments and keep up yourself informed of the demographics of people moving in and out. You can add more value if you really know your area, by providing information on important landmarks, prominent businesses in operation in the area, retail platforms, educational institutions in the locality etc. 

  • Give advice backed by data, not hearsay. Being with Just Property, I have at my fingertips information like statistics on median prices, required financial status to acquire property in the area, sales activities including those on the current market and actual prices achieved. This is much easier to assimilate and get to grips with if you focus on a manageable area. Trust is built when your clients can see that you are truly the area expert.

  • Let potential property sellers and buyers know that your assistance doesn’t stop with the sale. Help them with all required certificates, connection to complex security systems and supply information on managing agents and the services of plumbers and social facilities in the area, etc. Remember, you are building a relationship with that client. When they are ready to sell again, who are they going to call?

  • Never stop learning and improving yourself. Personal excellence in all disciplines and everything you do is one of my values, and is also prized at Just Property. Read books that build up and encourage – success in life depends more on the person you become than on the things you acquire. The book that stands out for me is "No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline” by Canadian-American development author, Brian Tracy.

  • If you are a young person starting out in the industry, accept that "the elevator to success may be out of order, but the stairs are always open". Your dreams will surely be fulfilled when you resolve not to cut corners but to think long term. It’s "dinner before dessert” and not the other way around. Focus on doing the right things daily – your dreams of success are within reach but you may have to take the stairs.

For more information on Just Property please visit www.just.property or call (087) 550 2258.

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