From intern agent to team leader: Hard work pays off

Private Property South Africa
Press

The past two years has definitely been exciting and successful for estate agent, Chwayita Hoyi in terms of achievements.

Her story begins in 2015, where she started her career in real estate as an Intern Agent when she was introduced to Engel & Völkers through the EAAB’s “One Learner Program”, where she started her internship with Engel & Völkers Broadacres and has just been awarded as the top Engel & Völkers Rookie Agent of the Year in terms of commission turnover achieved for 2017 at the annual rewards function which took place in April.

Before Chwayita established herself in the property industry she was in the PR and Marketing industry as a Public Relations Officer. “I was not intending on pursuing a career in property, the industry literally found me and I could not be more grateful” Chwayita commented.

She says that she had her choice of agencies to join, and had to do some investigation to see which would be the right fit. The Engel & Völkers brand appealed to her because of its reputation, international footprint as well as the professional training that their agents receive, and as she knew she would need the best guidance if she was going to make this work, she decided that it was the best choice as it would offer her the opportunity to grow in the new career she was embarking on.

After finding her feet in the company and industry, she inter-branch transferred to Engel & Völkers Hyde Park in 2015. The reason for the move was purely strategic, as their licence territory covered the area in which ideally wanted to operate in. It did not take her long to show her skills & professionalism off in her new office as she was promoted to the role of Team Leader by the Licence Partner, Scott Pharoah and Operations Manager, Debbie Robertson. “It is seldom that a rookie would reach team leader status in such a short period of time, but Chwayita truly was an exceptional candidate” noted Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. This is a huge accomplishment in both the company and in the industry at large. She is delighted and humbled, and would like to thank all who have played a role in making this journey a remarkable one.

Chwayita said that she will never forget her very first sale. “It was a unit in upmarket Hurlingham which sold for R2 million in a space of 2 months during a challenging time in the industry. After numerous viewings and show days, a buyer got in touch with me, and I took her to view the property. It was love at first sight, and an offer followed almost immediately, and a new listing as a bonus, as she asked me to sell one of her other properties too”.

Chwayita says that although her passion has been more for the residential side of the property industry up to now, she intends on becoming a well-rounded property professional and learning about other areas such as commercial, property leasing and management too.

When asked what she has found to be the most challenging part of the property industry, she shared that “It is advising potential sellers on a market related price for their properties. Although we do have the statistics and data to provide them with an accurate valuation, it is still difficult to convince someone that their property might not be the same value as the emotional value they have estimated it on. To that end, I also have to add that the most enjoyable is hearing that a client is happy. Whether it be a buyer with the properties that have been shown to them, or a seller about the successful sale – both sides are equally rewarding.

Chwayita believes that the characteristic that makes for a great estate agent is a good listener that pays attention to the buyer's needs, an ethical agent that can be trusted by both the seller and the buyers, they have to be knowledgeable in order to advise clients correctly and passionate about what they are doing. The sales environment comes with a lot of financial reward but with that also comes disappointments and sometimes rejection. And lastly they need to have an entrepreneurial spirit as they are essentially running their own business within the franchise business. She believes that the most vital business tool that estate agents should have at their disposal in today's market to ensure success is knowledge of this dynamic industry and flexibility to accommodate clients. “This will set them apart from the rest”.

The one thing Chwayita wishes someone had taught or told her when she first started out in property is that it's a full time job. If you really want to become successful at it, you need to invest a lot of time. She advises rookies to decide whether this is really what they want to pursue long term and if so be prepared to work hard because it is a very competitive industry.

When Chwayita is not working she is spending her free time having fun with her 9 year old daughter. She has recently joined the gym and prior to that, down time was relaxing at home with her daughter, going out to bookshops for a coffee and a read, or going out to watch live performances in the theatre. Ideally when the opportunity arises one day she would love to travel extensively.

Chwayita believes she still has a lot of work to do before she can consider herself as successful, however she is very grateful for the recognition the company has shown her and for what they have done thus far. In saying this, her top 3 secrets to success are: Determination, Education and a Passion for whatever you decide to pursue in life.

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