South African estate agent voted world’s best

Private Property South Africa
Press

International Best Real Estate Agent, Debra Maddocks of Tyson Properties scores a hat trick in London.

Winner of three of the most sought-after titles in the property industry, the prestigious International Property Awards 2016 Best Real Estate Agent, South Africa, and Best Real Estate Agent, Africa, and, announced at a gala event at the Savoy Hotel in London on December 12th, the Best Real Estate Agent, Internationally, Debra Maddocks’ achievement is as much a win for South Africa as it is for herself and Tyson Properties.

Now in their 25th year, the “World’s Best” awards, run by the International Property Awards aim to recognise excellence in the property industry worldwide and promote an international standard.

Twelve years ago Gavin Cunningham and I founded Tyson Properties out of a need to establish a real estate company to provide exceptional agents with a platform to succeed that is fair and balanced for both the agent and the company. This award is testament to the company that we have built. Congratulations Debra on your outstanding accolades

comments Tyson Properties Managing Director Chris Tyson.

A delighted Debra put her achievements down to care, commitment and gutsy determination.

It took her three interviews and a leap of faith to secure her first job in real estate. Even then the principal told her she was cheeky. Little surprise, as with no experience whatsoever, she’d begged for the opportunity, promising she’d “walk” if she didn’t make a sale in her first month.

It was the same guts and determination that had Debra buying a car (she needed one to get a job as an agent) before she had a driver’s license, and buying a house before she had a salary. “I thought the motivation of having monthly bond repayments would be good for me,” she laughs.

It was. Besides her “World’s Best” awards, Debra is a driving force in Tyson Properties Westville offices, where she not just “owns the hood” in which she works, motivating and empowering those working with her, but was also recently awarded Tyson Properties Top Estate Agent countrywide for the fourth consecutive year, Top Supporting Metro Agent and Top Agent, Westville.

Classified by the former apartheid government as a woman of colour and coming from a previously disadvantaged background, Debra thinks it was precisely these roots that drove her. “Born and schooled in Sydenham, Durban, coming from a divorced background, and moving a lot during these years, I think my passion for property comes from my childhood and my desire for a secure family home.”

While she won’t take no for an answer, and better still loves what she does now, Debra is never far from her humble beginnings. “Care is such a small word, but it’s so meaningful. If you care about the people around you – your clients, your colleagues, your team - it will be a win-win situation. To be a successful agent you can’t worry about money. If you care about the people around you, the money will come.”

And care she does. Throwing herself into numerous community causes including charities, Rotary events (receiving a Paul Harris Award for commitment) and the Westville Cares Fun Day, which she initiated, Debra bonds with the people and communities around her as she gives back through time and service while building her business as it happens.

For business is something she’s very serious about. “I don’t think of myself as an agent, but rather as a business and a business that must stand out.” Accordingly Debra is fervent about marketing, setting time tirelessly aside to plan her campaigns and strategies, publishing her own monthly newsletter, running notable competitions, and using a wide range of printed and social media to excellent advantage.

And building her team. The A Team she calls it. “I believe in motivating and uplifting those around me, and enjoy working in a team. My team changes all the time though, I take the interns in the office, and those agents who feel they are struggling, and work with them until they have wings to fly on their own.” That said, Debra personally flew two of her team members to the National Association of Realtors congress in Orlando in November this year. “I wanted them to experience what it’s like,” she explains simply.

“I totally buy into Tyson Properties commitment to transformation which both empowers agents from previously disadvantaged backgrounds in a way that prioritises women, and ensures that staff are proportionally represented in relation to the South African demographic,” says Debra. “At Tyson’s we understand that while there is always room for improvement, lasting transformation is a journey rather than an overnight revolution.”

And Debra’s own journey is also continuing. Next step. Hello Ballito she says! “I need a new challenge and Ballito it will be. After 5 years with Tyson Properties I will become a partner in the Ballito branch in 2017, and am looking forward to throwing heart and soul into that community too.”

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