10 characteristics of successful estate agents

10 characteristics of successful estate agents

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

South Africa’s real estate sector is home to diverse stakeholders who are responsible for various aspects of the industry. Agents are a fundamental aspect of the real estate industry, acting as a liaison between various parties in order to facilitate property transactions. There are currently approximately 46,000 recognised estate agents, according to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).

While many agents work under established property agencies, there are also many others who independently operate in this fiercely competitive industry. With such a high number of agents, being a successful real estate agent requires putting your best foot forward and adopting certain traits in order to increase your chances of success.

These are the characteristics which successful estate agents possess:

Understanding the local housing market

The property business is a multi-billion rand industry that is anchored around niches and segments. This means that an estate agent must have a good understanding of the local housing market in order to make successful transactions.

Good personality

Personality is often an underrated quality in this business, where the focus is generally on the prices. In order to succeed, an estate agent must have people skills. The ability to interact with others is fundamental, as this is the basis of making appointments and closing deals with potential buyers and tenants.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail refers to one’s ability to identify and remember the tiniest of details. This refers to an agent’s understanding of property details and relevant clauses in leases and sales agreements. Both the buyer and seller will count on the agent to pay attention to detail in order to conduct smooth deals.

Network of connections

The property industry is a web of connections. It’s a web of municipal officials, attorneys, removal and maintenance companies, banks and lenders, etc. A good estate agent must have good connections in relevant industry institutions such as lawyers, bankers and financiers and many more in order to get things done faster.

Daily discipline

Personal and professional discipline must not be overlooked. Your ability to arrive on time for viewing appointments speaks to your discipline. This also applies to how you conduct yourself.


A successful estate agent must have integrity. You must by all means avoid getting involved in shady property transactions and using clients who may have limited knowledge about property matters.

In-depth knowledge of the real estate industry

The real estate industry is both local and international. In a global village, an increasing number of estate agencies have established branches beyond South African borders. The country also continues to record increased foreign interest in property. This means an estate agent must have very good awareness of the local, national and regional housing markets.

Financial knowledge

A successful estate agent must clearly understand financial matters and be knowledgeable about the industry. You need to know types of financing institutions, differentiate financing options, understand impact of interest rates on property transactions, etc.

Rules and regulations which vary between areas

Different geographical areas in South Africa are governed by different municipal bylaws and property regulations. An estate agent must know the local rules and regulations to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

Honest and persistent

Very few property deals are closed in a short space of time. A successful estate agent not only needs to be honest in his dealings but also persistent. Don’t lose track of your leads and be consistent in your sales approach to avoid mistrust and sending the wrong signals to potential buyers and sellers.

The characteristics listed above, if well adhered to, will go a long way in helping you achieve success as a real estate agent.


Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

Reasons to love being a real estate agent
Real estate offers bright future for graduates and school leavers.
How to make the switch into real estate
What it takes to start a career in real estate
Independent estate agency or franchise - which option is best?
Stick with the pride or go it alone - the battle for survival continues in the real estate world.