40 Years of Tricks in the Trade

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

When author Hilton Greeff of ‘Activities Blueprint for Realtors’ retired from working in various capacities in the property industry, he decided to share what he regards as valuable tried, and tested industry experience, gained over 40 years. Greeff highlights practical knowledge needed to continue providing a selfless service that demands a complex delivery process, saying: “It is important however, to constantly bear in mind that it is a people business which is why the honing of special skills is paramount.”

After three years of putting pen to paper, with the main objective of aiding the rekindling of industry skills among property professionals, it was released two months ago and has seen the sale of close to 500 copies, while enjoying the support and recommendation of the SA Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA).

Greeff says this practical insight aims to address valuable industry members, whose daily duties require essential skills to not only initiate potentially successful business, but to continue regular flow and constant growth. He refers to Einstein’s saying of: “You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than everyone else.” when reminding agents of the importance of paying extra attention to income producing activities.

Greeff says while the 22 chapters of his book contain nothing new, he endeavoured to deliver practical shortcuts to operating within a highly demanding industry, and most of all a people’s business. He likens the daily job of a successful real estate operator to the business of a reputable confectioner in his view, is one who combines high quality ingredients with a prescribed method, to deliver a desirable product, repeatedly.

In addition to information such as how to check stock, the attendance of agency meetings, tips on advertising properties, information regarding general office duties, compiling personal portfolios, Greeff also offers other insights. He looks into the subtleties of human behaviour that so often determines final outcomes of business transactions across many professional industries. He elaborates on the human conduct during specific events between agents and clients when important transactions are concluded. Such as when it is time to sign a sole mandate, or the moment of accepting a purchase offer. Also of interest is his perception of various activities involved, and the importance of the impact of an agent’s behaviour, on what could potentially be life altering experiences for buyers and sellers.

An extract of the books refers to taking potential buyers to view properties. “This income producing activity can cost you a lot of money and blow your budget very quickly, when not tackled correctly. If you do not apply your mind, remain a professional estate agent, and do your job in a professional manner, this activity can turn you into a sightseeing exercise. You are the person who has access to the properties that buyers wish to see, so it is your responsibility to be as accommodating as possible but always stay in control.”

The book has received positive feedback about Greeff’s intention of providing a concise set of guidelines for anybody in the industry. Says Johalna Minnaar, President of IEASA, also facilitator of the sales of the book, ’it reflects the essence of the real estate business.’ She says it is an easy to read, comprehensive and concise reminder to agents as well as principals, while also proving invaluable to new agents, for reaping the maximum benefits within the industry.

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