Estate agent with RE/MAX, Panache Durban North
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Q & A with Charmaine Lingard
How did you get into property?
The very first property that I bought was a flat and it was sold to me by an agent who wasn't pushy at all and that actually made me realize that selling property was something that I would enjoy. And then I did a short course and saw an advert in the paper and I responded and they accepted me as an agent. As a rookie, you don't realize how much you don't know. Fifteen years later, I can honestly say I'm giving good service and good value.
What do you love about your area?
I've been selling homes in Umhlanga Rocks for 15 years and the area is absolutely beautiful. I'm very fortunate to be in such a pretty area. I think it's a good middle route between Cape town and Johannesburg: you don't want to be in the rat race, but you also want to be able to enjoy the lifestyle and have work nearby. It's great.
What do you love about your job?
Being an estate agent uses every single one of the skills I've gained. I love the marketing aspect – finding the best features of the home. I always use professional photographs, because to find the best angle, the best features and make sure that that the web presence is as strong as possible really helps to sell a home. I've had a lot of buyers who'll go through a home and then forget something and they'll go back to the pictures. Having a good web presence really reinforces the features of the property.
What sets you apart as an agent?
My approach with clients I believe is totally different to other agents. I really enjoy helping them in every facet of property ownership. So when I meet them, instead of just getting the specs of what they need, I find out why they need a certain home. And what the reasons behind that are… Because often that journey, finding a home, you think that you’re looking for something with a garden when actually having a park right next to the apartment is sufficient. So you do have to delve a bit deeper. The relationship side is also very special. I really do look after my clients while they're homeowners, not just when they're buying or selling. It's very rewarding.