Real estate

Jonathan Davies is the branch manager of Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in Hyde Park, north of Johannesburg, and started real estate some 17 years ago as a junior agent. It took him about two years of hard work to fully understand the nuances of sales and property and slowly everything fell into place.

Over the years Davies won various awards for turnover and unit sales but for him the big achievement was in 2003 when he won agent of the year for Gauteng.

He moved out of sales into management and managed the Fourways branch of PGP. He then moved to the Hyde Park branch three years ago.
We spoke to him about the profession.

What is real estate about?
Real estate is commonly thought of as the selling of homes to buyers; however it is not only that. Real estate goes much deeper than just the sale. It is built on people and the relationship the agent has with the client. It is how you develop a name for yourself and how your clients feel about you that matters in the long run. Anyone can sell a house but to create and foster a business in real estate you need to have some very good people skills.  I have always maintained that real estate is about people, not houses.”

How did you get into it?
My father sold his house using PGP and got chatting to the agent about the industry. I was between jobs at the time and my father suggested I go for an interview. And as they say, the rest is history.

What inspired you to pursue real estate as a career?
It was never something I planned to do. I studied for a different career and ended up selling houses. However, knowing what I do now, I would highly recommend pursuing it as a career.

What subjects did you do at school to qualify as a real estate agent?
Again it was not a planned career but subjects that would help in the real estate industry would be mathematics and the understanding of values, interest rates and economic growth. Basic economics and financial related subjects will help. The ability to communicate and deal with people is very important too.

What do you like most about your job?
I think the fact that no two days are ever the same makes real estate so exciting. There are quiet days and frantically busy days. You meet all types of people from different walks of life and deal with different situations all the time.

Just how important is real estate in the broader scheme of things?
It is a very important job and skill. Many people believe they can simply advertise their homes and sell them themselves. This is true to some extent; however the complication occurs during the negotiation between buyer and seller. It requires a well-trained agent to put a good deal together from the initial phase of finding a buyer to the final phase of after-sale service and follow-up.

Which institutions offer training in real estate?
PGP has a training academy and the University of Johannesburg also offers a real estate course.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy cycling and running. I get a lot of satisfaction out of being a father of two lovely kids and being part of my family. I enjoy gardening and more creative pastimes like photography.

Thabo Mohlala

Thabo Mohlala

Thabo reports for the Teacher newspaper, a Mail & Guardian monthly publication. Apart from covering education stories, he also writes across other beats. He enjoys reading and is an avid soccer and athletics fanatic. Thabo harbours a dream of writing a book. Read more from Thabo Mohlala

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