10 Characteristics of successful estate agents | General

South Africa’s real estate sector is home to diverse stakeholders who are responsible for various aspects of the industry. While the focus for many is generally placed on the end steps of the process which are renting, selling and buying, there are a lot of steps involved before someone rents, buys or sells a property.

South Africa currently has approximately 46,000 recognised estate agents who are key facilitators in property transaction processes, 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 a lot more than just being recognised and placing ads on boards and newspapers.

These are the characteristics which successful estate agents possess:

Understanding the local housing market

Property business is a multi-billion rand industry which is anchored around niches and segments. This means that an estate agent must have a good understanding of the local housing market. You need to know emerging constructions and possible demolitions in the area, rental and acquisition patterns.

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 a good personality. A good personality with good manners will come in handy when making viewing appointments with that busy tenant and even closing the deal with a potential buyer.

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.

Courtesy of PrivateProperty



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