As an estate agent, you are first and foremost a salesman or saleswoman. Sales representatives in any field need, perhaps more than anything else, to develop selling skills if they are to ever be truly successful. The ability to market a product effectively has to be matched by similar expertise in close a sale. As a result, numerous programs, books, and the like have been compiled concentrating on the proficiency required to see a sale through from start to finish. Your training as an estate agent is therefore often focussed on such skills and rightly so.
As a new estate agent, it can be intimidating, however, by the numerous laws that apply to the field of property sales and you can become quite frustrated at times by the seemingly endless technicalities, prescriptions, and rules that affect this profession. These functions can be aggravated when compared with other selling fields that appear to be generally free of such obstructive hurdles.
You will begin to appreciate how extensively property laws affect estate agents when you realise what an attorney must learn to become a conveyancer, more correctly known in modern terminology as a property lawyer. It takes at least four years of study at a university to obtain a law degree, a period of clerkship with a qualified attorney and passing the oft-dreaded Attorney’s Admission Examination before one can even become just an attorney. The conveyancing examination is generally regarded with even greater horror as it is notoriously difficult and covers all aspects of property law and procedure. Prospective conveyancers have to learn such laws as the Alienation of Land Act, Deeds Registries Act, and Regulations, Sectional Titles Act and Regulations, the Transfer Duty Act, Provincial Township Ordinances as well as numerous other statutes before they can ever hope to become qualified to handle the field of property law. As a result, only a small minority of attorneys ever become conveyancers.
Some estate agents would accordingly rather leave the legal side of property sales and transfers to the conveyancer and get on with the simple task of applying their selling skills to finalising sale contracts. Once the necessary signatures have been obtained and a contract has been concluded they believe their job is done and the rest is up to the conveyancer who often has the unenviable task of sorting out a tangled mess that results from poorly concluded sales.
Anyone truly wanting to become a professional and skilled estate agent will seek to learn as much as can be learned about every aspect of the laws affecting the property market. It is for such agents that these notes have complied. I am sure you are one of those who really want to succeed in this field. I have sought to contribute as much as I can of my own personal knowledge and experience towards this end, together with the attorneys that have assisted with their time and expertise.
As a principal of a local estate agency, I often find that new estate agents are filled with enthusiasm and almost unlimited resources of willingness to learn all they can to become successful agents. However, after a while, many seem to think they have been taught all they need to know and often drift away from basic skills and techniques until they wonder why they are not selling as regularly as before.
The learning curve never reaches the ceiling. Never think you have “made it”, and that there is nothing new to learn. It has correctly been said that knowledge is power, and this applies as much to selling properties as to any other career. The more you learn, the more effective and polished you become. All the fanciest of marketing skills and sales gimmicks cannot substitute for the tested and proven values of knowledge and experience.
A knowledgeable estate agent is likely to be far more successful overall than an ignorant one. We live in an age where the general public is well informed and aware of the basics of most professions. The influences of TV, other media agencies, and social media have educated the average person in the basics of most fields and if you are untrained in the legal factors affecting property sales the potential Seller or Buyer will soon pick this up. Once he loses confidence in you as his agent, you will lose a prospective sale.
There is no substitute for sound knowledge.
People instinctively trust others who are self-confident. The ability to speak with authority is gained purely from self-confidence that grows out of an increasing wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience. When Gary Player won one golf tournament after another some other golfers and a few journalists complained that his success was often achieved by good fortune as much as by good plan. He replied, “It’s funny, but the harder I train, the luckier I get”. Many successful agents appear to be fortunate in selling consistently but when you watch them closely and observe how they effectively handle legal problems related to property sales you can soon see a self-assurance that attracts sellers and buyer and give them great confidence in the ability of the agent to deal with every aspect of a sale.
It is also a true statement that a little knowledge of the law is dangerous and, to become a truly good agent, you should be willing to learn more and more about the legal and other factors that affect and often disrupt property sales. It is also true that well-informed people enjoy their work far more than those who just drift along with content with only a superficial knowledge of their occupations. The adrenalin often begins to pump when a keen sense of self-satisfaction flows from being highly respected for one’s knowledge and expertise! Success breeds success but it rarely breeds itself from chance ignorance or pure good fortune (or, for that matter, bold ambition alone).
One of the great dangers in learning more about your chosen profession is the temptation to move away from what may now appear to be simplistic basics to more sophisticated and innovative methods of practice. It is a Biblical truth that no house will stand unless it is built on a sound foundation and, in the field of selling, success can only be achieved and maintained by never losing sight of the basics.
Whether you are new to Golden Homes or an old-timer I pray that your time with us will be fruitful and rewarding.