For many, the thought of selling properties for a living is daunting, but not so for Palesa Kibiego, one of Pam Golding Properties’ top agents, and a sectional title specialist in Morningside Johannesburg.
Kibiego, who has 14 years’ experience as a real estate agent, has an IT background having worked in the corporate sector for five years. It was here that she realised she wanted to work with and help people.
“There is a misconception that being an estate agent is about making easy money. But it is hard work which requires dedication and learning all the time, especially if you get recognised as one of the top agents in a competitive environment,” she says.
On becoming an agent
“After five years in the corporate sphere, I needed a change. I wanted to find a place where I could work with people while earning. Real estate was my first choice, and so the journey began.”
She explains that while still in the corporate sector, she took leave and attended a course at the Pam Golding Properties Training Academy. She excelled and made an impression on the trainer who put in a good word with the then Hyde Park area manager, Jonathan Tagg to set up an interview for her.
In 2005, Kibiego started working as a Pam Golding Properties agent at the Fourways office, moving to Hyde Park in 2015 where she has since focused on selling sectional title properties in Morningside.
Hard work and determination saw her sell her very first property – a beautiful home in Norscot Manor in Fourways -for around R2.5 million.
Challenges and importance of training
As with most jobs, being an estate agent has its challenges. Furthermore, real estate is a full-time job which requires dedication, and in order to really succeed, one must have a real love for the work.
“Although you are working for yourself and you are able to manage your own time, it will often involve being on the job for seven days a week. In addition, you will need at least six to eight months, or even up to a years’ worth of savings, in order to survive financially,” says Kibiego. Not having enough money to sustain her during quiet months has been a particular challenge.
It took some time for her to learn about the property sector, and her areas of focus, as she gained experience as a real estate agent. “Now that I have 14 years’ experience in the industry, I am able to emphasis my track record and recent successes, as well as my experience in the corporate sector prior to working with Pam Golding Properties, to my clients. I do this so that they get to know me, and my property journey, so that they will trust me enough to sell their homes.”
Kibiego points out that this job requires a strong willingness to listen, as well as the ability to give constant feedback to clients. “It’s critically important to act professionally and be honest when dealing with clients, and this includes responding to their queries or enquiries as soon as possible.”
She explains that what really helped her build knowledge and confidence were weekly training sessions which focused on key aspects of her job. There was also an added advantage in that she worked under the guidance and supervision of two of the top agents at the time. With technology, Pam Golding Properties now offers online video training sessions which are equally useful and relevant in growing one’s career, she adds.
“If you are wanting to be in a career where you are working for yourself, managing your own time, and where hard work will enable you to be more successful and financially secure than most jobs, this could be the career for you.”