10 December 2015

Traditional real estate companies are often criticized for their operational style. Financial gain is perceived to only benefit the business owner and the estate agent’s income is considered dependent on the company having fewer opportunities for accumulating wealth.

On the other hand, companies paying their estate agent brokers 100% of the fee for using the brand are equally criticized for lack of support or having a landlord/tenant relationship.

Linda Erasmus, CEO of Fine & Country, who has 30 successful years in real estate under her belt, warns that one always has to guard against a number of misgivings. There is no right or wrong. The model you choose must fit the individual and his/her level of skill and experience. We have only 24 hours in a day, so once you find people that can cover your weaknesses or accentuate your strengths when you do not have the time, success is almost guaranteed.

A traditional real estate company is like any other company, someone has to bring in the sales while someone manages the office, and another grows the business and recruits new staff. These different tasks require different skills and talents. No real estate company can survive without successful sales staff. They have to focus on bringing in more homes so that staff have something to sell.

While this is a full-time job, someone else needs to look after the daily operations of the office administration, IT and growth opportunities. This is a totally different function and other skills are required to be successful at this level. A simple task, such as dealing with web designers and IT specialists can take up a substantial amount of one’s time leaving less time to focus on actual sales.
As the business grows, the managing director will bring in new opportunities that will add to the success of the sales staff.

Traditional real estate companies that have looked after their business like any other successful business have the best chance of providing sales staff with the marketing and support that sales people need. The sales negotiator, marketing staff, administration and the managing arm of the business are all interdependent and, by simply improving this interaction, the business will improve.

Sales people are excellent negotiators and, when they excel, they become power negotiators as they climb the ladder to success. Sadly, there is a trend that many power negotiators change direction after they have reached this status, leaving a void in this section of the industry.

When deciding on what real estate model and brand will work for you as an individual, you have to match your own skill and experience to the model and brand you choose. Avoid the mistake of only looking at the benefits without understanding your own needs. Your company should look into all the elements that make traditional companies successful, including recruiting people who can do the job that they need to do.

When you are less experienced, you should look at a company that spends a lot more time training newcomers, while experienced and power players in the market should look at the marketing and international network connected to our local markets. Not all international markets are closely connected to the South African market as America has many time zones to go through, as has Australia.

The more active International network participating in the “up and down the globe market” includes countries, such as the UK, Europe and Africa, not to mention sporadic interest from other countries.
Erasmus concludes that although estate agents are keen to improve their skills, individuals still resist improvement at ownership level. This leads to the departure of many estate agents from traditional companies. It is a fact that the traditional model has few flaws, but the people in the model are operating without skills or experience.

Linda Erasmus is Chief Executive Officer at the sub-Saharan Africa operation of the British-based Fine & Country brand with their head office in Park Lane, London. The South African head office is based in Rivonia.

Readers can contact Linda Erasmus on 082 322 0079 or or visit

Rosemary Hare Public Relations
P O Box 12521

Fine & Country International Realty
29 Autumn Street

Please contact Rosemary Hare on 082 459 6226 or for more information.

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