Recently named 'Sales Rookie of the Year' at Jawitz Properties' Annual Achiever Awards, Abdul Aregbeshola kicked off his career in residential property sales in January 2020, just months before South Africa went into its hard lockdown due to Covid-19. Despite the timing, he feels that this experience taught him resilience and tenacity, focusing his attention on doing what was necessary to excel in the property market.
Abdul Aregbeshola, Jawitz Properties
Born in The Gambia, Aregbeshola is Nigerian by nationality and having lived in SA since the age of nine, he considers South Africa a sublime home. He shared with us a bit about his property journey thus far.Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?Abdul Aregbeshola:
I am the eldest child of a family of five, and my inspiration comes from my family. My father is an academic professor and my mum holds a PhD in Environmental Management. I imbibed the spirit of hard work, and spirited dedication to tasks since an early age. I am very much an enterprising person and I strive extensively to achieve my targets, but this I do with the paramount objective of putting smiles on my clients’ faces. My mind is always focused on breaking boundaries, and I continually strive to do just that, and be better at everything I do. My portfolio covers residential property sales in the Centurion area and, as a property sales consultant, it is all about the happiness, the love and the relationship you build with your clients.
In the next few weeks, I will be completing my bachelor’s degree in economics and will then further my industry studies as an estate agent.Tell us about your journey in the property industry thus far. How did you get into property and what attracted you to the industry?Aregbeshola:
I did not actually plan on being a real estate agent. I had been struggling to find work, but after reading a 1997 edition of a book written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, entitled: Rich Dad Poor Dad
, I decided that I wanted to get into the buy-to-let property market. I applied to several institutions for loans but was turned down every time, so a mentor of mine suggested I get into the property industry. I walked into my local Jawitz Properties Centurion office and within a few days, I was recruited.
I have found that real estate is one of the best industries for any emerging entrepreneur, not only for its ease of accessibility, but to enable you to channel a personal career path as well. For instance, the moment you are recruited into the industry, you are your own boss! This suggests that your success is completely based on your personal drive and self-motivation.
The industry exposes you so much to real-life experience, teaches you human intricacies, builds your character, nurtures your patience, and strengthens your mindset.You were recently named National Sales Rookie of the Year by Jawitz Properties. What does this mean to you?Aregbeshola:
It has not sunk in yet. It was not something I specifically set out to achieve, but since my first day at the office, I began to work extremely hard to record my first sale. Thereafter, I just built on the eagerness to further the bounds - making one sale a month for the first three months and several more over the next months. I have to admit that 2021 has been extremely successful for me and I have been lucky enough to start my own sales team. I now pay salaries, which is a very big thing for me. It puts everything into perspective and my sense of responsibility is visibly alive – some people depend on me for their income!
The award has been an acknowledgement of success - not only for me, but also for my family, my mentors at Jawitz, as well as my entire clientele. The award further indicates that the current approach and mindset are appropriate, but there is always room for improvement. Having bagged this award, I can only strive for greater heights of success. The award is just the beginning of what the industry has to offer, and what we can benefit from the industry as a collective of aspiring youth.
You do not need much; you just need to work hard and be persistent.What have you done in the past year to be named National Sales Rookie of the Year?Aregbeshola:
I made many sacrifices to achieve this – long hours, learning from the best, cold calling, getting in front of people and being persistent – and it worked out; but at the end of the day, I believe it is all about your mindset. One's mindset is always evolving and it makes you a stronger person when you direct it appropriately and embrace growth. You get rejected a lot in this job but you just have to keep going.
I reassessed what I needed to do to be successful, such as being the first one in the office and I work till late, and I always look forward to break boundaries – impossibility is nothing!
I have also been extremely fortunate to learn from the best. I believe you can be the best when you are surrounded with those with a barrel of experience and knowledge, such as my parents, family, my branch principal and colleagues. Listen to what everyone says and how they go about things and try to replicate it. They have seen it, experienced it and gone through it – knowledge is power, but experience is the best teacher.
Any advice for people wanting to get into this industry?Aregbeshola:
Chidi Nwaogu, serial tech entrepreneur and cofounder at Publiseer and Savvy, has been nominated as Techpreneur of the Year at the 2021 FOYA Awards...
Evan-Lee Courie 23 Jun 2021
This industry has a lot of experienced and established people who have made their name and from whom you can learn. Use that opportunity. You need to be financially savvy as you are not earning a salary, but purely working on commission. It is important to note that property transfers can take up to three months, and your commission would only be paid after registering the property. Therefore, you need to be able to keep yourself going financially between commission payments.
You need an end goal – something driving you in the morning. You must look for ways to better yourself. I read a lot. It is all about the ultimate goal – you will navigate the journey as you sojourn, and you will figure things out as you go along.
We all have to face our own share of challenges when breaking into an industry and getting our name out there, you have to have a strong mindset.
For any young person thinking of what to do next, be a real estate agent as it affords you a load of opportunities from across the spectrum and it gives you an opportunity to build connections in the industry. It is an industry that toughens you up and makes you emotionally stronger.What are your sources of inspiration and drive?Aregbeshola:
Being financially free really inspires me, but my biggest inspiration comes from people. Making people happy and putting a smile on the faces of people that you help in realising their dreams - it’ll pick you up the next day.
Buying property is a big deal – your largest investment – and it makes me happy knowing that I have enabled people to own their own properties. Being a part of building a home and personal prestige for people, especially first-time buyers, really gladdens my heart. I wake up each day working for people, not only my clients but for their families as well. It is much bigger than I am.
What are some of the challenges young people face in your industry? How would you suggest they overcome these?Aregbeshola:
Ontlametse Molefe is a young, talented interior designer who has been inducted into the 2021 class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives...
Sindy Peters 8 Jun 2021
Some of the challenges include not having a regular income, breaking through the gatekeepers that erect barriers of entry into an area or suburb, and getting your name known and becoming a part of the community. Ultimately, it all boils down to why you are doing it. I do it because I want to grow. Every day I want to secure a house to sell. It is all about relationships, every day I want to meet new people. I have to repeat this again - be financially savvy! When you get any commission, save as much as you can in order to carry you through the leaner times. And lastly, pick up the phone, reply to calls. Do the nitty gritty that needs to be done. If anything backfires, it’s school fees!What is your message to the youth of SA this Youth Month?Aregbeshola:
My advice would be to meet as many people as you can. Make sure people know about you at the gym, on hikes, in your community, everywhere possible. They should know that this is the person I need to speak to when I want to buy or sell a property. Reach out to people – someone out there is willing to assist you, help you, give you a chance. Figure out how you are going to get yourself towards that person.
If you want to be the best, you really need to focus. Read books on how to sell and learn the skill.
Respect your client, respect the property – it doesn’t matter the level of the property, you need to do your best to get it sold. It makes you better every day.
Work with people who are successful so that you can learn from them and see what they do to achieve great success. Every job has its ups and downs but keep learning from others, ask lots of questions, put in the hours, look for solutions and get through it. Tell yourself you’re the best, and be the best.