International agent joins RE/MAX ranks

A top London estate agent is ploughing back his expertise gained abroad into his hometown of Port Elizabeth as RE/MAX Independent’s newest recruit.

Top international estate agent Bernard Richter has joined the RE/MAX Independent office in Port Elizabeth. He was officially welcomed by owner Kobie Potgieter (right) this week. Photo: Johan Wasserman
Born and raised in PE, Bernard Richter started his career in the property industry after a shoulder injury while playing rugby abroad forced him to find alternative employment.

“I was chosen for the South African rugby college under-21 side and through this had an opportunity to play abroad.”

It was while playing in the United Kingdom that Richter broke his shoulder.

“I had to get a job and felt I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk from nine to five.

“I figured I enjoyed people, had an interest in property through my mom and might find working as an agent to be just the right job for me,” said Richter.

His mother Joan is one of RE/MAX’s top agents, having received the Millionaires’ Club award for the past two years.

The former Graeme College and Victoria Park High School pupil's business and marketing studies at Damelin College stood him in good stead as he started his career at the London-based Rolfe East estate agency and quickly moved through the ranks.

Richter started out as a trainee sales negotiator, but progressed to senior sales negotiator within two years and was soon managing his own branch in west London.

“When I started I was a real rookie but really wanted my particular office to do well. I replaced a man who had just resigned and I felt from the start that if I wanted this job, I needed to pull in some figures.

“I got to work early and stayed late and my boss recognised this, started giving me incentives and praising my efforts.”

He said the recognition made him feel good and spurred him on to do more and more.

“Over time I was given additional responsibility and responded well to pressure but always did what I said I was going to do for my clients and this seemed to be the key to my success.

“If you just do what you say will, call when you say you will, keep things simple and be honest, I guess you have a winning formula and it’s one I’ve stuck with.”

Richter was also the first manager at his company to gain his National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) qualification, which consisted of various examinable subjects such as property law, practice and procedure, financial crime, building design, consumer protection regulation as well as ombudsman compliance and rules.

“I became area manager running two offices and was the lead person when it came to valuations and mandate hit rates – taking on more than anyone else.”

By the time he left the UK three weeks ago, Richter had taken the company to the number one spot out of 73 competitors in the area.

“My firm sponsored me to stay in the country and obtained a work permit for me as they didn’t want me to leave.”

But, after 13 years, he decided it was time to come home and said he was very happy to be investing his experience in his new venture with RE/MAX.

Richter added that he had realised that the local industry was “very different” to its British equivalent.

“In fact, agents seem very nice to each other. Most split deals with each other, which is unheard of in London.

“And no one poaches competitor’s properties, which happened all the time in the UK.

He added that letter drops and canvassing were far less prevalent than in London.

“Unless you tell people you’d like to do business with them, how would they know?

“Then, of course, a big plus about working in South Africa in the property industry is that you get to show houses in the sun, which is a lot more enjoyable than in the snow.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      The average size of bond granted in SA has grown 7,7% in the past 12 months to R934 000, according to BetterBond, the country’s biggest bond originator.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      In the current market, letting out a property can be a good option as rental demand remains strong, especially in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This is according to Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop. However he says that before homeowners let their property out, there are five key points they should make sure are covered before they market the property for rent and sign any lease agreements.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      The Capetonian dream is to live by the ocean with the iconic mountain making an appearance somewhere in the horizon. But, that dream comes with a hefty price tag that many simply cannot afford. But, should you venture some kilometres out of the city centre, entirely new realms of beachside bliss await you …
    • 19 Jun 2018
      Douw Steyn, one of the richest men in the country, recently allowed a rare glimpse into his Fourways Palazzo when it was featured on the SABC lifestyle programme Top Billing - and it is beyond your wildest dreams!
    • 18 Jun 2018
      Many home sellers are motivated to appoint estate agents because they know that the agency will carry the costs of advertising and marketing their property.
    • 18 Jun 2018
      When a property is sold when it has a tenant in occupation, the questions often raised are: “What happens to the tenant if the landlord sells the property?”, and what rights the tenant will have with regards to cancelling the lease or enforcing it, says Sunell Afrika, rentals manager for
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us