In the real estate business there are few that can compete with Kobie Potgieter, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Independent Properties in Nelson Mandela Bay, who was recently nominated in the Annual Businesswomen’s Association (BWA) Regional Achiever Awards in the Entrepreneur category. Kobie Potgieter was recently nominated for a prestigious award
Port Elizabeth’s top 18 businesswomen will attend a gala dinner later this month to see who will take top honours in their respective categories. Only one woman in each of the six categories will walk away the award for their outstanding contribution and achievement in their various business sectors. The awards aim to applaud businesswomen who have made significant contributions to the economy and also to create role models for other women within the community to look up to and be empowered.
While Potgieter initially never intended on becoming a real estate agent, starting her career as a Grade two teacher, she is now a top producing real estate professional who is renowned both on a national and international level, consistently placing among the top ranking residential agents in the world within the RE/MAX group, having won numerous international awards.
As a proud ambassador of her hometown Port Elizabeth, she notes that the exposure gained on a national and international platform will elevate the region to levels that will attract potential investors as it is now seen as a property hot spot with ample opportunities and activity.
Potgieter humbly attributes her achievements to her faith, hard work, committed agents and staff, and her wonderfully supportive family. When asked what attributes make her successful, Potgieter says:"I believe it is my passion for people and an honest desire to look after their best interests. I truly love the satisfaction of bringing a buyer to their dream home or playing a fundamental role in helping a seller move on to the next phase in their life,” she says. “Changing with the times and staying up-to-date with industry trends is also critically important, but my core principles remain unchanged.”
Talking about the largest contributing factor that has gotten her to where she is today, Potgieter says points to her survival instincts. “When my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness I felt a tremendous weight of responsibility knowing that I would have to become the sole breadwinner for our children. That gave me the added impetus to work hard and succeed. It was a driving force that kept me going.”
According to Potgieter there are a number of characteristics that are essential for success within the real estate sector, such as a passion for people and the industry, good leadership skills and the ability to empower agents as individuals so that the group as a whole can excel. She also says that a real estate professional must be creative and have the ability to solve problems. “This industry requires careful planning, strategic thinking and the ability to adapt quickly and stay ahead of the times. It’s important to have in-depth industry knowledge and the wisdom to make the right decision for the company and its people at the right time. Keys attributes include honesty and accountability - property is probably the biggest transaction people will make in their lifetime, they must know they are in safe hands,” says Potgieter.
Giving advice to other women who are starting their careers in the business world, Potgieter says that it is all about striving for excellence, hard work, dedication and gaining knowledge through continuous training. “Never take no for an answer, believe in yourself and put your trust in the Lord. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not good enough. Silence your critics with
your success,” she says.
Having already achieved so much in her career, it begs the question, where to from now? “My primary goal is to transfer my knowledge and skills in order to leave a lasting legacy. One of the ways is to run a sustainable and profitable business and, by extension, guide my agents to financial independence. I want to enable them to make the right business decisions so that they can achieve financial freedom and be able to retire successfully one day,” says Potgieter. “I believe I also have a responsibility to be a role model and leader for women in the community. I aim to empower women in business through various platforms that I’ve created - I especially have a heart for those who have been oppressed. By sharing both my adversities and triumphs with them, I aim to inspire and encourage them to believe in themselves. I want women to know that their past does not determine who they are and that they can create the future they want for themselves,” she concludes.