IZABELLA DANCER - WAKEFIELDS' TOP ACHIEVER FOR 2018/2019
Category Residential Property News
Twenty years' experience certainly counts, but that's just one aspect of being a winner in property. Life experiences and attitude are certainly up there with the others. Ask Izabella Dancer...
Izabella Dancer didn't start out her working life as a property consultant. Far from it. It was in the 80s, when she began as secretary for SABC Radio and Television News: "I developed a keen passion for current affairs and became totally hooked on the hype and adrenalin pumping in the newsroom. What made this a very interesting time to be working in this incredible environment, was that this was during the state of emergency in our country."
Izabella took a break to raise her two children, and she says she was very reluctantly coaxed into going for an interview to become an estate agent: "I jokingly bet my husband I wouldn't last six months...I totally lost the bet. Within three weeks I made my first sale, and since then have been totally hooked! Real estate is in my blood, and has become my passion."
Izabella has lived in the Upper Highway for over twenty years, and has worked in real estate for as long as she's lived in the area.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing: "Fourteen years ago, our family was dealt a huge blow, and suddenly I was Mom, Dad and breadwinner. With two teenagers wanting to study further, I faced a huge challenge and had to step up. This was the start of a journey of self-discovery, and shaped me into what I have become. I learned that giving up was not an option...that a positive attitude, compassion for my clients, strong discipline, integrity, honesty and motivation were imperative to make a difference." But, she says, none of these would have been achieved without her motto, 'Always look on the bright side of life': "I am proud to say, these values filtered down to my children. My daughter is a medical doctor, and my son a vet."
Izabella has been with Wakefields for five years, and she considers being part of the company and the Kloof team, a privilege. After the first year, she made it into the top 20, and since then she's been in the top 10.
So, what does she consider to be the attributes which contribute to her success as a sales consultant? "Being a keen listener and giving of your time are probably two of the most important aspects of our profession. Too often we are so busy telling clients what we think they are looking for, that we totally misread them...and there goes a potential sale." She adds, "No answering cell phone calls while you are with your client, and, most importantly, deliver on your promises!"
Izabella certainly doesn't claim to be perfect. She smiles, "We all have weaknesses. Becoming complacent and wanting to creep into our comfort zone every now and then is the easiest thing to do. Unfortunately nothing happens in a comfort zone, so get out of there! Every so often, I give myself a stern talking to...usually in the garden. (Pulling out weeds is the best therapy!)"
Networking is a key tool: "I have developed an incredible referral base, and this generates most of my business. So, regardless of whether the market is pumping, or going through a bit of a dip, there is always business coming my way.
"This year, I stayed focused on the things I could do that would have a positive impact not only on my life, but on those with whom I came into contact...and it worked! It all comes down to attitude. I do believe this helped me achieve my dream of top sales consultant this year! It is so easy to fall into the trap of looking around and becoming part of the doom and gloom brigade. I refused to do that!"
Any advice to rookie agents? "Yes, be passionate about what you are doing. Your clients will feed off your energy - make sure it is positive, vibrant and exciting. Treat your clients with respect, after all, they have chosen you - be worthy of the choice they made! Become a team player. You cannot do this on your own. Tap into the pool of knowledge of your colleagues. We are an amazing team at Wakefields!"
Izabella's clearly a team player: "Working among amazing colleagues that have, each in their own way, made a difference in my life has been the cherry on top! A huge thanks goes to our Principal, Glenn Elstob, whose management style is delightfully different and adds a whole new meaning to 'thinking out of the box', and it is awesome! Being part of the Wakefields team has really been an eye opener. Myles Wakefield and his dynamic management team are constantly introducing us to new and exciting ideas, encouraging us to up our game, but most importantly, to maintain a professional relationship with our clients, as they are our number one priority. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising!"
Although Izabella clearly eats and sleeps property, she's a great exponent of striking a balance in life: "Make time to do feel-good things - it's really important. Going to gym, with a few classes of Zumba and Pilates added to the mix, certainly helps to keep me sane. And, if I want to stay in the good books of my placid lab, Monty, and my very fierce Scottish terrier, Murphy Angus, a few long walks are required as well! That way I earn the right to feed them and sleep indoors!"
Author: Anne Schauffer