Approximately a year ago, prominent Durban business woman, property attorney and founder of AMC Hunter INC Karien Hunter, decided to take a leap and purchase the Engel & Völkers KZN Dolphin Coast franchise. Catching up with Karien, we find out about her real estate journey and recent trip to the Engel & Völkers headquarters in Hamburg, Germany.
Karien Hunter on her Real Estate journey
Enjoying over 30 years as one of the leading property conveyancing attorneys in KwaZulu-Natal and as a resident of the Dolphin Coast, the shift to real estate seemed a logical one. As an avid reader, Karien became acquainted with the E&V brand through a weekly newsletter and fell in love with the organisation, their values and professionalism. A year on, she considers her decision to expand into real estate a rewarding challenge.
"It has been one of the most challenging years of my life. To expand into sales from a legal environment was not easy; it has been an adjustment but has taught me a great many things – and not least, the sale and marketing of property and the practice of property law and conveyancing complement each other, giving clients a unique experience" says Karien.
While her professional career allowed her to interact with hundreds of real estate agencies and agents, she now understands what goes into the real estate process. "I have great respect for estate agents. I don’t think the general public always understands what actually goes into marketing and selling a property and keeping deals together."
Leadership Development in Hamburg
To ensure that her team and the Engel & Völkers KZN Dolphin Coast branch operates at the highest level, Karien travelled to the Engel & Völkers head office in Hamburg, Germany, for a gruelling week-long leadership development seminar.
“I think it was incredibly important to familiarise myself with the culture of the brand and their way of thinking. Obviously, they have a very successful brand. They've been around for more than 40 years and started from very humble beginnings. I found there was a synergy there, between myself and this German powerhouse, as I started my law firm 32 years ago also by simply servicing one client, then two, then four and so on.”
The training itself focussed on the way that Engel & Völkers run their operation, placing importance on the relationships agents and agencies have with people and focus on the management, communication and treatment of clients and team members.
“If I had this training 20 years ago I would have been even more successful in my professional capacity, in my law firm - because at the end of the day you deal with people. They summarised the development course in saying we always believe that we should treat people the way we would like to be treated, instead treat people as they want to be treated.”
In closing, Karien noted that she came back more sensitive to the emotional needs of her clients and team members, with a new found focus to meet them on an EQ level.
" I have learnt to be more intentional in selecting my team of agents so that we have a good mix of personality types that complement each other, to bring out the best of their abilities."
Engel & Völkers KZN Dolphin Coast is located in the Simbithi Office Park on the Dolphin Coast. For more information or for world-class property advice, contact the E&V Dolphin Coast team on 031 880 0989.