In the Spotlight: Jurgen Schreck takes the saying ‘it’s all in a day’s work’ literally

Jurgen Schreck is one of many top performing agents from Engel & Völkers Potcheftsroom, who certainly takes the quote “the more work you put in, the greater the rewards” to another level. “I had to meet Jurgen myself after we heard about his 3 sales in 24 hours” stated Chantalle Bell, Feature Writer for Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

We managed to get a behind the scenes look into who he really is, and gain some insightful knowledge on how he managed to pull off this achievement.

Some background:  

Jurgen is a humble and competitive 33 year old who has been living in Potchefstroom for 12 years now. He is passionate about his family and is a husband and proud father of two boys, 3 and 6 years old. When asked if he has any hobbies and what he does in his spare time to relax, he says that his job has become his new favourite hobby. “This career is exciting as it is always changing, and it keeps you both entertained and mentally stimulated” Jurgen added. However we all do need a break from daily activities, and in such times, Jurgen enjoys all outdoor activities which include golfing, fishing or simply just enjoying a glass of good wine to unwind. His love for the outdoors is understandable as his very first job was as an adventure activities instructor and corporate team building.

Being driven by success, he is currently working very hard towards living his dream, which is to be financially independent. Jurgen’s personal goal is to live life to its fullest with his family while providing a good future for his children. He mentions that his motto in life is ‘you should not be afraid to make mistakes; as doing what you are afraid of is the only way to conquer your fears’.

His journey with E&V started a year and a half ago when he was down and out and needed to sell his own property to avoid further financial distress, which many of us can relate to. Suretha Engelbrecht an agent from E&V Potch came to list his home and she asked the familiar question of why he was selling. After he explained his situation to her, Suretha immediately arranged a meeting between him with her team leader, Beatrice Joubert, and 30 minutes later he found himself sitting in an interview with the Licence Partner himself, Carl Venter. Needless to say he started his new career at E&V that next Monday and has never looked back.

As agents are always running around, we opted for a Q&A to gain some more insight into Jurgen’s life:

What is the best advice you have ever been given in business and who gave it to you?

Best advice was from my father in-law who said ‘being truly happy in what you are doing is 90% of success’.

What is your outlook on investing in property?

Property can be an excellent investment, if you have gathered all of the information to make an informed decision.

Do you remember the first property you bought? Please tell us about it.

Yes, I don’t think that anyone will ever forget their first home. My first was a small 2 bedroom townhouse bought directly from the developer.

Where would your dream home be located?

As we have already established, I love the outdoors and nature, so anywhere with wide open spaces and majestic views.

Which room in your home is most important and why?

Though difficult as being outdoors is my passion, but inside it will have to be the kitchen, it is the heart of any home.

Tell us a bit about the market you specialize in?

I am a residential property specialist that primarily focuses in the top 60% of the Potchefstroom market.

What are your top three secrets to success?

  1. Dedication
  2. Discipline
  3. A healthy support structure at the office as well as at home

Can you remember how many properties you have sold?

I have sold 63 properties to date since I joined the industry almost 2 years ago.

We know that you recently sold 3 properties within 24 hours, please tell us about the sales

I have to start by saying it was a very busy day, and the mix between stress and excitement was unexplainable. It started with the first, which was a seller to whom I sold a unit at de Land Estate stand (one of our exclusive new developments), and they invited me to take a look at their home and provide them with a CMA. Upon arrival at the home, my immediate thought was that this home was perfectly suited to the needs of a couple that I met at a birthday party that my 6 year old son attended over the weekend.  One of my colleagues was also working with these specific buyers and immediately gave them a call to arrange a viewing. They loved the property – so much so, that they completed an offer to purchase the very next day, and after some negotiations the sale was completed that evening.

The second sale was much the same as the first, apart from the buyers being on our database, I could match them to the property immediately after my initial visit with the sellers to list the property. The very next day I took two clients to the home and after viewing the property one of them completed an OTP at full asking price.

The third was a student apartment close to the North West University. After a long discussion about the buyer’s needs, we identified certain student accommodation buildings that would suite them perfectly. At that very moment one of my colleagues was on her way to do a listing at one of the complexes we had identified, and since the buyers are from out of town and were only in Potchefstroom for the day, we went along on the listing at the spur of the moment. The buyers loved the apartment and our quick and effective service, and 30 minutes later we had signed the offer.

I have to say that I could not have done this alone. This could not have been possible without my colleagues and my office support as without good relations and communication between us was the key. This is also where I truly realised the importance of our office and brand infrastructure, as having the national brand network and exposure, together with our unique and advanced platforms ensured that I could cater to my client’s needs in real time.

Do you remember the first property you sold? Please tell us about it.

I’ll never forget any property I have ever sold as each and every one is truly unique. But my very first will probably stand out forever. I was still very new to the property industry and relied a lot on my more experienced colleagues’ assistance to make the sale happen. At the end I had to pay referral commission to 4 other parties, but I made my first sale and it was amazing. This gave me the confidence and determination to see that the sky is the limit and a few months later, 29 more had followed.

What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you or told you when you first started out in property?

Honestly, I was made fully aware of what it will take to make it at E&V, no surprises in that regard, the only thing which I did not foresee or could not comprehend, and which no one would ever be able to teach you, is the thrill one would experience with each sale. It is adrenaline mixed with accomplishment and excitement – as I say, you cannot explain it, you need to experience it.

Which part of your job and or the property industry do you enjoy most?

The freedom and the unpredictability of one’s day. Think back to when you were small and looking forward to going on holiday – now imagine having that feeling every day. You wake up energised and excited to go to work – it is almost surreal.

What is the most vital business tool that all estate agents should have at their disposal in today’s market and why?

The most vital tool that I use every day is definitely our in-house online database system, Revolution. Once I started utilising it correctly, it freed up so much of my day which allows me to get a lot more done in less time. And then of course my team, although not a tool, it truly is a lifeline in our business.

What do you find to be the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of the property Industry?

The most enjoyable part would definitely be the atmosphere in a room once you’ve matched the perfect home to first time buyers, especially if they didn’t think it was possible for them to own a home of their own. Most challenging is when you have to be brutally honest with sellers who are in a desperate financial situation needing to sell their homes, which often means they have unrealistic pricing expectations, and having been here myself I know how difficult it is to hear the facts.

What is your personal goal to achieve in turnover for the financial year?

My main goal for this year is not so much turnover driven but rather units sold; the turnover will follow. I found that when I have a turnover goal, I start neglecting the smaller opportunities that comes from my monthly activities and one sometimes also lose sight of the joy in the work. As I have said a few times, my client’s happiness and service is very important to me and I never want to lose focus on this. I think all successful agents want to be acknowledged at the annual rewards function, and it is always in the back of their minds, rather than making it a goal from the start, which is why I have made it one of my top priorities and a daily reminder not to move my eye of the target. I want to be successful and enjoy getting there.

What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success in their career in property?

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. E&V has all the systems and support you will ever need, learn to make use of them, ensure client service is always guaranteed, and of course list, list, list.

On the lighter side:

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I spoke to a gentleman on the office phone and the phone kept breaking up, so I told the gentleman that I will call him right back to try and get a clearer line for us to talk on.  After the third attempt the man tells me that he has a stutter and to please not hang up on him again. I was so embarrassed, luckily he laughed about it.

“We are exceptionally proud to have Jurgen as part of our wonderful team; his personal commitment to quality is obvious in everything he does. His ability to recognize and react to opportunity results in personal and mutual success and he makes our brand proud” notes Carl Venter, Licence Partner Engel & Völkers Potchefstroom.

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