Blacks can "cract it" in real estate - dispite the barriers, says Lanice Steward

Whether transformation is taking place sufficiently rapidly in the estate agency world has been regularly discussed in the national media for some time now.

Those who are not as yet part of the establishment will tell you that change has been slow and that the major players are reluctant to set out on new paths. Those already running property companies will tell you that a recession is not a good time to make big changes – and, they will add, there has been a high dropout rate among previously disadvantaged staff whom they have taken on.

One notable success on this front this year has been Vuyisa Qabaka. Having completed a B Com at UCT, he had the right background for an entrant to the property sector – but he spent a number of years initially in the hospitality sector and financial services.

This year he joined Anne Porter Knight Frank, partnering Carmen Maher in selling property in the Kenilworth and Claremont areas. Some idea of just how successful they have been can be gained from the fact that they sold 18 flats since 1st June and 30th September. What is more, “Vu”, as his colleagues call him, says that he is enjoying this job more than any other.

Lanice Steward, MD of APKF, said that Qabaka’s success stems from his commitment to offering an excellent service to his clients, his dedication and commitment, and she has encouraged him to find another like-minded black agent to join APKF.

“He is,” she said, “a ‘natural’, comfortable in all company.”

Qabaka will be talking at a UCT residence graduation dinner on the challenges faced by black graduates seeking a career in SA business.

Qabaka’s success, said Steward, will spur others to try for a career in property.

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