Leon and his seven White Swiss Shepherds
Category General News
MENTION the names Thunder, Reign, Lacey, Gypsy, Zella, Scotty and Laika, You will surely raise a smile and see the ears prick up on senior Dormehl Phalane Property Group (DPPG) estate agent Leon Loggenberg.
The reason is that Leon - a member of DPPG's crack Pinetown branch since inception - has a passion for not only property but also dog shows. It is a hobby he shares with his wife Pam, who is also a work colleague, being administrator and longtime right-hand-lady to Pinetown branch director Kevin Delport.
Pam has 11 bulldogs and Leon has seven White Swiss Shepherds. That sure adds up to a lot of dog food every month!
"I try to attend the annual White Swiss Shepherd Show in the Cape every two years - as a break which gets me around a week away from the daily routine," says Leon, explaining that it was high time he considered another trip as his last "getaway" was in 2004, when he was in Adelaide, Australia, for a month.
He got into the dog show business, he says, after wife Pam started showing her English Bulldogs in 2007.
"I supported Pam and, frankly, got a tad bored just sitting and watching, not understanding the 'ins' and 'outs' of it all. I then decided to be part of the dog show fraternity in 2008."
Many hours were spent at local shows in Ashley, Forest Hills, Margate, he adds.
"I have made up quite a few SA Breed Champions over the years and I also do training from time to time, but not as much as I would like to, he adds, pointing out that White Swiss Shepherds are "an extremely intelligent breed".
"I have been in 'dogdom' for many years, breeding and showing White Swiss Shepherds. Property clients will often ask for advice on their dogs, be it behavioural, dietary or medical. I am happy to assist when I can."
Property, of course, is Leon's other passion. He has worked in the world of real estate since 1994 and has chalked up considerable experience that contributes in no small way to the great success of the DPPG Pinetown branch, the most successful of all the property group's franchises.
The Pinetown franchise always dominates at awards time and, for 10 consecutive years now, has been named as DPPG Residential Franchise of the Year.
Leon is one of 14 agents at the branch which has Kevin Delport as principal and is the base of DPPG super-agent, Brendon Bosch, who always cleans up at the DPPG annual awards ceremony, this year held in Port Edward on March 6.
Leon is also no stranger to accolades over the years, being one of the more senior agents with the branch, at 39 Glenugie Road. He lists and sells residential real estate, as well as assisting interns and qualified agents.
The Dormehl brand has come a long way since inception, says Leon, explaining that marketing ideas and concepts are frequently changing at the group to adapt to the ever-changing real estate market.
"DPPG is most definitely a leader in the real estate field and also has much real estate experience within the group. In our branch alone we have more than 200 years worth of real estate experience."
Before joining DPPG, Leon worked with other real estate companies, one of which saw him as a franchise owner and manager in Pinetown, the others as an agent in Westville and Pinetown.
Prior to that, Pinetown-born Leon was a senior admin clerk at the Department of Justice, where he worked after completing his compulsory national service and while studying law at Unisa, before he was attracted to a career in property.
He is very proud of the Pinetown branch and its achievements: "We have very strong agents, and from my side, I contribute 25 years of real estate knowledge and experience.
"Most of us work off referrals, which is the foundation of our sales. There is a certain amount of team work required and often my peers will ask for input and my thoughts from my past experience and knowledge, to assist them."
Leon handles residential property sales in all Pinetown suburbs, borders being Kloof up the hill and Northdene further down.
"Pinetown is a very fast-moving market, favoured for its locality and for offering properties in all price ranges, low to high."
"The Pinetown market is busy but that is also agent dependant. I never have enough time in the day for all I want to accomplish, and often end up working after hours, which still does not help. There are so many opportunities out there every day."
Other than dogs and property, Leon also admits to having been an avid deep-sea fisherman back in the day, spending many hours catching dorado, snoek and yellowfin tuna.
"I have my skipper's licence but sold my boat years ago as 'dogdom' took over," he explains,
He also loves spending time with his daughter Tracey and young grandkids Kai-Lily, Tegan-Mae and Harper-Drew, all of whom are now in the UK.
What has been his most memorable moment working in property?
It was one that raised a surprise and, later, a smile, he says: "I was employed to sell a duplex in Paradise Valley. I had a prospective purchaser to view the unit so made the necessary arrangements. When we arrived at the unit, for which I had a key, I knocked and knocked.
"There was no answer so I assumed the tenant was out. On opening the door, here comes the tenant ... walking, starkers, down the stairs. The door was promptly closed and I am not sure who was more surprised: me, the prospective purchaser or the tenant!"
Leon's motto as a property person?
"Chase the opportunities, not the money. The funds will take care of themselves."
Author: Billy Suter