REWARD FOR THINKING OUT OF THE BOX
Category General News
IT CAME as no surprise that bubbly Genevieve Hutton took the prize for marketing initiative at this year's Dormehl Phalane Property Awards.
This is, afterall, the woman who had billboards erected at the group's Meyersdal branch, where she is principal ,and has done so well in the past year that she emerged at No 6 among the DPPG list of Top 10 agents of the year.
It is not only those billboards, however, that helped Meyersdal and Genervieve take the award for clever marketing inititative.
"We also created our own character called Dormehl Dan. He's our 'child magnet'. The kids love him and he is jolly and brings our brand to the heart of every home, the children," says Genevieve, who joined the DPPG family in April 2018.
She adds that the branch also recently paired up with Glow4 Events, an organisation which raises funds for various charities, by organising a UV 5km run, involving runners in neon colours.
"We recently had one at Rietvlei Zoo Farm in the South of Johannesburg. Seven charities benefitted from the event and we were proud to also assist at a waterpoint as in the Glow Village."
She adds: "I have always had a creative flair, I know what is pleasing to the eye. I try wherever possible to make our marketing clean, clear-cut and something that portrays the right message. I still think we can improve and hope to step up our game for next year's awards."
Genevieve is justifiably proud of her achievements this year - she also took an Ooba award for Top Agent of the Year Inland: Units and Rands - but she says she is even more chuffed about her team's success.
The branch, which puts emphasis on sales but also has about 100 rentals on its books, took second place in the DPPG awards category for Top Rental Procurement Office. Also, it was rated fourth nationally in the category of Top Rental Office of the Year - and took an Ooba Award for Top Office of the Year: Inland.
"I was amazed at how well we did, but I have an amazing team of agents and staff who help to make us a huge success," she remarks. "I am most proud of the awards won by my agents. It's nice to achieve, but even nicer to watch others you care about achieve."
"We have 14 agents, three of which are rental agents. The other 11 are sales agents. I am the sole principal, and my husband, Dean, assists with the general management of the company and also sells."
What was Genevieve doing before she joined the DPPG family?
"I have always run my own real estate companies, and have had the pleasure of experiencing a couple of brands within the industry which have all added to my success in some way," she replies.
"Every opportunity was a learning experience for me, and sometimes bumping my head was where I learned the most."
She joined DPPG on April 1, 2018 - and says it was no April[s Fool joke!
"It's been the best decision and it wasn't taken lightly, as some sacrifices had to be made in order to join," she says, adding that DPPG co-director Owen Dormehl that made her feel confident about her decision.
"I just saw something in Owen's visionary attitude towards real estate and his infectious positivity, no matter what the circumstances. It was so refreshing.
"It goes without saying that we were also very impressed with his forward thinking in terms of transformation. We felt it was very much aligned with our values and vision for the future of our company."
The strength of the Dormehl Phalane brand is its people, she says.
"Every single person, from top management down, is approachable, easy to talk to, happy to help. You don't feel like a number here.
"Also, the brand is growing because it's spearheaded by someone who looks for opportunities to make things easier for the branches and agents. Owen has provided so many opportunities to assist us with listing more mandates.
"One thing I have learned in my real estate career is that every day is an opportunity to learn something new. After 18 years, I still learn from other colleagues, competitors and mentors. I believe that by bringing an attitude of learning into our branch it helps all to succeed."
Johannesburg-born Genevieve says 2018 had been a tough year for the branch, but adds that she has shifted the team's focus for 2019 and is looking to change their approach.
Elbowed for more details, she smiles: "It's a secret I can't share".
Away from the property world how does Genevieve relax and unwind?
"I gym most mornings and alternate with a relaxing walk in the reserve called Rietvlei, with my mom and our two dogs. The rest of my time is spent with my five-year-old son, watching his sporting activities and extra mural activities,"
Genevieve also has a fetish for scatter cushions: "I love changing the look of my house with just a simple colour change in cushions. It drives my husband nuts, and he has to steer me away from shops selling them!"
Her motto as a property person?
"Do the deal with integrity, or don't to the deal at all".
Author: Billy Suter