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I had my car serviced the other day, and had to get a lift from the dealership to my offices after dropping off my car. Having missed the first “bus” at 7.30am, I was told another driver would take me as soon as they could arrange it.
I waited impatiently for about 20 minutes, getting increasingly agitated about being late for work, until a woman stepping out of her car saw me pacing up and down and asked me if she could assist. Upon hearing I was waiting for a lift, she immediately offered to take me herself, which I accepted gratefully. She chatted as we drove to my offices, gave me her business card, asked about my work and told me about hers - transforming my experience from one of anxiety to enjoyment in a few minutes.
It turned out that this woman was a sales person at the dealership, not linked in any way to the service department, and she’d just arrived for work when she saw me. She made a point each morning to go and greet clients who were there for a service to make them feel welcome and see if they needed lifts. Her aim was to make sure everyone had a great experience at the dealership – whether they were there to buy a new car or just servicing their existing one – and she saw her role as being responsible for both.
Needless to say, I have kept her card, and I will certainly be calling her if I ever need a new car. What an amazing attitude of service and customer care!
I think this story illustrates the first rule in marketing: you are your own best advert. No amount of advertising replaces service and customer care – ultimately, it’s about putting the customer at the heart of everything you do. Your “brand” is yourself. You might be working under the label of a well-known agency (and that can of course add a lot of credibility), but in the estate agency game – like all service industries – it’s about how well you look after your customers. That’s what will generate referrals and repeat business – the most valuable of all things to a sales person.
One thing of which you should be aware is just how much customers rely on their estate agents for advice. This has come up strongly in research we’ve done with our clients – they see estate agents as the experts in everything relating to their property purchase. So making sure you are up to date and knowledgeable in all matters relating to property – and giving of this knowledge freely - will ensure that you’re seen as a credible, trustworthy partner in the home selling and buying process.
In my years in marketing – which has ranged from FMCG to retail to fast foods to home loans – there are a few basic marketing principles that cross-cut all industries. Call them the Rules of Marketing, if you will. Remembering these will help you in crafting memorable, differentiated advertising which will ensure customers remember to phone YOU when they need your services.
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