Inside the world of renowned realtor, Uripi Kahorongo Kauta

I am a wife and a mother of three boys, a businesswoman and a seasoned realtor. I own and run a real estate and auctioneering company, called Sell Fast Real Estate and Auctions, I also run various other businesses in the alternative energy, property development and retail space. Before venturing into real estate I worked as a commerce teacher for a period of 10 years.
I was born and raised in Windhoek, with a large family of 9 sisters and 3 brothers. I completed my tertiary education at the University of Namibia.
I am an accredited real estate agent, registered with the Namibian Estate Agents Board and have over 25 years of experience in the real estate industry. I am a Sub-Saharan Agent nominee and have been ranked as one of the top realtors by all the major banks in Namibia for the past 5 years.

How did you end up in real estate:
Growing up, I had a dream of being a Quantity Surveyor, but opportunities at the time were scarce, with limited options I needed to capitalize on what was in front of me. My desire to promote the welfare of others is what initially led me to teaching; my pursuit for financial freedom and independence ultimately led me to starting my own business and becoming a realtor.
At the age of 23, I bought my first property, 6 months after I started my teaching job. The property I bought was a “plot and plan” and I met with a real estate agent whom I instructed on the vision I had with the property and how I envisioned it to look. I signed off on plans on how I wanted it to be developed and the real estate agent assured me that my vision would come to life.
Once the property was completed, there was a yawning gap between what I had approved and the end product.
From there onwards, I decided that the next time I buy a property, I would pay due diligence to the process so that history does not repeat itself. I further vowed to ensure that what had happened to me would not happen to another person. I decided that I would join real estate profession to ensure that peoples’ ideas of their “dream home” would become a reality.

Challenges faced in the profession:
The real estate market is reeling on all sides. Changes in the economy, volatile markets and mortgage rates all affect the industry. In recent times, low inventory or low uptake in property has been a real challenge, without inventory or sufficient uptake; you have little or no business. I am fortunate that I rely on my broad clientele.
Another common challenge is adapting to technology trends. Algorithms and marketing automation is the new trend. Today’s agent therefore has to be as savvy at using technology as they do at prospecting. Purchasing the wrong marketing or listing software, errors with transactional apps or links or transferring domains to a new server can quickly spiral into expensive problems that can set you back for months. This has resulted in the need to incorporate IT experts into our operating model, adding a further, albeit necessary cost to the industry.

What aspect of your work do you like the most:
I love marketing properties. My heart sings at the sight of clients’ eyes lightening up as they behold their dream home. I love it when my efforts make someone’s dreams see the light of day. I do not just help my clients with getting their dream property, I also assist them with financial literacy wherein I present them with options most suitable for them and their finances to ensure that I do not leave them with a bond they cannot sustain and in turn risk their livelihood.

Where do you want to see yourself in the next five years:
Within 5 years, I want Sell Fast Real Estate and Auctions to be a listed company and I am also busy with a township development concept, which I hope to see through before my retirement.
What inspires you the most in your day to day life:
The vision to see my children live a long, comfortable life, reaping the benefits of a good education and hard work. This way, the world would be at their fingertips.
What inspires you the most in your day to day life: 
The vision to see my children live a long, comfortable life, reaping the benefits of a good education and hard work. This way, the world would be at their fingertips.

What are you currently busy with now?
I am currently mentoring young aspiring realtors. People tend to think that the real estate industry is easy, however this industry requires you to stay abreast with the evolving markets, constantly researching and knowing your work. I am currently also doing a facility management course online, which I hope will enhance my skill set, specifically in the commercial real estate space.
I am constantly looking to impart the knowledge I have acquired over the years. I received a great deal of help in my initial years, my hope is to pay this forward by equally assisting young people with a drive and passion for this line of work.

Any last words?:
I live by the motto, “mind over matter” and “work hard or go home.” Life is not child’s play and one should really want to succeed in order to make it. Finally, build relationships, they will sustain you. “Word of the mouth”  is powerful,  it’s hard to believe it but most of my clients are either family, former students, friends, acquaintances and associates. These people give me purpose.
Lastly, protect your reputation like your life depends on it, because it does.