I am an estate agent. It is now about three weeks later but I still get a smile on my face when I recall a existential moment at Parkview Villas in Bellville. I was busy with my rounds when two young men, about 8 years old, I guess, walked up to me, complaining that their ball dropped from the first floor of the building and that they cannot find it. So I adhered to the request, or subtle demand, and asked the guys to accompany me down to the basement level of the building. After a while I spotted the ball at the front wheel of a parked car. They were really thankful for the professional help. I could see it in their eyes. “This guy is rreally extraordinary. His vision and sniff of nose is something out of this world”. And then the one young guy looked at me, pointing a knowing finger, “You show people where to live”. I am not a loud person, but I think my amused reaction could have been audible on the higher levels of Parkview Villas.

And then, when I started to walk away this followed, “Can we come with you?”. Yes, it was, is, holiday time, and the two young guys were clearly quite bored, but I also presume that this was a request to become estate agents too! I looked at them for a moment and then wryly declined the request. My take was that at the age of eight years, they just would not present the gravitas required for estate agents in their dealings with buyers, sellers, tenants, landlords, transferring attorneys and the rest of governmental authorities. I did not want to invite them to phone me in twenty years time as I am not convinced that all of us would be able to attend the commencement in the property game…

So we took our leave from each other, some disappointment on the faces of the two would be estate agents, but I walked away with a gem! “You show people where to live”.

They, almost instinctively, took me to the name of my firm – Byron-Yeats Properties. I chose that name because I don’t see myself as a middle of the road estate agent just trying to create sales in order to get commission on deals. I often tell clients that the name Byron-Yeats Properties implies that I don’t sell bricks and mortar. Like those two poets, Lord Byron and William B Yeats, I sell dreams to people. In a different manner.

I sell them houses, apartments, rent it to them too, so that they can have a place that resonates with their souls. A place where they can have books a plenty on bookshelves, walls where intriguing framed art and photographs could stare at them when they enter a room. A place that allows music to drift through the living sphere. A room with a couch where one can sit and watch films that don’t have a Hollywood aura. A place where one can yearn for the beyond of mere materialism.

Yes, young guy, I don’t want to sell expensive houses for the sake of commission. I want people to be people to the essence of their bones.

So, eight year old guru, thanks for this – “You show people where to live”. I abide by that!

Wim van der Walt