By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Having been in the challenging and fast-pace housing industry for the past nine years, there is no stopping for passionate estate agent Lisa Engels-Juntunen. Earlier this month, this innovative, 40-year-old estate agent was awarded the Standard Bank’s Estate Agent of the Year Award for the fifth consecutive year. Once again Lisa Engels Properties is striving for excellence and dedication to address the increase in housing needs in the country. With the high demand for houses, there is an ever-increasing market particularly in a sector where demand outstrips supply. In light of this, Engels-Juntunen sees a bright future ahead of her in the home loan industry that is as lucrative as it is demanding. “I sleep, dream, eat and live houses, that’s my passion,” says the estate agent who is so happy with the prospects of future success. “I always know what’s happening in the market and always find the right buyer for each and very house. The trick is all about just doing it right.” So what is it that makes Lisa Engels-Juntunen so successful as an estate agent? Part of it is that she has learned to remain competitive in the sector. For her, it is all about loving what she does best at all times and putting a smile of satisfaction on her client’s face. “I am a balanced person and housing is my passion. It’s a wonderful feeling not to disappoint a client by selling a house of their choice to that person,” she says. Despite being a married woman with two daughters, she has successfully managed to climb high in this sector. It is all about having a positive outlook. She never looks at a challenge as a problem, but rather finds a better and effective way of carrying out her duty as an estate agent. “Be focused and believe in yourself. You sometimes don’t need to work for a boss, be your own boss, because there is room for people who are hard driven,” she reiterated, saying that although her trade is demanding, there is still space for newcomers. On a normal day, an estate agent does a pre-qualification at a local bank on behalf of the client, which involves checking the client’s qualification for a house to verifying what kind of house is suitable for that person. This also entails doing a pre-evaluation of the property concerned. For the past nine years, Lisa Engels Properties has provided its service to clients mostly in Windhoek, where the housing demand is much higher than in any other parts of the country. Perceptions are that with four credible local banks housing incentives are lucrative, negotiable and competitive at the same time. This makes the work for determined estate agents like Engels-Juntunen even more profitable at the end of the day. Although she was initially hesitant to give exact figures, Engels-Juntunen said that the gains are very good, where dealings with a bank through commission could amount to N$15 000 a day. On average, she sells two to three houses a day. Previously, Engels-Juntunen worked was a secretary for a salary of N$4 000 a month. Now as a successful estates agent, she is reaping the benefits in an industry that is fast gaining momentum. She encouraged her husband Shane Juntunen to join the business, after leaving his job as a geologist. Being top achiever over the past few years, Engels-Juntunen has been awarded several travelling prizes to places like Australia, a boat cruise to the Carribbean and also to South Africa. However, her overall passion in this business is not so much about the success, but more about the impact that she has made in the lives of many of her clients. “Even today, some come back to just say thank you Lisa, and that makes me very happy,” she said with a smile.