Keys to her success – Passion and her desire to succeed are driving forces for Paula

Paula Benn became the No.1 agent at Harcourts Fiji in 2020. Picture: SUPPLIED

PAULA Benn is a successful real estate agent in the country with the record of being the best and No 1 in her company.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Ms Benn has lived in Fiji, especially Lautoka, for the past 30 years.

Ms Benn said during these years she raised three successful children while engaging herself in community work with youths, women and assisting in the Sugar Festival and other carnivals.

“My elder daughter, Jasmine represented Fiji and Australia in Karate internationally went to Natabua High School and is now a licensed pharmacist in Sydney.

“Aisha, also represented Fiji in Karate and also went to Natabua High School, has just completed her double degree of Arts and Science from the University of Sydney.

“My Son, Tariq is a gold medallist in the Oceania Karate Championships while representing Fiji and he is about to commence his university studies in engineering.”

Ms Benn says people often assume that it is an easy job being a real estate agent which is not true because there is so much intricate background work involved in the profession.

She said five years ago she took the plunge back into the workforce as a real estate agent for Harcourts real estate with no prior knowledge and experience of the field.

“I entered into this field with no prior knowledge and experience but with just my passion and relationships nurtured through my extensive community work.

“I have been consistent and persistent and became a sponge to absorb knowledge gained through learning and experience and after five hard working years, I have become No.1 Agent Harcourts Fiji 2020.

“I have created history by bringing this exclusive title to the West for the first time and took the reigns as a woman after a long absence of 18 years.”

Ms Benn said recently she registered as a sole trader business which she sees as a stepping stone to her future growth and other business activities.

According to Ms Benn to be recognised as a good quality real estate agent one had to believe in the work and do it right.

“Many people try out the idea but when they come to realise it is hard work and it is not easy money, they leave. Being on a commission only basis the first year is often the hardest financially.

“It is an industry where you see the rewards after you have put in hard work and perseverance over a long period of time.

“I have already acquired a good reputation in the industry and it is very fulfilling to hear when people approach me and tell me the good things that others have spoken about me. Word of mouth is huge in this field. I offer a service dedicated to my clients that very few agents can match.”

Ms Benn said she wanted people to know they could have confidence in her and be able to trust her.

“I educate my clients and give them the latest on information and data. I go above and beyond to service my clients and their properties and the results speak for themselves.”

Despite being a successful in what she does, Ms Benn says one of the biggest barriers is very limited financial assistance and support for women aged 35 years and over who suddenly become single mothers to establish their own businesses in order to become self-supportive and to provide for their children.

“This is an age where there is maturity and determination to create themselves an income which become a huge factor for success.”

Before she joined the real estate industry, Ms Benn said she was looking at other business opportunities but it wasn’t easy because she kept coming across hurdles.

“And it was the second time in a matter of a few weeks that was suggested to me that I would be good in real estate and they knew Harcourts was looking for agents.

The fact it was suggested to meby two completely different people within a matter of two weeks made me seriously consider it!

And I took the plunge.

“I had children at home to look after and financially support, and they were my driving factor. I had to give them back a lifestyle they had become acquired to living. It was onwards and upwards!”

Her inspiration is her desire to succeed in becoming financially independent while enjoying what life has to offer.

“I want my children to know that it doesn’t matter what your educational background is, it is your desire to achieve and your
consistency and persistency that will get you there.”

According to Ms Benn she is very proud of the fact that within five years of real estate she achieved the title of No.1 Agent
2020 for Harcourts Fiji.

“That I brought this title to the West for the first time ever and that I am an agent specialising in Lautoka ( a location that quite a lot of people Fiji wide look down upon) that has shown that Lautoka has a lot of potential for business.

“And also that it took 18 years for a female to take this award again,” she said.

Her advice to others is that they should be prepared to work hard, extremely hard for the first two years with very little financial rewards.

“Focus on determining what constitutes a good quality real estate service and implementing that into your business consistently.”

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