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Carol Reynolds

Carol Reynolds

CAROL REYNOLDS owns and manages the Pam Golding North Durban franchise, which operates from Durban North through to Umdloti.

In describing herself she says, 'I am a business woman, a mother, a wife, a friend, a terrible cook, a wannabee yogi, a homemaker, a creative, a peace-maker, a liberator, a dreamer, a visionary, an academic, a life coach, a non-drinker, a non-smoker and a doer." Reflecting on her career, Carol explains that as she comes from a property family, property is in her blood. "I studied law, thinking I would continue my father's legacy, but got side-tracked by the world of television and modelling, which took me out of the corporate space for over a decade. I only entered the property industry, my greatest passion, ten years later."

In her early thirties, Carol stopped modelling to focus on a career with greater longevity. At this juncture, she fell pregnant with her first child and caught up in the euphoria of being a mother, opened a children's clothing and décor store. "Sadly, this was more of a heartfelt creative outlet, than a source of income, so I ventured back into the corporate world and ran the Western Cape region of Rodel Finance for a few years."

During this time, Carol yearned to return to her family in KZN. As her mother had owned a Pam Golding franchise, Carol had come to know the Golding family. Fortuitously, Andrew Golding was opening a flagship branch in Durban and needed a manager. "We opened the Durban branch in 2008 as the property market crashed! I was faced with the daunting task of either retrenching colleagues or moving on myself," said Carol. She chose the latter and purchased the Durban North franchise of Pam Golding Properties in 2009.

Carol grew the business from a staff and agent complement of 12 people to a business that houses over 65 people. During the ten years that Carol has owned the business, she has acquired a stake in the Durban franchise and expanded to include the Umhlanga, Sibaya and Umdloti territories.

I have not achieved this alone

In reflecting on people who have inspired and assisted her, she said, "I have not achieved this alone - Andrew Golding, my parents and my business partners have allowed me to unlock various opportunities along the way." "My parents have always been a huge inspiration to me - they are humble, ethical, upstanding and well-educated. They never compromise their principles and always conduct themselves with the utmost integrity."

"Pam Golding has been a great mentor to me - she set her heights above the rest, soared and never looked back. She brought empathy, compassion and heart into the real estate industry, and these qualities set her apart from the competition."

"Nelson Mandela is also one of my mentors - I was fortunate enough to meet him and have tea with him at his residence. He held my hand and looked me in the eye with genuine support and encouragement, telling me how proud he was that I had completed my law degree. He is the reason I run my business as a servant leader, building my team from behind rather than dictating from the front."

Success comes from authenticity

In addition, said Carol, success comes from authenticity and this means that as women in business, we need to behave as women do. "My business is founded on values like compassion, teamwork, humanity and genuine consideration for others. As women, we focus more on people and relationships rather than simply chasing deals, which means that we are geared for long-term success, resilience and longevity."

One of Carol's life-long dilemmas is the quandary between contentment and the opposing force of her ambitious nature. "I don't think I will ever be fully satisfied with my accomplishments - there is a world of opportunity, and I lie awake at night strategising about how I can improve my status quo." "I studied psychology and love incorporating coaching into my business practice - I need to do more of this! There is also room for improvement across all five pillars of my business - each division can grow and thrive, feeding the other pillars to create a strong foundation for ongoing success."

Harnessing the unique skills of a team

Being a mother is hugely important to Carol. She grapples with the fact that she is always compromising to balance work and family responsibilities and often feels that she is failing dismally.

However, to address her work-life balance Carol believes that there is value in collaboration, strategic alliances, partnerships and harnessing the unique skills of a team. "I have embraced the expansion of my business, created management positions and welcomed partners into my business who have different skills to me. This has enabled me to expand faster, achieve more, plug the holes in my business and, most importantly, it has given me time to be with my family. As Pam Golding said, "nothing worth having is ever built alone."

In the past, Carol wishes that she had trusted more in divine intervention and worried less about the future. "Apply the core values of authenticity and ethics to your business practice and never compromise on these, as they are the foundation for success. Bring in the right people, get the culture right; the rest is about commitment, goals, determination, small wins and daily steps on the path to success."

"Always learn from your mistakes; embrace change; give generously to those in need and never give up. Finally, feed your tank and feed your soul - don't burn out, because you need to shine your light upon others," concluded Carol.

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