MEET husband-and-wife team Mandy and Manny Testa – noted trailblazers in the highly competitive real estate industry who believe that hard works pays off when you’re determined, courageous and are willing to put in the hours to turn your dreams into success.
The couple own and run the Sotheby’s International Realty franchise for Durban North and Umhlanga, ably supported by a strong team of top-closers whom they have trained in their unique to real estate formula which has earned their business the successes it enjoys.
“We believe in building on individuals’ strengths and getting someone else to work on their weaknesses. At the end of the day, team work makes the dream work for us all,” said Mandy.
There have been many lessons the couple have learnt along the way, growing their businesses and overcoming the challenges the industry presents.
“One thing I have learnt along this journey is that you can have (and do) anything your heart desires, you just have to work hard to get it. And then, when you have got what you always wanted; it’s important to reach back and help someone else up, so when you surround yourself with the right people, great things happen.”
In fact, it is this drive to help others that gets her excited for each new day. “To have the ability to encourage, inspire and uplift other people. That is what makes me jump out of bed in the morning!”
When it comes to personal success, Mandy says one of the proudest moments in her career to date is having the honour of being the first person to launch digital photography in South Africa.
“I grew it into a franchise business that had 10 successful franchises across the country. And in my first year of entering the world of Real Estate, I won the “Rookie of the year” award and went onto owning my own Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty franchise for Durban North and Umhlanga.”
Balancing the stresses and demands of work with life is something she says she is trying hard to achieve.
“When I’m not working, I always make sure that I schedule in a little “me-time”. That would include a day at the Spa or enjoying a movie marathon! Weekends are really important to my husband and I, so we like to take regular breakaways and do digital detoxes to really switch off.
Mandy’s philosophy in life is all about creating opportunities and being in charge of your own destiny. It is because of this that the quote by Ralph Waldo Emmerson resonates with her
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Looking to the future, Mandy and Manny, who share a passion for travelling, hope to have established their company as a strong contender in the industry with good succession planning which will enable them to nurture their travel bug.
Mandy’s advice to other young women looking to succeed in the workplace is: “Don’t be afraid to take risks, do not let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough, always have courage, trust your gut, honour your body, do not ever compare yourself to others, trust that everything happens for a reason, slow down, breathe, meditate, surround yourself with people who constantly build you up, be clever with your money, master the art of balance (or at least try very hard to), keep things simple, allow yourself to feel all the pain and joy of what it is to be alive, give your gifts and most importantly surrender to the great mystery of it all.“