Known Magazine

A Success Story

Get to know Yael Geffen: CEO & Shareholder of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Reality

Yael Geffen grew up in a real estate dynasty established by her grandmother, Aida, and, prior to joining the family business in 2009, she acquired extensive real estate marketing , brand building and business development experience in the United States.

Yael Geffen is the CEO and a shareholder of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, as well as a member of the Europe, Middle East, India and African Region task force for Sotheby’s International Realty. She is the youngest CEO of all the big property brands in South Africa and the only female leader in the top three national brands. She grew up in a real estate dynasty established by her grandmother, Aida, and, prior to joining the family business in 2009, she acquired extensive real estate marketing , brand building and business development experience in the United States.

She is also a public speaker and her broadcast experience includes hosting and producing her own radio show on Chai FM from 2013 – 2017. She is an internationally accredited moderator by the RIVA Training Institute of Rockville, MD, USA, and completed her BA in Communications and Economics from the University Of South Africa in 2000.

Yael completed her Post Graduate Degree at The AAA School of Advertising (Advertising an Communication Associa- tion of Africa) in Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy in 2001 where she was awarded the Roger Sinclaire Trophy for top student. Yael is currently completing her professional coaching certification with the Feminine Power Global Community, created by Dr Claire Zammit. Yael is mother to Eli, her first born son, and believes like Picasso that it takes a long time to grow young.

Yael joined Geffen International Realty Franchises ( trading as Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty) in 2009 at an apprentice level and spent the next 11 years learning every aspect of the real estate business. She has served as an Executive Director (overseeing Marketing, PR, Strategy and Innovation) and shareholder on the Company’s Board since 2010 and took on the position of Chief Executive in 2017.

Yael has managed to gain valuable experience in the corporate world, from various industries. Her most recent position – from 2009 to-date – as the CEO and Executive Director at SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY, SOUTH AFRICA.

In 2012 she was a YPO Youth Facilitator at the YPO and later become the Spouse Chair, at the YPO JHB Chapter – Young Presidents Organization, South Africa until 2015

Yael was responsible for managing and coordinating all YPO JHB spouse activities and events. Coordinated and Facilitated a YPO JHB Spouses Mad Hatters Breakfast in January 2014. The aim of the breakfast was a networking opportunity for the spouses as many spouses were new to the Chapter. She facilitated all the icebreakers and the flow of the entire event. The event was a huge success and they scored a 9.4 average.

From 2013 to 2017, she hosted The Yael Geffen Fine Show on Chai FM, JHB, South Africa. This was a weekly feel good radio show highlighting the good in South Africa and the world, hosting inspirational guests (change agents) as well as a weekly parenting segment. Her Guests included: Brent Lindeque, Dr. Michael Mol, Braam Malherbe, Richard Mullholland, Mark Pilgrim, Brett Archibald, Lynn Baker

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From 2012 – 2015 Yael founded Geffen’s Fine Ideas, JHB, South Africa where she was a Chief Do – Gooder. She realised there was a desperate need for a marketing and communications company to help assist ethical products and social entrepreneurs to help promote social change. There’s good brainstorming and then there’s brainstorming for good. At Geffen’s Fine Ideas they were fortunate enough to do both. They specialised in innovation, strategy, marketing, branding, PR and strategic event management.

From Feb 2007 – August 2008 she worked at Omelet Advertising Agency, in Los Angeles, USA as an Account Planner. She reported to ex-Publicist Account Planning Director Ryan Stoner. Her Responsibilities included brand messaging, cultural landscapes, moderating, advertising planning and writing award winning creative briefs. Her Personal clients included: Budweiser, Microsoft Vista, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Vivendi Games, and The Academy Awards.

From Nov 2004 – Sep 2005 she was the East Coast Sales & Marketing Manager at EUE Screengems, NYC, USA. She represented two commercial directing satellites: M80 Films (Director, Tenney Fairchild) and Jeff Cooney Films (Director, Jeff Cooney)

She revamped the look and feel of ‘Jeff Cooney Films’ working together with Chicago based graphic designer, Wayne Johnson. The goal was to make Jeff Cooney more accessible to the new generation of Madison Avenue agency producers and creatives. She redesigned all branding including changing the company name to JC Films. Within 2 months, JC Films was in the final bid for 3 high profile television commercials. Developed presentations and customized reels, managing to secure and present at a minimum of two agency screenings per week.

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In Nov 2002 – Oct 2004, Yeal was in Marketing & Business Development (formerly Associate Producer) at Noodlesoup Productions , NYC, USA

Formerly an Associate Producer for the production of animatics (animated test commercials.) After being promoted in February 2003, responsible for building the commercial department. Seven months later Noodlesoup Productions was awarded its first $100 000 plus contract to animate a 3 minute pharmaceutical video for New York advertising agency FCB.

Nathan Graf, COO of Noodlesoup said:

“One of the most dedicated, personable, and effective colleagues with whom I ever had the pleasure of working. Yael managed our commercial production sales & marketing effort, with full discretion over strategy and budgetary spend. Her ability to segment our target market, oversee our bizdev plan, and personally manage several dozen client relationships was a crucial component of our success. I recommend Yael wholeheartedly and congratulate in advance whoever is lucky enough to have her as a colleague.”

In 2007, she was enrolled at the RIVA Training Institute, Rockville MD, USA 2007, she learned the fundamentals of Moderating
Qualitative Research, How to guide and facilitate focus groups and IDI’s (in depth interviews) Graduated top of the class.

Prior to that she joined the AAA School of Advertising Post Graduate, JHB, in 2000-2001 where she studied IMCS (Integrated Marketing and Communication Strategy), Majored in Brand Management and won the Roger Sinclair Trophy for ‘Top Advertising Student’ Graduated Cum Laude.

In the late 90’s (1997 – 1999) she was at the University of South Africa, studying Bachelor of Arts, Yael Majored in Communication and Economics, Achieved Distinctions in Journalism, Film and Developmental Economics

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Yael is currently furthering her public speaking career. Her trademark talk called “ Why you are not the chosen one” is about developing credibility through authenticity. Making it without Faking it. In “A Superhero Emerges: Transforming Tragedy into Miracles” Yael shares some of the lessons that she has learned through her own personal journey of loss, growth and transformation.

Yael’s Continued Education

• Story to Stage – Richard Mullholand & Missing Link – 2020
• Professional Coaching Certification – Feminine Power Global 2019 – Present
• Caroline Myss’s Sacred Contracts and Archetypes, JHB, South Africa 2014
• Family constellations, Janet Goldblatt JHB, Feb 2014
• Advanced Shamanic Healing & Inner Alchemy, Robyn Cowen’s Inner Alchemy Centre, JHB, South Africa 2012-2013
• Richard Higgins Transpersonal Numerology, JHB, South Africa 2012
• Being Fearless Workshop, Omega Institute, NYC, USA 2005

She attended classes with Carolyn Myss ( Anatomy of The Spirit) Brian Weiss ( Many Lives, Many Masters) Dan Millman (The way of the peaceful warrior) and Julia Cameron ( The Artists Way).