The Pam Golding Properties National GoldClub Award Winners were recently announced at a banquet hosted at the foot of the majestic Drakensberg The Pam Golding Properties National GoldClub Award Winners were recently announced at a banquet hosted at the foot of the majestic Drakensberg mountains, which also featured an inspirational performance by the world-renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir. mountains, which also featured an inspirational performance by the world-renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir. I would like to extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to the winners, who all exemplify the true spirit of the Pam Golding Properties brand – I would like to extend my sincere thanks and congratulations to the winners, who all exemplify the true spirit of the Pam Golding Properties brand – commitment, passion, energy and the pursuit of excellence. As individuals you have inspired confidence with our clients and, supported by our commitment, passion, energy and the pursuit of excellence. As individuals you have inspired confidence with our clients and, supported by our network and the enormous contributions from managers and staff who also power the PGP Brand, have contributed significantly to this year’s success. network and the enormous contributions from managers and staff who also power the PGP Brand, have contributed significantly to this year’s success.
Dr Andrew Golding Dr Andrew Golding
Chief Executive, PamPam Golding Property Group Chief Executive, Golding Property Group
Congratulations to our National GoldClub Agents Congratulations to our National GoldClub Agents BackBack row row (L – (LR):– Melanie Stavropoulos, Minette Munitz, Jenny Katz, Annette Hepburn, Richard Epstein, KyleKyle Ebben, Pearl Sparks, Andrew Golding, Paula Bullimore, R): Melanie Stavropoulos, Minette Munitz, Jenny Katz, Annette Hepburn, Richard Epstein, Ebben, Pearl Sparks, Andrew Golding, Paula Bullimore, Robin Midgley, PaulPaul Levy,Levy, Vickie Francis Robin Midgley, Vickie Francis FrontFront row row (L – (LR):– Janice Toay,Toay, Jackie Rosenberg, Brian Gradner, Chris Nel,Nel, Byron Thomas, Melanie Truss, Marie Pienaar, SueSue Ralph, Lambert Bezuidenhout, Barbara R): Janice Jackie Rosenberg, Brian Gradner, Chris Byron Thomas, Melanie Truss, Marie Pienaar, Ralph, Lambert Bezuidenhout, Barbara Rogers, Brenda Gilbert, Brenda Courtney, PeetPeet Strauss, Shirley Finnemore, Kimberly Dods, Linda Kagan, Farrel Kelman, Deanne Kriel, Myrna Duveen Rogers, Brenda Gilbert, Brenda Courtney, Strauss, Shirley Finnemore, Kimberly Dods, Linda Kagan, Farrel Kelman, Deanne Kriel, Myrna Duveen Absent: Carol Truter, Denzil Kleu,Kleu, Dianne Stein, Heather Turner, LynnLynn Pinn, Marion Nolan, Sandra Colas, Hannes Jansen vanvan Vuuren Absent: Carol Truter, Denzil Dianne Stein, Heather Turner, Pinn, Marion Nolan, Sandra Colas, Hannes Jansen Vuuren www.pamgolding.co.za www.pamgolding.co.za
National Branch of the Year
National BranchbyofJason the Shaw Year Fourways, Gauteng - managed Fourways, Gauteng - managed by Jason Shaw
National Agents of the Year National Agents of the Year Shirley Finnemore & Byron Thomas - Hyde Park, Gauteng
Shirley Finnemore & Byron Thomas - Hyde Park, Gauteng
National NationalRental RentalAgent Agentof ofthe theYear Year Branch BranchManager Managerofofthe theYear Year
Jean Markham - Dainfern, Gauteng Jean Markham - Dainfern, Gauteng
Basil BasilMoraitis Moraitis- Atlantic - AtlanticSeaboard, Seaboard,Western WesternCape Cape
National NationalFranchise FranchiseOffice Officeofofthe theYear Year
Nelspruit Nelspruit- Franchisees: - Franchisees:Dirk Dirk& &Sakkie Sakkievan vanRooyen Rooyen
National NationalReferral ReferralAgents Agentsofofthe theYear Year Heather Turner Heather Turner& &Vickie VickieFrancis Francis- Newlands, - Newlands, Western WesternCape Cape
GoldClub GoldClubElite Elite––20 20Years Years
Pearl PearlSparks Sparks- -Rondebosch, Rondebosch,Western WesternCape Cape&&Rob Rob Maspero Maspero- -City CityBowl, Bowl,Western WesternCape Cape
Most MostImproved ImprovedBranch Branch
Southern SouthernPeninsula, Peninsula,Western WesternCape Cape- -Managed Managedby by Sandi SandiGildenhuys Gildenhuys
National National Franchisee Franchisee of of the the Year Year
Hanlie Bassingthwaite - East London Hanlie Bassingthwaite - East London
Top TopPam Pam Golding Golding Properties Properties Rental Rental Agents Agents From FromLL––R: R:James James McMeeking, McMeeking, Dawn Dawn Kaiser, Kaiser, Jean Jean Markham, Markham,Sharon Sharon van van Rooyen, Rooyen,Andrew Andrew Golding, Golding, Thea Thea Greeff, Greeff,James James Warne, Warne, Johan Johan Falck Falck
ED ITO R’S N O TE
EDITOR’S NOTE At the end of 2011, it was reported that estate agent numbers had fallen through the floorboards, crashing down from a high of 95 000 to just over 22 000 in the space of just three years. While a number of things affected this drop in number, such as the recession as well as the fact that the barriers to entry were raised substantially, the question begs: Just how many legal estate agents will be able to trade in 2014? While the whittling down of estate agent numbers, which is currently sitting somewhere close to 30 000, may not have been a bad thing as it is said that many unscrupulous operators left the marketplace, it seems as if the good guys are losing the race. Most of the industry is in agreement that higher qualification requirements can only be good for boosting professionalism, knowledge and the image of the profession among other things. This, sadly, is only true in a perfect world, and the realm of real estate in South Africa at the moment falls far short of perfection. For an estate agent to get up to speed with the current qualification criteria, they need to spend money, and time without earning money, to hit the books and meet the requirements. Many have done this and have been awarded their certification, but it is frightening that there is such a large number of realtors who have done what was asked and are now sitting empty-handed and out of pocket, as reported in our page 12 feature. I am bitterly disappointed in the powers that be, who stand up and make grand promises about bettering the industry; and then the very bodies that are supposed to make it work efficiently and more professionally cannot print out accreditation certificates because they have run out of paper. No, I am not joking, although this does smack of comic book humour. I challenge SSETA, the EAAB and the Department of Human Settlements, who have all ignored desperate requests for assistance from the very industry they serve, to step up to the plate and get it sorted!
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While none of the above mentioned bodies bothered to respond to our enquiries either, despite promises that they would, we hope that you at least find some of the information we managed to gather insightful. Be sure to also check out who the new agents on the block are, the secrets to success some of the top performing agents from around the country shared with us, as well as our other articles ranging from maximising technology to architecture and state-owned properties. We hope you enjoy this issue of Property Professional and look forward to receiving your feedback and suggestions.
Disclaimer: The publisher of this magazine gives no warranties, guarantees or assurances and makes no representation regarding any goods or services advertised within this edition. © Copyright Property Advertising Joint Venture. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from the publisher. The publishers are not responsible for any unsolicited material.
â€œPayProp has added to my life quality, not just my business quality. And if my life is better, I can do business better.â€? ~ Lynne Henkenjohann, My Property Broker ~
TRUSTED PAYMENTS Go to www.payprop.com for the full story on how we helped Lynne automate and integrate her rental transactions within our audited trust environment, or call us on 087 820 7368 to discuss how we can help you run a better and safer rental portfolio.
CO N T EN T S
CONTENTS 0 5 I N D US T RY NEW S
1 2 W E N E E D ANSW ERS
36 PRO PERTY PRO FE SSI O NAL N EW AG EN T O N THE BLO C K
40 WATC HFUL EYE O N S TATE PROPE RY
1 8 NO FFCS EQUALS ILLEGAL OPERATIONS
2 0 M A R KE T SH ARE 44 V IRTUAL V IEWIN G 2 4 E M B R A CE ONLINE M ARKET ING 48 FIN AN C E AN D FIG URES 2 6 T E CH T OOLKIT
2 8 T H E D E B AT E AROU ND DESIGN
50 PRO PERTY PRO FE SSI O NAL TO P PERFO RMIN G AGEN TS
58 REBO S A N EWS
60 DEV ELO PMEN T UPDATE
3 2 R I S I N G FROM T H E ASH ES
64 WO RD O N THE S TREET
LE T T ER S
LETTERS The article written by Lea Jacobs in the May/June edition of Property Professional has relevance. We don’t know if you are going to do a follow-up article on this matter but we now have no other recourse but to take this matter further. We are a group of principals and agents in the Western Cape who, for over 17 months, have been trying to sort out a major problem. We all paid for our NQF4 and NQF5 certifications through REBS (an ‘accredited’ provider). Many of us did not receive the study guide (in my case I waited 21 months after paying to get it). We have submitted our portfolios to be assessed (and believe me, this took a lot of time). We then found out that in February 2012 this company (owned by Mark Shor) was no longer allowed to do the qualification, yet we as learners were never informed of this. REBS continued (under false pretences) to trade and learners were still submitting portfolios to be assessed as late as March of this year. REBS was still taking payment from learners for the certification. SSETA has us on a
merry-go-round and will not assist us, and the EAAB (Clive Ashpol) is also of no assistance. We have tried to get the Department of Human Settlements involved to assist us as well, but to date we keep being referred to SSETA. We have found out that the assessors that REBS contracted in have also not been paid. We now sit in the predicament of subscribing to an accredited provider, SSETA not having informed anyone that the owner of the company lost his licence. We have paid a lot of money for this, REBS will no longer even contact us, SSETA do not take responsibility, and so we have numerous people who have done what is required and yet now we sit in the middle. Can you be of assistance in any manner? Kim van Niekerk, by email
ED: This is a disgraceful situation! We managed to get together some information for our feature starting on page 12, but sadly, like you, we didn’t have much luck getting a response from any of the relevant parties to get their sides of the story – I guess they are staying mum on this issue. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO MICHELLE@VELVETSQUARE.CO.ZA
INDUSTRY NEWS New SA REIT Association to boost listed property The new SA REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Association is tasked with representing the listed property REIT sector, one of South Africa’s most active and innovative sectors on the JSE. The Property Loan Stock Association (PLSA), which championed the introduction of the groundbreaking new REIT dispensation for the listed property sector in South Africa, has been renamed and constituted as the SA REIT Association to represent the country’s new REIT sector.
Chairman of the SA REIT Association, Norbert Sasse, says: “Over six years ago, the listed property sector came together in pursuit of this single, significant goal. The road to REITs for South Africa has been extraordinary; it is a success story, with the private sector, government and regulatory bodies working hand-in-hand. The South African REIT dispensation has created a foundation from which the sector can grow with tax certainty and become more internationally competitive.
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Now, the SA REIT Association will build on this foundation of positive partnerships and development, so the sector remains at the forefront of good governance and international best practice.”
of the REIT Committee, reports that this includes an initiative that will provide investors with improved reporting quality, which will assist them in comparing and understanding the different REITs.
The official launch of the SA REIT Association, sponsored by Rand Merchant Bank, was held in Sandton. The landmark event included representatives from National Treasury, South African Revenue Service (SARS), Financial Services Board (FSB), Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and sector stakeholders. The SA REIT Association is a representative umbrella body comprising voluntary members of all the listed SA REIT companies and trusts. This association is modelled on NAREIT (National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts) in the United States and EPRA (European Public Real Estate Association) in Europe. The SA REIT Association consolidates and replaces the old PLSA and Association of Property Unit Trusts. The association has the considerable task of being ambassador for the most active sector on the JSE over the past 12 months. South African listed property has a market capitalisation of some R250-billion. In 2014 it is likely to become the eighth largest REIT market globally, with around 26 REIT entities and potentially more to come. Over the past 10 years it has outperformed local equities, bonds and cash. It has also outperformed REITs in the developed world. The SA REIT Association’s goal is to advance and protect the interests of this substantial sector, comprising both company REITs (formerly property loans stocks) and trust REITs (formerly property unit trusts). The association will engage members on best practice for accounting and reporting. Estienne de Klerk, head
De Klerk says: “The purpose of compiling this best practice accounting disclosure and reporting standards is to improve consistency in accounting policies and disclosure in the sector, and make it easier for accurate comparison of different local REITs.”
At the SA REIT Association launch in Sandton, sponsored by RMB. Standing left to right: Estienne de Klerk (SA REIT Association REIT Committee chairman), Richard North (RMB); Norbert Sasse (SA REIT Association chairman); Nic Morris (RMB) and Laurence Rapp (SA REIT Association Marketing Committee chairman).
Rental trends Tenants can expect to dig deeper into their pockets over the next 12-18 months with rentals on the rise and a shortage of rental stock developing in many areas. This is particularly true in the gated communities and sectional title complexes. The strongest demand nationally is for two-bedroom units around the R4 500-R5 500 a month bracket, and insufficient stock is providing further support for rental growth. This is according to Andrew Schaefer, managing director of the Trafalgar Property Group, who also notes resistance to rentals above R6 500 per month in this market. Schaefer predicts that the return to pre-recession rental increase levels of around 10% last year will continue. The rise in demand is being driven by a number of factors, says Schaefer. He supports the view that as South Africa’s population gets younger, it is increasingly joining the mindset of the Europeans, which is towards flexibility and liquidity, enabling them to travel and follow job opportunities rather than be tied down by mortgages. “In a few cases, we are witnessing younger people renting in the more expensive trendy areas, and buying in areas where they can afford as an investment.” Trafalgar’s managed rental pool of around 8 000 units across South Africa bears this out, with areas such as Pretoria West, the West Rand, Midrand, and Illovo in Gauteng and Berea in KwaZulu-Natal receiving the highest level of enquiries.
Research has further backed this with the fact that the age of the firsttime homebuyer has risen. This means that people are waiting longer to move into the homeownership market and renting is the preferred option for younger families and individuals. The slowdown in supply of new affordable homes onto the market, rising building costs and a decline of 13% in the number of new plans being passed this year, will contribute to this trend. Not all bad news for tenants, however, as some areas will always buck the trend. Johannesburg Inner City is an interesting exception, says Schaefer, with office block conversions and buy-to-let stock flooding the market with stock over the last two years. “Here we have seen rentals decrease and, for example, bachelor flats are achieving around R650 less rental per month, and increases of only 5-8% are realistic. This is beginning to stabilise, however, and vacancies have halved over the last 12 months.” “Generally, however, the shortage of affordable houses to buy is a definite driver for the rental market,” comments Schaefer. “Current low interest rates and the move of mortgage lenders like SA Home Loans into the sector will have a positive impact on affordability. However, as prices inevitably rise, the pressure on rentals will continue and, in my opinion, is here to stay.”
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Advice to estate agents managing a rental portfolio There are many pieces of legislation in South Africa that prescribe an estate agent’s duty with regards to the management of a rental portfolio. As a processor of public, third party funds, the rental agent has a specific fiduciary duty on managing these funds with care. Unfortunately, it is often the practical application of the legislation that places many agents and their businesses at risk. Louw Liebenberg, CEO of SA’s largest residential letting transactions processor, PayProp, says that there are essentially two risks that any estate agent managing rental funds needs to be acutely aware of: “The first is the misappropriation of funds, be it deliberate or through accidental error, and the second is the risk of not complying with the reporting requirements as outlined by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).”
keep track of who has permission to what, and regularly change banking and system passwords. 3. INSIST ON REGULAR AND ACCURATE REPORTING There are three vital figures that any principal needs to constantly be updated on: which tenants have outstanding balances due, what the deposit value held for each tenant is and finally the value of invoices that will be issued to a tenant in the next 30 days. Knowing these figures on a per-tenant basis allows the agency to form a risk profile on each tenant, i.e. a tenant in arrears with a high value invoice being issued in the next 30 days, but for whom there is no deposit held, is a high risk tenant and needs to be managed proactively 4. CONFIRM BANKING AND REPORTING BALANCES
Liebenberg says there are five crucial things that real estate firms managing rentals should be undertaking: 1.INVEST IN A PROPER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM The risk with running a rental portfolio is that it typically consists of a large number of smaller transactions when compared to a typical sales portfolio. This creates a challenge for the business owner to stay on top of every financial approval that occurs. The typical agency on PayProp currently automates around 350 transactions each and every month – if you use a manual tracking system you need to know that it is comprehensive enough to ensure that you know exactly why each of these transactions has been made and be totally confident that all supporting documentation for these transactions match up. 2. KNOW (AND REGULARLY REVIEW) WHO HAS PERMISSIONS IN YOUR BUSINESS Often we see agencies where ex-employees still have access to some of the agency’s systems. Or where access to banking services was given to someone in an emergency situation, but the password never changed back again. Be sure that you have an internal system where you clearly
NUMBERS TO KNOW Numbers to know is a feature that catalogues the most notable, quirky and surprising statistics in South Africa. See this issue’s selection…
If the agency is not using a system where the banking and reporting data is integrated, it is vital that regular checks be done to ensure that balances being reported on are actually held in the bank. The law prescribes a trust reconciliation exercise every 30 days, but in our experience weekly checks are a safer route to go with. 5. CHECK THAT TENANTS AND OWNERS ARE BEING COMMUNICATED WITH Owners of agencies should have a way to verify which tenants and owners have received statements, and which ones have not. The reasoning for this is simple: if a tenant is not receiving statements it means that there are fewer parties monitoring the integrity of the transaction. If all transactions are accurately and immediately shared with tenants and owners as they happen, the chances of disputes arriving at the end of the lease are limited. Liebenberg says that an important guiding principle to remember is that the money a rental agent manages does not legally belong to the agency, but to its clients. “The agency has been placed in a position of trust by consumers and should do its best to ensure that it is able to manage these funds accordingly.”
R3-MILLION Government has passed the three million mark in providing houses and housing opportunities in South Africa for the first time since 1994. Property24 - 3 million govt housing mark passed
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Trustees in arrears with levies Feathers are set to fly in sectional title complexes around South Africa following amendments to sectional title regulations, warns specialist sectional title attorney Marina Constas, a director of BBM Attorneys and co-author of the book, Demystifying Sectional Title. She explains that one of the new sectional title regulations specifies that a sectional title owner who has arrears levies may not serve as a trustee. “This is an issue we have been lobbying for, and it is heartening to see that it has finally been addressed,” Constas states. “It will ensure that trustees can now be relied on to hand over the debtors of the complex for legal action. In the past, a trustee who himself was in arrears would be loath to initiate legal action, as he would be implicated.” The amendment - to Annexure 8, Rule 7 - states the nomination or appointment of a trustee cannot be made if that trustee is in arrears with any contributions payable by him in respect of his section and his undivided share in common property. In addition, there can be no nomination or appointment if the individual has persisted in breaching conduct rules, despite written warning by the trustees or managing agents. “This will get especially interesting when an individual who has been nominated disputes that he is in arrears, or that he is in breach of conduct rules. We suspect that many lively annual general meetings lie ahead,” she adds. Also a potential problem situation is where a trustee is already in this position, and falls in arrears. “The latest amendment now says that if he is in arrears for more than 60 days with any levies or contributions payable by him, and he fails to bring such arrears up to date within seven days of being notified to do so, then he ceases to hold
office,” Constas explains, adding that she believes this amendment is way overdue. Another new amendment relates to a rule that has been deleted, Rule 31(4A), which catered for the temporary increase in the levy between the financial year end of the scheme and the annual general meeting, by allowing an escalation of 10%. Constas elaborates: “Since this rule was deleted, there was a question mark hanging over what would replace it. The answer may lie in the insertion of Rule 31(4B), which states that ‘the trustees may, from time to time, when necessary, make special levies upon the owners or call upon them to make special contributions in respect of all such expenses as are not included in the budget’. In other words, you could utilise this new regulation to raise the levy during the interim period between financial year end and the annual general meeting.” An amendment has also been made to the regulation of the Deeds Registries Act, which is relevant to sectional title, Constas reports. “Effective from 2 May 2013, this amendment stipulates that a fee of R500 will apply when any person seeks to resolve a dispute by applying to the Chief Registrar for an arbitrator.” The next development in the pipeline for sectional title role players will be the passing of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act and Ombudsman Act, which Constas believes should become effective within this year. “We are aware that a board has been constituted, and once the Ombudsman’s office has been set up, the Acts will be passed into law. Exciting times lie ahead, but only time will tell how the sectional title industry will be impacted,” she concludes.
GEXsa protects agents Guarantee Exchange South Africa (GEXsa) launched this week to provide much-needed guarantees to long- and short-term rental agents and owners should a tenant abscond or leave the property in a bad state. The company also provides financial flexibility for cash-strapped consumers who are credit worthy but struggle to come up with a threemonth rental deposit. This is great news for consumers who in the past were hampered financially by having to pay a two to three month’s deposit. Now they sign an agreement and pay a nominal fee based on their monthly rental in lieu of the deposit. After checking the credit worthiness of the individual, GEXsa is able to have a guarantee issued to the owner or agent within a matter of minutes. “Due to changes in the macro-environment, a one-month security deposit has become insufficient. With the demand now for two to three months’ rental as a security deposit, it is difficult to conclude rental agreements,” says Cathy Foster, GEXsa CEO. “The biggest challenge facing landlords and rental agencies for both short- and long-term rentals is securing a reliable
tenant who has the correct credentials, can afford an adequate security deposit and firmly commits to return the property in the same condition as it was when handed over to them.” “The cost to the lessee is determined by the rental contribution, which is marginal in comparison to a three-month rental deposit, which is the norm,” says Foster. GEXsa Guarantees are underwritten in partnership with SA Guarantee Specialists, a registered UMA dedicated to this specialist sector of the market. All the guarantees will carry a claims paying ability rating of AA (or better). The lessor will therefore always have peace of mind that all of the guarantees will be honoured and that SA Guarantee Specialists will facilitate the claim process in the event the lessee fails to pay rental or the cost relating to damages. The lessor is settled in full and SA Guarantee Specialists will pursue outstanding debt from the tenant.
ARE THERE PROVISIONS THAT AUTOMATICALLY APPLY TO A LEASE AGREEMENT?
In an effort to protect the rights of Tenants, the Rental Housing Act lists certain provisions that are deemed to be included in each and every rental agreement for residential accommodation. This means that the provisions apply to the agreement, irrespective whether the Landlord and Tenant actually included these in their written or oral agreement; and they cannot contract ‘out of’ these provisions either. The deemed provisions are found in section 5(3) of the Act. In the below bullet points we highlight the most important of these: •
The Landlord must furnish the tenant with a written receipt for all payments received from the Tenant. The receipt must show the date, address of the rented premises and what the payment was for (ie arrears, monthly rental, etc).
If the agreement provides for the payment of a deposit, the Landlord must invest it in an interest-bearing account with a ﬁnancial institution. At the end of the lease period, the Landlord must pay the interest (and deposit) to the Tenant (or the balance thereof, if repairs for damages were required). The interest rate must at least be equal to the rate offered by the relevant ﬁnancial institution on a savings account.
If, during the lease, the Tenant requests written proof of the interest that had accrued on the deposit, the Landlord must oblige. (If the Landlord is an estate agent, the deposit and interest thereon is dealt with as provided for in the Estate Agency Affairs Act.)
The deposit (plus interest) must be returned to the Tenant within 7 days of the expiry of the lease. If the money was used to pay for repairs of damage caused by the Tenant, the balance must be returned to the Tenant within 14 days after the repairs were effected. In the latter case, the relevant receipts which indicate the costs incurred, must be available to the Tenant for inspection.
The Tenant and Landlord (or their agents) must jointly, before the Tenant moves into the premises and also before he moves out, inspect the dwelling to ascertain the existence or not of any defects/ damage .
If the Landlord (or his agent) fails to inspect the dwelling in the presence of the Tenant as required, he is deemed to acknowledge that the dwelling is in a good and proper state of repair. The Landlord will in that case not have a claim for damages that were ascertained after the Tenant moved out.
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Pan-African online data portal improves its reach and depth AfricaEye, an online solution designed for investors, businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs, today announced the launch of its improved portal, which now has the ability to give its clients access to market analysis and demographic insights to an even greater number of both South African cities and cities across Africa. AfricaEye, which was originally launched by Fernridge Consulting, a pan-African research and consulting firm, in November 2012, provides registered users with accurate demographic and expenditure data by area for South Africa and selected African cities, resulting in better decision-making for store expansion, entry to new markets and property development.
AfricaEye was developed to make Fernridge Consulting’s existing datasets available in an automated, customisable and user-friendly manner to a broader market. The portal provides granular information and map displays that drill down into the specific demographics of any area as selected by the user. Improvements in mapping technology and bandwidth capacity mean that the data can now be made available in a more cost effective manner. The AfricaEye dataset makes use of aerial photography, property research, demographic data, global positioning system (GPS) fieldwork and industry-tested consulting experience and methods.
In its premier offering, AfricaEye gives users access to data from 100 South African and 20 African cities and major towns that provides an indepth report for a user-defined catchment area. AfricaEye aims to make its service as accessible as possible by offering a more basic product with the ability to source data from 650 South African and 30 African cities and major towns resulting in a standard report.
“For many individuals and organisations, the cost to access this type of data is prohibitive,” says Strauss. “With AfricaEye we are able to provide on-demand access to data that was previously only available to large retailers and property developers – information like micro-area household income and retail potential – to anyone globally who needs this kind of data for sub-Saharan Africa.”Fernridge’s methodology and approach displays each data point as a dwelling on the AfricaEye data platform, with households classified in terms of ‘type of dwelling’ and ‘household income’. The income ranges are derived from up-to-date property values. AfricaEye takes into account the dwelling type, size, age and area as lifestyle indicators. The methodology takes into account living standards of areas comparative to each other, incorporating fluctuations in the property market by means of the affordability of dwellings.
“With AfricaEye, any individual or institution around the world now has access to affordable, industry-tested, reliable, granular, household income and retail expenditure data to improve planning and map their market potential and African expansion more accurately,” says Sybrand Strauss, managing director of Fernridge Consulting.
“We believe our market knowledge and 10-year relationship with customers such as The Spar Group and McDonald’s is proof of the value of this type of information, as we are able to provide our customers with analysis, such as accurately predicting sales forecasts, for new stores that open within our regional footprint,” concludes Strauss
Underpinned by Fernridge Consulting’s 10-year track record and methodologies based on geographic information systems (GIS), AfricaEye’s visual interface displays the market potential of a userdefined area, together with competitor and complementary information, and the number of households by income group.
Redefine ups holdings in Australian property group Redefine Properties seized the opportunity to increase its direct holding in Australianlisted Cromwell Property Group this week by taking up Aus$65.6-million of Cromwell’s capital raise, which will partly fund Cromwell’s successful acquisition of a portfolio of government properties. Marc Wainer, CEO of Redefine, says: “It’s our stated intention to deepen our presence in Australia. This take-up of capital grows Redefine’s interest in Cromwell from 10% to 12.5%.”Cromwell has acquired a Aus$405-million portfolio
of seven office properties from the New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia. It raised Aus$250-million in capital to fund a portion of the transaction. Three of the properties acquired are in Sydney CBD, including the A-grade Symantec House and B-grade McKell Building and Bligh House. The remaining four buildings are all regional assets in NSW. The acquisition boosts Cromwell’s investment property portfolio to around Aus$2.3-billion.“This attractive portfolio includes five properties that have 15-year leases with the New South Wales government. Of the remaining two, one has a five-year lease in place and the other is a multitenant building. Properties of this quality are achieving a 9% yield in Australia. This highlights how expensive comparable properties are becoming in South Africa,” adds Wainer.
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rial, have ssary mate ted the nece le p m co xt year ne ng business espite havi er to stay in als who, d rd ip o nc ers and in ri w p n ns need a certificatio Agents and r those who e required fo th g ed in ping up iv m o ep ce lo st rity is not yet re ff date is one in autho . The cut-o ic no nt t a a fr th g is in , ounts are becom wers most by most acc ed the ans e problem, ose who ne th ith w solutions. Th g unicatin and comm
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It was recently acknowledged by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) at the Durban leg of the organisation’s roadshow that it is aware of a number of agents who, despite completing the necessary qualification, are still waiting to receive certification from the Services Sector Education Authority (SSETA) in order to receive a Fidelity Fund Certificate next year. Despite this acknowledgement, it still remains unclear exactly how the EAAB and SSETA plan to resolve the issue and whether a solution will be found in time for the 2013 deadline. This is not a trivial issue. Many agents have been struggling for over two years to get clarification as to if and when they are going to receive the necessary documentation in order to practise as an agent or principal after the cut-off date.
necessary training and course material, only to have their hopes dashed because SSETA withdrew the required accreditation of that institution at a later stage.
Unfortunately, despite repeated requests from The Property Professional magazine and promises of a response from SSETA and the Department of Human Settlements that governs the EAAB, none has been forthcoming. It is patently evident that the situation is becoming critical and something has to be done in order to allay the fears of those who, through no fault of their own, have been left in limbo.
Roleen Beelders from Tendcon Developers says that she has been appointed by several principals and agents to speak with SSETA and the EAAB on their behalf. “This group of 25 learners consists mostly of principals, who are all based in Cape Town and who were all registered with the Real Estate Business School (REBS).”
It appears that the problem is at least two-fold. On the one hand there are agents who have jumped the gun and who have completed the wrong qualification. Gerhard van Rensburg, an independent real estate trainer, coach and motivational speaker with Bowtie Solutions, says that he is aware of people who completed the Real Estate NQF 4 Qualification through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) even before a Fidelity Fund Certificate had been issued by the EAAB. This, he says, is contradictory to what the EAAB prescribes. He believes that it is essential that both agents and principals need to educate themselves as to what qualification is required unless they are willing to pay very expensive, duplicate tuition fees. “It is not just about knowing which qualification should be obtained, but also the process that needs to be followed as prescribed by the EAAB,” he says. The second scenario has become a real headache for both principals and agents alike. It seems that many learners have approached an accredited training provider and paid the fees in order to receive the
Sadly, there appears to be instances where agents have paid twice for the same course through different training providers and are still without the necessary certificates because both training institutions have ended up losing the required accreditation. Another concern for those caught up in this mess is that many learners completed the required course material long before the training provider lost its accreditation, but despite this are still waiting for SSETA to issue the required certificates.
That training institution lost its accreditation at the beginning of 2012. It’s not the only educational institution to lose accreditation, as DITASA suffered the same fate later that year. While it is uncertain as to how many learners have been affected by the REBS decision, DITASA estimated that the decision to remove its accreditation would put some 2 563 of its learners in jeopardy. In a series of emails copied to The Property Professional magazine, the frustration of these individuals is tangible. “I have asked SSETA why it has taken 17 months to solve a problem that they have with a provider they themselves accredited,” says Beelders. It is fair to assume that the responsibility for ensuring that a training organisation remains accredited does not rest on the learners’ shoulders. Although the list has since been removed from the EAAB’s webpage, it did at one stage list training providers who had been given the green light to educate South African estate agents. It is hardly the learners’ fault that some of these trainers have since had their accreditation removed
NUMBERS TO KNOW
The value of investments in green economy projects so far approved under the R800m national green fund established by the government last year. SouthAfrica.info – The State of the Nation in numbers
Page 16: W E N EED A N S W ER S
and perhaps more importantly, that no one in authority is doing much to resolve the issue. Another concern that has been voiced by agents is that they still haven’t received certificates even though they completed the course long before the particular training provider lost its accreditation. In other words, the necessary courses were completed while the trainer was still fully accredited by SSETA. Beelders says that the group gets mixed signals from SSETA and that different members of staff at SSETA send out conflicting information. Again, Property Professional magazine is in possession of emails sent out by SSETA that provide different reasons as to why learners have not received their certificates, including citing a paper shortage as well as stating that the person responsible for signing the required documentation is unavailable. Regardless of the reasons, it has become clear that something urgently needs to be done to address the issue. We are not only talking about a few affected agents here, we are talking about principals of agencies, who employ numerous others. “This is an uncontrolled environment that affects a lot of breadwinners in the industry. We have a constitutional right to earn an honest living, especially if it affects the owners of companies who employ staff,” says Beelders.
“Some of us have been in this trade for longer than SSETA has existed. All of the affected learners did exactly what was expected of them; namely register with an accredited training provider and submit the necessary work in order to be found competent by an accredited SSETA assessor. SSETA is fully aware of the fact that we need to pay for our Fidelity Fund Certificates by October 2013 in order to be in a position to trade in 2014. SSETA should certify the learners who have been found competent as we have staff and companies to run.” Although there have been whisperings about delaying the deadline for compliance, so far the EAAB is sticking to its guns. As things stand, agents and principals who have been in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate since 2008 have to complete the relevant courses and obtain certification from SSETA before the cut-off date this year. It is apparent that someone somewhere has to take control of this situation and come to a firm decision regarding the way forward. Wouldn’t it be tragic if the steps taken to improve the industry ended up leading to the downfall of numerous highly experienced principals and agents who simply wanted to continue doing what they do best – selling real estate?
BY LEA JACOBS
Page 18: W E N EED A N S W ER S
Qualifications needed for agents A PRACTISING ESTATE AGENT IN POSSESSION OF A «FULL STATUS» FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE: • Must have obtained their NQF4 via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route before 31 December 2013. • Certain degrees or diplomas may exempt the agent from completing the NQF4 qualification. However, these have to be discussed on an individual basis with the training provider concerned. • After receiving NQF4 certification, agents will have a further two years in which to write the PDE4 (Professional Designation Exam) - a qualification governed and regulated by the EAAB.
AN INTERN ESTATE AGENT WHO IS IN POSSESSION OF AN «INTERN STATUS» FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE FOR MORE THAN 12 MONTHS:
• Can complete their NQF4 via the Intern Training program. • Certain degrees or diplomas might exempt agents from the NQF4. However, these have to be discussed on an individual basis with the training provider concerned. • If these individuals do not complete their qualification (NQF4 and logbook) in 12 months, the EAAB will only grant them a further period of 12 months in which to become compliant. • After NQF4 certification, they will then have a further two years in which they must write the Professional Designation Exam 4, a qualification governed and regulated by the EAAB
Qualifications needed for principals:
• Can obtain the NQF4 qualification via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route.
AN EXISTING PRINCIPAL IN POSSESSION OF A 2008 «PRINCIPAL» FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE:
• Certain degrees or diplomas may exempt the agent from the NQF4 qualification. However, these have to be discussed on an individual basis with the training provider concerned.
• Must have obtained the NQF5 via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route before 31 December 2013.
• Intern agents who have been issued with more than two Fidelity Fund Certificates (more than 24 months) have to obtain the NQF4 before 31 December 2013. • After NQF4 certification, the agent will then have a further two years a before they must write the Professional Designation Exam 4 - a qualification governed and regulated by the EAAB
ALL NEW ENTRANTS TO THE INDUSTRY AND INTERN ESTATE AGENTS WHO REGISTERED AFTER 1 JANUARY 2013 FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Agents who fall into this category will then have a further two years after NQF5 certification in which to write the Professional Designation Exam 5 - a qualification governed and regulated by the EAAB
AN EXISTING PRINCIPAL WHO RECEIVED HIS/HER FIRST PRINCIPAL FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE AFTER 15 JULY 2008: •
Agents who fall into this category must first obtain the NQF4 qualification via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route. Once completed, they are entitled to embark on the NQF5 qualification. Both qualifications must be completed before 31 December 2013.
• Must register for the Full Intern Training program. • Must do a 12 month internship with a registered estate agency.
• After NQF5 certification, they will have a further two years in which they must write the Professional Designation Exam - a qualification governed and regulated by the EAAB.
• Must work under the guidance of a principal or mentor. • Must complete a logbook as supplied by the EAAB.
Information supplied by Nantes Le Roux of iSeleSele Property Academy Cape Town.
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Call 0800 007 111 or SMS* “betterbond” to 45360 and we’ll call you back. *SMS charged at R1.00 www.betterbond.co.za
Page 20: N O F CC S E Q UA L S I LLE G A L O P ER AT I O N S
NO FFCS EQUALS ILLEGAL OPERATIONS Will the 2014 Fidelity Fund Certificate deadline damage the industry?
Have you got your Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC)? All estate agents must receive certification for the National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 4 or level 5 before October 2013 or they will not be issued with FFCs for 2014. But is this deadline realistic considering what the process will entail and given the troubles the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has had in the past, or is the EAAB setting itself and the property industry up for failure? The Estate Agency Affairs board website states: “As part of the Estate Agency Affairs Board statutory mandate and legislation, it is the requirement of all estate agents wishing to operate within the real estate property industry to be in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC)”. The validity of an FFC is from 1 January of a year to 31 December of the same year and estate agents are therefore required to renew by no later than 31 October of each year to obtain a FFC for the following year. Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group, says: “It is now absolutely clear that an extension, probably of a whole year, is needed on the January 2014 deadline given by the EAAB to unqualified estate agents to obtain the now mandatory NQF4 and NQF5 qualifications.” Given the fact that only 32 718 estate agents (comprising 10 373 fully qualified agency principals, 12 162 full status or fully qualified estate agents, 10 183 interns learning to become fully fledged agents and 47 attorneys) currently have their FFCs and it is unclear
how many of the FFC holders have the mandatory NQF4 and NQF5 qualifications, the deadline that has been given is simply not realistic. Another area of concern is how this will play out in the more disadvantaged areas where there are more unqualified estate agents. Estate agents who don’t hold the necessary qualifications by January 2014 will be operating illegally, and will not be entitled to collect fees. “If the board sticks to its viewpoint, it will simply mean that for much of 2014 there will be too few estate agents to serve the South African residential market. Almost certainly what will then happen is that homes will be sold illegally, that is, by estate agents not in possession of FFCs. The residential sector’s efforts to transform the industry will be especially hard hit,” explains Clarke. Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter, says, in response to a question asked about the deadlines to get the necessary qualifications to be able to renew their FFCs, that agents must take the EAAB seriously. “Agents must get their qualifications sorted out and must do their professional designation examination (the next date is in September), which is giving agents enough time. There are agents who have managed and many who have actually done theirs when it was first announced, years ago,” Steward says. Sharing this opinion is Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property Group: “Pam Golding Properties has consistently supported the professionalization of the real estate industry and therefore welcomed
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the requalification of all estate agents, and upon first announcement by the EAAB tasked the Pam Golding Training Academy to ensure that each Pam Golding Properties agent had every opportunity to earn their qualification within the five-year period. All full status agents were required to achieve the NQF4 qualification via RPL (Recognition Prior Learning) or be exempt from the qualification and were given five years from July 2008 to do so. We therefore believe that it is realistic to expect existing full status agents to have requalified by the end of 2013 and therefore obtain their 2014 FFC.” While people do like to procrastinate, the inefficiency and constantly changing leadership experienced by the EAAB in recent times has not helped matters. After being placed under administration and having its board dissolved last year by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, the EAAB has undergone a transformation and now has an entirely new board. The new board includes members from the estate agency industry; five from civil society, representing consumer interests, and five from related professions and institutions such as the legal profession, financial institutions, property owners and developers. But could the upheaval and lack of leadership during the 2012-2013 year and previous years have had a detrimental effect on the qualification process? Says Clarke: “The board has consistently fallen behind on the deadlines which it was supposed to meet and for a long time estate agents could not get the basic required training materials. Furthermore the setting up of the Professional Designation Examination and the supply of training material for this examination are also many months late.” Given the fact that the EAAB granted an amnesty in 2011 for estate agents operating illegally, one has to wonder if this will be the case with the deadline for the FFCs, or whether the deadline will see the amount of illegal estate agents rise dramatically?
HOW TO COMPLY There are various ways to comply, either by exemption due to experience or tertiary qualifications or by completion of a portfolio of evidence (POE) that supports the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for either level 4 or 5. A certificate by Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA) will then be issued, whereby agents are given two years from the certification date to complete their professional designation exams and, once they have completed the appropriate steps, they will be able to apply for their Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) renewals for 2014. Annette Evans, manager of the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, cautions: “The important thing here is that there might be many agents who will not be issued with their FFC renewals and it is in buyers’ and sellers’ best interests, when dealing with an agent, to ask whether he or she has a valid FFC. You are actually within your rights to ask for proof of an agent’s registration and whether he or she is working legally as an agent.” The repercussions of ignoring this warning could lead to a loss in both clients and fees. Another important aspect to note is that agents will not get their FFCs if the company they work for has not been issued with its FFC (i.e. the principal must have his NQF5.) If you have any queries about FFC renewal, contact either the EAAB directly or the Institute of Estate Agents, who are running information sessions on the qualification process. ED: This is really great in theory, but considering the massive problems that exist with training providers SSETA and the EAAB, it will be interesting to see what happens when the deadline passes.
BY COLLEEN MAY
Page 22: M A R K E T S H A R E
WHO ARE THE BUYERS AND SELLERS?
W ES T ER N CA P E
N O RT H W ES T
N O RT H ER N CA P E
2012 AGE OF BUYERS
LI M P O P O
K WA Z U LU N ATA L
G AU T EN G
E A S T ER N CA P E
F R EE S TAT E
In the May/June issue, there were some errors with the tables below, which we have now corrected. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
30% 20% 10% 0%
2012 TRANSACTIONS OF SELLERS: AGE BANDS
E A S T ER N CA P E
G AU T EN G
K WA Z U LU N ATA L
W ES T ER N CA P E
** Information supplied by Lightstone.
Page 23: M A R K E T S H A R E
BEST PROPERTY TYPES AND INVESTMENT AREAS Property Professional speaks to leading industry statistics and insights providers to find out what types of property have been the most popular among residential buyers in each province as well as which area in each province showed the highest one-year price appreciation trend across commercial and residential property from April 2012 - April 2013 100% 80% 60%
2012 GAUTENG BUYERS
40% 20% 0% 18-25 ES TAT ES
26-35 F R EEH O LD
36-45 FA R M S
S E C T I O N A L S C H EM ES
100% 80% 60%
2012 WESTERN CAPE BUYERS
40% 20% 0% 18-25 ES TAT ES
26-35 F R EEH O LD
36-45 FA R M S
S E C T I O N A L S C H EM ES
100% 80% 60%
2012 KWAZULU-NATAL BUYERS
40% 20% 0% 18-25 ES TAT ES
26-35 F R EEH O LD
36-45 FA R M S
S E C T I O N A L S C H EM ES
100% 80% 60%
2012 EASTERN CAPE BUYERS
40% 20% 0% 18-25 ES TAT ES
26-35 F R EEH O LD
36-45 FA R M S
S E C T I O N A L S C H EM ES
** Information supplied by Lightstone.
Page 24: M A R K E T S H A R E
BEST INVESTMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA PROVINCE
1 YEAR MEDIAN PRICE INCREASE
1 YEAR MEDIAN PRICE INCREASE
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NUMBER OF TRANSFERS FOR 2012
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Page 26: EM B R AC E O N LI N E M A R K E T I N G
EMBRACE ONLINE MARKETING Good online marketing strategies can lead to a solid sales increase
Page 27: EM B R AC E O N LI N E M A R K E T I N G
Right now if you are sitting in front of your computer, you can log onto the Internet and purchase just about anything you could imagine, and have it delivered right to your doorstep. The greatest commodity in life is no longer money, it’s time. And the Internet is creating more and more ways to save consumers time; eventually all goods and services will simply be the click of a tab away, so why not maximise your sales through your Internet presence? HOW CAN THE INTERNET BENEFIT YOU? The property industry and the landscape of marketing and advertising is changing; there is a shift away from printed and paper advertising to the online environment. As consumers spend increasingly more time online, advertising and marketing have adapted to reflect this change and you can benefit from using the Internet and social media sites to increase traffic to your site. Ooba COO Rhys Dryer explains: “If you think of the average 33-year-old in the property market today, they’ve probably had an email address for most of their adult lives, have used search engines over any other reference tool when they’re looking for information, have Facebook profiles and interact with friends and brands on Twitter; naturally when considering buying a house, the Internet is the first place they’ll look.” This is borne out by the increase ooba has recorded in the number of bond applications, page views and online tools on its website. YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE “Consumers are becoming more and more tech savvy and everything is going online,” says Stuart Chait, CEO of Homes2go, an online property sales company, which brings buyers and sellers together. The most important thing in today’s market is your online presence, as it’s not just your company website but your social media platforms that form the basis of who you are online. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube are all ways to open up your company to a new audience, one that is live 24/7 and hungry for interaction with the companies and brands they are purchasing from. Gone are the days of property listings in newspapers or magazines; today your phone or your tablet is the way you research, shop and buy. When it comes to using these social media platforms, you need to do three things to increase your clients and increase the interaction with existing and new clients. You need to Engage, Entertain and Educate. Breaking that down even further, think of whom you are talking to, what type of person is reading your posts or following your company? Someone who is interested in, or already has, property. So, on your social media pages, don’t list things like your favourite travel spot or just have properties for sale; the former is white noise to your client and the latter is going to disengage them. Rather have simple but striking property updates, the best mortgage choices, paint colour trends, news from the community/communities you buy and sell in, and positive news about the property industry. Social media is a great platform to keep people informed about your brand and engaged with your brand; when it comes to posting on these sites, it’s about relevance and consistency. Making sure your name is visible can make the difference between success and failure; brand awareness is just one part, and the other is
your interface. How user friendly is your website and, if you have one, your app? How user friendly your site is and what information it delivers will decide whether people use your site/app or your competition’s. YouTube is another invaluable tool in your online marketing arsenal: “YouTube will increasingly become the first port of call for those looking for property, YouTube is already the world’s second most popular search engine,” says Dyer. People are living in a world that is more visual than ever before, and short videos are perfect for showcasing your brand and agency. One common mistake that a lot of people make when it comes to online campaigns is not following through in their print campaigns. Your advertisements and print media campaigns should all be sending people to your online presence; if they don’t, the lack of followthrough conveys a negative message and will discourage people from following you. Another common mistake you don’t want to make is not having a fully completed profile. Your profile is your short engine optimiser (SEO), which, in a nutshell, is tech speak for how people essentially find you when searching for property on Google. It is through your profile that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn rank and group you; by not completing all the relevant fields when creating your profile, you are losing out on SEO clout. CREATE A SET SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOG POSTING CAMPAIGN The best way to ensure you are on top of the entire gamut of social platforms is to have a clear and concise campaign. Start with what platforms you want to utilise, ideally it should be all of them. And then work out a way to post news and information that links all your platforms together, so if you are posting ‘the best areas to buy property in’ on Facebook, use the link and a short blurb and post it on Twitter, and then put a longer version of the article on LinkedIn as well. This way you are creating cohesion between your platforms and driving clients to your brand. Once you have people on your platforms, you need to drive the interaction. Engaging with your ‘friends’ daily across all your platforms is what makes social media such a useful tool. It will keep people going back to your site and pages. It’s important to remember that social media is a prospecting tool; you won’t sell a lot of property through it, but it will allow you to make contact with your clients, win their trust and move them offline to close the deal. It will also increase your brand awareness and stimulate more business. At the end of the day, social media is here to stay and is a fantastic tool for your business to get your brand out there, to increase your client base and best of all it costs very little, just an hour or two of your day, to exponentially increase your client numbers. All you have to do is embrace the technology and keep up to date with social media trends and changes to turn social media into your personalised PR guru.
BY COLLEEN MAY
Page 28: T E C H T O O LK I T
TECH TOOLKIT Nüvi 3590LMT Bundle
AVA I L A B LE F RO M : R3 699
L OV E I T: This intelligent GPS navigator features Garmin Guidance 3.0, which is Garmin’s most advanced navigation engine yet. It has a faster, more intuitive user interface to enhance the speed and accuracy of searches and routing. The nüvi 3590LMT is part of Garmin’s collection of premium portable navigation devices (PNDs), offering sophisticated features ideal for everyday use for those on the move. The nüvi 3590LMT features a super-wide 5.0” (12.7cm) capacitive automatic dual-orientation touchscreen display, 3D traffic, lifetime traffic updates, a data file of the Cyclops safety camera’s database and Bluetooth hands-free calling. NOT SO MUCH: Smartphones definitely seem to be taking on the jobs of sat-navs for many people these days. It appears that most would rather have one
device that does it all as opposed to a bunch of gadgets individually used for various tasks. I N A N U T S H ELL : If you are in the car most of the day and going to new destinations is your thing, then perhaps having a sat-nav live in your car positioned neatly on your dashboard is the way to go. Trying to use your cell phone for maps while driving can be tricky at the best of times, never mind dangerous if you do not have the correct cell phone car mount.
Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 AVA I L A B LE F RO M : R4 782 L OV E I T: This full HD camcorder allows you to switch out memory cards so you will never run out of space and gives you a full touchscreen to watch and work with. The face detection helps you get exact focus at all times and helps you pick the right scene mode to ensure good lighting for all your videos. With a wide-angle lens and built-in USB cable, this camcorder is a winner in its range. NOT SO MUCH: The sub-HD resolution sensor on these camcorders isn’t quite up to scratch and while it is small and compact enough, the small size
might be an issue for someone who has larger hands as the strap isn’t ideally equipped to fit an adult hand. I N A N U T S H ELL : Good for its price class, the no-frills Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 produces alright HD videos, so if you’re not picky, you’ll probably be fine. Overall, the camcorder is a good buy, as long as you go cheap on the memory card.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
48% of South African adults are worried that they won’t have enough money for old age or retirement and 83% do not have any formal retirement product. Only 25% of adults claim to have enough money to save after covering all their spending needs. Risksa.com - Half of South Africa worried about retirement – FinScope Survey
Page 29: T E C H T O O LK I T
Parrot MKi9000 HandsFree Kit
Private Property App
AVA I L A B LE F RO M : R2 149
AVA I L A B LE F RO M : At the cost of some of your data
L OV E I T: The Parrot MKi9000 is a Bluetooth screenless hands-free system that blends in seamlessly inside any vehicle. In addition to conventional telephony functions – pick up, hang up, dual calls – the Parrot MKi9000 also boasts these telephony functions: Automatic phonebook synchronisation, training-free multispeaker voice recognition, speech synthesis of the names in the phonebook and contact management (up to 2 000 per phone). No need for a screen – the Parrot MKi9000 offers a voice menu for accessing its functions. NOT SO MUCH: What’s not to love? All calls are connected through Bluetooth and as long as you have the correct cables, you could technically do away with the need for a car radio. I N A N U T S H ELL : It’s a winner in both convenience and safety on the road. Small and without unnecessary frills, this gadget is vital for the toolkit.
L OV E I T: The App is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and now Android. The application allows those with compatible mobile phones or tablets to pull specific data directly to their devices without having to browse the website. NOT SO MUCH: The bad news is that the App seems to struggle a bit with filtering properties and is less up to date than the actual website. I N A N U T S H ELL : It’s a useful App to have, especially if you want to make sure you are in the loop with what is going on in the market and that all your property listings are up to date.
Page 30: T H E D EBAT E A RO U N D D ES I G N
THE DEBATE AROUND DESIGN Tension amid the worlds of architecture and development, both driven by commerce, is an age-old phenomenon. So is the successful integration of sound architectural design in many a memorable commercial building project
Debate continues over the promotion of responsible development that would prioritise quality architectural design of commercial properties in urban areas, in particular that of inner city development. Collaborative processes between planning authorities need to reflect in end products, from municipal level, to architects and urban designers, property developers, engineers, and construction companies. Current industry concern is that the single biggest focus of some commercial developments, reflect maximum capital return. Industry specialists say in the absence of good urban design frameworks, what becomes visible instead, is a neglect of design context, setting and scale. Consultation is essential, especially for the preservation of the cultural heritage of areas. By promoting public opinion, consideration would also be given to impacts on urban areas, be it functional or aesthetic, historic or environmental. Worth considering then is industry opinion that the architectural and urban design within South Africa’s cities can no longer be with a singular purpose. Representing the South African Institute of Architects’ opinion is Julian Cooke of Claar Architects’ expression of concern over exacerbated focus on capital gain versus memorable design. He says design should show “good architecture that comes from a powerful synthesis of complex questions which reflect the intricacy of human life on an infinitely sensitive planet.” Essential to the process, says Cooke, is urban setting, programme, culture, history, materials, structure, climate, environmental control, economy and construction process – each consideration complex in itself.
inner city areas, where urban densification needs strategic design interventions to maximise potential. He says: “The value of historical and cultural preservation, as well as a green ethos practised through a sensitive design approach, also makes rands and cents sense as strategic industry interventions are catalysts for further economic development.” He says successful examples locally are following European high street trends that offer entrepreneurial opportunities, which in turn stimulate commerce in mixed use city nodes. Evidence of this is seeing what the redevelopment and refurbishing of the Old Biscuit Mill development has done for the regeneration of Woodstock. A great many responsible developments are seen throughout South Africa, some which are awarded industry recognition for adhering to sound architectural, urban and environmental design practice, such as the Fulton, Corobrik and Afrisam awards programmes facilitated by the South African Institute of Architects. However, not all good design practice earns public or industry recognition, just as those contrary to the upholding of a professional ethos remain visual scars for generations. The South African Institute of Architects’ opinion, expressed by Fabian Architects’ Andries Samuel in the Journal of the South African Institute of Architects, addresses the profession’s engagement with regard to public interest, opinion and participation in conceptual and urban design of the built products by commercial property developers. Samuel contends that pre-emption by way of collaboration would avoid neglect that comes as the result of public disillusion with the architectural profession.
President of the Gauteng Institute of Architecture Daniel van der Merwe
Increased global awareness is seen among commercial property
highlights some issues with regard to mixed use developments within
owners who acknowledge the wellbeing of building occupants
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AFGRI Head Office in Centurion was designed by Paragon Architects. With the tip- of- a- hat to Brazilian Modernism, this building makes a striking feature of the commute between Pretoria and Johannesburg.Â
Church Street in the Cape Town CBD boasts both old and new facades.
by looking beyond capital expenditure on building costs and maintenance. A recent example is the SAPOA award-winning new Alexander Forbes head office. Chief executive officer, Edward Kieswetter, revealed how the design of the new building reflected the values and attitudes of the company. These extended from the transparency the company wishes to portray and is reflected in the huge volumes of natural light and glazed layering. Hugh Fraser at Alexander Forbes says trust, which is a major component of the financial services industry, is extended throughout the design
elements of the building, revealing not only the mores the company wishes to convey to its clients, but also enriching the lives of its employees.In promoting the property sector, both on a global and local scale, is Estienne de Klerk, incoming President of the South African Property Owners Association. De Klerk highlights skills shortages and poor education as other challenges facing the local property sector in attracting foreign investors and business to South Africa. He says education, training and skills development, as well as providing the sector with valuable information and research, would be key priorities for the industry body in the year ahead.
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115 West Alexander Forbes Head Office Sandton - developed by Zenprop and designed by Paragon Architects, this building received a 4-star Green Star accreditation for the design of the building, best building contractor and AFRISAM INNOVATION AWARD for sustainable construction to construction contractor WBHO/Tiber.
Serving the purposes of skills development for this industry are any number of centres of excellence at tertiary level, from where the private sector and government are able to draw qualified professionals. Such institutions also facilitate the process of furthering the existing skills base within the industry through research and additional training programmes. One of many examples nationally is the University of Cape Town’s Masters Programme in Urban Infrastructure Design and Management through the Fellowship programme, funded by the Ove Arup Foundation. This hands-on programme includes formal as well as problembased learning through projects and cases, and offers an integrated approach to skills training in the management of urban issues. Students benefit from course material prepared by some of the world’s best academics and practitioners in this area from the faculties of engineering, architecture, planning, environmental sciences, geography, social sciences and management. Such skills incorporate practical implementation of guidelines provided by Spatial Development Frameworks of cities, the results of years of research based on ideas from a broader collective for the purposes of integrated commercial development. In addition to the value of heritage preservation, van der Merwe maintains that social and cultural transformation is possible through the
use of old buildings where by refurbishing, retrofitting and recycling, investors and developers can acquire existing properties at below replacement value, instead of building new structures. The issue of preservation of cultural heritage related to property development furthers the case for sound regulation by industry watchdogs. It highlights the role of the architectural profession within the framework of bodies such as the South African Council for the Architectural Profession and different heritage councils. Also leading the way for change in creating increased public awareness through learning experiences, van der Merwe says, is the use of institutional properties where exhibitions that are open to the public showcase the work of architects and urban designers. Regarding the future of commercial architecture, Samuel says: “Many fellow professionals in this profession who have a fundamental impact on the places where human beings dwell, body and soul, have a duty to take care to engage with the full extent of the design problem, no matter how clamorous the conflicts are. And if one concern is making money for the client, this is no more or less a consideration than any other.”
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RISING FROM THE ASHES
Picture courtesy SA Tourism
While some inner cities have weathered the storm of democracy better than others, there is a growing trend to rebuild and improve areas that have been neglected and, to some extent, forgotten. At one stage, we could all have been forgiven for thinking that many of our inner cities had disintegrated into a scene reminiscent of the movie I am Legend. It would seem that democracy hasn’t been all that kind to South African inner cities. Once home to some of the most expensive, sought-after real estate in the country, entire areas became virtual no-go areas as big business moved out and deterioration set in. In Johannesburg, the City of Gold, famous landmarks closed their doors, including the Carlton Hotel, once one of South Africa’s finest hotels. The golden age of departmental store shopping came to an end as shopping malls became the new buzzword in suburbia, where shoppers were not only spoilt for choice, but could park and shop in relative safety. The picture was pretty much the same throughout most of the country and although many of us bemoaned the fact that once-beautiful buildings had been left to go to wrack and ruin, very few had a solution to stop the rot and actually do something about it. It was, of
course, never going to be an easy task to rejuvenate an area where slumlords, illegal tenants and skyrocketing crime levels were the order of the day. However, the picture is changing and, thanks to both the government and privately funded initiatives, new life is slowly being breathed into these once neglected areas. Some areas are facing bigger challenges than others. Hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to the bright lights of Johannesburg over the past two decades in the hope of securing work and a roof over their heads. Hundreds of buildings were hijacked by illegal landlords and tenants were forced to live in unspeakable conditions, while the ‘owners’ raked in the cash. Something obviously had to give and, unfortunately in this scenario, the buildings came off second best. In some instances the buildings are no longer used for their original purpose. The old French Bank in downtown Johannesburg, for instance, has been transformed into the Faircity Mapungubwe, a four-star, self-catering hotel. A total of 98 luxury units now grace the hallways of the building while the old vault, complete with brass and copper safety deposit boxes, has been converted into a stylish hotel bar and lounge.
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Johannesburg also recently announced that it has grand plans for the wealthiest city in Africa and a number of ambitious projects are afoot to transform the city into the ‘New York of Africa’. The 10-year scheme is expected to cost in the region of US$10-billion and include an extensive new road and railway network, better housing and revamped buildings. City mayor Parks Tau says the 10-year scheme will lead to a “new era” for Johannesburg and its 4.4 million inhabitants. “We are reinventing the city of Johannesburg,” says Tau. Things are also starting to change in nearby Pretoria. In 1997 the west wing of the Munitoria was completely gutted by a fire that occurred due to non-compliance with the South African Bureau of Standards Fire Regulations. Despite warnings from inspectors and budgeting for upgrading the fire protection plans in the building, the work was not carried out in time and the simple overheating of a fuse in a fluorescent light bulb resulted in a massive, sweeping fire that quickly flared out of control. Firefighters were unable to contain the fire and thousands of public records were lost and over R353-million in damages was suffered. The fire could easily have resulted in the collapse of local government. Naturally, a derelict building has a devaluating effect on an area. Various legal issues and administrative snags have delayed the reconstruction of the burnt-out wing of the building for a number of years. However, plans have finally been approved for a new R2-billion replacement building for the Tshwane Metro Council. Ground has been broken and work has begun to replace the entire Munitoria building, including the wings that were not gutted in the fire, with what executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa hopes will be a building of iconic stature. The contractors are Tsela Tshweu Investments - a consortium made up of Standard Bank, Nedbank, Group Five and other small enterprises. It is estimated that the construction of what will become the new headquarters for the Tshwane Metro Council will take three years, and will undoubtedly result in significant upliftment of the midtown area, boosting local property values. The news has already started to have an effect, with the High St Auction Co recently auctioning off the Midtown Building situated directly opposite the site. Cape Town is also slowly being transformed and it was recently announced that the upgrading of Sea Point’s commercial precinct is having a positive effect on the local residential market. “Sea Point lost some of its stature as a desirable place to live in the late 1990s and many potential buyers were put off by signs of urban decay and neglect,” says John Rabie, founder of Signatura. “However, it is now benefitting from the upgrading of the business zones and revitalisation of some older blocks that had fallen into disrepair. The City of Cape Town’s new zoning scheme, which anchors its Spatial Development Framework, is having a significant positive impact on redevelopment and investment
opportunities in Sea Point.” He says that buyer demand is fuelled by the outstanding amenities on offer. “In addition to views of Robben Island and Lion’s Head, the city, the Promenade, Cape Town Stadium, the Waterfront, Clifton beaches, MyCiTi routes, top schools and quirky boutiques and restaurants are all a stone’s throw away. In my opinion, Sea Point has the cosmopolitan feel of New York or London with the laid-back vibe of Miami or Sydney.” Basil Moraitis of Pam Golding Properties says that the area that was once viewed as a somewhat lower-heeled neighbour of the glamorous Atlantic Seaboard suburbs has developed into a sought-after cosmopolitan area to live, work and play. “People staying in Green Point can get home from work in the central city within minutes, go for a jog around the urban park, enjoy a cocktail at any number of local restaurants and bars or stop in at the Cape Quarter centre to pick up dinner. Over the past few years, the area has also been growing in popularity with the media and advertising industries in particular, as a number of leading agencies and broadcasters have established their head offices in Green Point,” Moraitis says. Things also continue to look rosy on the commercial front. Lydon McGrane, marketing manager of Galetti, reports that vacancy levels have remained low in the area with existing tenants mostly choosing to remain, while there is a steady stream of new companies looking to move there. Like Johannesburg, the area has embraced its history and many older buildings are still in use, albeit for a different purpose. Properties such as The Foundry, which hosts the popular Beluga restaurant, Victoria Junction, home to a Protea Hotel, the Cape Quarter with both the Piazza and the more recently developed Court Yard, 39 on Hudson, The Rockwell, Harbouredge, Metropolis and Dockside to name a few, provides the area with an almost European flair. While some cities are going allout to attract inner city investment, Durban it seems remains on the back foot. A recent report indicated that Durban’s rate randage is higher than that of Johannesburg or Cape Town and that this is having a negative effect on both residential and commercial sectors. Developers also complain of red tape slowing the transformation of the inner city down, although they remain positive about current and future projects. The regional manager of the Trust for Urban Housing Finance (TUHF) Lusanda Netshifhefhe points out that while funders of inner city projects should not expect to turn over a quick profit, there is a market for affordable rental accommodation in centrally located places. “There is a dearth of accommodation in the inner city and if someone doesn’t refurbish old buildings, the slumlords will,” states Netshifhefhe.
BY LEA JACOBS
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PROP ERT Y P R O FES S IO NAL
AMANDA STEYN R E / M AX LI V I N G
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Why on earth not? Imagine having the perfect balance between working in a vibrant office and getting out in the field, helping people to find their perfect bachelor pad or family home. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? To further my education through training, ensuring that I am up to date with all aspects of the real estate environment. To become the area expert for my areas of focus, and to receive recognition from RE/MAX of Southern Africa through its awards programme by becoming one of its top-selling professionals. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? The most enjoyable is watching the bachelor enjoying Cape Town city life in his newly found place, or a family getting settled in their new home. The most challenging? Finding that darn perfect property in the first place! WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? I have a colleague who is a very successful and respected agent in the RE/MAX City Bowl office. With a full programme, she still finds time to run a part-time soup kitchen and to care about other people. Need I say more?
NEW AGENTS ON THE BLOCK
R E A LN E T B L O EM F O N T EI N
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Through the years I have helped many friends and family members from out of town to find city properties by approaching local agents on their behalf. I recently approached the RealNet principal and he promptly convinced me to make a career in property - a move that my family heartily supports. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? Helping people to find their dream homes something that I have done informally for a long time - gives me great job satisfaction. Two challenges are helping buyers to secure financing from lending institutions, and persuading sellers to base asking prices on market realities and not emotion. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? People skills and, specifically, listening skills. If you do not listen to what buyers require, the chances are slim indeed that you will find their dream home. Empathy with clients’ unique circumstances also goes a long way to successful transactions. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? Becoming a top agent who will be buyers’ and sellers’ first port of call. I want to be an asset to my agency and clients, and set an example as an agent with nonnegotiable integrity.
JAW I TZ P RO P ERT I ES
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? I’ve always enjoyed the property market, particularly how a buoyant market influences the economy. This, coupled with a sales background, made it a good choice. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? Enjoyable: Matching buyers to their dream homes and watching it come together. Challenging: External influences like council strikes and the Consumer Protection Act. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? Certainly being honest has to be first. Buying and selling a property is, in some cases, the biggest investment a person will make and selling is very emotional (lots of memories). It is important to manage these emotions. Be thorough and make sure you understand all aspects of the agreement of sale. This removes all doubt and comebacks. Be well groomed, first impressions last! WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? I would like to see myself in more of a management/own franchise scenario.
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R EN P RO P CO M M ERC I A L
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Having had a career in blue chip corporate companies in client services and marketing, I yearned to have more control and responsibility for my own success. The property industry allows for your efforts to be rewarded in line with the time and energy you put into your daily activities. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? You never know what the next day holds in store for you. You find yourself chasing every possible lead to a successful result; it is an interesting challenge to prioritise activities as your day progresses. I also enjoy meeting new people every day. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? It is important to be able to deal with people from all levels. You find yourself dealing with a start-up business looking for a short-term lease, and minutes later dealing with a managing director wanting to buy a multi-million rand building. Every client needs to feel that you are giving them your full attention. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? I intend to make this a long-term career and establish myself well enough to be a recognised, trustworthy broker with a client base I can continue to serve successfully. I also want to continue having the backing of a reputable company such as Renprop. This is an energetic and dynamic industry that can keep you active for as long as you make the effort!
GLYNIS VAN ZUYDAM JAW I TZ P RO P ERT I ES
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Property has always interested me. I have bought, renovated and sold a number of properties over the years. I completed a course in interior design with the idea of breaking into the home staging market, assisting sellers in taking their home to the market successfully. The demand for this service in South Africa is limited, so I approached Jawitz Properties for assistance. I was lucky enough to be placed with a dynamic team of two agents with whom I worked for 18 months, and during which time I completed my Recognition of Prior Learning and was offered the opportunity of working as an estate agent within the company. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? The most enjoyable part of the job is finding the ‘perfect match’. The right buyer at the right price for the property. The most challenging aspects include finding sellable stock, price counselling a seller who believes their home is worth more than it is, and being able to remain on neutral territory when dealing with both the buyer and the seller. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? Honesty, integrity, knowledge, passion and constantly staying in touch with your buyers and sellers. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? To increase our market share to be the top agents in the area. To be able to offer a service assisting sellers in staging their homes professionally.
VANGELIS DOUCAS R E / M AX LI V I N G WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? I have always had a passion for property space and design; it is part of my creative streak. It is an industry where I can find the freedom to express and implement my legal knowledge coupled with my business experience and acumen, whilst having the freedom to interact with individual buyers and sellers from all backgrounds. This industry epitomises for me the end product of a person’s hard work and devoted years of labour. The symbol of security - a home which he/she will either use for him or herself, or as an investment. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? The freedom to be creative and interact with people from different backgrounds. It’s an opportunity to share in someone’s most prized asset and be involved in the energy of success. Property ownership is a valuable result of someone’s success, which often comes after many years of labour. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? Devotion, commitment, hard work, willingness to learn and share in knowledge and transactions. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? To be the best that I can be whilst continuing to learn and share my knowledge with others. To be an inspiration to myself and to my colleagues and use the many opportunities given to learn from my clients as well.
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ENGEL & VÖLKERS PRETORIA NEW EAST
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Growing up in a family that was involved in the property industry, I naturally developed an appreciation and interest in this industry. After university I was fortunate enough to become involved with various aspects of the property industry. I have a passion for property, design and innovation, so choosing a career in this industry was easy. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? It is enjoyable to develop a network, and meet people who are making a difference in the South African economy, and it is satisfying to connect people to places that are ideal for their needs. The challenge for me is the disappointment that comes when deals cannot be concluded. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? A broker should be a go-getter and be able to make things happen, always thinking outside the box. He or she should be able to motivate themselves. Building relationships and a network with people is vital to your success. Showing compassion for your clients and taking the time to get to know their specific needs will not only save a lot of time, but also communicate to the client that you are concerned about their needs. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? I continuously develop my skills with continued education, and enjoy making a difference to the world around me. I see opportunities in investing in green building technologies and value in investing in your own commercial properties, and therefore hope to do that in the near future. I still have much to do as a broker, and growing my network is my main focus at the moment.
R E / M AX I N D EP EN D EN T P RO P ERT I ES
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Buying my own home got me interested in the property business. I discovered a hidden passion for property (I was always very curious about other people’s homes!) and becoming an agent seemed to be an ideal way to dovetail the desire for a great career with my fascination for property. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? Dealing with people from all walks of life is both challenging and enjoyable, and educating both buyers and sellers on the property markets and managing their expectations is challenging. Time management is also a challenge - juggling business commitments and family time. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? You must be a people person - being an estate agent is about building relationships with people. Once a relationship is built and a trust is formed, it becomes much easier to sell property. Agents must be able to ‘sell themselves’ in order to be successful. Excellent negotiating skills also help. A good estate agent must be willing to learn and absorb information in order to educate the buyers and sellers on the current market trends and conditions. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? To mentor younger agents and to maintain a good standing with all my current (and prospective) clients, and to be known for my excellent service. I would also like to continue to achieve a place in the top 10 within my company’s yearly achievement positions.
ENGEL & VÖLKERS P R E T O R I A N EW EAST
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Coming from a retail background and being self-employed, I always saw myself in the property industry. So when I sold my business and came across the fantastic Engel & Völkers brand, which provides an incredible business model and has amazing people with whom to build relationships, I knew this was the career path for me. I have never looked back. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? What I most enjoy is that I am part of such an exceptional brand, but even more so that I am part of a team that is driven to succeed. One of the challenges is that one needs to strive to reach the standard already established by more experienced agents and to raise that standard even higher. Another challenge is always being prepared for new obstacles and standing up to them, which, in the end, equips you to be more successful in the future. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? To be a great estate agent one has to have good social skills and have the ability to build relationships with clients and colleagues. Estate agents also need to be leaders within their own right, who can be accountable for their actions and decisions and have a positive frame of mind. In the end, you have to provide professionalism and excellence in everything you do. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? This is, without a doubt, an industry that I am dedicated to and one in which I will continue to make every effort to expand my knowledge. I intend on growing my portfolio not only within real estate sales, but also in property investments, developments and construction.I foresee a bright and rewarding career ahead.
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CHANTAL LOOTS J H I P RO P ERT I ES WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Growing up in a family that was involved in the property industry, I naturally developed an appreciation for and interest in this industry. After university I was fortunate enough to become involved with various aspects of the property industry. I have a passion for property, design and innovation, so choosing a career in this industry was easy. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? It is enjoyable to develop a network, and meet people who are making a difference in the South African economy, and it is satisfying to connect people to places that are ideal for their needs. The challenge for me is the disappointment that comes when deals cannot be concluded. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? A broker should be a go-getter and be able to make things happen, always thinking outside the box. He or she should be able to motivate themselves. Building relationships and a network with people is vital to your success. Showing compassion for your clients and taking the time to get to know their specific needs will not only save a lot of time, but also communicate to the client that you are concerned about their needs. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? I continuously develop my skills with continued education, and enjoy making a difference to the world around me. I see opportunities in investing in green building technologies and value in investing in your own commercial properties, and therefore hope to do that in the near future. I still have much to do as a broker, and growing my network is my main focus at the moment.
SANET CROSS LE A P F RO G G O R D O N ’ S BAY
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? After I relocated to the Western Cape in 2008, one of my best decisions was to get involved in the property market and I was appointed as a Leapfrog agent in Gordon’s Bay in September 2012. I have a passion for and interest in people, and notice and take advantage of all good opportunities, especially in properties, and like to build up good relationships based on trust. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? The most enjoyable aspects are connecting with people from all over the country, and helping them to find the ‘right property in the right place and at the right price’. It is challenging to compete with so many other estate agencies in the same area, and to get the right stock at market related prices. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? The main characteristics are: Integrity and honesty - without these it is not possible to build relationships based on trust, and it is important not just to build, but also to maintain the trust in the relationship. The saying that trust is earned is so true. Furthermore, passion and hard work are essential for success. Last, but not at all the least, it is crucial to ‘walk the extra mile with a smile’. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? To be the best estate agent that I can be by applying knowledge and experience and by working hard. I want to reach the highest levels in the property business, and I know it will be possible with the Lord’s grace, favour and some hard work by me. I am blessed to work with the most supportive team at Leapfrog Gordon’s Bay.
H A RCO U RT S S U M M I T, F ER N DA LE
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PROPERTY? I hold a marketing management diploma and, as a people’s person, the idea of helping people to find homes where they would be happy and safe appealed to me. WHAT DO YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST ENJOYABLE AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB? Meeting new people and helping them to find the homes of their dreams is very satisfying. I find it challenging to persuade some sellers to ask market related prices. It is even more challenging to try to find a buyer when the seller is adamant about his or her price. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKE FOR A GREAT ESTATE AGENT/BROKER? Making clients feel comfortable and winning their confidence by being friendly and scrupulously honest. Clearly communicating all relevant facts is another important aspect of a successful professional relationship with your clients. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CAREER GOALS? I want to become the best agent I possibly can and, one day, become a principal agent at Harcourts.
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WATCHFUL EYE ON STATE PROPERTY The stateâ€™s management and appropriate utilisation of its property remains under scrutiny
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Historically, the value of South Africa’s state properties was never readily available. Knowledge of high value properties was out of bounds to the greater public, especially of holiday homes of state officials located on exclusive game farms, pristine nature reserves and coastal areas, in one case on the same property as a missile range. Notwithstanding the many sins of the previous regime, tax payers then hardly felt the same pinch compared to currently; the result of personal enrichment of politicians. What was, however, evident in the treatment of large state-owned buildings then was a different degree of regard for property belonging to the state, not necessarily all of impeccable location and orientation nor design or construction. Also evident was a different approach to the upholding of higher standards of management and utilisation of such properties, from rental leases to maintenance and historic preservation. South Africa’s state-owned property, the total valued at R570-billion, represents a considerable portion of the country’s overall property sector, currently standing at R4.9-trillion. This was disclosed in a study, the first of its kind to be commissioned by the Property Sector Charter Council, and released in November last year. The Charter’s chief executive officer, Portia Tau-Sekati, said as part of the detailed breakdown across different categories of property that this value relates to the public property sectors across national, provincial and local government and state-owned enterprise. She says readily available information was incorporated into the study to illustrate the breakdown of publicly-owned property, with provincial government holding R342-billion, national government R188-billion, local government R37-billion and state-owned enterprises holding R6billion. The report also showed the value of the country’s commercial property, estimated at R780-billion, with property zoned for development but not yet developed valued at R520-billion. Understandable then is the issue of accountability remaining at the top of agendas of listed property funds, commercial property owners and private industry. Appropriate expenditure by the state, be it on its own properties or the leasing of private property, particularly in view of the sorely needed housing, health and education sectors, is overshadowed by massive overspending – the profits of which are continuously shared among wealthy state officials as well as members of the private sector. Not that irregular spending, supposedly for the underpinning of economic growth such as public-sector infrastructure,
Iziko Rust & Vreugd Museum in Cape Town is located at 78 Buitenkant Street. The house was built in 1778 as a residence for the Dutch East India Company’s (VOC) Cape fiscal, Willem Cornelis Boers. This historic house and garden, on the edge of the central business district of Cape Town, is currently home to the William Fehr Collection of pictorial Africana.
should be underestimated. What matters is that private industry helps feed corruption. Heartening then is that irregular expenditure on government properties now has the attention of Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. He referred to the overturning and exposure of greed and corruption, both in the public and private sector, in his statement last month, saying: “Special Investigations Unit investigations, together with recent findings of the Competition Commission, tell the same story: Overpricing and collusion between some officials and sections of the construction industry and corruption and greed in the private and public sectors are mutually reinforcing each other.” With government leases one of the sorest points in the property industry, greater balance between current expenditure on state leases versus long-term investment and maintenance value has to be prioritised. Treasury’s deputy director general for public finance, Andrew Donaldson told parliament’s Appropriations Committee in May: “State spending on leases had grown rapidly, a trend we would like to reverse. We would like a situation where we are spending more on investment and maintenance of government accommodation. We want to see this balance improved.” In addition was the Industrial Development Corporation’s audit of underutilised state properties, showing how appropriate development could fill a gap in the tourism attractions market. In reference to this at the recent Indaba, South Africa’s Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said domestic tourists show a preference for self-catering accommodation. As a result, he said, this also gives economic purpose and political imperative to the development of the lower-spending domestic market. By optimising function and utility of state properties in central locations in and around city centres, many purposes would be served; one being an improved platform from which to increase heritage and cultural tourism. Close proximity of state properties to historic venues and central to parliamentary buildings, both in Pretoria and Cape Town, courts of law and tertiary institutions in Bloemfontein and Braamfontein facilitates the process while depicting the country’s rich cultural heritage. When looking at the repeated successes related to the conversion of inner city properties for residential use by listed property group Octodec Investments, profits await those willing to convert and manage state
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The Caste of Good Hope in Cape Town: Built by soldiers, sailors and slaves, this historic site dates back to January 1666, the gateway was built in 1682, and sections of the moat were rebuilt in 1962 during restorations. It has survived many challenges in its time, and was constantly under threat of being demolished for personal and materialistic gain.
properties effectively, not to mention what the upgrading of buildings in a poor state of repair would do to uplift heritage areas as well as potential commercial nodes. Growing demand for rentals within close proximity to tertiary institutions makes for a scarce commodity as universities are resorting to self funding to feed demand, in particular from African neighbouring countries. In addition, leasing opportunities in locations within close proximity to state buildings are increasingly attracting investment by South Arica’s corporate financiers. Investor confidence across different cities is seen in new property developments, such as at Tiny Town, a revived heritage site in Church Street on the doorstep of the Union Buildings. This development by listed property group Octodec Investments is one of many of the group’s projects financed by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance. Market activity during May also saw the welcoming of acquisitions of state properties made by black-managed listed property companies, set to increase the Black Economic Empowerment charter’s estimated 5% holding of government-rented properties toward its target of 25%. The sale of non strategic government properties to black-owned JSElisted property companies was also welcomed by Estienne de Klerk of the South African Property Owners Association. De Klerk referred
to strong focus on government-tenanted properties by black-managed companies, including Delta Property Fund, Rebosis Property Fund and Dipula Income Fund, as well as substantial progress made in transforming this sector as most of the existing listed property companies had significant black shareholding. De Klerk said: “However, among the challenges facing the industry was the Department of Public Works’ struggle to attract and retain skilled staff. The department has also contributed to the weak office sector, not to speak of the current account deficit, by adopting a flawed leasing strategy over the past few years.” Regarding continued transformation of the country’s property sector, Thomas Matlala, president of the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners, says that government’s opportunity through leasing is best accompanied by a focus on implementation to avoid corrupt processes of the past. The institute offered the assistance to the department of some of its team of skilled property practitioners to put together the necessary systems. In order to make the unlocking of potential in state properties more likely than before is growing investor confidence through accountability and discipline.
BY ANNA-MARIE SMITH
GAME, SET AND MATCH...
To find out more about franchise opportunities or to join South Africaâ€™s only truly agent focused property group, contact:
Valerie Kritzinger 082 568 7060 email@example.com www.leapfrog.co.za
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VIRTUAL VIEWING A picture is worth a thousand words. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth far more. The age of technology has opened the doors to innovative ways for estate agents to market and sell property and one of these ways is through virtual tours. With iPads, tablets and the Internet changing the normal channels of marketing, it is now essential to draw buyers into a visual and interactive setting rather than relying only on static images. Meeting each prospective buyer and taking them to the property for a physical walk-through tour may soon be a thing of the past.Â Imagine if prospective buyers were filtered beforehand, and you only needed to take a handful of pre-qualified buyers to the property to land a sale? Technology is helping us get to that point. Using virtual tours, videos and walk-throughs, potential buyers are now able to virtually visit properties for sale from anywhere in the world, at any time convenient to them.Â Sitting at home, laptop or tablet in hand, buyers can browse through property databases, view the properties, and take the virtual tour of each room.
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WHAT IS A VIRTUAL TOUR? Essentially, a virtual tour is a sequence of photographs stitched together to form a seamless, 360 degree, horizontal field of view. Imagine taking 20 pictures of a room, from the ceiling to the floor and then joining all of those images to create one big picture, which a potential property buyer can look at and tour. A virtual tour allows the potential buyer to look through the whole house, without stepping inside the front door. Virtual tours, such as those available on Property24.com, create a moving 360 degree view from a central point in a room or the garden, giving valuable insight into the property and allowing the potential buyer to picture themselves in the home. JP Farinha, CEO of Property24, says, “The web has become the main source of information for people beginning to research the property market, or for those looking for a home. This is a clear indication that online strategies for estate agents are vital to generating quality leads.”
DO IT YOURSELF OR LEAVE IT TO A PROFESSIONAL? Everyone can create a panoramic image now, with apps available for various platforms. For the iPhone there is an excellent app focused on exploring the world around us in panoramic views, which also includes a tool for creating panoramas yourself, using your iPhone or iPad. The most popular apps are Panofolio 360° Photos, Panorama, Video Pano 360, and for stitched images, Stitched and Autostitch Panorama. The android market has many apps both free and paid, which you can use to take images and stitch them together into a short video, although the quality is not the same as when this is done with a proper SLR digital camera. The most popular android apps are PhotoStitch and Magisto. Real estate companies can look into purchasing DIY kits, which make it quick and easy to shoot 360 degree virtual tours of the properties in their database, companies such as Visual Tours sell these kits on the Internet. This is ideal for agents who are already able to shoot their own still images, and who can now shoot 360 degree virtual tours by spending just a few more minutes at each property with the correct equipment. However, using a professional virtual tour company is particularly advantageous for top end properties selling for millions. Estate agents have been known to successfully use the hook of a professional virtual tour to seal a sole mandate or higher commissions. The cost of a professional virtual tour is often too high for run-of-the mill properties, but for high end properties, the cost is a small percentage of the profits to be realised, and so often makes business sense for the agent. Property24 offers a host of virtual tours suited to your needs, whether you want to simply use their software or have them do the entire process from picture to uploaded virtual tour. And, with the
technology becoming more accessible, the cost of creating and uploading a virtual tour has decreased. Most virtual tours are published in HTML5 or Flash for seamless compatibility on most computers and mobile devices. But, as the years have passed, and image quality has increased, file sizes have grown faster than the bandwidth speeds needed to load the images at a reasonable speed in South Africa. Over the last few months, Internet speed in South Africa has been upgraded. The slowest typical home ADSL line is now 1mbps, which is fast enough to load a single 360 degree image in seconds. Although 360 degree images still need to be downscaled and downsized to achieve a balance between fast load times and good image quality, the viewer is now able to have a much better experience than was previously possible. Soon buyers are going to expect all properties to have 360 degree virtual tours as a standard. This is already the case for a number of countries with fast Internet, such as the United Kingdom and USA, where just about every single property on the market offers an online virtual tour. Property shopping is done in the comfort of your home, and buyers only visit (in person) the top few properties of their choosing.
ADVANTAGES OF VIRTUAL TOURS • • • • •
Your listings will come to life. The more information the potential buyer has about your property, the more qualified the lead. You can use the virtual tour on your own website. Virtual tours will increase the quality score of your listings, improving the ranking of the property on the search results page. Your property can be shown all day, every day to an unlimited number of prospective buyers.
The use of virtual tours extends far beyond just showing property. Hospitality is one industry that has embraced the art of virtual tours and the benefits it offers. More than 75% of all tours are researched online today before being booked, and when people are looking for accommodation or attractions, a picture is good but a virtual tour will give you the experience of being there, ensuring that there are no nasty surprises to your holiday. In much the same way that travel agents are increasingly being passed up for online bookings, will the property industry in South Africa see online marketing replace estate agents or become a tool to better their business? In today’s real estate industry, technology is playing a more vital role than ever. Utilising the power of the Internet, virtual tours can give you the edge you need to stay ahead in this fast-paced industry.
BY COLLEEN MAY
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Average interest rate given to applicants:
HOW DO HOME LOANS MEASURE UP?
A P R I L 2012
Percentage of applications made by single buyers:
Property Professional gathered information from one of the countryâ€™s leading mortgage originators to provide some insight into what has been happening with home loans over the past year. We compare statistics from April 2012 to end-March 2013:
A P R I L 201 2
A P R I L 2013
MONTHS (23.4 YEARS)
100% bonds vs. bonds granted with a deposit: L OA N T O VA LU E , P ERC EN TAG E O F L OA N S G R A N T ED
A P R I L 2012
Average bond term:
MONTHS ( 23. 5 Y E A R S )
50 40 30 20 10 0
Average turnaround time on bond decisions? A P R I L 201 2
7.84 DAY S
** Information supplied by BetterBond
A P R I L 2013
8.28 DAY S
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P R OPE RT Y P R O FES S IO NAL
TOP PERFORMING AGENTS
JAW I TZ P RO P ERT I ES
R E / M AX LI V I N G
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
1. Passion, fun and creativity. 2. Live it. 3. Each home is special.
Patience, perseverance and goal setting.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY?
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY?
To be tenacious – you need an abundance of it to be successful.
Work with a small personal database and network, network, network. It is far more rewarding than working with lists of buyers and sellers.
WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY?
WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY?
Constantly looking for innovative ways of marketing and networking with the community.
iMac, iPhone, iPad – being mobile, connectable, contactable and staying up to date with technology.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT.
My first show day was a double storey cluster on one of our busiest streets in Linden. As things turned out I didn’t manage to sell that property on the day, but I was successful with the foundation and slab of another cluster that had not yet come out the ground. Fortunately for me, the buyers were visionaries with impeccable taste and keen to sign the deal. My show house was sold a few days later to a professional who, when it came to signing the offer to purchase, filled in ‘happily’ under ‘marital status’. To this day, I always smile when I reach that part of an agreement.
My first property was 17 Leeukloof Drive in Tamboerskloof at R 4.3-million in 2004. A contemporary home designed by Paulo Deliperi and built on stilts with the most spectacular views across the city bowl. At the time R4.3-million was the highest price ever achieved in Tamboerskloof! It was on the market for R4.9-million, I never thought the seller would accept it, but he signed it there and then!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY? Budget carefully with your money. Make sure you have the equivalent of at least six months’ salary saved. Remember, you only get paid once transfer goes through and through no fault of any party, this can take a long time to be approved.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY? Check out how successful real estate agents operate, learn from them and adapt some principles that work for them. Get yourself a mentor or a business coach, read as much as you can on real estate and go to as many personal development courses as you can. Work with a small database of quality buyers and sellers and network, network, network. And the golden rule, treat others the way that you wish to be treated!
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CAROL GOLDBURG H U I Z EM A R K S A N D T O N
ANETTE RAUTENBACH CHAS EVERIT T
INTERNATIONAL WEST RAND
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
1. 2. 3.
1. Having been in real estate for 12 years I have built up an extensive database and a large part of my business is repeat business and referrals. 2. Service is also a key factor – constant feedback and information both in writing and face to face ensures a customer for life. 3. And keeping up to date on area information and stats is essential.
Love and passion and excitement for the work. Interpersonal skills. Be likeable and a good listener – empathetic and understanding. Honesty and have integrity and high morals.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? Nobody told me that I would work so hard. I always thought it was easy. If I’d known this, I would have started off working consistently and not waiting for things to fall into my lap. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? Cell phone with email and message capabilities so as to always be up to date with all mail, to return calls as soon as you get an enquiry and to be in touch with sellers and buyers at all times. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. The first property I ever sold was 16 Scholtz Road, Norwood. I had two show days and the purchaser wanted to write up an offer. He told me to come to his apartment on a Saturday morning and he would give me an offer of R1.9-million. On the Saturday morning, he sent me an SMS stating that he had changed his mind about the house. I decided to go to his apartment and ignore the SMS. When I got there, the purchaser was still in his pajamas. Fortunately, he allowed me in and I discussed the “beautiful property” and how wonderful it would look with a touch of his style. He was a single dad with teenagers and I told him what a wonderful vibey and trendy place Norwood was for the youth. He signed the offer at the price. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY? I would advise potential agents that this is a numbers game. The more people you contact, the more you are out and about in your area with your branding on your car, the more drops you drop and the more doors you knock on, the luckier and more successful you will be. Never give up and don’t let cranky people hurt your feelings!
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? I would have to say “stick to the basics”. Often people drift away from the basic income chain steps and try a shortcut, but it’s a waste of time and energy because once the basic income chain is broken your income will decline. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? My cell phone and Internet connectivity are my most vital tools because all my properties are advertised electronically and I generate a lot of leads and turnover from the website. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. It was a property listed for R1.25-million – a high price in the marketplace of 2001. I received a call from a buyer that another agent had declined to take to the property because he thought the buyer could not afford it. Needless to say this buyer bought the house through me, and the lesson I learned was never to assume anything and to keep asking questions. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS OF A CAREER IN PROPERTY? To be prepared to work hard and understand that you never give real estate a ‘try’ unless you want it to ‘try’ you. It is not for the faint-hearted, but once it gets in your blood it’s very hard to give up.
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S EEF F C EN T U R I O N
JAW I TZ P RO P ERT I ES
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
1. A positive attitude and perseverance. 2. Always answer your phone, be there! 3. Knowledge of your area will give you confidence.
1. 2. 3.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? It is a full-time job, seven days a week and it is necessary to take ‘time out’ to recharge. The successes and sales are most rewarding though and the longer you are in the property market, the more you will enjoy it. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? Your cell phone and laptop. Many clients complain that agents do not answer their phones; your phone is business and clients need to communicate with you. With your laptop you can go onto the Internet when you are with your client and browse through the listed properties and photographs in your area there and then.
Real estate is a lifestyle and a career, not a ‘job’. Always be accessible and make the buying/selling process a pleasant and a hassle-free experience for all. Surround yourself with a strong network of attorneys, consultants and support from management. Build trust and strong relationships with clients.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? Real estate is highly competitive. Personal sacrifices always have to be made to accommodate clients’ needs. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? Thorough knowledge of technology, property law and existing and new legislation is essential. Make sure you know everything about prices, conditions and trends in the property market and in your area.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT.
I joined Seeff Centurion in February 2007. I only sold my first property in November of 2007 – which was nine months after I started. I had become a little despondent and worried as I had no success for nine months. It was a strain financially, but patience paid off. I think that initial sale gave me confidence and I continued to sell regularly thereafter. The sale itself went quite smoothly. Once you have made the connection between a willing buyer and a willing seller, it is a most rewarding feeling and you will want it to happen again and again.
In 2003, I was awarded a mandate for a beautiful top floor apartment with exquisite views in a Summercon complex. I was bubbling with excitement and enthusiasm, but terrified at the same time. The property sold quickly at top price for the seller. He was
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY?
Be passionate, sincere and work hard and smart; persevere and never give up or be complacent. Study and get qualified and attend all company training sessions. Never take rejection personally. Every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’. Have enough finance saved for at least six months. It takes time to break into a new area and industry. You can always join a team as a junior partner or assistant and benefit from a support structure and the experience of senior agents.
Be reliable and honest to your clients. If you do not know something about the property or the business, find out for them. Clients don’t expect you to know everything, but they do expect you to find out, be reliable and honest and come back to them. You will have your ‘down’ days, but with a positive attitude tomorrow will be better (it’s not what you say, it’s what you do!).
very happy and the buyer bought a wonderful home. There were smiles all round. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY?
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H U I Z EM A R K G RO O T
R E A LN E T G LEN ER A S M I A ,
M A R I CO D I S T R I C T WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS? 1. 2. 3.
Never give up – some will – some won’t – so, what next? Keep contact with all clients regularly. Phone ‘old’ clients on birthdays or just to say “hello”. Phone ‘new’ potential buyers regularly. You might not have something for them right now, but the next listing might just be what they are looking for. Don’t ever promise and not deliver. Stick to your word and always be honest.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? I wish someone had taught me that buyers are not always honest. What they initially say they need and what they actually buy in the end are worlds apart. I wish someone had taught me to look and listen more closely. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? I am at totally lost without my laptop, my camera and my financial calculator. I mostly work on farms and small holdings in the Groot Marico District. I email a lot of photos to clients as most of the clients are from out of town, therefore good quality photos are my best sales tool. My camera: I try and capture more than just the buildings on the farm. I try my best to capture the ‘feel’ (ambience and character) of the farm. My calculator: I don’t have the luxury of a nearby bond originator and I think it‘s very important that when you start to talk about finances, you must be able to advise the buyer properly on all the different financial scenarios that might occur. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. It was a property sold in an average neighbourhood to first-time buyers. Our appointment was for late afternoon. We viewed the property and we were just about done when another agency arrived with buyers. My buyers did not even want to go back to the office – they signed the offer to purchase under the streetlight on the bonnet of the car! I had to present the contract to the sellers immediately because the buyers were scared of losing the property. A couple of years later, I sold another property to them, which they kept and rented out.
K EM P T O N PA R K WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
I adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards (loyalty and honesty). I am dedicated to the community, and I strive to provide exceptional service to prove myself worthy of my clients’ trust and friendship, becoming a long-term friend and property advisor in the process. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? The property industry comes with many disappointments. Persevere and put every disappointment behind you as soon as possible and turn it into an advantage by learning from the experience. There is only one way to climb the ladder – step by step! WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? The Internet and technology are the new realities in the industry. Starting early in planning and building an effective Internet presence will make a huge difference in the long run. Success depends on the web. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. I signed my first offer within three weeks of joining the industry in 2003. It was a full offer with full commission. It really motivated me and served as a great platform to build my career. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY? Be passionate, specialise in a niche market and become the authority in that market. Work your market intensely and profoundly and you will find the diamonds!
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H A RCO U RT S G R EEN AC R ES,
S EEF F AT L A N T I C S E A B OA R D WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
H OW I C K
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
If I told you the answer to that, they wouldn’t be secrets. No, honestly the first and most important one is honesty and integrity, without trust there is nothing. Secondly hard work; don’t be afraid to knock on doors for hours. Thirdly, having lots of friends with lots of money who trust that you will not take advantage of them. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? Try to stick to what you know best in life, which in my case is property rather than trying to be a jack of all trades instead of the master of one so that I could hold on to all the money I was going to make out of my success in property. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? The most valuable business tool is an expansive network of people who could be prospective clients and a pair of takkies to knock on doors.
I know the industry and specifically my product extremely well, therefore I have confidence in what I am selling. I have a policy of being totally open and honest with buyers and sellers, gaining their trust and respect, even if it means sometimes losing sales that weren’t right for either party. I do my best in helping buyers and sellers through the process of the sale, explaining each step along the way. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? I was trained by the best and was always guided on the right path by my principles so I can’t think of anything pertinent. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? Technology. In this day and age of social media one has to be available 24 hours a day and on every available platform. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. The first property I sold was a house in Victoria, Johannesburg for R89 000 – what we called a renovator’s dream. I sat on a show day, had umpteen people there and sold it for more than the asking price WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS IN THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY? Put in the time and effort, go cold canvassing, always be honest and don’t give up in a hurry. As the saying goes “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” and if you persevere, success will be within your reach.
It was a property in Hillcrest and, strangely enough, in a retirement housing establishment, which is where I have found my niche these past 10 years. I sold it in 2002 for R400 000. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS OF THEIR CAREER IN PROPERTY? Get to know your product and always be true to yourself, your product and your clients. Be prepared to give up early rewards for long-term rewards and satisfaction, and always stay dedicated.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
The number of South Africans using the Internet has significantly risen because of the impact of smartphones and mobile phones. Internet usage in South Africa grew 25% in 2012. The 6.8 million South Africans using the Internet at the end of 2010 jumped to 8.5 million by the end of 2011. Times Live - Number of South African Internet users grows
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LEW G EF F EN S O T H EB Y ’ S
C H A S EV ER I T T
CO N S TA N T I A
B ED F O R DV I EW
I N T ER N AT I O N A L R E A LT Y
I N T ER N AT I O N A L
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS?
1. Persistence is the first. The majority of people fall at the first hurdle, so if you have staying power you will often find yourself a winner. 2. The second is to always treat buyers and sellers as you would wish to be treated, to stay calm and reasonable and avoid conflict. 3. The third is to network all the time since every friend, colleague, acquaintance and relative holds a potential opportunity.
To really succeed as an agent you need to be highly selfmotivated, clear about your goals and prepared to persevere even when things go wrong.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? Not to force it. That desperation that you feel when trying to make sales happen is all too obvious to your buyers and sellers. It makes you seem unprofessional and them feel nervous. Take a deep breath and a step back. If your sales are going to happen, they will. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? A good phone. I use an iPhone 5 and it enables me to stay in constant contact across multiple forms of communication. Not only that, it streamlines everything so that I can manage my time and communications more effectively and efficiently. Sometimes a simple unanswered call can lead a potential buyer to call somebody else. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. It was a filthy, barely habitable wreck of a place, but it was beautiful to somebody and they just happened to stroll in, 200 viewings and four months after I had first listed it! WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS OF A CAREER IN PROPERTY? Not to expect a smooth ride. You have to live, sleep and breath property. Every aspect of your life becomes connected to selling property, from the people you meet at school to the places you travel to, it all comes together. Also you have to really listen to your buyers and sellers. Without them it doesn’t matter how much you know.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TAUGHT YOU OR TOLD YOU WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT IN PROPERTY AND WHY? That it takes huge amounts of tolerance and patience to be a good agent. Dealing with people is a much more pleasant experience – for them and for you – once you understand that people often delay or change their minds when faced with a huge decision like buying or selling a house. You have to learn to go with the flow of their emotions while not letting them lose sight of their goal. WHAT IS THE MOST VITAL BUSINESS TOOL THAT ESTATE AGENTS SHOULD HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL IN TODAY’S MARKET AND WHY? An extensive personal network. I am constantly in touch with key people in my area who have lived there a long time and with my past sellers and buyers, and I get most business from their referrals and introductions. DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PROPERTY YOU SOLD? PLEASE TELL US ABOUT IT. Oh yes I do. It was back in March 1994 and the property was a house in Bez Valley, which was my learning suburb. I sold it for R121 000, which seemed like a fortune to me at the time, and was the second offer I had on the property after the seller had turned down the first one. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK ABOUT MAKING A SUCCESS OF A CAREER IN PROPERTY? This really resonates for me because my daughter has joined me in my business. First of all, believe in yourself and what you are doing. Then do all you can to stay focused and positive and don’t let difficult or negative people put you off your stride.
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Page 60: R EB O S A N EW S
REBOSA NEWS ROY LEIGH CEO / REBOSA
Contact: 083Â 260 7470 firstname.lastname@example.org
With the need to effect meaningful transformation in South Africa, real estate principals formed a body, named Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA), to represent their best interests. This body also serves to advise its members on how they can most effectively deal with the aspirations of the consumer and all who wish to make real estate their career. There is also a plethora of new bills that affect the way that we act as employers and how we treat consumers. It is of vital importance that the industry has a clear understanding of new legislation and also gives recommendations on any point where we feel that the drafter of the bill has not applied his or her mind effectively. Some of the REBOSA functions were originally attended to by the Institute of Estate Agents and, with that body now changing its function to represent employee agents, it has become necessary to have a body that is there to look after the best interests of real estate principals and guide them on the best codes of practice. Our industry is also heavily reliant on the banking industry to provide mortgages for the greater majority of our purchasers and one of our challenges is to guide our consumers in the best way to arrange the finance that they need, especially as the banks are tightening up on their lending requirements. REBOSA will develop meaningful interaction with the banks so that we can help estate agencies to understand the
different policies adopted by the various banks. Furthermore, there is a symbiotic relationship between banks and estate agents that needs to be developed to our mutual benefit and to assist the consumer as well. REBOSA is upbeat about the future of the country and very conscious of the need for quality housing throughout our land. In this respect, although we are not necessarily developers, we will encourage developers to do their market research and provide the product that the consumer wants. One of the bills that we are presently looking at is the Draft National Credit Amendment Bill 2013. This bill seeks to tighten measures relating to debt counsellors and the conduct of their practices as debt counsellors; to allow debt counsellors to voluntarily cancel their registration; to empower the National Credit Regulator to cancel registrations; to empower the National Consumer Tribunal to suspend certain reckless credit agreements; to tighten the requirements that credit providers must adhere to in respect of marriages in community of property; to provide for the registration and accreditation of Alternative Dispute Resolution structures; and to provide for matters connected therewith. The intention of this bill is to make the entire industry more responsible and to put more emphasis on the rights of the consumer. REBOSA supports the aims of this legislation and will be looking at what submissions we can make to enhance the application of this bill. We have until 23 June to make these submissions.
Sailing the Seas of Success
The MSC Sinfonia hosted the Captains of the MortgageMax ship on an unforgettable cruise to Mozambique during April. Standard Bank were the proud sponsors of the awards cruise where the top performers were wined and dined for 4 days. A scrumptious lobster and prawn lunch was held at the Maputo Sun International Hotel and Bara Lodge where the representatives of 28 MortgageMax offices nationally soaked up the sun, relaxed and were just simply spoilt. The highlight of the trip was the “Sailing the Seven Seas” awards evening were Standard Bank and MortgageMax Management saluted all the top performers. For the 9th year in a row End User Finance – Coenraad Legassick – received top honours as the National Independent Originator. Mari Steyn received the award for the top National Bond Broker, Mortgage Max. Both Coenraad and Mari operate out of the Pretoria region. Other Top Regional Winners were: KwaZulu Nata - MortgageMax Direct Bonds – Yolandi Corneulis Johannesburg - MortgageMax Exlcusive Home Loans – Graham Moodie Cape Town – SecuBond – Yvonne Kilian
Riana Kruger (Standard Bank), Yolandi Corneulis (MortgageMax Direct Bonds) and Jors van Niekerk.
Riana Kruger (Standard Bank), Yvonne Kilian (SecuBond) and Jors van Niekerk (MortgageMax).
Rosa Liddiard (Standard Bank), Coenraad Leggasick (End User Finance) and Jors van Niekerk (MortgageMax)
Graham Moodie (MortgageMax Exclusive Home Loans), Rosa Liddiard (Standard Bank) and Jors van Niekerk (MortgageMax)
Rosa Liddiard (Standard Bank), Mari Steyn (MortgageMax Bondzone) and Rudi Botha CEO BetterGroup.
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THE PAVILION SHOPPING CENTRE GETS R228-MILLION REDEVELOPMENT BOOST Pareto Ltd, owner of The Pavilion shopping centre, has announced ambitious redevelopment plans for this iconic shopping centre, which will see an initial R228-million investment. This redevelopment project is managed by Motseng Project Management.
up with the demands of its loyal shoppers over the last 20 years. The redevelopment will help cement its position as one of the top six super regional shopping centres in the country as well as create a new business focused investment in the west of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. HEARTLAND’S PLANS FOR MODDERFONTEIN GAUTRAIN STATION
Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Ltd, says: “This major investment in both the centre and the region is in line with our vision to create sustainable projects within our property portfolio, as well as taking into account the economic development in the Durban West area and beyond. Our redevelopment is not only to maintain the centre’s position as an iconic retail and entertainment centre, but to concurrently stimulate growth in the surrounding area to promote business success and create a legacy that is relevant to the community.” Dewald van Staden, managing director of Motseng Project Management, added: “We are delighted to announce this investment of R228-million in the initial phase of The Pavilion upgrade and expansion, but are keenly aware that the knock-on effect through job creation, suppliers, new tenants and all other service providers will see far more benefit. There will be a new, fresh retail mix, improved access, additional parking and a host of other amenities including family entertainment to be rolled out over three phases. On completion, visitors and shoppers will experience a world-class retail and entertainment centre with upgraded amenities, with phase one commencing in May 2013 and completing in March 2014.” The Pavilion shopping centre is firmly established as one of South Africa’s most successful shopping centre destinations which has kept
Advanced plans for the addition of the Gautrain Modderfontein station on the line between Sandton and the OR Tambo International Airport are progressing. Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Dr Ismail Vadi announced at a press briefing during May that “negotiations with Heartland are at an advanced stage.” From the outset of the Gautrain project, provision was made to include a station in Modderfontein; platforms have already been built to accommodate this. Heartland,
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which manages AECI’s property portfolio, will continue discussions with the relevant provincial departments, the Gautrain Management Agency and the Bombela Concession Company to progress plans for the station. Herman Joubert of Tech IQ Consulting Engineers has been involved with the Gautrain project since its inception. He explains that there is a long history of co-operation between the Gautrain project and Heartland and that, when the initial planning was being done, it was decided that the train route between Marlboro and Rhodesfield stations would pass through its current location in Modderfontein rather than through other possible locations. This decision was made on the basis that a station in Modderfontein would serve the area well in light of future development plans that include a strong mixed use node with the station at its core. The existing route was carefully planned in consultation with all parties to ensure that land development could take
Links, is currently under construction. These luxurious apartments and penthouse suites offer magnificent views of the whole estate and are already attracting a great deal of attention in the property market ahead of their official launch later this year.
place in the most appropriate manner.
to support home automation. The development compromises two, three and four bedroomed apartments, with the crowning glory of an exceptional penthouse suite. Prices range from R3.3-million to R10-million. Cockbain says a unique feature of the development is the ‘inside-outside’ way of life, where breathtaking panoramas of the estate contribute to a living décor.
From an operational point of view, it was agreed at the outset that this station would be constructed once it became justified in terms of passenger demand. Platforms were constructed during the initial Gautrain line installation so as to avoid disruptions to the operation of the Gautrain during construction of the future Modderfontein station. A substantial amount of planning for implementation still has to be done in terms of ensuring that the correct legal and contractual requirements are in place and that all operational requirements are fully accommodated from a technical point of view. An ideal time frame at present would be to have the station operational in approximately three years’ time, which means construction would need to commence within the next 18 months. However, this will depend on the timing and outcome of the preliminary consultation and negotiation processes. PHASE ONE OF R500-MILLION LUXURY APARTMENT PROJECT UNDERWAY Phase one of Ebotse Golf and Country Estate’s signature development, a R500-million luxury apartment project called The
“This impressive development is set to rival other premier developments, the likes of Melrose Arch and The Houghton, offering a completely unique living experience,” says Ebotse managing director Vince Cockbain. “No expense has been spared to create a luxurious living space offering an exclusive, simple and sophisticated ‘lock up and go’ lifestyle. The Links also provides the perfect home away from home for local and international professionals who commute frequently and who demand an exclusive, opulent and high-tech lifestyle.”All 103 units comprising The Links are structured
Energy saving features include low energy glass, insulated hot water feeder lines and roof. “The timing of The Links development is on par with the evolution of Ekurhuleni into a modern aerotropolis in which aviation-intensive transport, telecommunications, accommodation, commercial, logistics, industrial and business enterprises are rapidly coming together to form a major economic development node,” says Cockbain. “As an area with an international airport as its hub, we are attracting major enterprises and the captains of industry involved in these enterprises are demanding high-end accommodation.”
NEDBANK SIMPLIFIES THE PROCESS OF BUYING A HOME While many consumers continue to face increased and wideranging challenges in managing their finances, including the rising cost of day-to-day necessities such as food, fuel, transport and electricity, consumer confidence remains agile. This is evidenced by the increasing number of first-time homebuyers. According to the South African Reserve Bank demand for mortgage advances grew by between one and two percent year on year since 2012. With over 1 000 new home loans granted every month in the affordable and middle-market housing space, translating to more than 1 000 families moving into new homes, Nedbank is committed to making the South African population realise their dream of owning a home. According to Timothy Akinnusi, Head of Sales and Client Value Management, there is a need for banks to simplify the application processes and drive buyer education to ensure that aspirant homeowners have a much clearer understanding of the application and onboarding process. He says that Nedbank’s fully automated online home loan channel was developed with this in mind. First launched in September 2012, this groundbreaking home loan channel has already enabled over 7 000 clients to apply for home finance online in a seamless and convenient manner. This forms part of Nedbank’s commitment to providing a distinctive client experience by enabling clients to access information and process their entire home loan application online. Timothy Akinnusi Head of Sales and Client Value Management Nedbank Home Loans
Akinnusi attests that choosing the right banking partner and real estate agent is vital on the journey of owning a home. This will help you make an informed decision and assist with the costs
“The process of buying a home need not be a daunting one.” involved, such as securing a deposit and taking care of transfer fees. To enable the South African population to own a home, including in the entry-level market, people buying homes below R600 000 are exempted from paying transfer costs. As the transfer cost are between 5% to 8% of the price, this is a saving that can help reduce the total cost of the bond. ‘Access to information is a make or break for first-time buyers. Our home loan offering goes beyond the financing aspect of owning a home. We believe in engaging with our clients at the start of their buying journey to ensure they are fully empowered and well informed about the implications of owning a home. This starts with clients understanding the options available to them when applying for a home loan, such as using our innovative, fully automated online home loan channel,’ adds Akinnusi. Nedbank recently introduced the Borrowers Education Programme for the affordable housing market, which is designed to provide information and increase the pool of homeowners in South Africa. The programme teaches prospective homeowners everything they need to know about buying, owning and maintaining a home. ‘The process of buying a home need not be a daunting one. With the right information and financial partner, more people can realise their dream of owning a home, sooner rather than later. Buying a home is a long-term investment. Key factors to keep top of mind include choosing the right location and proximity to everyday amenities such as schools and shopping malls,’ explains Akinnusi. When considering buying a home for the first time, it is advisable to save a deposit of at least 10 % of the total value of the property. This will help reduce the total
cost over the term of the loan or cover additional costs. Always ensure a good credit profile and stable employment history or source of income, as these are essential for a positive outcome on a bond application. Nedbank understands the challenges faced by financially distressed clients and since 2009 we have restructured over 16 000 home loans, allowing these families to retain their homes through effective rehabilitation. The Nedbank Assisted-sales (NAS) Programme, which assists clients with appropriately valuating their home and appointing estate agents to handle the sale and which limits the burden of any residual shortfall, has helped a further 4 000 clients avoid foreclosure and enjoy a fresh start. Key things to consider before buying a home: • • • • •
Know what you can afford. Understand the future value of the home – not just the current value thereof. The location of the home will determine its future value. The value of homes located in areas with day-to- day amenities such as shopping malls, good roads, schools and hospitals will increase and homes located in remote areas with no amenities in close promiximity may depreciate in value. Save some money for a deposit if possible, as this will help cover other costs associated with buying a house. Also consider your ability to repay the house over an extended period of time – assess your current and future affordability. Talk directly with your bank, as they know enough about you to give you the best possible deal.
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WORD ON THE STREET “The main focus of our housing delivery remains the poorest of the poor, many of whom are in and around informal settlements. At this stage the following message must be clear: Our government does not build slums, imikhukhu, amatyotyombe.” Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale speaking in Parliament during his Budget Vote (Property24: 3 million govt housing mark passed)
“A period of low, strike-affected, economic growth late in 2012 may have caused some slowing in house price growth through the summer months. But some normalization of growth, and apparent strengthening in residential demand in the 1st quarter of this year, is perhaps beginning to be reflected in this renewed rise in year-on-year house price growth.” John Loos, FNB household and property sector strategist (Property Barometer: FNB house price index – April 2013)
The carbon tax liabilities of commercial property owners would be captured “largely in the electricity bills when Eskom passes through the tax they pay to consumers.… The impact on the property owners will depend on how they handle the electricity cost in the lease agreements — I suspect they will pass the cost on to their tenants.” Robbie Louw, a director at carbon advisory firm Promethium Carbon (SA Commercial Prop News: S.Africa’s Commercial Property Industry faces extra carbon tax burden)
“The economy is moving forward, but at a slow pace. Demand has come back, but slowly. …Bonds, they’re terrible investments now. That will change at some point, and when it changes, people could lose a lot of money if they’re in long-term bonds.” Investor Warren Buffet speaking on CNBC television about the U.S. economy
“South African yields have weakened as a result of both the global trend as well as the weaker rand and poor foreign demand… We’re at the mercy of social tensions and knock-on negative offshore sentiment amid U.S. strength.” Brigid Taylor, head of institutional flow sales at Nedbank Group Ltd (Bloomberg News Bond: Yields Rise as Weak Rand Sparks Selloff)
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