Study online to become an estate agent
Originally launched in 2001, the Services Seta accredited Pam Golding Academy has conducted ongoing training for all its agents and staff, a workforce of over 2 000, and has seen more than 3 000 external delegates attend the various training courses.
Now the academy has created an online delivery platform, which will enable anyone interested in becoming qualified as an agent to complete the NQF4 Real Estate qualification through a combination of online and face-to-face learning.
This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group, who says today’s global trend is towards online learning as it enables the learner to complete the process in their own time and conveniently in their own environment.
BetterBond rebrands to BetterLife Home Loans
BetterBond Home Loans, national mortgage origination company, has been renamed BetterLife Home Loans to align its brand with its sister companies in the BetterLife Group according to CEO Shaun Rademeyer, who says the renaming process goes much further than just changing the sign over the door. As a group, he says BetterLife is purposefully focused on providing products and services to help their customers, partners and staff achieve better lives and make their dreams a reality.
“That is the primary reason for its existence, and because a home loan is the foundation of a better life for many people, we felt that our name should also incorporate and represent this singular BetterLife vision.”
SA commercial property returns slow down
MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), a leading provider of investment decision support tools worldwide, last week released the IPD South Africa Annual Property Index, which shows the South African investment property sector delivered an ungeared total return of 12.9% in 2014, down from 15.9% in 2013.
Income return was steady at 8.7%, however, capital growth slowed to 4.0% from 6.8% the year before, reflecting a more cautious approach among valuers.
The latest IPD South Africa Property Index, sponsored by Nedbank Property Finance, is based on asset level data collected from a sample of 1 726 properties covering R264bn capital value at the end of December 2014. This represents around two thirds of professionally managed investment property in South Africa.
Estate agents must submit audits on time
It is the time of the year when many companies have just had their financial year-end, and estate agents should keep in mind that their full audits must be submitted within four months of their year-end according to Annette Evans, regional general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, who says it must also be remembered that audits are now to be submitted online to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), and this is done via the Auditors Portal.
The Estate Agency Affairs Act requires both the agency’s business and trust accounts to be audited.
If the agent is operating as a sole proprietor with a personal bank account, she says everything that goes through that account will have to audited.
Foreign land ownership: where are we headed?
President Jacob Zuma recently introduced government's position regarding the ownership of agricultural land by foreigners in South Africa and not long after that, the Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti stated that the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill would be submitted to Parliament later this year. The communication to the people of South Africa and the world has, in a nutshell, been that foreigners will not be allowed to own agricultural land in South Africa.
Due to the social ills of the apartheid regime, more specifically, the displacement of certain racial groups and the dispossession of their land by the apartheid government, there has been a general understanding that at some point the issue of agricultural land ownership in South Africa would have to be addressed. It has certainly been the subject of debate in the media and in social and political rhetoric for some time now, not to mention that it has also been a source of anxiety for many foreign agricultural land owners.
Home renovations and your insurance policy
Thinking about making some long overdue home improvements? Before you get started, there are some important points to consider according to Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure, who says if you are planning home renovations, it is essential to inform your insurer that your policy remains in full effect during this time.
He says most policies also require that the home remains occupied while it is insured. Your insurance company obviously feels that your house is less likely to be burgled as long as there’s someone living in it.
If you have to leave your home for an extended period while renovations are being carried out, inform your insurer and make sure this won’t have too much of an adverse effect on your cover, says Visser.