Property 24/10 - 237

Rental management tool for agents
The RentalConnect system, developed by the Rawson Property Group, and initially released in early 2014 to assist Rawson Rentals franchises with the administration involved in their operations, has now brought just over 50 franchises onto their system.

According to Mike Fresen, who heads up RentalConnect, the system offers a rental management solution, which goes beyond just the usual billing and accounting function and offers rental franchises a comprehensive internet-based rental management and support service.

RentalConnect addresses the key elements of rental administration, including maintenance inspections and general service support, calculation of commissions, reporting and payment of royalties and other fees, as well as statistical reporting.

SA property market generally positive
The mood in the South African residential property market as we enter the new year is "generally more positive" and while it is far from booming, it has shown a solid performance over the past 3 years since 2012. This is according to the latest FNB Property Barometer, which expects the growth rate in the level of new residential building completions to be the real "highlight" for 2015.

Rising demand has "mopped up excess supply" and more estate agents who participated in the FNB Estate Agent Survey have pointed to shortages in residential units. The improving supply-demand balance has driven some positive house price inflation in real terms over the past 3 years.

The "massive" drop in oil prices and to a lesser degree, food prices, along with a "rand that has recently behaved reasonably well", promise to drive Consumer Price Inflation down from November’s 5.8% to nearer 4% in the coming months, according to the Barometer.

Lessons from new property book
Few South Africans have lived the commercial real estate business like Marc Wainer. Wainer founded and built JSE-listed Redefine Properties into one of South Africa’s most respected real estate companies. Now, his new book, Making My Marc, Lessons from Life in Property, lifts the veil on the inner workings of South Africa’s property sector and shares insights into how to survive and succeed in this dynamic and highly competitive market.

The book paints a portrait of a man driven by his passion and aptitude for business and the love of his family. It shares Wainer’s successes, and his mistakes and setbacks too, taking you through his ups and downs, revealing how he turned challenges to his advantage and, through valuable partnerships, transformed his weaknesses into strengths.

Agent networking boosts property sales
South Africa’s major estate agencies are in most cases growing at a rate that, with some obvious exceptions, is faster than that of the smaller agencies - and one of the main reasons for this, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, is that there are massive benefits for an estate agency and their clients to operate on a national basis and to make the most of countrywide referral networks.

“In any one month, anything from 10 to 20 percent of the group’s sales will have come about as a result of referrals or leads from another Rawson franchise, or from another estate agency with which we have an established business relationship,” he says.

In the latter case, says Rawson, it is of the utmost importance to be able to instil confidence in the partner agency and to make its leaders realise that one’s own operation is not a threat to theirs’, and that the trust given will never be abused in any way.

Informal settlement design innovations
“We are Europe,” an elder in an informal settlement told University of Cape Town (UCT) architectural student, Amy Thompson, during her extensive research for a thesis that won this year’s Corobrik Most Innovative Final Year Landscape Architecture Project award. His comment and Thompson’s enlightening discovery of the deep sense of community and the true complexity of an issue that has been poorly addressed over the past 10 years, led to her giving her thesis the same name.

“My thesis critiques the perception of informality within the city by addressing failings in policy and legislation to allow for better informal settlement upgrade to occur. Thompson hopes that by challenging the perception of informality and providing the socio-economic facilities called for within policy, the physical and symbolic boundaries separating the formal and informal parts of the city will be dismantled.

Adding a gym in sectional title schemes
Over the last twenty years there has been an increased focus on health and fitness. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions made by people every year involves weight loss, health and fitness. Recently I read that a New Year’s resolution is “merely a to-do list for the first week of January.” Reading that made me think: How can people achieve their weight and fitness goals?

After contemplating this question I came to the conclusion that if the circumstances that create room for excuses were removed then the risk of failure would be drastically reduced. People would be more inclined to exercise if their scheme were to have fitness facilities.

This blog post will therefore deal with the establishment and use, as well as the maintenance and management of gyms in sectional title schemes.

Avoid the top 5 property pitfalls
Although it is the appearance of a home that buyers often fall in love with, there is sometimes more to a home than meets the eye.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says that regardless of whether a buyer is purchasing their first property or they have an investment portfolio of several properties, the fundamentals of purchasing a property never change.

“Purchasing a property is a large investment. In fact, for many it is the largest financial investment they will ever make.” For this reason it is important that buyers take their time and give their decision the necessary consideration that it requires, he says.

While aesthetic appeal will play a role in the decision, other more crucial elements need to be considered, such as the structural components of the property. “Rectifying severe structural defects will be a costly affair that impacts on the home’s potential return on investment,” says Goslett.

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