Property 24/10 - 415

Your roadmap to becoming a real estate agent
If you have set your sights on becoming an estate agent, probably the first place to look is within, to determine if you have what it takes. If so, and if you have the unwavering dedication to provide an exceptional level of service and be a high achiever, the rewards and job satisfaction can be meaningful.

Do you have the X-factor?

Dr Andrew Golding provides some insights into being a successful agent.
“There is, without question, a level of competence, expertise and professionalism that is obviously a given requirement, but there is then an additional so-called X-factor that makes an exceptional agent, which is not necessarily that easily defined, and is also not necessarily one single thing,” says Dr Golding.

Why mixed-use precincts with hotels are popping up in Africa
As the demand to live, work and play in one centralised location continues to grow across the globe, the inclusion of hotels in mixed-use developments - a combination of residential and non-residential buildings that are planned and developed within one area - has become increasingly popular, particularly in less developed locations.

Tim Smith, Managing Partner at HVS Africa (Hotel Valuation Index), says that this trend, while being driven by international tourist preferences, is also in the best financial interest of hospitality developers and investors.

He says it’s taken off across Africa in recent years, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Densification policy to change Cape Town property norms
Cape Town City’s densification process, widely praised by sociologists and many members of the architectural community but often decried by the owners of large suburban homes, makes it essential that today’s home buyers accept that the homes they purchase in new developments will have less space than ever before.

Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, says the densification policy is logical because it focuses on development areas where travel time to the work nodes is reduced and the use of public transport can be enhanced.

“Additionally, densification is the only way in which developers can bring new homes to the market at prices that suit today’s buyers,” he says. “Spacious homes will increasingly only be for those in the upper-income brackets.”

What the future of retirement property in SA looks like
There are about 4.5 million people in South Africa who are over the age of 60, and that number is rising rapidly as large numbers of baby boomers continue to reach retirement age, and because people are living longer than they used to.

In fact, the United Nations estimates that by 2050 - when even the youngest millennials will be getting close to retirement - there will be more than 10 million senior citizens in SA, out of a total population of 65.5 million.

Werner Scheffer, marketing manager of developer Multi Spectrum Property (MSP), says this means that there is going to be an ever-increasing demand for retirement accommodation for the foreseeable future, further fuelled by the growing downsizing trend among empty-nesters in their 50s, who now often want to move directly from their family home to their retirement property

One compromise landlords should not be making
There are now clear indications that the demand for rented homes in Cape Town, especially sectional title apartments in multi-unit complexes, is not as strong as it was at the start of the year and landlords may have to settle for slightly lower rentals in the coming months.

“In a situation of this kind, landlords and rental agents may be tempted to accept an apparently reliable tenant without them paying the two months' deposit that is specified in almost every rental contract,” says Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property.

“My advice on this matter is simple: rather leave the home unoccupied and without a tenant than take on one without a deposit, or with a greatly reduced deposit.”

Is your Airbnb property insurance compliant?
Airbnb, the service that allows you to turn your residential property into a guesthouse, has enjoyed phenomenal growth in South Africa over the last few years thanks to daily holiday rentals that can be more lucrative than long-term letting.

However, according to Standard Insurance Limited, many budding Airbnb entrepreneurs could be inadvertently falling foul of their insurance policies.

What many people do not realise is that their standard residential, or ‘Personal Lines’, insurance policies typically only cover the property if it is being used for private residential purposes.

According to Louis Hay, Head of Short-Term Insurance Propositions at Standard Insurance Limited, it is important to note that while Airbnb does offer hosts a ‘host guarantee’ which protects them against damage to personal possessions, the unit or home by guests, the guarantee is not insurance, and does not replace your homeowner’s contents insurance.

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