Property 24/10 - 422

Successful estate agents adapt to changing consumer behaviour
Consumer behaviour studies - which examine how emotions, attitudes and preferences affect buying behaviour - are clearly indicating that when it comes to success in the real estate business, relationships matter most.

“Looking back to 1987, when I first set foot on the planet of real estate marketing, very few, if any, real estate businesses studied the consumer. Instead companies focused on service delivery in their local suburbs. I remember many management meetings spent simply brainstorming on how to excel. ‘Towards excellence’ was the main aim and the glue that held sales teams together,” says Linda Erasmus, CEO of Fine & County Sub-Saharan Africa.

“This possibly came about as traditionally the estate agent had control over information which could not easily be accessed through other sources. Clients turned to estate agencies to gain knowledge and information when it was time to buy a new home or sell an existing home.”

At the turn of the century, however, computers, connectivity to the internet and cell phones changed the way business is conducted as people gained access to much more information than ever before.

The digitisation of property deeds: Pros and cons
In July, the Deeds Office officially entered the digital era when the Bloemfontein office registered its first property transfer with a digitally-signed document, paving the way to a more efficient and streamlined process in an industry which is renowned for cumbersome reams of documentation.

“When one considers that there are only ten deeds offices countrywide, an innovation that facilitates the registration process is most welcome, and this change alone can speed up the lengthy sale process by a few days,” says Arnold Maritz, Southern Suburbs co-principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“This step is part of a broader transformation to be implemented under The Deeds Registries Amendment Bill 2015 that also provides for an electronic deeds registration system, the electronic keeping of registers and the electronic issuing of deeds for information and judicial purposes only.”

Uncertain politics not a long-term hurdle to SA property market
Political and civil unrest is expected to continue to be part of the South African scene, becoming increasingly vocal as well as radicalised, and major changes to the structure and current workings of the SA state are inevitable.

"Yet despite this, we can look forward to a future in which investment in residential property remains a sound, logical proposition,” says Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property.

According to Alexander, he recently attended a one-day conference organised by the mortgage bond originators Evo, a subsidiary of ooba.

Nine non-traditional solutions for financing property investments
Investing in property is invaluable, offering long-term rewards, and is still regarded as one of the safest permanent investments. Most people would like to diversify their property portfolio but think they won’t be able to afford it, or that they will not have the money for a deposit.

"“Purchasing investment properties can be capital intensive, but there are ways to reduce the capital requirements by approaching the investment in an informed manner,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. When it comes to property investment, there are many strategies to adopt, depending on your personal situation and goals.

“We look at a few creative ways to approach your real estate investments,” says Hutchison. Hutchison discusses these options:

Property co-ownership: three potentially tricky scenarios
Property is one of the most commonly owned investments for most South Africans - whether it be your primary residence or perhaps you own additional properties, either a holiday home or a house or apartment that yields a rental income.

Perhaps you inherited property that you now own jointly, in or outside of a trust, with other family members. Or you may be considering buying an additional property jointly with a partner or friend.

David Knott of Private Client Trust, a division of Private Client Holdings, provides some advice on joint property ownership, property inheritance and property held in a trust:

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