In the age of instant information where technological advances occur almost on a daily basis, social media has changed the way that buyers and sellers interact and the way in which business is conducted within the real estate industry. This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “While the traditional real estate marketing methods are still very much alive in today’s market, the addition of social media and how it can be used to influence and interact with consumers has shifted agents towards a more holistic online approach,” says Goslett. “Estate agents are utilising online property search portals and social media as a key component to their property marketing strategy. This is largely due to the fact that consumer behaviour has changed considerably over the last two decades, with 90% of property buyers first searching the internet before using any other form of media to look for a home. This is because it is both instantaneous and convenient - buyers are able to access an endless amount of information without having to leave the comfort of their homes.” He notes that the old paradigm of publishers and editors as the only gatekeepers to the media kingdom has shifted as social media platforms have given the public a voice. Today the traditional media platforms only form a part of the media networks, with social media continually becoming a greater and greater influence over public opinion. This has not only impacted on business within the real estate industry, but many other sectors as well – consumers are listening to other consumers, and have the power to make an impact. “Social media provides consumers, homebuyers, sellers and real estate professionals with the opportunity to share opinions, information or provide advice to those who seek it. It’s a way to communicate with a wide audience regarding an endless range of topics and ideas,” says Goslett. “This has resulted in estate agents being able to market property in a . . .
(Port Elizabeth) – A charity drive by Port Elizabeth’s Jaco Rademeyer Estates (JRE) has seen several local charities receive a much-needed cash injection in a donation aimed primarily at the upliftment of women and children in the community. Jaco Rademeyer, owner of JRE, has distributed a R20,000 donation between four local charities, including MTR Children’s Home, Walmer Angels, Thandusana Safe Haven and the Children’s Feeding Trust. Also benefiting from the charity drive is Yokhuselo Haven, to which Rademeyer has pledged R250 for each transaction JRE has completed between November last year and November this year, as part of his involvement in the Greyvenstein's Givers Gain initiative. Rademeyer said the charity drive meant a lot to him and his team at JRE. “We have had a very successful year and celebrated record sales in July,” he said. “Because of this, I felt it was important to give something back to our community, especially as most of the charities in this region rely solely on private donations in order to operate.” Rademeyer visited MTR Smit to assess the needs of the organisation, which is headed by Dr Crystal Watson. “Visiting organisations such as MTR Smit makes one realise how much of a need there is for Good Samaritans in the city,” said Rademeyer. “Dr Watson and her team are doing amazing work with very little, as are the teams at Walmer Angles, Thandusana and the Children’s Feeding Trust. These charities and others need support urgently.” Watson said the home, which cares for more than 100 children, had a R3-million deficit annually. Just 30% of the budget was government-funded, but because funds were so tight, there was zero budget for necessities such as medical care for the children. “Children arrive here with dire needs, and aside from trauma counselling, they also require medication to help them recover from the environments they have come from,” said Watson. Despite this, children who were cared for by the home went . . .
The selling prices of properties within Cape Town’s City Bowl and the Atlantic Seaboard are edging ever closer to the full asking prices as demand for property in the city increases. This is according to Susan Watts, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Living, whose office services Camps Bay and the surrounding suburbs. She notes that while there was once a large divide between what sellers were asking for their homes and what buyers were willing to pay, over the last 18 months the gap has been closing. RE/MAX Living sales associate and area specialist, Vangelis Doucas says that the market is currently experiencing a shift in dynamics with sellers adjusting their prices to be more in line with the market. Buyers are also now prepared to offer more due to the short supply of properties available. “Supply and demand is intricately linked and currently the supply of properties on the market has dwindled, pushing demand up substantially. Currently the difference between asking and selling prices is around 5% on average, which is a lot closer than what was seen previously,” says Doucas. He notes that demand within the City Bowl has always been strong with many buyers desperately wanting to enter the market in one of the city’s most prized real estate locations. However, demand has been further heightened by the change in the market and buyers realising that there is no better time than now to invest and get into the property market. “Just as we have seen demand increase and many new buyers coming into the market, by the same token, many existing homeowners have also been looking to purchase additional properties or merely upgrade into larger spaces for their newly-established families or down grade as their families depart and go about their own way. We have a strong movement towards Cape Town with more and more buyers coming to live here because of the lifestyle and safety this city offers,” says Doucas. According to Doucas, homes that are considered to be correctly . . .
The last thing that tenants want when looking to find a rental home is to fall victim to fraud, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who warns that rental scam incidences are becoming more common. “Unfortunately there is a criminal element that is taking advantage of prospective tenants who are involved in the rental-hunting process. Tenants are often emotionally driven when it comes to looking for their ideal rental home, which could make them vulnerable to the advances of possible fraudulent activity. Enthusiastic about the prospect of finding a new home, eager tenants might be more trusting and susceptible to rental scams,” says Goslett. “There is also the factor of time. Tenants, who have a limited time frame in which to find a home due to relocation for work or possible personal issues, could be more desperate to find a place to stay and not be as cautious in their approach.” How do rental scams work? Goslett says that essentially what happens is a scammer will try and get money from a potential tenant for a rental property that they are not in a legal position to offer for rental. The rental property could either be real or fictitious, with the scammer possibly a landlord or merely impersonating the landlord or rental agent. Once the unsuspecting tenant has transferred the agreed upon rental and deposit, the scammer disappears. According to Goslett, vigilant tenants can lower their chances of becoming rental scam victims by keeping the following in mind when looking for a property: “As a general rule, keep your guard up and never assume that because the property was found on a reputable online search portal that you can’t fall victim to scammers who are posing as landlords or rental agents, who manage to get their listings on the site,” advises Goslett. “If at any stage of the process you feel there is something wrong, the whole thing is rushed with unwarranted sales pressure or seems too good to be true – walk away.” He . . .
Recently tabled in the National Assembly, the proposed Rental Housing Amendment Bill could bring about some significant changes in the rental market for both tenants and landlords, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “One of the major changes that the bill puts forward is that all lease agreements will have to be reduced to writing, which the advocates of the bill say will assist in protecting both parties. The onus will fall onto the landlord to ensure that a written agreement is drawn up,” says Goslett. “Preceding the proposed bill, the Rental Housing Act of 1999 did not stipulate that the lease agreement had to be a written document unless the tenant requested it and many lease agreements were entered into with only a verbal agreement.” He notes that if the bill is passed, the written lease agreement will become a binding legal document that would be enforceable in a housing tribunal or a court of law. According to Goslett, this would require the establishment of rental housing tribunes across the country in all provinces, along with rental housing information offices in each municipality. “One of the principle objectives of the proposed bill is to do away with tenants being asked to pay additional costs that have not been previously stipulated within the rental agreement. The bill will require that a tenant is liable for the amount of the rental, along with any other additional charges agreed upon in the lease upon the due date, however for costs other than those agreed upon, the tenant is only liable upon proof of factual expenditure by the landlord,” explains Goslett. As per the proposal, Goslett says that tenants will also have the right to request a written receipt from the landlord for all payments received by the landlord from the tenant. The receipts must include a date, an address with street number or description of the property they relate to, as well as an indication of whether the payment was for rental, arrears, . . .
AlexanderSmith Photography specialises in capturing the beautiful moments of a wedding or engagement through creative photography. Portrait photography services are also provided. Weddings are very special and important days in one’s life. To capture the beautiful and precious moments that go down memory lane as unforgettable moments, wedding photography plays an important role in this regard. At AlexanderSmith Photography, wedding photography is given a new dimension with creative wedding photography. Detailed focus is given to every fleeting moment of emotion and minute detailing are given special importance in the photography as these are the aspects that differentiates a wedding day from any other normal day. Creative photojournalism is all about capturing the behind-the-scenes moments which makes the photos come alive as they are taken off-guard which captures the genuine emotions and feelings of the bride and groom. The “Shot between the Shots” is what AlexanderSmith Photography pays heed to where the unposed moments come to life with true feelings which are being captured - which is priceless. AlexanderSmith Photography also gives its valuable inputs in the form of creative directions which makes a normal wedding, a memorable creative wedding – offering the best creative nuptials that the clients can think of. The wedding photography packages of AlexanderSmith Photography include 8 hours of shooting on the wedding day which generally begins 3 hours prior to the wedding ceremony to capture all the special unforgettable moments. Post production of the images are done carefully (between 700 and 1100mm) and supplied to the clients on discs. This package is called the Gold Package and is priced at R18, 500. Next is the Platinum Package where30 page leather bound album is offered to the client which includes images 200x200mm and is priced at R20, 500. The last of the packages offered is called Diamond Package where images measuring 400x300mm are offered . . .
The Knysna area continues to see strong demand for property within secure lifestyle estates, especially among buyers who have moved to the area from other parts of the country, says RE/MAX Coastal’s, Chris van der Merwe, property specialist within in the Pezula Golf Estate and Pezula Private Estate. RE/MAX Coastal operates within Knysna and the surrounding areas, and are the preferred suppliers to the above estates with an office operating from the Pezula Clubhouse. “Situated in the heart of the Garden Route, which is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in the country, it is easy to see why so many buyers are choosing this as the area they want to live in,” says van der Merwe. “Aside from the area’s aesthetic appeal, a large number of the buyers are also pointing to safety as a major determining factor for choosing to live in Knysna, as it is viewed as a safe and secure environment in which to raise children or retire.” Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that for many home buyers in this country, security has become one of the most crucial influencing factors when deciding which home to purchase and in which area to purchase. “For this reason, properties with top-end security features that are located with security estates often fetch a higher price than other types of properties and generally have a greater return on investment over the long term. The security of a home and its location directly affect the perceived value of that property,” he says. According to van der Merwe, currently the two most sought after security estates in the area are, Pezula Golf Estate and Pezula Private Estate. “Due to its ideal positioning with breath-taking views of the ocean, we have seen an especially high demand for properties located within the Pezula Golf Estate. Another reason that the estate has experienced strong demand from buyers is the fact that it offers excellent value for money when compared to other golf estates along . . .
When it comes to owning a home, it’s not just about making monthly bond repayments, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who points out that home maintenance is an intricate part of homeownership. “There are several benefits to owning a property such as the potential of having an asset that increases in value over the long term. There are also the personal benefits of making all the decisions when it comes what the home looks like. However, with the advantages comes the responsibility of maintaining the property to ensure that it reaches its full investment potential,” says Goslett. “Affording a property is not just about being able to meet the bond requirements, but also about being able to set aside some money for when the unexpected happens.” According to Goslett, while most major issues or damages caused by fire, flooding and natural disasters should be covered by home insurance, the general up keep and maintenance of the property is not. “Insurances policies do vary from company to company, however while most will repair a roof if it has been damaged from a fire or other disaster, they won’t cover it if it is just old and in need of repair – this will be for the homeowner’s account. A new roof can cost a lot of money and could be a huge financial burden if the homeowner has not set aside money in some kind of a contingency fund,” says Goslett. He notes that as a homeowner, it is essential to have an emergency fund to avoid incurring additional debt to pay for home maintenance and unforeseen repairs. “If possible homeowners should aim to save at least 1% of the value of the home to cover the maintenance costs for a year. So on a home valued at around R1 million, this would translate to a minimum savings of approximately R10 000 per year to cover maintenance costs and any repairs needed. If the money is not used during the year, it should be kept and added to the next year’s savings to ensure that the homeowner is covered in the event . . .
Located just 12 degrees north of the Equator at the southern end of the Windland Island in the southern Caribbean, the tropical West Indian island of Grenada has prospered for years as the ‘Spice Island.’ The island’s thriving tourist industry has contributed greatly to the stability of the island’s economy and the government has recognised the need to diversify economic activity and promote foreign investment through property development. The only way to invest in Grenada’s Citizenship By Investment Programme is through a real estate investment. “The minimum real estate investment used to be US$500 000 for a shareholding in the ownership and operation of the entire hotel along with the right to apply for one citizenship for one main applicant,” James Bowling, CEO of Monarch&Co - a company that specialises in investor programmes for residence and citizenship in a number of territories around the world - explains. “However, following much negotiation and heavy campaigning, the Grenadian government have agreed to drop the minimum amount that investors would need to purchase a shareholding from US$500 000 to just US$310 000.” Bowling notes that the drop to US$310 000 is expected to open up the investment opportunity to far more foreign investors, allowing them to take advantage of the many benefits that the programme offers. “Due to the fact that Grenada is a member of the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations, citizens of the country are able to travel to around 115 countries without the need of a visa. They also enjoy the added benefit of preferred access, and in some instances grants to many of the top learning institutions in the world,” says Bowling. In an effort to entice further interest and foreign currency into Grenada, the government is promoting a number of high quality developments for the Citizenship by Investment programme, such as the Port Louis Camper and Nicholsons Marina, which is set to become the most chic and desirable in the . . .
Laura Reynolds - CEO of Recruitgroup, last night was announced as Winner of the Standard Bank Top Women Awards in the Top Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 category. Laura has implemented exemplary vision, innovation, leadership and direction in the past eight years to create a business that has flourished to become an award-winning leader in the industry both as a service provider and as an employer. Laura's dedicated service and passion for her business has created a unique, positive and dynamic working environment that not only continuously grows its own people but fosters a culture that is respected and admired by clients, candidates and employees. Last night this dedication was recognised at a lavish gala event held at Emperors Palace. Says Laura: "It is an absolute privilege not only to win but just to be nominated in a category with such incredible business women. These women are leaders in their industry and it is most humbling to be announced as the winner. I am so proud of my team at Recruitgroup on what we have achieved together and I thank them for their hard work and dedication as well as all at Topco Media for hosting such a fantastic event." In collaboration with the Top Women publication, the Top Women Awards is a prestigious event in which inspirational female leaders are celebrated for outstanding performance in the world of business and government. This year, over 160 companies from a range of different sectors, including agriculture, science and technology, transport, and retail, have entered the awards. In order to be shortlisted, as a finalist companies must meet certain criteria, like have an annual turnover of R35 million, 30 percent female staff, 10 percent and above female senior management, and one to 1.5 percent of per capita is spent on skills development for women in the industry. "Judging the entrants to the Top Women Awards is such an eye-opening experience because it gives a window into just how much is being done . . .