Gauteng Business News

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Property: Thriving in a Difficult Market


Recent Gauteng Business News

The current difficult market is a case of history repeating itself, and those who are thriving despite the circumstances are the innovators and those with the right attitude, as evidenced at the recent Betterbond Blue Door Challenge Awards.

While the general mood in the property market is gloomy, there are some players in the property industry who are thriving despite the circumstances. And what makes the difference It is really a matter of having the right attitude and recognising that economies and the property market move in cycles - we have been here before and we will surely find ourselves here again.

At the recent Betterbond Blue Door Challenge Awards breakfast at the Indaba Hotel, inspiring international speaker Michael Jackson, speaking about change, noted that the particular set of circumstances we are facing today, including soaring oil prices, spiralling food prices, rampant inflation, war in the Gulf and global warming (then called El Niño), is a mirror image of the set of circumstances the world faced in 1970. At that time, too, property markets around the world were also hard hit by the harsh economic climate, as is the case today.

The great news is that this economic turmoil was followed by economic growth spanning 25 years the longest period of economic growth in history. What turned the situation around In essence, it was the innovation and attitude of the entrepreneurs of the time who created such spectacular growth out of dire circumstances. It is not only an inspiring story of human ingenuity, but also points the way for the future.

The Betterbond Blue Door Challenge Awards certainly created a platform to recognise those entrepreneurs and innovators in the property industry to be recognised for their ability to not only survive, but thrive, in these trying times.

Featuring strongly in the winning circle was Property Bargain Finder, a property investment club that has achieved great success despite the market conditions, through continuous innovation and a can-do attitude.

Property Bargain Finder Sales Director Amanda van Wyk walked away with the grand prize and was recognised as the National Estate Agent of the year. Property Bargain Finders inhouse bond originator, Irene van Wyk, received first prize for highest volume of home loan grants in the last year. The Top Agency Principal (in rand value of grants) award went to Neville Brits of RE/MAX Traders. The runners up in the three categories were:

* Estate agents (volume of grants): Andre Boshoff of Extreme Action
t/a Dropzone and Thorsten Weiss of TW Property Investments (Pty) Ltd
* Consultants for rand value of grants: Heleen ten Napel and Ronel Rust
* Agency principals: Caron Leslie and Jose De Abreu of RE/MAX
Property Associates

Betterbond is South Africas largest mortgage origination company, with a record R100 billion* in approved bonds over the past three years. The Blue Door Challenge provides estate agents with an opportunity to increase their earnings. Due to the success of this initiative, the Blue Door Challenge will be run again in 2009.

What Amanda, Irene and Neville have achieved in what is arguably one of the worst years in the property market is excellent proof that any market offers opportunities, and it is the right attitude that makes all the difference. This is the same philosophy we share with our investors stick to the fundamentals, anticipate and provide for both the expected and the unexpected and maintain the right attitude, knowing that the cycles will turn - they always have and they always will, says Pierre van Wyk, Managing Director of Property Bargain Finder and the 2007 Nedbank Property Professional Awards Young Lion.

More than 20 Property Bargain Finder distributorships have been established across the country this year, three new online training courses have been launched to empower property owners, investors and developers, partnerships have forged with industry leaders such as AÏDA and iProtect, and the company continues to receive accolades on all fronts.

While interest rates are high, house price growth has slowed significantly, mortgage advances have decreased dramatically and activity levels in the property market is low, all these factors have actually come together to create the ideal market for property investors, adds van Wyk. Property remains an excellent investment choice and the Property Bargain Finder team is proof that the right attitude and an approach based on solid fundamentals will bring success in any market even the tough market we are facing now.

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