Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  22 Jun 2011

PROPERTY: National Honours for Alberton Agency


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Local agency ERA Alberton has been named as the Franchise of the Year by the ERA South Africa real estate group, while its principal Jacques Louw has been honoured as the group’s Broker of the Year.

The accolades were announced at a recent national awards ceremony, where ERA Alberton also notched up the awards for the top franchise in the northern region (for the second year running) and top franchise nationally in the commission-earned category and top franchise nationally in the bank-assisted sales category.

The agency was also named as one of the top three nationally in terms of the total number of units sold, and ERA South Africa CEO Gerhard Kotzé says it has turned in an outstanding performance over the past 12 months, especially considering the difficult market conditions prevailing.

He also notes that the group is actively seeking more franchisees in Johannesburg and on the East and West Rand.

Louw says several factors have worked in the agency’s favour over the year, not least the increasing recognition of the ERA brand in the Alberton area.

“In tough times especially, homebuyers and sellers would prefer to deal with a big-name agency that they know is still going to be around tomorrow, and we have invested heavily in advertising and marketing over the past few years to get the ERA brand well-known in Alberton.

“In addition, as an ERA franchise, we are on the panels of all the banks for selling distressed properties before they go into repossession, and that has helped to increase our sales volumes in a depressed market.”

As for the future, he says the local property market is definitely improving. “Any home priced between R500 000 and R700 000 is selling almost as soon as it is listed, and the R700 000 to R1m sector is also very buoyant. At prices up to R1,5m we are also getting a better response from buyers now. Although sales are still a bit slower above that mark, any correctly priced property doesn’t stay on the market for too long.”

This improvement, he believes, could also be attributed to a change of mindset among buyers - with most now understanding that they need a deposit of at least 10% - combined with a somewhat more relaxed approach to lending on the part of the banks, especially at the lower price levels.

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