Harcourts International appoints South African to lead global real estate organisation

Somerset West, Cape Town native Steve Caradoc-Davies to lead global real estate franchise group
Global real estate franchise group, Harcourts International, today announced the appointment of Steve Caradoc-Davies as Chief Executive Officer to lead the 132-year-old company into the next era. Mr Caradoc-Davies will take over leadership of the 900-office network and approximately 10,000 team members in nine countries, from Mike Green, who takes on a new focus within the business. Both changes are effective 1 October 2019.
“Steve brings a unique understanding from his 30 years in the real estate business, having held roles in property management, sales, office management, owning his own franchise for over 25 years and developing it into the best-performing Harcourts office in South Africa,” said Mr Green.

“More importantly though, Steve is passionate about Harcourts. He loves our culture and values and has a very strong level of integrity and caring. I believe he will take our organisation to the next level.”

The change in leadership has been planned as part of a succession plan and aligns with the organisation’s long-term focus on strategic initiatives across digital marketing, technology, training, people & culture and client experience. Mr Caradoc-Davies will lead the executive leadership team to support the long-term vision of the business, while continuing to add greater value to the franchise business owners and their teams, who are the foundation of the Harcourts Group.

“First, I must acknowledge the extraordinary achievement Mike has had leading Harcourts for the last 20 years and creating an incredibly successful business, a strong family culture and a vision where people are at the heart of everything we do,” said Mr Caradoc-Davies. “Thank you to the Harcourts board for entrusting me with this responsibility. It is a privilege and honour for me to lead Harcourts into the next chapter.”

Prior to joining the corporate leadership team at Harcourts, Mr Caradoc-Davies was business owner of the number one Harcourts franchise office from 2014-2019 in South Africa, Harcourts Platinum, in Somerset West, Cape Town, which also achieved an international Harcourts Top 20 Steve Caradoc-Davies ranking from 2014-2019. He has played an active role in Harcourts South Africa, serving as a director on the board since 2005.

As only the third chief executive in the history of Harcourts International, Mr Caradoc-Davies’ role is aimed at further strengthening the company’s global presence and service to its franchisees, and he will oversee the network across Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.

An accomplished businessperson, industry thought leader and keynote speaker with specific interest in strategic business and team growth, Mr Caradoc-Davies is based in Brisbane, Australia.

Franchise Business Owners Applaud Appointment

The appointment to CEO of Mr Caradoc-Davies has been applauded by Harcourts franchise business owners globally.
Louis Barbosa, owner of Harcourts Rhino in Roodepoort, Gauteng, the number two ranked office in South Africa and a member of the Harcourts South Africa board, said:

“We are excited at the appointment of Steve Caradoc-Davies! Steve comes from the coal face, having served in the trenches and learnt the real estate trade from the bottom up. He fully understands the industry, and more important his blood is truly blue. We are sure that he will lead by example and will take Harcourts International to new heights. We wish him everything of the best in the future and look forward to his visionary leadership.”

Dane Atherton, business owner of Harcourts Coastal, the #1 ranked Australia office, based on the Gold Coast said:

“What I am most excited and confident about is that Mike has hand-selected someone who is proven in the trenches as successful and passionate about Harcourts.

“Steve has real estate in his blood and that is massive for this new role. He’s a Hall of Famer in South Africa and was number one in South Africa, he is a guy who ‘gets’ Harcourts. We have total confidence in him because he understands Harcourts and the culture because our culture is our number one differentiator. The Harcourts DNA, Mike’s DNA, is part of every business owner and that includes Steve. I trust Mike’s decision to hand the baton to the next generation.”

Mike Green Legacy

In 1997, Mike and Irene Green moved to Australia from New Zealand after establishing and operating the most successful Harcourts franchise in New Zealand with 9 offices and 150 people, achieving the number one position for four consecutive years. In 1999, Mr Green became Managing Director of Harcourts International, responsible for the overall operation and direction of Harcourts’ group of companies, taking it from an initial group of 100 offices in two countries to over 900 in nine countries today. At the same time, Irene Green took over as Head of the Harcourts Academy, leading the development and delivery of industry leading training and development for the entire Group.

The strategic growth has led Harcourts to be the fastest growing real estate franchise network in Australasia and the #1 in New Zealand for 20 years running, as well as numbernumber 3 in Australia after only 18 years’ operating there and number 4 in South Africa after only 10 years. The Group achieved a combined $35bn in sales last year and gained market share in every market in which it operates.

“The past 20 years has been a wonderful and extraordinary journey – it’s been fun, challenging, hugely rewarding and really quite amazing to be a part of all that we have achieved as a group,” said Mr Green.

“However, I believe the time is right for me personally, to step back and take a little more time away from the business especially now Irene and I have grandparent duties.”

Mr Green began his real estate career at the age of 19, in Auckland for independent office Burrett and Veitch in Parnell, before moving to Christchurch in 1983. After 5 years in Christchurch with Collins Real Estate, then Harcourts as it became, Mike and Irene moved to Auckland where Mike became the Assistant Regional Manager for Harcourts. After 2 years in this role, he and Irene changed direction and became owners of their first Auckland franchise office, Mike Green Real Estate Ltd (Epsom). Growing the business to nine offices and over 150 people, the operation achieved No 1 Harcourts Franchise for Harcourts New Zealand for four consecutive years.

Mike and Irene Green moved to Australia in 1997 beginning Harcourts’ international growth.

Mr Green is a co-owner of Harcourts with Irene Green and Paul Wright and will continue to sit on the board of directors and serve the global business in a limited capacity across strategic initiatives.

About Harcourts International

Harcourts has been in the real estate business since 1888. With over 900 offices in nine countries, Harcourts International is one of the fastest growing real estate groups in the world.

Harcourts offers a full range of real estate services, specializing in residential, commercial and rural property sales as well as property management services. Harcourts works closely with several affiliate groups including Mortgage Express, Landmark Harcourts, Luxury Property Selection, NAI Harcourts and Harcourts Complete to offer clients a comprehensive real estate solution.

Why people thrive in co-working spaces

So what’s so special about co-working?

“Co-working spaces attract diverse groups of people such as entrepreneurs, remote workers, independent professionals and people from large companies who work together in a communal setting,” says Linda Trim, Director at FutureSpace, a high-end workspace joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap with two offices in Sandton.

“This seems to be create a special alchemy of contentment.”

Trim cites a study in the Harvard Business Review by researchers Garrett, Bacevice and Spreitzer which found that people working at co-working spaces were not just more satisfied and productive than those in regular offices, but were also much more engaged in shaping their future and the company’s future.

“But perhaps the most important factor that the research uncovered was that these people where thriving at work because they saw their work as more meaningful than those in regular offices,” says Trim.

So why are there such differences?

Firstly, unlike a traditional office, co-working spaces consist of members who work for a range of different companies, ventures, and projects.

“Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in. Working amongst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s own work identity stronger,” says Trim.

Secondly, meaning may come from working in a culture where it is the norm to help each other out, and there are many opportunities to do so. The variety of workers in the space means that co-workers have unique skill sets that they can provide to other community members.

Meaning may also be derived from the essence of co-working: community, collaboration and learning.

“It’s not simply the case that a person is going to work, they’re also part of a global social movement,” Trim adds.

Co-workers often say that having a community to work in helps them create structures and discipline that motivates them.

Thirdly, they also have more job control. Co-working spaces are normally accessible 24/7. People can decide whether to put in a long day when they have a deadline or want to show progress, or can decide to take a long break in the middle of the day to go to the gym, says Trim.

“They can choose whether they want to work in a quiet space so they can focus, or in a more collaborative space with shared tables where interaction is easier.”

Even though the co-working movement has its origins among freelancers, entrepreneurs and the tech industry, it’s increasingly relevant for a broader range of people and organisations.

“In fact, co-working can become part of your company’s strategy, and it can help your people and your business thrive. An increasing number of companies are incorporating co-working into their business strategies,” says Trim.

Rental market gains momentum as financial pressure property sales increase

According to the latest FNB Property Barometer Survey data shows that “Downscaling because of life stage” dominates as the most prominent reason for selling a property in SA, with such sales accounting for 23% of all sales in 2Q19, the same as in 1Q19.  However, what is most concerning is that “Downscaling due to financial pressure” has become increasingly prominent in the past year; the estimated proportion of such sales jumped to 19% in 2Q19 from 16% in 1Q19.

FNB Economist, Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, explains that this is consistent with their view that household finances are under pressure. Of those who sell due to financial pressure, around 60% now opt for the rental market, as opposed to a cheaper property. However, these trends do not appear to have benefited the rental market yet, as flat vacancies have continued rising and rental inflation is still muted.

This is supported by recent data released which shows that the proportion of new flats and townhouses (as % of total new housing units) is trending significantly above its long-term average of around 30%. Year-to-date, these units have accounted for approximately 60% of new stock, up from 29% in 2015 and 13% in 2000. This could be explained by the increasingly urbanising population, rising densification in the metros, as well as the changing consumer preferences (e.g. buyers are now more security conscious in their buying decisions).

Consumers remain under pressure as recent data showcases that many South Africans are having to tighten their belts even with regards to basic necessities. The trend to downscale from buyer activity to rental properties has risen largely due to the financial implications originating from the economic instability of the country. Unfortunately, the periodical reduction in the petrol price does not come into play when consumers are making long term decisions as the fluctuation occurs too often.

 

Another major reason for the rise in demand for flats and townhouses are the advantages of safety.  Crime remains a major issue in South Africa and this uncomfortable truth undoubtedly plays a part when tenants select property options. Many complexes and estates have state-of-the-art security systems as well as armed response. In addition, the sense of community and the close proximity of neighbours makes many people feel much safer.

 

Taking these factors into consideration and the advantage of affordability there is no doubt why the demand for rental properties is rising so sharply. However, we feel there is certainly a change in sentiment and that the outlook for the second half of the year looks far more promising.

Statement by
Richard Gray
Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer

5 things you need to know about prepaid water

You already know that we live in a water-stressed country, receiving an annual rainfall of 492mm, while the rest of the earth receives 985mm.

With a prepaid water system consumers can track usage, load credit remotely, and decrease the possibility of bill shock due to leakages or incorrect monitoring.

This is according to Marcus Thulsidas, Director: Business Development, Utility Systems, who says in addition, the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) cautions that 98% of South Africa’s water has already been allocated to users, leaving little surplus water to cater for a growing population and increasing demand.

In this context, could it be that prepaid water – like prepaid electricity – is the answer to more sustainable water consumption and management?

“Well, we at Utility Systems believe it is,” says Thulsidas says, and there are five important things that South Africans need to know about installing prepaid water meters:

1. What is ‘prepaid water’?
Prepaid water means that the consumer purchases water credit in the form of a prepaid water token. When entered into the user interface unit (located in the consumer’s home), the token instructs the water management device to allow a certain amount of water through the meter before closing.

Consumers can track usage, load credit remotely, and decrease the possibility of bill shock due to leakages or incorrect monitoring.

A prepaid water meter can also be used to limit water flowing to a particular area. This helps municipalities and property owners to control the amount of water used at certain outputs and prevents wastage in low-income households that can’t afford to pay for excess use of this basic need.

They can make payment in smaller, frequent increments. This prevents their falling into debt, which can compound in a post-paid arrangement.

2. Who can access it?
This is completely dependent on the municipality. So, even if you’re feeling inspired to install a smart water management device to enable prepaid water, you may not be able to – based on where you live or work.

That being said, most municipalities are beginning to embrace prepaid water management technology, so it may just be a waiting game. To find out your eligibility for prepaid water, it’s wise to approach your municipality and ask.

If you have a garden cottage, however, you can add an additional meter and smart water management device to the building to ensure that your tenants don’t rack up huge bills in your name – and then refuse to pay, or leave.

3. How does it affect rental properties and bodies corporate?
The implications for rental properties and bodies corporate are significant.

Prepaid metering reduces admin to a minimum, while removing the risk and frustration of late or non-payment of water bills. This is why housing estates are swiftly moving to prepaid water, as they did with prepaid electricity.

Gone are the days of splitting the entire estate’s water bill by the number of units. Prepaid metering means that users pay for their consumption only.

4. What’s in it for municipalities?
Prepaid systems are cost-effective solutions to sustainable water management in that they have a low cost of acquisition and, by curbing water usage, capital recovery is possible within months.

The systems are also able to distribute water equally, based on free water quotas, water balancing and fluctuating demand.

Aside from their ability to alert municipalities to leaks, prepaid water meters also drastically reduce government’s admin costs. This is because municipalities don’t need to chase bad debts or budget for legal fees on unpaid accounts. Public sector cash flow is immediately improved.

Collecting data from prepaid meters is also more efficient than the manual collection required for post-paid meters. A radio link receiver can be fixed, vehicle-mounted, or carried by municipality personnel.

5. Is prepaid water cheaper?
No – this is a myth. Prepaid and post-paid water cost exactly the same. It is illegal to sell municipal water above the municipal tariff rate declared. That being said, prepaid water gives consumers the opportunity to monitor their consumption and react immediately to possible leaks.

Finally
“The bottom line? Even the simplest smart water management device can provide the tools to track and control water usage. Prepaid water meters are smart tools with the potential to revolutionise water conservation efforts and revenue management worldwide. But it’ll be a while before every South African household is able to benefit from this enormous potential,” says Thulsidas.

11 smart ways to save electricity (and money) in the winter months

Eskom has issued steps consumers can take to save electricity as the colder weather grips South Africa.

A thermostat-controlled oil heater no bigger than 2 000W (watt) is the best choice to heat a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5 metres for three hours.

“During the colder months, space heating can be responsible for up to 8% of an average household’s electricity usage. The current constrained electricity network calls for smart electricity usage to help keep the warmth inside and the cold outside,” said the power utility last Wednesday.

Last week the power utility started implementing its ‘Use electricity smartly’ campaign, which aims to reduce electricity the shortage so as to minimise the risk of load shedding.

The power utility said insulated and draught-proofed rooms require 51% less energy to heat.

Eskom has the following tips for the winter period:

1. Use foam tape to seal windows and doors if they do not close properly – in winter, draughts can account for up to 25% of heat loss.

2. Hang curtains to reduce heat transfer.

3. Lay ‘door snakes’ to stop cold air from entering – aluminium skirts with rubber seals on the outside of doors are also highly effective.

4. Seal cavities in and between bricks with a polyurethane sealant.

5. Seal the chimney if you have one – the best way is to have a damper installed when the chimney is not in use; if not utilised at all, seal it at the top and bottom.

6. Install fire-retardant ceiling insulation – with approximately 40% of heat lost through the roof, ceiling insulation makes your home up to 5% warmer in winter.

7. Only heat the room you are occupying, and use the correct type of heater when you feel the need for extra warmth.

8. A thermostat-controlled fan heater is ideal to quickly heat a room of 3 x 3 x 2.5 metres for one hour.

9. A thermostat-controlled oil heater no bigger than 2 000W (watt) is the best choice to heat the same room for three hours.

10. A thermostat-controlled heater no bigger than 1 000W (watt) is the most energy efficient option to heat it for eight hours.

11. Most gas heaters generate a great amount of heat and do not require electricity at all.

Use ‘door snakes’ to stop cold air from entering.

The power utility has in recent weeks implemented load shedding as a result of generation capacity.

“Eskom is currently faced with challenges at its power stations, which has led to the need for load shedding over the past few months.

“If consumers can assist us by using electricity smartly, it would help to reduce the need for load shedding, which is a measure used to balance the supply and demand of electricity,” says Eskom acting Group Executive for generation, Andrew Etzinger. – SAnews.gov.za

Applying for rental properties: The do’s and dont’s.

With rental housing continuing to experience unprecedented occupancy rates, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when looking and applying for a rental property.

The more prepared you are, the better the chance you will have in ensuring a tenancy agreement can be reached.

First comes the initial contact and appointment. This can happen a number of ways. Consider though sending a thoughtful email to the Property Manager as the first point of contact. In it you can provide initial detail about yourself or your family and respond to various elements in the ad. Then, follow up with a phone call to make an appointment, if you haven’t received a call back already.

The appointment is not only your opportunity to see if the home will work for you but also to build a relationship with the Property Manager. This can be challenging if it is a group appointment as you may not get much face time with the Property Manager (see above). If it suits, ask for an application. You can always go to our website to retrieve it, but let the Property Manager know you’re submitting one.

When filling out your application, be sure to complete it in full, be honest, and ask if there’s something you’re not sure about. Remember, the Property Manager doesn’t know you but they’re doing their best based on the information you’ve provided to assess suitability and financial capability. You may then consider providing a profile and written references with your application. The more information you’ve prepared, the easier it will be to process and have an owner accept your tenancy.

In addition, know what’s on your own credit report (this can be done through each of the credit bureaus for free once a year). Sometimes these reports are incorrect so it’s worthwhile knowing what’s on record for you.

While these reports show debt and provide an opinion of credit risk, they don’t offer the complete story of financial capability. You may consider providing supplemental documentation, especially if you know you your credit is problematic or you don’t have much history in the country. This may come in the form of proof of income, identifying additional sources of income, a partial bank statement showing cheques that have cleared or a statement showing reserves.

Remember when applying for a property, the more information you can provide, the faster your application can be processed and the faster you can find your new home!

ARTICLE written BY ANDREA BUTT, HEAD OF HARCOURTS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

 

Here’s some things you should consider before sending off your application.

DO: Consider writing a profile of yourself and include written references and other pertinent information that may help the Property Manager learn more about you.

DO:  Inform your referees that they may receive a call/email for a rental reference. And, follow them up with a thank you. You never know when you may need their help again or you can return the favour.

DO: Know what’s on your credit report.

DO: Use the viewing time to determine home suitability as well as build rapport with the Property Manager.

DON’T: Forget additional sources of income. The application only asks so much but if you have additional sources, it helps build a picture of financial capability.

DON’T: Leave blanks on your application. This can slow down the process.  If you’re unsure about the consent you’re providing or anything else, ask the Property Manager before you submit your application. Incomplete or unconsented applications may result in your application being bypassed.

Make your home ‘energy-friendly’ with these small changes

One thing everybody should understand about making their home more energy efficient is that it’s a process. These are small changes you can make that work towards a bigger goal, but only implementing one or two new elements and expecting substantial results will lead to a very discouraging place. However, a bunch of small changes are going to add up and leave you with a very positive outlook.

1. Change the bulbs

Most people start their energy-efficient transformation by first replacing the bulbs in and around the house. All the conventional incandescent lights are switched with LED or fluorescent bulbs, which don’t use half as much energy. Even though it’s not going to make the biggest dent in your electricity bill, consider the big difference in energy usage. Where a conventional bulb draws anything between 60 and 100 watts, LED and fluorescent alternatives only draw about 12 to 15 watts.

2. Insulation

Insulating the walls and roof is considered a long-term solution for temperature control. It keeps the house cool during summer, and prevents heat from escaping during winter. If insulating the walls proves a little bit too difficult, there are several insulating techniques you can use, such as weather stripping. The more you can insulate your home, the better. Think of it as a natural way of maintaining a comfortable temperature. While you’re at it, consider insulating the water pipes and help the geyser stay warm with a thermal blanket.

2. Look at the windows

Believe it or not, windows play an important role in a home’s overall energy efficiency. For example, single-pane windows and aluminium frames are not helping your situation. But a double-pane window and a vinyl frame on the other hand, that is a step in the right direction. If you’re serious about turning your home into a place that uses energy wisely, investing in some new windows and frames is a must.

3. Consider solar power

There is one thing you can use that could make a substantial difference, namely solar power. It’s the age of renewable energy, and what better way to turn your home into an energy-friendly zone? Consider for a moment installing a retro-fit solar geyser kit. While still using your tank, you can just install a solar panel to take over the responsibility of heating the water. If you’re in charge of paying the electric bill, you’ll know how much energy goes to water heating.

You can even take it step further and get yourself an Ecoboxx. It’s an all-in-one power station that can be moved wherever you need it. It comes with two panels that charge the station during the day, and there are two 220v sockets with an output of 1 500 watts. Whether it’s for emergencies or appliances, the Ecoboxx is more than just a little handy.

4. Switch to energy-efficient appliances

This might be little expensive, but you don’t have to replace all the appliances that consume too much energy overnight. Instead, when you shop for your next appliance, pay attention to the energy efficiency level or look for the Energy Star logo. Manufacturers that offer energy-efficient products will usually add an energy label. If the label’s not there, it’s probably not very energy efficient.

5. Install low-flow showerheads and toilet mechanisms

It’s staggering to think how much water is wasted through the toilet and shower. In fact, about 40% of water usage goes only to the toilet. And where a low-flow showerhead uses around 6 litres of water per minute, a conventional showerhead uses around 18 litres. By installing low-flow alternatives, you’ll be making a dramatic difference in terms of saving hot water and conserving valuable water.

6. Simply start cutting back and switching off

What about changing your lifestyle? You can still do all these things mentioned above, but don’t overlook the bad habits we maintain. A good example is leaving the phone charger plugged in while nothing is charging. Or what about appliances with digital displays?

Even when these appliances aren’t being used, they are drawing energy. As mentioned in the introduction, it’s a bunch of small changes that will ultimately make the big difference. Learning to unplug appliances and use heaters only when blankets aren’t enough, or even installing a geyser timer and using hot water at scheduled times, are things that will help you reach an energy efficient level.

Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za

Sellers Who Meet the Market Sell for More

Every seller wants and is entitled to sell for maximum market value.  Your property is one of your most significant assets and you deserve to maximize its’ value.  In the process of trying to sell for the most money, there is a dangerous pitfall that could cost a seller a great deal of money, should they fall into it.

The challenge is always knowing what price to list your property at.  Most sellers will call in a few estate agents to give them an indication of the current market value.  Sadly, not all agents will give the seller an accurate appraisal.  Why?  Because, for some agents, the only way to get you to list with them is to overprice your property – thus tricking you into listing with them.

It’s dishonest business practice, and it’s condemned in the Estate Agents Code of Conduct – but we see it happen all the time.  We call it “buying your listing”.  Why is it such a dangerous pitfall?

When a property is overpriced it sits on the market for an extended period of time.  It attracts the wrong buyers – buyers who are looking for a property that is worth more.  Sellers often ask why buyers don’t just make an offer.  But if they’re the wrong buyers, not even looking for this kind of property – why would they make an offer.

We’ve all seen properties that have sat on the market for months, even years.  They eventually sell for much less than the market value.

So how do sellers avoid this trap and still sell for maximum market value?  The first step is to get the agents who appraise your property to show their comparative market analysis.  It has to be backed up by facts.  The facts will be other comparative homes that have recently sold, as well as other comparable properties that are currently for sale.

Try to see your property through the eyes of the buyer.  This means taking your emotional “wish-price” off the table.  Once you have determined a realistic market value then list it within 5% of this price.  Why?  Because buyers respond to market value.  They will shop in a price band 5% above what they can afford.  This way you attract the correct buyers.

Ensure that your listing agent gives you feedback from every buyer that views your property.  The comments from the buyers on the value of your home are the key to you ensuring you are listed at the correct price.  Buyers know within 5 minutes of walking through your property what it’s worth – just the same as you did when you bought it.

If the feedback is that your price is too high then adjust it as quickly as you can to the indicated market value.  When you do this you appeal to more buyers.  The stronger your buyer enquiry the greater the buyer competition is.  And that’s when they offer you their maximum.

Steve Caradoc-Davies
Director Harcourts South Africa

Port Elizabeth Property Trends and Statistics

Explore these market trends to see the seasonal and long term changes in house prices and sales for Port Elizabeth.

Sold Properties:

These graphs show the number of Houses and Apartments sold in Port Elizabeth each year, and the average sale price.

Properties for sale 

This graph shows the number of properties on the market in Port Elizabeth per month, as listed for sale on Property24.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW RENT2BUY FINANCE WORKS AND WHAT TO DO TO APPLY

Rent2buy (R2B) Finance is a Plan B for a homebuyer who is almost, but not quite ready, to apply for a home loan to buy a property. If the buyers’ home loan was declined initially and but he has a reasonably good credit profile and at least 7% deposit (if buying from a private seller), 3 to 5% deposit available (if buying from a property developer) or 20% if a foreign buyer, and he lives in Bloemfontein, Gauteng or Cape Town, then he is able to start the process of applying to purchase through the Rent2buy Finance programme, says Meyer de Waal, director of MDW Inc, and co-founder of Attorney Realtor Hub.

The way it works is that Rent2buy Finance will buy the property on behalf of the homebuyer and will hold the property with a just a nominal amount added to the purchase price instead of a market related increase in price over the two years.  Just before the expiration of the 24 month “lease”, the buyer can decide to convert the rental to an instalment sale and take transfer 15 to 20 years later, once he paid back the full purchase price and interest or apply for his home loan and take transfer as soon as possible after his loan is approved. He could, however, also choose to sell the property and keep the profit, but in this case certain terms and conditions would apply and would need to be discussed with the Rent2buy consultant.

The first step is to complete the Rent2buy Finance Rental application form (obtainable through by emailing juanita@mybondfitness.co.za).  With the form, the potential buyer must also submit a copy of his Identity Document, proof of income (if self-employed, the latest financial statements or a report from an auditor), the consent form for a TPN credit profile to be carried out (also obtainable through the email address above), and bank statements for three months.

A fee of R750 (for individuals) and R850 (for couples) is payable on application.

A Rent2buy Finance buyer can also start the process with a free online credit score through the Rent2buy Finance link.

Rent2buy, working with Rentmaster, will analyse the buyer’s credit profile, income, expenses and affordability and will issue a certificate with the monthly rental amount that he qualifies for. R2B will then convert the rental amount into a purchase amount and issue a formal R2B finance quotation, which provides a purchase price, what deposit is required, the interest rate payable, monthly rental amount, R2B option fee, and the end purchase price applicable after the rental term is up.

Once the buyer has a purchase price certificate, he has as much power as a cash buyer, provided he buys in the approved pilot project areas and within the required price range.

In addition, R2B provides a personal My Budget Fitness trainer to help buyers get ready for home ownership.  This service ensures that buyers stay on track with their monthly account commitments (and not racking up further debt) as this affects their ability to pay off a home loan without struggling to meet payments each month.

“The advantage of buying a home in this way, rather than waiting until you have a larger deposit saved up or qualify for a higher home loan is that property prices will also go up in the meantime, which moves the benchmark.  If you have a home that you want now, it is possible to buy through the R2B Finance company and during the Rent2buy 24 month rental  period, the price of the home will not be increased by as much as the market-related price does,” said de Waal.