New franchisees have now taken over at the Rawson Property Group’s Amanzimtoti office and the new leader is Erine Kleyn. Kleyn has had 13 years’ experience in property marketing in Pretoria, another KwaZulu-Natal South Coast area, Pennington and in Amanzimtoti, where for a time she worked for the franchise that she has now bought. Her co-franchisees are Steph Lindeque, a qualified chartered accountant who is controlling the finances and Wouter Kleyn, Erine’s husband, who is pursuing a career in construction.
Erine Kleyn said recently that she believes she has taken over at an excellent time because there are now clear signs that KwaZulu-Natal‘s South Coast property is experiencing a revival. At Pennington, she said, she could clearly detect a change from about March/April onwards and at Amanzimtoti, sales have already risen by 10 to 15% since her team took over. This is a big step up on the franchise’s sales for the same period in 2012. The really strong demand in her area, said Kleyn, is for homes, both sectional title and freehold, in the R700,000 to R900,000 bracket.
Although Amanzimtoti, with its near perfect beaches, prime surfing and beautiful golf course, is known elsewhere in South African primarily as a holiday area, it is in fact within easy commuting distance (25 km) of Durban and 80% of her buyers, she said, already live in the area and are either upgrading, downscaling or simply looking for a change. Many new sales are also generated by buyers moving to the KwaZulu-Natal coast on business transfers.
In the higher priced brackets, the Amanzimtoti office can offer homes up to R4 million in value, but as yet there is only limited demand for these more expensive properties. This, says Kleyn, is possibly due to many local home owners, especially those in more affluent areas, being reluctant to accept today’s market conditions and frequently over valuing their homes by as much as 50%.
There is one factor which, she believes, will set this franchise apart from many of its rivals and that is the total acceptance by herself and her four sales agents of the importance of regular feedback to clients. This is highly appreciated by people looking for or selling a home, which can be a very tense and nervous period. In view of the recently evident demand, said Kleyn, her team expects to be selling four to five houses and apartments per month by the end of the first quarter of 2014. The big demand still being for sectional title units, rather than houses. All property in the area, she believes, will by the end of this year, be experiencing a steady 4% year on year rise, which is likely to speed up later in 2014.