The Rawson Property Group’s expansion into Greater Tshwane, where they already have seven franchises, has been taken a step further by awarding Lee Bezuidenhout and Bertie Lombard the franchise for the prestigious Waterkloof area, which along with Mooikloof, Silver Lakes and Woodhill are considered Pretoria’s most upmarket suburbs.
Bezuidenhout is already the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Montana, where she is credited with achieving a high level of success. Her background includes senior corporate positions as Marketing Manager for Ocean Basket, Taste Holdings, Metcash and Trade Kings.
Lombard is a qualified attorney and conveyancer and notary who in 1995 set up his own legal practice, Lombard Muller en Vennote Inc. His property experience includes high level involvement with Minrav, an international property development company who developed homes in Gauteng informal settlements and his legal qualifications include an LLB, a BLC and an LLM specializing in tax and property.
Both co-franchisees have testified that a corporate/professional background is useful in property marketing as it results in a more disciplined, professional approach. Bezuidenhout has said that at Montana she has ensured that the majority of her agents do have such a background.
The Waterkloof franchise ‘package’ includes Waterkloof Ridge, Brooklyn, Hatfield, Groenkloof, Menlo Park, part of Lynnwood, Lukasrand and Muckleneuk. Each of these has its own characteristics and property sales patterns. However 80% of these areas can be classified as upmarket, with many of the Waterkloof homes priced at up to R30 million. Despite this upmarket image, the suburbs still have strong on-going sales in R700,000 to R2 million bracket.
The decision to buy the franchise, said Bezuidenhout, was sparked off by the fact that in most of the areas mentioned, the property sales, previously hard hit by the downturn, are now on the up-and-up, with the result that stock shortages are already becoming a problem.
“Young executives now aspire to live in Waterkloof, Mooikloof and Brooklyn and have always favoured these areas as the place to be,” said Lombard.
The new franchise, which was formally launched on 1st July, has offices at Menlo Park and the franchisees aim to build up a team of eight agents. Within a year the franchisees expect to be selling 20 homes each year and although the majority of these will be below R5 million, Bezuidenhout predicts that there will be a renewed demand for upper bracket homes this year, for which she believes their team is especially well equipped. She has promised that her team’s service levels will be “exceptional”.
Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, said that, given the interest in upper level properties now becoming evident in big centres, the decision to become established in Waterkloof and its surrounds was very well timed.