Husband and wife team Silven and Elaine Chetty bought into the Seeff brand in 2009 by opening Seeff Richards Bay. Elaine, who worked at Seeff as an agent prior to purchasing the licence, runs the operations, while Silven provides strategic oversight. They both grew up in Richards Bay and since opening have not only doubled the size of their office but become parents to two sons, Sven (4) and Soren (2).
Seeff Richards Bay has seen remarkable success in both sales and rentals, that saw them scooping two awards at the national Seeff awards – those of top rental office in the Seeff group, as well as being a Finalist in Marketer of the Year. Seeff Richards Bay also scooped a bevy of awards at the Seeff KwaZulu-Natal Regional Awards, where Elijah Chetty took two awards: ‘Top Sales Agent for Number of Units Sold’ as well as ‘Top Achiever for Total Sales in Rands’. In the Newcomer of the Year category agent Desire Raubenheimer took third place in Rental Agent of the Year, Sebe Mthethwa was Rookie Agent of the Year, and Catherine Chetty was Branch Administrator of the Year.
These national and regional successes are remarkable for a relatively young branch in an outlying industrial area of KwaZulu-Natal, and are bolstered both by market opportunities and the special features of this team.
Silven Chetty describes the Richards Bay property market: “Richards Bay has seen an average of 16% price year-on-year, which is promising for our industrial town. The Port of Richards Bay continues to mention growth prospects with both a container terminal as well as a dry dock facility touted. This will certainly boost our local economy if plans are approved by government. Since our city is an industrial one we have many people coming in to work for periods less than 24 months, who therefore choose to rent rather than buy, for obvious reasons. Investors see the potential of the buy-to-let market and also flock in”.
“Young families are also a large sector of our buyers as they find permanent work in our city and want space to grow their family. The average property prices are around R1.2m for freehold and R768 000 for sectional title, with the average rental for a two-bedroom flat being R5500 per month, and for a three-bedroom house R8500 per month. Eighty per cent of our sales are in the under R1.2m range. With the all year round summer weather, sublime coastal living and Big 5 game reserves within an hour’s drive, it truly is a beautiful part of the world to settle in.”
Elaine describes the special features of the Seeff Richards Bay team: “We have an energetic, young and driven team of 12 agents and 5 administrators who have chosen real estate as a career. Our average age is 32 years, which is far below the industry average of 55. Millennials are generally entrepreneurial and our industry offers them the opportunity to dip their toes in an industry that does not require too much capital outlay”.
“Our motto is simple: empower people to prosper through property – which is why we push forward, even in a challenging economic climate. What sets us apart, well we are constantly changing and innovating so that our approach to marketing is second to none and we place client satisfaction as a primary focus area.”