RE/MAX expands into Zambia

As RE/MAX of Southern Africa focuses on growing its market share in the African property markets, the Republic of Zambia is the latest country in which the brand will operate, increasing its southern African footprint to more than 10 countries. With franchise agreements finalised, RE/MAX Peu office in Zambia plans to open its doors in the first week of June.

Broker/Owner of the planned RE/MAX Peu office, Cynthia Sindani, says that the decision to introduce the brand to the Zambian market comes after much research regarding the property market in the country, as well as the current real estate models available to Zambian real estate professionals. “Currently several other large real estate brands are represented in Zambia, however none have the business model and structure that RE/MAX offers its agents. The brand’s entrepreneurial model gives agents the opportunity to be in business for themselves but not by themselves. It allows agents to have freedom within the boundaries and protection of a sound, tried and tested business structure,” says Sindani.

She notes that at the moment real estate agents in Zambia are generally not paid that well. However, the introduction of the RE/MAX model will hopefully change that and make a difference to the Zambian real estate industry. “Our aim is to change the market and the lives of the people who work in with us. There is a gap in the Zambian market for an entrepreneurial business model and we aim to fill that gap, while providing our clients with the level of service excellence that the RE/MAX brand has become synonymous with,” adds Sindani.

She says that the average price for a property in a new development in Zambia is the equivalent to around R850 000, while the average price of a home in an established, sought-after neighbourhood is equivalent to between R1.2 million and R2.5 million. “The property market in Zambia is dominated by foreign buyers as it is currently very difficult for local consumers to purchase property in the country due to challenges around obtaining finance. Buyers are required to provide a deposit of 40% of the purchase price in cash, with the remaining 60% of the loan financed at an interest rate of between 19% and 24%. As a result there is not a very big selling market in Zambia, with many consumers renting property for many years before they are able to purchase,” says Sindani.

She points to market trends which indicate many Zambians rent a property and save as much as possible in order to build themselves a home rather than purchasing an existing property.

Consumers can acquire land, with full title through the means of a 99 year lease. They are then able to build a house on that land once they have enough capital. “The rental market in Zambia is booming at the moment and this is likely to continue until finance becomes more readily available,” says Sindani. “We are currently working with a reputable South African home loan division to expand into the Zambian market to be able to provide consumers with 100% bonds. This will revolutionise the property market in Zambia and will open up the housing market to many more consumers, who were previously unable to own property. As a brand, RE/MAX Peu aims to change the game and lead the way in the transformation of the property market in the country.”

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the ethos of the brand is to make a positive impact and improve the areas in which they operate. “RE/MAX hopes to change the way the real estate market operates in Zambia and give more people the opportunity to own a home,” he concludes.

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