Quality of business will be better this year

“However, recent positive moves on both fronts, especially with regard to tackling unemployment, and corruption in the public service, are sending the right message to both local and overseas investors, and we expect stable interest rates and rising household incomes to further boost consumer confidence during the course of 2012,” says Young Carr, CEO of Aida National Franchises.

From a real estate industry point of view, Carr is “fairly positive” although he does not foresee that there will be any significant change in bank lending policies or increase in sales volumes.

“Affordability will no doubt increase, but we do not expect this to translate into a surge in demand or home prices, as many households will still be determined to avoid any new borrowing until they have paid off much more of their existing debt.”

But there will be a difference, he says, in the quality of the business being done. “This means, for example, that homes are less likely to be sold two, three or even four times before someone can obtain a home loan to complete the transaction. It also means that agents are less likely to spend their time and resources on marketing properties that are overpriced.”  

The main reason for this change, he believes, will be that many of the agents and principals who have “toughed it out” over the past three years to stay in the industry have gained much in the way of training, resources and systems and are now able to look beyond basic survival to the growth of their businesses.

“In our own group, for example, we have not only helped our franchisees to keep their doors open by streamlining their existing businesses and making them more efficient, but also spent much time over the past few years creating several additional income streams to help them grow in the future.

“Meanwhile, we are pleased that the newly-formalised real estate industry is starting to attract new entrants once more as it steadily gains back its reputation as the place to build a good career. Aida has also signed up quite a few existing agencies that see value in our brand. This new confidence in the industry – and the property market – is evidenced by the fact that Aida has just processed over 400 applications for SETA bursaries and learnerships for new candidate agents in 2012.”

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