Opportunity outweighs negative economy in PE

Kobie Potgieter, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Independent Properties, expects this year to be much better than last.

When asked why she has such a positive outlook amid predictions of a flat market for the foreseeable future, Potgieter says that despite a slew of negative influences on the market, there are positives aspects to consider as well.

“We have the challenges with banks only approving around 50% of bond applications, inflation continues to rise which translates to lower disposable income and there is very little economic growth nationally. Added to this, sellers still expect unrealistic prices for their properties, while job losses remain a reality. “However,” she says, “there are some brilliant opportunities out there for the taking.”

Potgieter explains: “Port Elizabeth has the largest portion of industrial zoned land next to our new deep port harbour of Coega. Feasibility studies are currently being undertaken on projects to the value of R213 billion at Coega. Due to the fact that very little property development was completed between 2009 and 2011, property demand is growing daily. Since 2011 we have seen an increase in occurrences of multiple offers being signed on the same property. Agents are better qualified and more equipped to price properties more realistically for the current market conditions. The higher demand for rental properties is also encouraging for investors, and they are coming back into the market. Port Elizabeth’s manufacturing figures are looking particularly encouraging, which implies potential job creation and an increase in housing demand.”

With an outlook like this, it is not surprising that this Port Elizabeth RE/MAX franchise owner has added more accolades to her name, as Greyvensteins Attorneys announce her as the Top Performing Agent of the Year for 2011.

Since the start of her real estate career in 2002, Potgieter has been recognised for her achievements and business success through numerous awards including Business Woman of the Year 2008, Remax Life Time Achievement Award in 2010, first in the world for Remax for commission earned (excl.USA) in 2008 and nominated for South Africa’s most Influential Business Woman of the year 2008, among many other nominations and awards.

In June 2003 Kobie become the proud owner of Remax Independent Properties based in the Port Elizabeth suburbs of Walmer and Loraine. In just a few short years her small business of just five employees grew from strength to strength to become the multi-million rand operation it is today that employs more than 50 individuals.

It comes as no surprise that Potgieter is also a regular contributor to various business and property related publications. In fact, Your Money nominated Potgieter as the November 2011 Entrepreneur of the month. Added to this, Potgieter has been chosen to travel internationally for REMAX in order to share her knowledge with her colleagues from other countries, which will take place in a two day workshop in Germany later this year.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says: “In tough economic times, it is only the dedicated, professional agents and franchise owners that really go the extra mile who are able to achieve success. A strong vision and determination are not negotiable. Kobie has all of these attributes and more, as is evidenced by the awards she has won, making her a valuable member of the RE/MAX of Southern Africa family.  We congratulate her on her achievements and are proud that she serves as a role model for other agents in the industry.”

Talking about property, Potgieter says that January 2012 has come and gone in a wink of an eye.  “RE/MAX Independent Properties has experienced yet another phenomenal year that is in contradiction with what the local, national and international markets were telling us, with 704 sales and a turnover of R340-million for 11 months of 2011.  We look forward to 2012 being even better!” she concludes.

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