RE/MAX celebrates in spectacular style

After a successful year despite tough trading conditions in 2011, RE/MAX of Southern Africa, one of the country’s leading real estate groups, celebrated its top achievers at the National Conference held at Sun City from 28 to 29 February 2012.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says: “The results at the end of 2011 speak for themselves and RE/MAX agents have continued to perform extremely well in conditions that many others have struggled in. The conference is about acknowledging their success and providing additional tools in order to help all RE/MAX agents continue to grow from strength to strength.”

The conference, which was attended by over 700 delegates from RE/MAX of Southern Africa, had an international flavour featuring guest speakers Nick Christelis, an expert in change management, Dario Castiglia, the regional director and owner of RE/MAX Italia, well-known public speaker Michael Jackson and British born Lewis Gordon Pugh, known as the human polar bear and first man to swim across the North Pole.

In his address to the conference delegates, Rudi Botha, CEO of mortgage originator, BetterBond, noted that the year-on-year the volume of bond transactions processed by Betterbond during February 2012, was 63% higher than during the same period in 2011. He also pointed out that for the first time in the company’s history, January was a better month than December, which is good news for the South African property sector and points to the fact that the market is starting to show good movement.

Nick Christelis kicked off his talk with the progress principle and gave the attendees five key elements to use in their business practises in keep them ‘in the zone’, which he described as the PH Factor. Christelis highlighted the fact that every nine years there is an economic cycle with a downturn lasting an average of 10 months from the top of the cycle to the bottom. The bottom of the cycle is generally a period of 24 months and thereafter a solid and steady upturn to recovery for the following 64 months. Business owners who know this can prepare for the downturns and be ready to make the best of the upturns.

Regional Director and owner of RE/MAX Italia, Dario Castiglia, provided an informative comparison between the Italian and South African property markets, which are very similar in some aspects. He said that as many as 85% of the Italian population own property, however only 50% of the property transactions in Italy are brokered by an estate agent. This is largely due to the fact that many estate agents in Italy are not licensed property professionals. Castiglia notes that the majority of the over 40 000 real estate offices are not franchised and there is no obligation for agents to register with a real estate association. “With the recession in Italy, it has been an amazing time for professionals in the industry. In good times anyone can sell houses, but now it is only professionals like the RE/MAX agents who are shining in the darkness, with our agents vastly outperforming others in the market,” says Castiglia.

The other Michael Jackson, as he is commonly known, brought to light the importance of businesses using social media correctly to interact with their customers. While it took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users, Facebook had over 200 million users in just 18 months.  With over 86 million users in Africa connected to the internet, most via a smart phone of some kind, social media is making the world a smaller place. With more technology in a smart phone than the space shuttle, today people have unlimited information at their fingertips and are using it as a tool to guide and drive their lives. Those who don’t acknowledge social media as a tool to enhance their business will simply be left behind by the frightening speed of global adaption to the age of technology and mobile communication.

The talks were concluded with environmental campaigner, maritime lawyer and endurance swimmer, Lewis Gordon Pugh’s motivational rendition of his 2007 long-distance swim at the Geographic North Pole. The one kilometre swim in below freezing water was a successful attempt to raise awareness about impact of global warming and the disappearing Arctic sea ice.  His message was loud and clear, with the right preparation and focus, it is possible to achieve the impossible.

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