Aida National Franchises has reached another milestone in South African real estate history – the leading franchising group has become the first in the country to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
It follows a long and impressive list of firsts, the group’s CEO, Young Carr, said at Aida’s recent national convention.
Aida, named after its founder Aida Geffen, pioneered franchising in the industry in 1979, a trend taken up by other real estate groups and which has led to a more streamlined and professional local industry.
By the mid-1980s Aida was the only company with a national network and by the end of the decade its 60 offices in all major cities firmly placed it in a leading position. In the same decade it became the first real estate agency to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Its won acclaim in 2000 and 2001 when its franchise system was placed in the top 10 in the country by an independent survey conducted by Financial Mail.
Another first followed in 2006 when Aida became the first real estate franchise to be listed for two consecutive years in the Corporate Research Foundation’s (CFR) publication, Best Companies to Work for in SA.
“The company has grown phenomenally over the past five decades and today it is a household name among real estate consumers,” says Carr. “In 1999 Aida Holdings changed its name to Jigsaw Holdings, which acquired the holding company ERA as well as MacHaus. In the same year its annual convention was re-launched to strengthen ties among members and to honour the group’s high achievers.
“As Aida grew, it refined its management and administrative functions and further expanded its comprehensive training at its training academy - established way back in 1966 - to equip franchisees and agents to cope with the increasingly sophisticated demands from their clients.
“Having pioneered the seller and buyer marketing solutions of sole mandates, show houses and parameter pricing, the company also ensures that agents are trained in these proprietary systems.”
He says Aida also pioneered the concept of a “one-stop shop” to offer consumers a continuous service through its home loan facilitators, Betterbond and Bond Choice, and through the company’s home maintenance plan that offers value-added insurance.
“Aida was quick to adapt to technological advances and implemented a network that is supported by a seamless end-to-end office management system. The system, A-Prop, enables the group to monitor marketing solutions of all mandates and to automatically populate the Aida website. Its website, www.aida.co.za, is linked to international and local portals and provides buyers and sellers with a valuable tool.”
The group has formed strategic alliances with global partners to take the Aida brand name beyond SA’s borders. It has established offices in London, Swaziland and Namibia and secured alliances with Century 21 in Australia and New Zeeland to cater for clients’ local and international property and financial services needs, he notes.
“But Aida has never lost sight of its original aim of giving exceptional service and acquiring a name for integrity and ethics. The business philosophy of uncompromising integrity, professionalism and dedication to service endures.”