Black business magnate buys into RealNet Holdings

In one of the most significant property industry transactions of the year, high-profile entrepreneur Tirhani Mabunda has acquired a 15% stake in national estate agency franchise company RealNet Holdings.
This follows two years of co-operation between RealNet and Tirhani Auctioneers, which is the biggest black-owned auctioneering company in the country and a member of the Tirhani Group that also has interests in aviation, business consulting, funeral insurance and services, logistics, market research, oil retailing and skills development.
Mabunda, who began his business career in 1993 when he became the first black person to purchase a Nando’s Chickenland franchise, has now also been appointed chairman of the RealNet Holdings board of directors, and says the group has great prospects.
“Property ownership lies at the heart of any stable country,” he says, “and businesses in the real estate industry have an unlimited blue sky, as well as the opportunity to make an important contribution to our country. A vital part of my role here will be to guide RealNet to new opportunities in its field, especially in the previously disadvantaged areas, which is where the future growth for the property industry will be generated.”
Tirhani Property Auctionees, a specialised division of Tirhani Auctioneers, is currently one of the most successful real estate auction companies in SA, handling millions of rands worth of voluntary sales annually as well as the disposal of repossessed properties.
Mabunda, who is a very strong proponent of the “friendly auction”, says that many people still have a negative perception of auctions, mainly derived from their association of auctions with the sales in execution traditionally conducted by the sheriffs of the courts.
“But the activities of sheriffs are a far cry from the innovative and creative marketing methods now being employed by professional auctioneers across the world, and auctions are now a preferred method of selling property in many countries, offering benefits to both buyers and sellers such as transparency, quick-turnaround, conclusiveness, market exposure and competitiveness”, he says.
RealNet Holdings, which was established in 1996 and began franchising its concept and brand in 2001, has grown rapidly into a leading player in the SA real estate industry. Its business model is built on providing superior service to customers and its franchisees, who operate under a strict code of conduct, are chosen for their uncompromising commitment to quality.
The company also has a highly-experienced franchise management team to supply technical, financial, training, marketing and infrastructure support to franchisees.
Issued by RealNet Holdings
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