CENTURY 21 names Golden Opportunity winners

The winners include Graham Guthrie from Heartland Realty in Richards Bay and Harry Nicolaides from Deal Design in Boksburg.

Guthrie will rebrand his operation as CENTURY21 Heartland Realty, covering Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Richards Bay and Empangeni. His focus will remain on affordable housing but the commercial and industrial side of the business will now also be built up, he says.

Nicolaides says he is very optimistic about the future, having won the regional franchise for the East Rand which will operate under the name CENTURY21 Deal Design and cover Boksburg, Benoni, Brakpan and Kempton Park. His focus until now has been mainly commercial and industrial property but under the CENTURY 21 brand, he will open a residential division.

CENTURY 21 South Africa MD Colleen Gray says the competition attracted a "very strong" response countrywide, underlining the validity of the view that now is the time to position for an inevitable market upturn.

"Applications were received from across SA with the first response being received within the first hour of the competition's inception," she says.

"If we had any doubts about the impact it would have, they were rapidly dispelled. We were overwhelmed by the response and moreover, it's gratifying that we caught the attention of investors and other industry stakeholders.

"In fact we even had positive responses from opposition real estate groups who saw the competition as 'giving something back' to the industry at a time when conditions have never been more demanding."

The competition targeted strong independent principals, exceptional agents and smaller brands. Says Gray: "There are many deserving recipients out there who have the know-how, the business savvy and the acumen to grow their businesses and are keen to become part of a global brand, but who, for various reasons, are unable to take up a CENTURY21 franchise in the conventional way and we wanted to open the door for them to a bigger, better world of property marketing."

The winners were selected following a stringent judging process including an initial assessment, confirmation that they hold fidelity certificates and are registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board, and checks that they have strong market share in their respective areas of operation, strong listings books and sound market reputations.





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