Durban’s EG Cooper Estates announces franchising plans

Westville-based real estate group EG Cooper Estates has closed a record trading first-half year with the announcement of an expansion programme that includes an initial KZN franchising strategy.

Focus of growth is the Greater Durban Metropolitan area with branch-owned offices in Kloof, Berea and Hillcrest. The 16-year-old family owned company, which recently resigned from the Homenet group, currently has offices in Westville, lPinetown and Durban North with its head office in Westville.

Announcing the expansion, managing director Errol Cooper, said the company also intended overlapping into other areas abutting its current areas of operation. These included suburbs surrounding Pinetown and Durban North

The decision to expand follows the arrival of more national property franchising chains into Durban and several low-key approaches from non-estate agent linked inquiries into franchising opportunities. These were currently being followed up, but the initial priority was on the recruitment of staff and opening of company owned branches.

Cooper said the new franchising arrivals had spurred closer analysis of its operation with pleasing results. “In fact we were made aware that in we could match them in terms of technology, website marketing, client referral base and management systems and in fact were far better placed in having established markets and well-known brand awareness in our areas of operation.”

Franchising opportunities were being currently evaluated in terms of most suitable suburbs, as was an entrance into the commercial and industrial property markets.

Cooper, who launched the agency in 1989, believes the real estate industry is going through a fundamental shift toward favouring tightly knit niche franchising rather than the huge organisations.

“The reason for this essentially is that networking, because of the gains in technology, has become such a vibrant component of our industry. But instead of referring clients to often unknown colleagues the practice is to be highly selective and only use well-known contemporaries of the same culture and capable of guaranteeing the same level of service.”

EG Cooper Estates are launching in the livery colours of subdued burgundy with logos and image reflecting youthful, but vibrant lifestyle driven company.
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