The eLan Group has upgraded its European marketing presence with the official opening of a London office at Canary Wharf. The office is intended to compliment its existing sales teams in Majorca and Dubai.
Announcing the opening in Durban this week, CEO Mark Taylor justified the presence as eLan’s response to demand for information on the South African property market, which had “surged from superficial to deepening interest in the last two years.”
This had been fuelled by the country’s stability, still relatively low cost of property in world terms and the country’s presence at international property shows, primed to some extent by the élan Group proactive attitutude to overseas exposure. Global awareness from the country’s hosting of the World Soccer Cup in 2010 was also becoming a key factor.
eLan Group is currently marketing two major developments, Blythedale Coastal Resort and Simbithi Eco Estate, both on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. Combined completed value of the two developments is more than R6 billion.
Taylor says overseas buyers still comprise approximately 5% of eLan’s sales, but he is optimistic of this maturing to between 10-15% within the next two years underpinned by the finalisation of the contract for the King Shaka airport on the KZN north coast. Given the magnitude of the project he sees it paving the way for a massive boost to investment in the area. “We eagerly await the breaking of ground as we know the positive impact this is going to have on all of us who have invested in property on the North Coast as well as all those who plan to invest in the future”.
The eLan Group has recruited a number of larger overseas agencies to actively market Blythedale and Simbithi with large client networks in Britain, Ireland, Spain and Dubai. Their influence recently culminated in a R135m investment at Blythedale Coastal Resort from a single British based Investment Company who purchased a large portion of land units within the estate with the intention of sub developing post 2010.
In its effort of profiling South Africa abroad, the eLan Group recently initiated an International Media Trip where six of the top international property journalists from the UK were invited to SA. The journalists represented The Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times, Mail on Sunday and Place in the Sun Magazine. The initiative featured support from seven of South Africa’s top developers namely: Moreland Development, Zimbali, Global Property Investments, Eurocape, Val De Vie, Rabie Property Group and Stonebridge.
Taylor say s the trip showcased South Africa to the international media with the intention of branding the country as an overseas property buying destination and to give direct exposure to major regional developments.