Estate agency group Aida has opened a new office in Florida on the West Rand, which brings the total of new franchises in the group this year to 24.
The office, situated in Matt office park in Roodepoort, will serve property buyers and sellers in Florida, Discovery, Horison, Ontdekkers Park, Lindhaven, Witpoortjie, Maraisburg and Robertvale.
The franchisee is Rusiano Tsoka, a Zimbabwean-born engineer and surveyor who has spent the better part of two decades in the employ of an SA mining house, and was prompted to enter the property market by the bright prospects he sees in the residential sector here.
"I foresee continued strong growth, underpinned by increasing numbers of the upcoming black middle class upgrading their homes and moving into the suburbs, as well as the development and investment taking place ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
"As a rookie in this industry, I looked at several franchise options, but chose Aida on the strength of the group taking top honours in the real estate category in a survey to find the best companies to work for in the country.
"Discussions with top management convinced me that the group can offer all the support and training necessary for a newcomer to open a franchise and be successful with it."
Tsoka says an analysis of the property market in Witpoortjie and Florida over the past two years reveals a lively market, supported by increasing numbers of buyers coming from the traditional townships. "About 60 percent of enquiries come from members of the new middle class wanting to move to the suburbs.
"Local property prices are very attractive to this group of buyers and they mostly target property costing between R300 000 and R1m."
Tsoka plans to open a satellite office serving Dobsonville and Kagiso early next year. "The wholesale exodus from these townships is creating a unique new market and we plan to fill the gap. We will grow our current complement of six trained agents to about 18 once the satellite office is up and running", he says.