Joff van Reenen is director and lead auctioneer for The High Street Auction Co, one of few property-specific auction houses in South Africa. He says a streak of lunacy is necessary to do his job.

“And if you don’t have it, get it fast.” The High Street Auction Co’s R96m Clifton sale in November 2016 set a record for the highest South African residential property auction. “Never underestimate the power of the local market. Despite a global campaign, it went to a local buyer who saw the advert on a bus stop while walking the dog,” says Van Reenen. Clare Weise, founder of jewellery brand Paka Paka and daughter of businessman Christo Weise, bought the Nettleton Ridge luxury villa. Van Reenen’s experience auctioning the former Kyalami Grand Prix racetrack at R205m in July 2014 also set new records. In 116 seconds he took the highest bid on a single property in South Africa from a local. Concludes Van Reenen: “Like any profession, you have to specialise. The warehouse stocked with cars and paintings is long gone.”