Seeff’s Elaine Chetty Advises Potential Property Investors

Under the ownership of Licensee Elaine Chetty, Seeff Richards Bay has grown prodigiously to become Seeff’s top rental branch in KwaZulu-Natal. With sales worth R115 million in 2014, Seeff Richards Bay saw a 35% increase in its year-on-year sales from 2012/13 to 2013/14.

Adding to the agency’s list of achievements this year, Elaine was recently placed as a top three finalist in this years’ Businesswoman of the Year Awards, under the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category for the BWA Zululand region. Elaine is not fond of the limelight, but hopes that her nomination may inspire other women to become entrepreneurs.

In a bid to empower those wishing to start investing in property, she shares her top five tips for doing so successfully.

“Firstly, real estate investing is a business, and you should treat it as such. Start by developing a good business plan, detailing the nuances of starting and running your business, with realistic goals over time frames of one, three, five and 10 years.

“Second, find a good bank or bond originator in your area if you’re financing your investments. You might want to do this even before you start your property search. If you’re paying cash, you’ll need to prove that you have the funds.

“Third, determine the best areas to look for properties. Some new investors make the mistake of limiting their search to areas close to their home, but often better rental areas may be located a little further away. New investors may think they need to live near their properties in case tenants call about repairs or other problems. In reality, if the home is put into good repair before your tenants move in, those calls from tenants should be few and far between.

“Fourth, find a good real estate agent to help you locate properties. Not all agents are experienced or even adept at helping investors. Make sure that you choose an agent who has sold a large number of investment properties, and also understands concepts such as return on investment, yields, and capital appreciation.

Fifth, learn from the best. To achieve success, model your investing decisions after what other successful real estate investors in your area have done. Above all, remember that like anything else, the harder you work and the more effort you put into your real estate investment business, the greater your ultimate reward will be over time.”

Seeff Richard Bay’s currently holds a market share of +/-19%, which is impressive given the fact that there are 42 real estate companies in the area. “At the end of the day, our purpose is to enable people to profit through property. It is a clear and worthy purpose and our team genuinely sees themselves enabling people to achieve this,” says Elaine.

“As a business owner I’m quite competitive so I expect my team to be so as well. As an entrepreneur my primary role is to guide each team member to achieving their true potential. We take in one learner (previously disadvantaged) annually to ensure transformation within our industry.”

She has words of warning for those not keeping up with the digital age. “We have seen our brand growing as a result of our engagement with the community on social media platforms and online portals. Businesses which don’t engage with their clients through platforms that their clients frequent will become dinosaurs. We launched a ‘Happy Richards Bay’ video last year and various other trend-setting promos via our social media platforms, which were hugely successful. We see ourselves as trendsetters and leaders in marketing property in our area.”

Contact Elaine Chetty, Seeff Richards Bay, on 083 513 5559; (O) 035 789 0490/1 email

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