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5 principles for success in property franchising

MAIN IMAGE: The winning team from Jawitz Properties South Peninsula, from left: Dan Kolnik, Deborah Kolnik, Harold Kolnik and Krystal Kolnik.

This year, like he did for the past four years, Harold Kolnik, the principal of Jawitz Properties South Peninsula, was awarded Jawitz Properties’ Franchise of the Year. He believes the limits of your imagination define the threshold of what you can achieve.

Kolnik runs a tight ship; but one that is brimming with depth of feeling, strong relationships, expertise knowledge and on-going innovation. He arrived in the then tiny hamlet of Scarborough 25 years ago and, as he says drily, “It has perked up since then”.

Kolnik has since built a property legacy in the South Peninsula. He runs their offices alongside his son, Dan, and daughter, Debbie. His daughter, Krystal, a consistent Achiever Awards winner, works out of the Long Beach Mall office, and his daughter-in-law, Mary-Anne Coates and her partner Marissa Massari, have established a new Jawitz satellite office in Noordhoek. Together, his team of 15 passionate professionals market property across the Peninsula from Simon’s Town to Kalk Bay, and from Kommetjie to Noordhoek and surrounds.

At the recent Jawitz Properties Achiever Awards ceremony, Kolnik and his team took home the Premier Club Partnership, Chairman’s Award for Highest Unit Sales Partnership (3rd place) for Dan and Debbie Kolnik; an Ooba Awards Top Rand Value and Pinnacle Club Solitaire award for Krystal Kolnik; and most importantly, Franchise of the Year 2018 Turnover and Units (1st Place) for Jawitz Properties South Peninsula.

Kolnik believes that there are five tenets of success to follow if you want to be successful in property franchising.

1. Partner with the right brand

It is essential to make sure that there’s a good fit with the property brand you choose to align yourself with. Kolnik says they’ve been with Jawitz for almost 11 years and he feels their culture, ideals and family values align completely. Also, the support is great. “There is a combination of corporate and family values, but you are still given the freedom to put your personal stamp on things,” he says.

If you’re thinking of going into property franchising, Kolnik recommends that you partner with a brand that provides back-up and training.

Another important aspect for Kolnik is that their brand is held in high regard as an ethical real estate company in an industry which has, at times, been tainted. “They expect their agents and franchisees to deliver high ethical standards and exceed clients’ expectations. The ultimate goal is for all of us to be held accountable,” he says.

2. Know your clients

Kolnik has been living in the South Peninsula for more than two decades and his children were born there – they’re part of the community. “It’s important to have in-depth knowledge of and a connection with your customers. We’ve also been here so long that we’ve seen the area evolve and develop to what it is now and clients can sense this innate knowledge of the locale.”

3. Get on board with the latest technology

Kolnik says that his team has been leaders in using technology and the web to market themselves for several years now. “We really make every effort to pick the right platforms and use techniques such as SEO to boost our content. We’re very active on social media and place a lot of value on it.” Internal IT and connectivity are also crucial, and they rely on the network so that no one works in isolation and they’re able to maximise referrals between their offices.

“We also been using drones for several years now to take photos of our properties. On the more traditional side, we distribute 15,000 copies of ‘The Buzz’ every second month. We include the tide charts, advertise our properties and promote fledgling businesses in the area. It’s important to pay it forward and support local entrepreneurship,” Kolnik says.

4. Know your market

Markets constantly change and Kolnik says they are all monitoring the impact of the changed economic and political reality. In this buyer’s market, sellers need to price their homes realistically to sell. “It is so important to be tactful and sensitive with sellers when conveying this message as the lower pricing of a home isn’t necessarily a consequence of the property – and what has or has not been done to it – it’s ultimately the market that determines the price.”

Immigration has once again become a factor and some of the international buyers are currently sitting on the fence due to the volatility and instability of SA’s economy. Rand for Rand it is still difficult to find comparable value in the Southern Suburbs, Atlantic Seaboard and the City Bowl, however, the value of homes in the South Peninsula has grown significantly in the last five to six years. The area is a mecca for surfers and beach-goers with a sophisticated infrastructure.

5. Employ the right people

Property is a career and your staff and family need to be fully-dedicated and sensitive to the changing market factors. They must have a love for people, be able to listen to the needs of their clients and have a passion for property and the area.

The property market is currently slower than in 2017 but according to Kolnik, there is no market in which sales can’t be made and they’re always looking for good consultants. “You need to partner with very good agents in such an environment. Our agents have all been with us for a very long time, so in essence, we’ve created another family. This has been a large part of our success.”

“I believe the limits of your imagination define the threshold of what you can achieve,” concludes Kolnik.

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