Welcome to Property Professional’s speakers corner. Every week we get asked pertinent questions that pertain to the real estate industry and therefor is relevant to any real estate practitioner across all services. This is the place where we bring all these questions and answers together and make it available to our valued subscribers.

08 July 2021

This is how to buy in 2021 buyer’s market

It’s good news for first time property buyers because there’s never been a better time to buy property in South Africa than right now.

According to the latest Absa Homeowner sentiment Index, buying sentiment is the highest it’s been in six years, with 82% of respondents saying the current market makes this the most appropriate time to buy property.

“That has a lot to do with interest rates being the lowest they have been in five decades. The banks are also eager to lend, making it easier for first-time buyers to enter the market,” says Barrie Swart, Gumtree’s Head of Operations.

Before you make an offer on that property that you may have added to your wish list, here are a few first steps every house hunter should first consider.

1. Decide how much you’re willing to pay – and stick to it

While it may be your dream home, this doesn’t mean you should automatically offer the asking price. Make an offer that suits your budget, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a home you like if the seller is not willing to take an offer that fits within your pre-agreed maximum. The last thing you want, or need is to be left ‘house poor’ – that is, stuck with monthly repayments you can’t afford.

2. Think about how much space you really need

Bigger families, and those hoping to start a family in the future, would do well to invest in a home that offers enough space for everyone to co-exist comfortably. It’s also important to remember that smaller homes tend to be more affordable – the more square meterage your home covers, the bigger your monthly bills. Give this a little thought before making your decision.

3. Choose the best location for you

Property value is one important aspect when it comes to picking the neighbourhood you would like to live in. Other factors to consider include how safe the area is (you can chat to residents of the area or opt for gated communities or security-controlled complexes) and whether there are good schools nearby for children to attend. Having easy access to main roads and freeway on-ramps will also save you from being stuck in traffic.

4. Fixer-upper or simply move in?

If you have the time, patience, and spare cash to turn an older home with a solid structure into the home of your dreams, then by all means, go for it! However, not everyone has the time or patience for renovations and upgrades. Having to retile a bathroom or replace dated kitchen cabinetry seems simple but can quickly become stressful if you aren’t ready to take on a project that may require a lot of your time, energy and money.

5. Think about the deal-breakers

For some, having a big kitchen with loads of storage space is a must, while others might not want to compromise on the amount of garden space their new home offers for kids to play and the family to spend quality time outdoors. If you’re after some peace and quiet, proximity to busy streets, stadiums or nightclubs would be red flags. Make a list of the deal-breakers and what you’re willing to compromise on and give some thought to these items before signing on the dotted line.

There’s no denying the property market is ripe for the picking now and, once you’ve taken these tips into consideration, all that’s left to do is find your new home. Gumtree has a home for everyone! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) to start your search.

01 July 2021

International alliance condemns SA government’s anti-property rights expropriation policy

An international alliance of 33 civil society groups from 28 countries endorsed an open letter to the people of South Africa, declaring its solidarity with them against the South African government’s disastrous plan to amend section 25 of the country’s Constitution to allow for the confiscation, and now even nationalisation, of private property without compensation.

In February 2018, South Africa’s Parliament committed itself to adopting an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution to allow the government to “expropriate” property without the necessary requirement to compensate. By June 2021, this process to amend the Constitution reached an advanced stage, with an ordinary piece of legislation, the Expropriation Bill, already prepared for the technical implementation of confiscation. There are further plans to allow government to nationalise all fixed property if it chooses to do so.

The letter is an initiative of the Property Rights Alliance (PRA), an international network of think tanks and associations that publishes the widely cited International Property Rights Index on an annual basis. The PRA also acts as an advocacy group and think tank committed to the protection of physical, legal and intellectual property rights around the world. They are based in Washington, DC USA and are affiliated to Americans for Tax Reform Foundation.

“Property rights are the backbone of any free society. Removing property rights means removing the most important guarantee of freedom for each person. Property rights are the lighthouse of any democracy,” says Lorenzo Montanari, Executive Director of the PRA.

“We thank the PRA and every signatory of the letter for their solidarity with the people of South Africa, who by now have exhausted all avenues for reasonable discourse with government to get it to abandon this ill-fated policy,”, adds Chris Hattingh, Deputy Director of the Free Market Foundation, the PRA’s partner in South Africa.

The letter recounts the denial of property rights during the colonial and apartheid eras in South Africa’s history, and how the adoption of section 25 of the Constitution marked a positive, radical departure from this legacy. Government is required by section 25 to not only respect property rights, but also promote and expand property rights to those who were denied it. Amending the provision to do away with the internationally accepted principle of compensation upon expropriation weakens the right to property unacceptably and harkens back to an apartheid mindset.

Amending section 25 will dilute the property rights of all citizens and will not solve the country’s current land reform challenges. “The government programme seeks to appeal to populism to mask the failure of the government to release state land for personal and commercial use,” notes the letter.

South Africa’s investment potential, human development, economic freedom, and constitutional legitimacy will suffer if the government persists with its confiscation plans.

“The people of South Africa should be supported not only by sympathetic organisations around the world, but also by the international community of nations. The world rejected authoritarianism in South Africa in the last century, and must do so again,” says the PRA’s Montanari.

24 June 2021

Turn to your agent for answers to your property questions

Despite the growing consumer interest in property investment, most South Africans who own property will deal with estate agents on only a handful of occasions, when they actually buy or sell a home.

However, says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, owners should aim to make trusted “consultants” out of their agents and interact with them much more frequently.

“A qualified professional agent giving unbiased and disinterested advice, free from any pressure to sell, or upgrade to a more expensive property, is the right person to help owners make decisions which will protect and improve the value of their investment.”

For example, he says, a property professional can help you to resolve the common question of whether to move to a new home when you need more space or stay put and improve or extend your current property.

“Adding on may seem like the logical answer when the disruption of moving is taken into account, on top of the costs of selling and relocating. In the past year, the pandemic has of course also caused many more owners to consider altering their homes to create more space for working or studying from home in comfort. But this may not actually be the most financially prudent decision if the cost of the additions would lift the value of the home beyond the current price range of most other properties in the area.

“This is sometimes called overcapitalisation, and it is risky because it means the property owner would probably lose money if a sale suddenly became necessary for an unforeseen reason like a job loss. In fact, most owners should really only consider extensive alterations if they are pretty certain they will be staying on in their home for at least the next five to 10 years.”

Kotzé says that before making a decision about additions or alterations, you should ask a professional agent to examine your plans and cost estimates and then compare the current value of your property with the recent sale prices of other homes in the area to see how much you might be able to spend before hitting the price ceiling for your area.

“This amount is likely to increase when the demand from potential buyers exceeds the supply of homes for sale, and property prices in the area are on a healthy upward trend, but will of course be constrained if there is more supply than demand and property prices are staying flat.

“If that is the case, it will usually be more prudent to move than to alter an existing home, and this partly explains why (according to StatsSA) the value of residential additions and alterations that were completed in the first four months of this year only showed a 7,5% increase compared to the same period of 2020, even though the value of building plans passed for additions and alterations during the same period was 38,8% up.

“However, there is another really important factor mitigating against alterations at the moment and that is the very low interest rates, which are making it much easier financially for homeowners who need more space to simply move to a bigger property and not worry about the dust and noise and disruption that inevitably comes with building activity.”

He notes that with interest rates currently at 50-year lows, many homeowners are also contemplating fixing their home loan interest rate or perhaps refinancing their property to release sleeping equity.

“But once again, they should first refer to a property professional who has access to a wide range of information and expertise that will make it easier to decide the best course of action.

“What is more, homeowners should not hesitate to approach agents for this type of advice, because good agents are not only interested in property sales and purchases, but in building long-term relationships with their clients.”

17 June 2021

Intersection between youth unemployment and real estate sector

Having just celebrated Youth Day this week, experts in the industry advises the youth to venture into this sector of the South African industry. Founder and principal of real estate agency Snooks Estates Matseleng Mogodi urged the youth in the unemployment line to consider the real estate sector as an alternative and embrace the vast opportunities.

In recent years one of the constant challenges for the youth in South Africa has been the rampant unemployment rate which has seen many unskilled and even skilled young people struggling to enter the job market and contribute to the economy.  By research some industries in the marketplace are either too saturated or cannot sufficiently absorb young talent which then leaves them in the quagmire of unemployment; however the real estate sector provides an opportunity for unemployed youth to maximize the opportunities available, which range from internal to external services and link back to one being able to be self-employed or after having received enough mentoring and knowledge end up running their own real estate agency.

According to Statistics South Africa which released the latest unemployment data on 1st June 2021, the rate of unemployment increased by 0,1% percentage points to 32,6% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to quarter 4 of 2020 with the rate of joblessness in South Africa remaining to about 7.2 million in the first quarter of 2021. These figures can be further attributed to there being a massive skills gap amongst the youth, whether formally educated or not and thus the real estate sector being broad as it is, provides the platform to at least attempt to reduce these numbers.

Furthermore, with more than half (52,3%) of the 7.2 million unemployed persons having had education levels of below matric and only 7,5% of those having other tertiary qualifications, the founder and principal of real estate agency Snooks Estates Matseleng Mogodi is urging the youth in the unemployment line to consider the real estate sector as an alternative “from what I have observed over the last 23 years of being active in real estate is that the opportunities are vast and keep evolving for the youth to explore, with one of them being an agent who can build and grow themselves to be an entrepreneur who can solve complex problems within the sector, as the industry is largely commission based” she says.

Nevertheless, the real estate sector provides various careers under it which young people can explore whether skilled or unskilled as the industry incubates the unemployed with various internship programs being introduced from time as Mogodi further elaborates “internship and learnership opportunities are a constant  feature in real estate, and from the young people that I have taken in full time during this course, have been efficient and some grabbed the opportunities presented to them, even to that extent of others helping in introducing innovative solutions that have aided Snooks Estates as a business and brand with a prime example being the virtual client services system for clients to be able to connect with Snooks Estates far more efficiently” she says.

With unemployment largely concentrated on the youth aged between 15 to 24 years, with a rate of 63,2% and those aged between 25 and 34 with a rate of 41,2% the careers available within the real estate are include, being a residential property agent which is common, a commercial agent, a leasing consultant, a commercial leasing manager, a foreclosure specialist and corporate real estate manager to mention but a few, with some of them being utilized either simultaneously or individually.

In combating youth unemployment, what the real estate sector further teaches people is the ability to sell, which is at its core, whether it is a service or even a house, this is an essential skill which also speaks to one carrying an entrepreneurial mind-set which is much needed within the real estate sector for survival, and also speaks to how one is able to differentiate themselves from other property practitioners within the marketplace as it is a very competitive industry and thus requires adequate brand positioning from an individual either entering or already operating within the sector.

Mogodi also stressed the importance of mentorship within real estate as young talent is being absorbed and as a principal over years she has witnessed the importance of guiding young people who are eager to learn and make something of themselves within the sector and as evidence some of the mentees have gone on to either open their own real estate firms or have gone to work in the corporate environment of an established property organisation.

In addition, Mogodi further mentions that since the government has unfortunately not been able to create sufficient jobs for the youth in South Africa as well as her worry about the state of the youth, and how things would look like in 5 or 10 years now. She encourages young people to stand up as they have seen that certain ways of fighting the system work temporarily, but working on themselves and build from there, the question then would be, what do young people want and what are they willing to do to get it?.

Finally, with unemployment being declared a national emergency by government in 2021, it is then imperative that the real estate sector, with particular focus on real estate agencies must ensure the employment quality is of the highest standard as many young people entering the marketplace tend to struggle with this. Research from the Global Employment Trends For Youth Report for 2017 has further found that while finding employment is a major concern, the quality of jobs remains a prominent challenge, as many young people who have acquired employment are still unable to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, as their jobs are often informal, thus they have no legal or social protection.

10 June 2021

Ramaphosa opposes custodianship of land

Although the current debate about the ongoing processes to get land reform in South Africa sorted does not have a direct impact on estate agents, if will in due course affect their operations as well. It will influence prices and the willingness to sell or buy land.

President Ramaphosa rejects the idea that the State should be custodian of all the land in South Africa

South Africans were last week warned about the serious ramifications of the proposals put forward by the ANC and EFF for the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of property without compensation (EWC). The deliberations in the Parliamentary Ad-Hoc Committee that has been considering the text of the amendment, raised serious alarm bells. These included:

  • the suggestion of land custodianship (with the State being the custodian of all land, including private land, in South Africa), removal of the 1913 cut-off date for land and redistribution claims (to make provision for such claims to go back earlier),
  • the use of nil or zero compensation (for expropriated property)
  • and a severely diminished role for the courts when determining issues related to expropriation of property.

The issue in the negotiations between ANC and EFF that caused most concern was an EFF proposal that the state should assume custodianship of all land in the country. The EFF threatened that it would “withdraw its support to amend section 25 of the constitution, or the property clause, should the ANC not back its calls to place all land under custodianship of the state”.

The EFF and ANC appeared to be moving closer to an agreement when the ANC agreed that the state would “take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable state custodianship and for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.”

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a press conference in Cape Town on Thursday last week that he was opposed to state custodianship over land in South Africa. He said that “state custodianship equals nationalisation, and that is not what the dispossessed want” and added that “the negotiations between the ANC and the EFF were not exclusive and that the ANC remained open to negotiating with other parties”. He also confirmed that “South Africa is a constitutional democracy, and no one can gainsay the role of the courts.”

On Friday the National Assembly extended the Ad-Hoc Committee’s term until the end of August – by which time it must present its proposal for the amendment of Section 25. While effective land reform is mandated by the Constitution most experts – including former Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson and the ANC’s own High-Level Panel – were of the opinion that land reform could be achieved without amending section 25.

Although the President’s recent statement is welcome – the question remains why the ANC is so intent on amending the principal constitutional protection for the property rights of all South Africans?

20 May 2021

What advice would you give an estate agent who is being bullied by another agent not to advertise in ‘their’ area? For more on this read the following letter:

Dear Editor, I would really appreciate some direction here. I was harassed by an estate agent to such an extent that I had to block her number on my phone. She phoned my client when my listing (sole mandate) went up on Prop24 and Private Property. I did nothing, because I have promised myself that I will never be “one of those agents” who does not allow other agents their place in the sun. I have heard about this type of agents before I started this journey, but nothing could prepare me for this (from insults to threats for hours long).

After my client explained to her that this was a sole mandate (which she was fully aware of) and that she was welcome to phone the agent, she did just that. She demanded that I do a 50/50 share with her, because she has a client who is interested (which never came to light).

I requested that she give me a week to take my own clients through and then she can bring her “hot buyer” through after we discussed the split. After that I never heard from her again, until yesterday.

My mistake was that I contacted the other owners in the same complex in which I just sold this property in under 3 weeks (I also attached my client’s testimonial).

Unfortunately, she was also an owner in the complex, which I only realized later.

She threatened me that she will make sure I never work in the industry again. She said she has reported me to the EAAB and Tribunal for contacting the owners (which she actually did herself by contacting my client). She asked others to contact me with messages, and the story goes on.

What do I do to find out if her threats were just that, or if she now reported me as she said? What will the consequences be for me as an intern agent if she did what she said? Surely I will have the chance to explain and present my evidence?

I would appreciate your assistance on the way forward.

13 May 2021

It’s a lot easier to teach an intern agent that has had some exposure to the industry. Why can’t the EAAB develop a basic real estate theory course? Asks broker/owner Charles Haigh.

It’s all well and good pushing industry for transformation. [However,] imposing impractical regulations and punitive measures for non-compliance [does not make sense when] the very bodies that are doing all the insisting, are also doing the least to assist small businesses with the challenges of training/coaching/mentorship of intern agents.

The reason why agencies put interns through the first year before enrolling them for theoretical training is because of the high churn factor. Also, it’s a lot easier cramming in the qualification once an agent has had some exposure to the industry and is familiar with terminology and “agent speak”.

The qualification is way too daunting for anyone who knows absolutely nothing about it. Isikolo does good work and our agency has enrolled many agents with them but the NQF 4 qualification does not cater for absolute beginners, that’s the theory the agency is encumbered with. Why can’t the EAAB offer basic real estate theory courses to the public as a pre-requisite to the NQF 4 enrolment?

Commission-only qualified agents in all honesty do not have the time to “hold hands” with interns and have their markets disrupted. Principals and managers can only be in one place with one intern at a time supervising a transaction. Small businesses generally do not have “managers”. It’s a conundrum really. Powers that be…step up to the plate please!

06 May 2021

Pre-qualification as a prerequisite, a shorter internship period and a new curriculum is the way to rescue the intern training situation writes principal Leon Spies.

Let me tackle this topic from the top.

First of all, suitable candidates will not necessarily find the training requirements onerous, but I agree with Samuel that the internship/logbook plus NQF4 is unnecessary. And 6 months plus NQF4 is more than enough in my view for an internship.

But, proper qualification is important because the industry is awash with incompetent, unethical, and uneducated people presenting themselves as professionals. Whether there is a qualification standard that can eliminate this is indeed debatable.

The reason there are so many “unqualified” and “unqualifiable” agents is mainly because estate agencies need agents to do the “dirty” work i.e. get listings.

And the biggest culprits in fuelling this drive to engage more people to become “agents” are the big franchises (no names, no pack drills).

Secondly, we have a bloated and criminally inefficient governing body in the name of the EAAB.

And they fool themselves if they think they can eliminate about 50% of interns because they did not qualify in time. Anybody who has bothered to look at the EAAB financials will tell you that this bloated organisation cannot survive without these annual renewal fees unless they double it for the remaining qualified agents.

Thirdly, with all due respect, the content of the NQF4 curriculum is “pathetic” to say the least. A large chunk of it is completely irrelevant (costing for example is only really relevant to the manufacturing environment), outdated and poorly laid out. The same pieces of “facts” appear in many different parts of the notes.
The NQF4 (and NQF5) material should be scrapped and redeveloped entirely. By a suitably qualified academic/person who can write proper study material (if you don’t mind).

I want to tie this in with Rebosa’s suggestion that a person can do the studying without first having to register as an intern. This should become a prerequisite to entering the “profession”. It will also make life easier for principals as far as practical training is concerned because you can start with all NQF4 interns from the same baseline.

So, in summary: pre-qualification as a prerequisite, shorter internship period and new curriculum/study material is the way to rescue this situation. And, the EAAB needs to be dismantled and reorganised into a functional organisation.

29 April 2021

Mentorship boils down to accountability – with respect to both the principal/mentor and the intern writes Marita Meyer in response to ‘Failure in mentorship: elephant in the room?’.

Marita Meyer

Mentorship boils down to accountability. Both the principal and/or mentor and the intern should clearly understand where mentorship starts, and what it entails, both in terms of time and money.

No mentor can afford to spend all their time mentoring without any monetary return, or the safeguard that an intern will grow and become AND STAY an asset for the agency.

Very few interns understand the commitment required from the word go, as well as the continued personal checklists they have to apply to become a successful agent in the shortest time possible.

It would therefore be advisable to have a standardized mentorship checklist being applied throughout the industry, forming part of the intern contract and training requirements, with legal implications for the agency not fulfilling their contract with any intern.

There is a saying that goes something like “good idea, just a pity it didn’t work” which can be applied to in-between agencies wanting to expand but not having the funds, systems or manpower to invest in proper intern training.


Linda Marais

I have learned that the principal of the real estate business is in charge of the business on all aspects, also when you have interns in your office.

The intern is actually supposed to stick to the principal - this way, during listings, marketing, conversation in office and with buyers and sellers, writing rental or offer to purchase, the intern is learning to act the correct way.

I have been an estate agent since 1996 and it is not easy, but because I love my job and enjoy selling property, I am always eager to learn. and still in business. I have a good mentor / principal who taught me the right way.

You cannot force this industry upon young people, who have no interest in learning the selling business. It is either in your personality or not.

It is of no use, forcing young people into an industry, just because of race or colour. I do not understand, why, with this being a democratic country since 1994, there are still people hammering on this. The people who are interested in the real estate industry will come forward and join our industry.

22 April 2021

Principals have a critical role to play in intern development but mostly this is not happening. How do we fix this because if we don’t nothing will change writes Jim Alexander.

While a lot of what is said in ‘Will new regulations simplify estate agent training?’ is accurate, the one main point that is missing is the critical role the principal is supposed to play in intern development. I say, ‘supposed to play’, because the common denominator amongst the interns I have facilitated through NQF4 over the past 5 years is an almost compete lack of support from their principal.

Who is responsible for intern development if not the principal?

Who is responsible for allowing ‘career interns’ to continue working in our industry? The principal.

Can somebody point me in the right direction to where I can find any official job description of principal training in how to develop interns?

I agree with Leon that in many cases, it is a numbers game. There appears to be little to no attempt to screen applicants. Most of the interns I engage with on NQF4-LU1, some of whom have been operating as an agent for quite some time, have no idea that we have a code of conduct and have never been on the EAAB website. They are clueless and it’s not their fault. It’s the principals!!


We can complain about the EAAB.

We can complain about the NQF4 material.

We can complain about career interns.

We can complain about the fact that there is ‘too much for an intern to do’.

And we can talk about transformation. But fixing any or all of these without addressing the ‘elephant’, will mean that nothing much will change.

Therefore, my question is ‘How do we fix the poor quality of principalship?

As an aside, there is nothing clearly stated in the SAQA regulations that prevents anyone from enrolling for NQF4 before joining any agency or applying for an FFC.

Rebosa, please correct me if I’m wrong.

15 April 2021

A proper qualification is important for an estate agent but the current training programme needs a serious overhaul writes Leon Spies in commentary on ‘Will new regulations simplify estate agent training?

Let me tackle this topic from the top.

First, suitable candidates will not necessarily find the training requirements onerous, but I agree with Samuel that the internship/logbook plus NQF4 is unnecessary. And 6 months plus NQF4 is more than enough in my view for an internship.

But, a proper qualification is important because the industry is awash with incompetent, unethical, and uneducated people presenting themselves as professionals. Whether there is a qualification standard that can eliminate this is indeed debatable.

The reason there are so many “unqualified” and “unqualifiable” agents is mainly because estate agencies need agents to do the “dirty” work i.e. get listings.

And, the biggest culprits in fuelling this drive to engage more people to become “agents” are the big franchises (no names, no pack drills).

Secondly, we have a bloated and criminally inefficient governing body in the name of the EAAB.

And they fool themselves if they think they can eliminate about 50% of interns because they did not qualify in time. Anybody who has bothered to look at the EAAB financials will tell you that this bloated organisation cannot survive without these annual renewal fees unless they double it for the remaining qualified agents.

Thirdly, with all due respect, the content of the NQF4 curriculum is “pathetic” to say the least. A large chunk of it is completely irrelevant (costing for example is only really relevant to the manufacturing environment), outdated and poorly laid out. The same pieces of “facts” appear in many different parts of the notes.
The NQF4 (and NQF5) material should be scrapped and redeveloped entirely. By a suitably qualified academic/person who can write proper study material (if you don’t mind).

I want to tie this in with Rebosa’s suggestion that a person can do the studying without first having to register as an intern. This should become a prerequisite to entering the “profession”. It will also make life easier for principals as far as practical training is concerned because you can start with all NQF4 interns from the same baseline.

So, in summary: pre-qualification as a prerequisite, shorter internship period and new curriculum/study material is the way to rescue this situation.

And the EAAB needs to be dismantled and reorganised into a functional organisation.

08 April 2021

Registering new interns with the Estate Agency Affairs Board is also a nightmare writes Harry van der Linde.

Registering new intern estate agents is also a nightmare! We registered a new agent online and got the reference number to make the payment. From there it was a nightmare again to get the FFC issued.

Why? Because the payments are not allocated and it was lost in their IT nightmare somehow. I logged a couple of queries but those are never responded to or resolved.

So, there are many services (emails) that one never gets any reaction from. We are blatantly ignored by our regulator in trying to comply with legislation. If they are not functioning at the office, they are surely not functioning from home.

I wonder who gets the contract to deep clean those offices every time? ?

CPD – Still not able to because we ‘haven’t paid’. And we paid them in March 2020 already. Without getting any invoice from them. Shocking!

This regulator is seriously not delivering the service that we need from them. It needs to be started from scratch with new people that want to work.

01 April 2021

Please can you maybe help with advice regarding the 2021 CPD points and payment? Shaun Uys asks.

Normally we have to pay by the end of March every year for our CPD programme and the 2020 CPD payment was waived. I never paid for the 2020 programme and the people that did pay have been told those fees will go towards their 2021 programme which is understandable.

There are 3 days before the end of the month and the CPD for the EAAB is still down.

What do we do? I don’t want to pay, and nothing happens, and no one answers the phone at the EAAB, and I don’t want to pay a fine either.

Please if you can help in any way that would be great.

Many thanks

Editor comments: Dear Shaun, the EAAB did announce last year that CPD fees for 2020 will be waived and that those that did pay for it, will not have to pay again in 2021. The date to complete e-learrning and obtain the requisite points has been extended to 30 June. There has been no mention of the payment date but the EAAB’s recent invoices to estate agents have 16 March as the due date for payment of CPD fees. The sad fact is that currently no-one can access the CPD e-learning portal as the regulator is experiencing technical difficulties with its IT system. No indication has been given so far when the situation is expected to be resolved. The latest communique from the EAAB asked estate agents not to try to access the CPD portal until the technical error is resolved. The regulator promised to issue another statement once the CPD portal will be up and running again.

25 March 2021

It seems to her the High Court ruling only orders the EAAB to issue outstanding FFCs to estate agents listed on Rebosa’s court application. What about others with the same problem? asks Moira Wingate.

The maladministration of EAAB affairs is an on-going problem It is noted that only named individuals and agencies are affected by the order. Has Property Professional any advice regarding the resolution of queries which are holding up the issuing of permits.
Generally, the EAAB advises that the matter will be dealt with by (a nominated person) who will contact you when the system has been restored There is no further communication and visits to the EAAB offices take the matter no further as the documents must first be downloaded and this cannot happen until the system is operational.
In the meantime, the agency is not issued with a certificate notwithstanding that the annual licence fees have been paid and the audit report was filed in June each year.

Editor’s comments: Dear Moira, you are not alone. According to Rebosa there could still be as many as 16 000 outstanding FFCs. Rebosa will assist all members free of charge, queries must be logged on rebosa.co.za.

18 March 2021

Despite their dismal service record the Estate Agency Affairs Board is an inescapable part of life in real estate in South Africa as the law is on their side writes Deon.

I have been the broker principal of my own boutique commercial brokerage company for the past 19 years. For all these years there have always been major issues with licensing and many other associated issues I do not want to reach into now.
There used to be EAAB roadshows which was attended by many brokers who wanted to use their attendances as an opportunity to air their grievances. The response was always promises to improve, or denials.
About 8 years ago I was without a FFC for almost 1-1 1/2 years because of a simple error of miscommunication. I was penalized for not submitting my audited trust account. After about 36 emails and I do not know how many calls for help and resubmitting the 2 years’ audit accounts, it eventually came to light that the auditor submitting the trust account must be independent from the one doing the books of the company. Which was immediately corrected.
To this day I am not sure if there is a condition like that, or if it was just an excuse. But the wasted time, aggravation and energy that was spent by myself and the EAAB staff was so unnecessary. After that I just decided to have as little to do with the organization as possible. Unfortunately, the law is on their side and they are inescapable.

Moira Wingate

We have been in communication with the EAAB both by communication and by visits to the campus up to the time of lockdown when our emailed communications recommenced. Almost a year has passed since the EAAB provided us with the name of the person who had been appointed to deal with our issue as soon as the system has been restored. We receive no response to emails and have noted that the senior staff who previously dealt with issues have now delegated the issues to more junior staff members.

During our visits, we have communicated with audit staff who have expressed concerns about compliance and with the relaxations related to the upliftment programme.

We would appreciate the opportunity of joining any class action which might be brought.

There are other elements which should not be ignored. These include the number of staff being employed and the manner in which the funds generated from estate agents are being spent.

Twenty years ago, all of the additional compulsory payments were not applicable and yet the EAAB was run efficiently. It is important that the annual financial statements be made available to estate agents within a reasonable time after the end of each financial year.

Shaman Balraj

The online platform was a total mess. We did the pre-liminary checks earlier in the week, did a test run example and conformed to exactly what they wanted. It looked pretty straightforward.

We logged in at 8:10am, no exam available on the dashboard. We waited till 9am thinking we are too early, but by 9:50 confidence was fading away. Both of us tried several times, in fact non-stop and no answer from the EAAB office nor the IT department. We sent emails to both the EAAB and their IT staff and got zero response. So, we said nothing is happening, let’s drive to Sandton to their office. My first question to them was if their phones work, apparently they do but you can never get through. What about the other candidates that couldn’t drive there to resolve their issues?

After providing them with the necessary details, and about 30/40 mins later, we were loaded onto their system and were able to start the test. It seems like all the candidates weren’t captured, what a mess! Despite having emailed them and confirming that you are accepted for the exam.

Then in the exam, some questions that I skipped for later, I could not return to them despite still having the available time according to their clock. There were glitches on their system.

Covid is too convenient an excuse, we need to buckle up and start living again, give us an option to write at a venue if you can not provide proper IT online.

11 March 2021

The PDE exam fiasco is just the latest instance where the Estate Agency Affairs Board has, yet again, failed the industry they are mandated to regulate and support. Why don’t they answer their calls or respond to emails?

Moira Wingate

We have been in communication with the EAAB both by communication and by visits to the campus up to the time of lockdown when our emailed communications recommenced. Almost a year has passed since the EAAB provided us with the name of the person who had been appointed to deal with our issue as soon as the system has been restored. We receive no response to emails and have noted that the senior staff who previously dealt with issues have now delegated the issues to more junior staff members.

During our visits, we have communicated with audit staff who have expressed concerns about compliance and with the relaxations related to the upliftment programme.

We would appreciate the opportunity of joining any class action which might be brought.

There are other elements which should not be ignored. These include the number of staff being employed and the manner in which the funds generated from estate agents are being spent.

Twenty years ago, all of the additional compulsory payments were not applicable and yet the EAAB was run efficiently. It is important that the annual financial statements be made available to estate agents within a reasonable time after the end of each financial year.

Shaman Balraj

The online platform was a total mess. We did the pre-liminary checks earlier in the week, did a test run example and conformed to exactly what they wanted. It looked pretty straightforward.

We logged in at 8:10am, no exam available on the dashboard. We waited till 9am thinking we are too early, but by 9:50 confidence was fading away. Both of us tried several times, in fact non-stop and no answer from the EAAB office nor the IT department. We sent emails to both the EAAB and their IT staff and got zero response. So, we said nothing is happening, let’s drive to Sandton to their office. My first question to them was if their phones work, apparently they do but you can never get through. What about the other candidates that couldn’t drive there to resolve their issues?

After providing them with the necessary details, and about 30/40 mins later, we were loaded onto their system and were able to start the test. It seems like all the candidates weren’t captured, what a mess! Despite having emailed them and confirming that you are accepted for the exam.

Then in the exam, some questions that I skipped for later, I could not return to them despite still having the available time according to their clock. There were glitches on their system.

Covid is too convenient an excuse, we need to buckle up and start living again, give us an option to write at a venue if you can not provide proper IT online.

04 March 2021

There is room for innovation within the real estate rental market, but she’s not so sure that it lies with Property24 writes Pat Manzella of Manzella Estates

I wish to start by acknowledging that there is room for innovation within the real estate “rental market”, not sure it’s a P24 domain. That said, it’s why we at Manzella Estates includes the cost of eviction with every tenant we place.

However back to P24’s rental offering. In simplicity, don’t get mad, get even. To landlords we offer the following: Once you are done waiting for a tenant, come to us, after placing a tenant we will refund you your R1795 P24 fee.

Why so confidant? Residential rental vacancies are at an all-time high. Finding a quality tenant is an art and comes with years of experience and actual people, not a digital interface or a call centre. Having a computer sifting tenants, you might just wait a lifetime in the current economy. If you are ready for a rental call at 9:00pm on a Sunday night, you could win. Then there are the legal requirements a landlord needs to adhere too. When are you going to show the rental, on a Saturday? Not only will you lose 60% of the opportunity, the alternative is the cost of taking time off work.

While P24 claims to own the market, you will have to pay to list on other portals as well. If not, you will be excluded from an additional 40% potential tenant pool. In closure I will remind you, “Residential rental vacancies are at an all-time high”, now calculate the actual cost of P24’s offering. Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish, long live the rental agent!

25 February 2021

In his opinion the South African real estate industry is currently being undermined by two very powerful players; the EAAB and Property24, writes Andre Kiley, real estate principal.

It is hugely ironic that both these threats are funded by our hard-earned income. Both have interests that are in conflict with our own, but we continue to feed them. While the EAAB is a problem through gross incompetence, the situation with Property24 is more insidious, as it is efficient and it is now bordering malevolent.

I see Property24 posing as a friend to the South African property industry, but it is a wolf dressed as a sheep. One needs to only Google “Zillow” in the USA and “Rightmove” in the UK to identify the concerns we should have with Property24 and why we should, as the real estate industry, be very concerned about being complacent.

It’s apparent to me that Property24 is not just planning to perpetuate itself as an increasing drain on profits from estate agencies by abusing its dominant position, but will increasingly exploit new and confrontational opportunities, inserting itself into the real estate transactional process between the property owner and the buyer or tenant to the detriment of estate agents and service to the consumer.

Is it now the time to take collective action? We simply bleat like sheep even while the wolf is revealing its intentions. We have got used to its presence and too many sheep have concluded it “just wants to be friends”.

Well, we should remember how the story goes, “Well Grandma what big teeth you have?” We all know the fate of Grandma! What we need now is to ring the village bell for a meeting to choose some hunters. The real estate industry must react to this threat and not be distracted by the detestable and ‘more obvious’ EAAB. The EAAB is part of a bigger government problem but Property24 exists through how we spend our money. The tail is shaking the dog… for now!

This letter was originally published on the Facebook group Western Cape – Estate Agents and is republished here with the author’s permission. Editor.

18 February 2021

Smaller independent agencies have all the advantages but none of the disadvantages that the bigger agencies have, writes Ian Peach in reaction to ‘Smaller agencies have a role in ‘new normal’’.

Smaller, independent agencies are gaining strength. They have all the advantages, but none of the disadvantages that the bigger agencies have.

We are a small independent agency in the Alberton area, and our service is as professional and probably more friendly than larger agencies. We have no franchisor that we report to, so we operate more cost effectively than a franchise. On the same note, we have nobody dictating in what area we may or may not operate. The fact that we are not paying franchise fees enables us to be more competitive on our commission structures. We can negotiate lower commission fees, without having to answer to a demanding franchisor. We have the same exposure and advertise on the same platforms as the big brands. Our agents are more knowledgeable as they do their own advertising and administrative work, they do not simply take an offer and hand it over to an admin department that runs with it thereafter. Our agents stay close to the clients from start to finish and build sound relationships.

Don’t underestimate the advantages of being small, buoyant and independent. Our service levels and reputation are as good, or better than any other agency out there.

11 February 2021

The Estate Agency Affairs Board has got to get this right. Estate agents have had enough of being frustrated to get their new FFC’s by 1 January whether they are interns, estate agents or principals.

My name is Tereza Barnard, I am an estate agent in Howick, KZN. I paid for my FFC before October 31st 2020, and despite numerous requests and phone calls, all with reference numbers, am given the story about the ‘backlog’, despite the fact that my payment has been received and all documentation is in order! I honestly do not know what to do any more, this is an absurd situation.

Also, I paid the R2000 for CPD points early in 2020, and now, apparently, I have until June 2021 to get in my CPD points, I would presume this would be by means of e-learning, which also is presenting great difficulties in accessing?

So, my question would be, to stay compliant, where to from here? Thank you

Mike Spencer

Just ask any new intern agent what hell they have to go through to obtain their FFC’s. Please explain to me how I am, as the principal, supposed to provide a reference number for an intern application!

While we are at it why do new agents not receive a copy of the Code of Conduct?

In the past two out of three years I have had to drive from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg to sort out FFC’s. When I get there, they cannot tell me why they have not been issued. Eventually the cashier tells us that there is an extra fee because we are “too big”.

I have not received my principal FFC for one of the companies I am a principal of. I have enquired and received confirmation of my request and then …

We should return to the situation where IEASA ran the registration. Far more effective and efficient.

An intern agent has been trying to register since February 2020. In November an FFC was sent to him with a different person’s surname. He is trying again. It’s taken nearly a year to register as an agent.

I submitted my mandatory self-audit online. The screen went blank when I pressed submit. I was contacted in December and told that I did not submit the self-audit. I responded with the date and time frame when I did it as my office analytics can prove that I was working on it in that time frame. No response to my email.

It is impossible to be compliant. Am I going to be forced to stop trading because of the governing body’s inefficiencies?


The EAAB is just totally incompetent and the CEO has continually misstated the facts about the FFC situation since the first date she was in office. She doesn’t take any responsibility for the MASSIVE shortcomings of this draconian organisation.

It is totally unacceptable if even 1 agent do not get their FFC on time, never mined 3% of agents, which she seems to think is okay!? REALLY

It took me more than 4 months and about 10 emails just to get them to unlock the 2020 CPD E-learning for me.
If this was private practice she would have been fired long ago, but being a government institution, her job is protected till death, so to speak!

Rebosa should rather have taken her to court to have her removed as she is just incompetent!

04 February 2021

Providing interns with a basic first year salary is an excellent idea writes Marjolein Degens in her commentary on ‘Simplify estate agent qualifications for transformation’.

I completely agree with James Otter. The ‘informal’ property market should be transformed as he mentioned. This will also protect the consumers (buyers. sellers) in this market.

Education of estate agents is key but could be more efficient by skipping the log book. NQF 4 and 5 and PDE 4 and 5 are offering excellent study material.

Providing interns with a first-year basic salary from the agency they start working with, is an excellent idea to get these people up and running in the property market. The agencies could ask in return a five-year loyalty work agreement and adjust the commission split to X %.

All stakeholders should communicate and be transparent about their objectives and aims for the new year 2021 and COMMUNICATE with each other.

28 January 2021

Feedback on FFC renewals remains a problem for many estate agents it seems and now the new online system for CPD e-Learning is also giving them headaches.

Debbie Wall-Smith

I paid for my 2020 CPD. Tried to log on to do 2020 e-learning on Monday, Asked to complete 2021 PDP and send an invoice for 2021 CPD. I am not prepared to pay again. I emailed the lady given on the website for CPD – no reply. I emailed info@eaab, email failed. Logged an online query via the website, no response.

An intern agent has been trying to register since February 2020. In November an FFC was sent to him with a different person’s surname. He is trying again. It’s taken nearly a year to register as an agent.

I submitted my mandatory self-audit online. The screen went blank when I pressed submit. I was contacted in December and told that I did not submit the self-audit. I responded with the date and time frame when I did it as my office analytics can prove that I was working on it in that time frame. No response to my email.

It is impossible to be compliant. Am I going to be forced to stop trading because of the governing body’s inefficiencies?

Christopher Jones

I paid my FFC before 31 October 2020. In December I realised that my FFC had not been issued. I tried to phone the EAAB on 087 285 322 and each time I got a message that if the call is not answered after 30 seconds that I must just hold on and the call will be answered. After trying 20 times, the calls were in fact cut off after the 30 seconds. I gave up.

In January 2021 I tried again and eventually my call was answered after another 15 calls. I had phoned in December before they closed and again in January after they had opened. I was told to log a query, which I did. After a week I tracked the query and noticed that it had no movement. After I emailed the EAAB it was escalated. Another week later still in escalated status.


I have tried to go in to do the CPD for 2020 and it states that I am blocked and need to make payment. Subsequently, I did my PDP for 2021 and paid CPD fees last week for 2021 and the system still says I am blocked. I have sent numerous emails to numerous people at the EAAB and no luck. This is really disgusting service from the body that is supposed to govern this industry. Unfortunately, full status agents have to suffer the consequences of complying by i.e. paying for FFC’s and CPD and do tests yearly whilst unqualified agents and interns (older than 2 years) are allowed to operate and are still being issued with FFC’s. Who is checking on the hundreds of agencies and agents that are not complying/ not legal?!


I have been trying to get 2019 and 2020 CPD e-learning to be unlocked since 5 August 2020. It took numerous emails before finally the 2019 CPD e-learning was unlocked and I could complete it, but as of today 21 January 2021, I still have no access to 2020 e-learning even after nine emails to three different persons!!!
The EAAB is a disgrace. If they performed like this in the private sector, they would have been fired long ago.

21 January 2021

Will there be relief for continuous professional development (CDP) training in 2021? What happens to your CPD fees paid in 2020? Jan le Roux, chief executive of Rebosa responds to agents’ queries on the matter.

“Can we get Rebosa to request CPD relief for 2021 on behalf of all role players, considering that not much has changed in the sector and it’s still a struggle. What happened to the R2 500 paid last year for the CPD? They did nothing and are still holding onto our money. This money should be refunded to us.”

Property Professional received several similar queries last week and asked Jan le Roux to respond which he did as follows: The EAAB did announce that all CPD fees for 2020 will be waived. However, we are aware of difficulties in this regard which apparently can be attributed to system problems. We have approached the EAAB and will advise our members as soon as possible as to the outcome.

 The EAAB did retain the payments for 2020 and indicated that estate agents could approach them individually for a refund. Our best advice is to leave matters as is as it undoubtedly will cause further delay and payment for 2021 will be due soon.

14 January 2021

The problem facing most black candidates is not passing SAQA 4 and 5, it is earning a living from real estate after completing them, writes real estate assessor and moderator James Otter.

I assess and moderate the NQF4 and 5 qualifications. Whilst the educational programmes could be improved; the study material has nothing to do with transformation. The Services SETA polices and manages the qualifications, not the EAAB. The EAAB sets and manages the PDE examinations. I can tell you that many black people complete the qualifications. The only difference is that many of them don’t have a computer and handwrite their work, but it is still good and more likely to be original. The problem facing most black candidates is not passing SAQA 4 and 5, it is earning a living from real estate after completing them.

The transformation in due course will come from racial integration. The residential property market comprises property that is recorded in the Deeds Office, and business is conducted legally and formally. The owners are, for the most part, white with a minority that is non-white who have chosen to live in such neighbourhoods. There is potentially a huge market of residences owned and occupied by black people where the Deeds Office has not been involved, and the property is bought and sold informally. As far as estate agencies are concerned, this market sector is seen as being dysfunctional. If this dysfunctional market is made functional, the transformation will improve, but the cash flow model will shift to that of the formal functional market.

A negative factor is the cash flow model and the manner of the remuneration of agents. Commission paid on registration of transfer creates a capital barrier to agents, employees or would-be principals. A delay of three to four months before getting paid is a major deterrent to entry into the business. The big REBOSA agents who claim to have financial clout could pay new practitioners a basic salary plus commission to overcome this barrier.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has drawn attention to the transformation issue. Rather than sledging the EAAB would it not be more constructive to hold discussions with the Board to collaborate with them to bring about transformation? The problem as I see it is a large dysfunctional market sector and a punitive cash flow model that need to be addressed to give rise to improved transformation.

A further issue that requires consideration is the number of property practitioners and interns necessary to service the property market. Before the introduction of the qualifications and the long depressed market, every man (and woman) and his/her dog were estate agents. It was a job of last resort. The initiative for converting it into a profession of sorts must go to anunpopular leader of the EAAB.

15 December 2020

Obfuscation! Is Jim Alexander’s response to Property24 CEO JP Farinha’s response on the unhappiness estate agents had on their rates increases earlier this year.

I read with interest Mr Farinha’s recent response to the unhappiness voiced by agents/agencies with the high amounts they were having to pay for P24s so-called LEADS. (I still do not understand why agents/agencies are not questioning the validity of the use of the word ‘LEADS’ and the methodology itself.)

His explanation seemed to lay the blame at the feet of the easing of the lockdown, which had caused a spike in property enquires thus pushing the individual number of an agents’ enquiries into the next tier on their charge table.

Over the past year or so, I have had significant interacted with his staff on Property24’s leads charge methodology. I want clarification on the following comments made in ‘How long can Property24 increase rates in this way?’

Value: We are confident that our prices reflect excellent value to agents.” It is common cause in business that any charge to a customer should be commensurate with the real or perceived value which that product or service delivers. It is also common cause that the company offering the product or service should be prepared to articulate said value and explain the benefits it provides to the customer.

Now, the value of the LEADS system to P24 is very clear – it generates income. Explain the EXCELLENT VALUE that is provided to agents, and please do not use the word EXPOSURE?

Consumer logic: On which planet do consumers waste their time clicking to reveal my cell number BUT NEVER CONTACTING ME or clicking to reveal my email address BUT NEVER EMAILING ME or typing into the Contact form BUT NEVER SENDING IT TO ME?

Before I removed all my listings from the Property24 platform, my ratio of LEADS to actual contacts received was around 10% and is similar for the agents in my group. So, 9 out of 10 potential home buyers apparently waste lots of time clicking on agents’ contact details but never make contact with them. An amazing statistic which defies logic.

Contracts evidence: “Recent discussions with many agencies reveal that this increased volume of business has indeed resulted in record levels of contracts being signed.” Please provide the evidence to back up this statement. Do not invoke customer confidentiality.

Redefining the word. What gives P24 the right to redefine the meaning of the word “LEAD”? Any definition of a lead worthy of being used by anybody would read something like “In a sales context, a lead refers to the opportunity to make contact with a potential customer”.As stated above, 9 out of 10 clicks that I am charged for do not result in any contact from a potential buyer, yet P24 charges me anyway.

Section 2 of the Code of Advertising Practice contains the basic rules for advertising and here is an extract.

  1. Honesty

Advertisements should not be so framed as to abuse the trust of the consumer or exploit their lack of experience, knowledge or credulity.

Hmm! Wonder what would Mr Farinha’s interpretation of his redefinition in this regard be?

10 December 2020

The private growing of cannabis (dagga) has been declared legal for home use by the Constitutional Court. You may not like their decision, but you are stuck with it and need to know how to handle it in a sectional title complex, writes Mike Spencer of Platinum Global.

My feeling is that it should be treated like alcohol, then you should not get it too wrong.

Remember it is for use in the home-not outside the home. In other words, if it is used inside your unit, does not interfere with other owners and tenants, then there should be no problem. But this weed smells and it is quite easily detectable by people passing the unit. If this is the case, then it can be said that the use of dagga is interfering with the other owners and can be dealt with accordingly.

Certainly, anyone who is high should not be on the common property – in the same way that a drunk person is not allowed. How would you handle somebody who is high driving their car on the property? What about growing the plants in the complex? It can be said that if the garden is an EUA that they could grow a small number of plants in it but I don’t think it would be allowable if the gardens are common property.

Dealing is certainly a criminal offence and can be stopped from happening at any unit.

Trustees must be consistent in their attitude as everyone – owners and tenants alike – must be treated the same. You cannot allow an owner to grow cannabis in his garden but prevent a tenant from doing so. It has to be all or nothing.

We experienced this problem recently where a tenant was told that they could not have their small dog, because dogs were not allowed except by owners. This is not acceptable and was taken to CSOS to confirm that the trustees may not discriminate against tenants. In the meantime, the lady has been forced out of her place by these trustees and it is highly likely that these trustees will have to pay for her removal costs out of their own pocket as they clearly knew that they were doing the wrong thing.

(This article appeared originally in the November 2020 edition of The Landlord, Spencer’s monthly newsletter. Editor)

03 Deecmber 2020

The new Property Practitioners Act should not differentiate between estate agents based on their race, the same rules should apply to all – that’s the common thread in the comments on ‘Will the PPA give black estate agents a bigger slice of the cake?’

Sunette Scheepers

Some of the most important skills a successful estate agent needs are to be able to work hard, long hours if necessary, to build trust and relationships. Nothing can be given to you. If you struggle to get stock, its definitely NOT because you’re black. Some of the best and most successful estate agents I know are black. Because they work hard and smart, are constantly building relationships & trust. How can you give one buyer discount and not the next?


This article is written by the wrong people … people who still stare into the past. All estate agents are equal. Everyone should go through the same qualification process as it has been for years. I work with black agents and they are professional and I never heard that people don’t want to give them stock because of their color. This article is race-based and should not even be published. I have never met racist sellers and they are all happy to deal with any agent, irrespective of color.

Why can’t people like Pitjeng not rather encourage leadership for all and accept everyone is equal instead of trying to force people through taxes to rather buy from black property practitioners.

We are all South Africans and all deserve to be successful, so what you put into your workload every day is what you will get out, not by sitting back and expecting everything on a silver platter.

Most estate agents are not racist, it is again people that think they are in power, that want to create division in a system that works. This is written as my personal opinion.

Remember: You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results.


The fund should support all estate agents. New job opportunities linked to the real estate industry should be created to offer more job opportunities for all South Africans due to the high rate of unemployment amongst all without excluding certain groups.

Regulations should also be enforced to protect the business of the real estate agent from private sales and rentals which is currently taking away a lot of the cake.

Regulations should also be put into place to force potential buyers and tenants to reimburse property practitioners for the time and cost to show properties due to the fact that there is no obligation on viewers to purchase or rent properties showed to them. An obligation should also be put onto sellers and landlords not to opt out of open mandates without penalties paid to the appointed agents for their time, labour and cost invested into marketing and showing properties.


As a property practitioner I can unequivocally say racism is a huge factor followed by incompetence AND general laziness of my colleagues. If you go and queue at your local municipality you will see a lot of adult white people disappointed by poor administration of their electricity/water accounts. These are the people who own the lion’s share of real estate. It’s impossible for them to hire us black agents due to the frustration from poor service from a black controlled government. This same thing happens if you go to the Sandton EAAB offices too.


The use of the Fidelity Fund to bolster the Transformation Fund is a bad option. The Fidelity Fund is there to protect the property owners from malpractice and not to offer a leg up for underprivileged estate agencies. Training? I can understand but used for setting up business premises etc is highly dangerous. I foresee luxurious offices with fancy motor cars in Sandton office park – all of which goes down the drain when the business fails. Who then repays the Fidelity Fund? The industry has long tried to find a way of accessing the money within the Fidelity Fund and it should be resisted again.

Possibly a loan at normal interest rates for the emerging agencies might be a possibility, funded by the government department and not the Fidelity Fund.

The industry is transforming and there are now many agents from the underprivileged group that are making a name for themselves as respected agents. To force this issue is to create chaos and further distrust in the industry.

In the main property owners like to work with someone they personally know, perhaps went to school with. This is their life’s work and future that are on the line they are not going to trust just anybody.

Sharon Mckeown

Whether you are black, white or pink it doesn’t matter. Finding stock is hard for everyone. It is about what you put in, you get out. I’m also a new intern and white and definitely don’t benefit on the basis of my skin colour. You need to put in the hours of canvassing, cold-calling, making new contacts and building relationships. Good luck to ALL

26 November 2020

The decision of the reserve bank to keep interest rates unchanged is disappointing, but necessary to keep foreign investment interested in the South African market writes Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of MultiNet.

As South Africa moves further down the investment grade ladder, we need to provide foreign investors with sufficient return on their capital whilst taking into account the risk that’s associated with investing in SA.

The rand remained fairly stable with the announcement of the downgrade and this gives us the indication that we are still providing some form of interest for investors, as our government deals with a ballooning debt bill which is now our number one expense item after government’s wage. We need to balance stimulating the economy and attracting foreign investment.

Even though another rate cut would have most certainly persuaded those on the fence to consider buying, we are already experiencing a short boom in the property industry. We believe that the decision to keep the interest rates unchanged will be good for the property industry, supply will soon match demand and property prices will start to slow below the double-digit growth that we have seen over the past few months. This will give first-time home buyers the ability to take advantage of the low interest rates whilst being able to buy properties at an acceptable market value.

Before the 2008 financial crisis many consumers bought properties at prices that only matched on the same property six years later, however in the current housing market consumers can be assured that the prices they are paying today will most certainly not take 6 years to recover. In my opinion the property prices in the R750 000.00 to R1.2 million will grow 1 – 2% above inflation for 2021.

19 November 2020

Nobody could have predicted that the property market would bounce back as quickly as it has. RE/MAX of Southern Africa CEO and regional director Adrian Goslett looks at why this crisis differs from the 2008 crash.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for Q3 2020 revealed that the number of freehold properties registered decreased by 31% YoY but increased massively from the last quarter. Similarly, sectional titles saw a 28% decrease YoY, but also reflected a good recovery from the previous quarter.

It can be expected that the number of registrations during the third quarter will be lower year-on-year based on the fact that the deeds office was closed for long periods and therefore needs to process a backlog of deals. As such, reported sales are a better indicator of market performance than registered sales at this point in time.

For us as a brand, our company has recorded record-breaking reported sales totals for three consecutive months. Our prediction is that the market activity will continue to rise for the rest of the year (provided that we do not fall into another crisis), and is likely to return to volumes similar to those which we were experiencing pre-lockdown.

We had planned for a net loss of agents when the lockdown was first announced, as this is what had occurred during the market crash of 2008. Instead, we now have more agents on our membership dashboard compared to the week ending 28 March 2020.

In 2008, the number of real estate agents dwindled because there simply was not activity within the housing market to keep real estate agents afloat. The fact that our numbers have increased over this period reflects a confidence in the property market as a viable career option.

Dr Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), agrees that it is unlikely that 2020 will have any resemblance to what happened in 2007-2008 in terms of massive foreclosures and prices plunging. He says some foreclosures will occur but that there will be ready buyers to quickly absorb those properties. Yun also adds that unlike the years leading up to 2008, homeowners in America have been more discerning with how they use the equity in their homes. Before the housing crisis, many owners were taking equity out of their home for expensive cars or other big purchases. That left them underwater on their mortgage when the economy crashed. Today’s homeowners have, for the most part, left their equity untouched. A crash in the American housing market is therefore also unlikely.

While none of us know what lies ahead, real estate is still a sound investment option and we predict a much quicker recovery in 2020 than the one we experienced during 2008.

12 November 2020

Would there be any sense in pursuing a Constitutional Court application on the constitutional validity of the BEE requirements as set out in the regulations of the new Property Practitioners Act?

Basically, the new Property Practitioners Act stipulates that all property practitioners, as described in the Act, must be BEE compliant. The turnover threshold for estate agents, for compliance with an affidavit, has been reduced to R2,5 million. Hence any estate agency with a turnover greater than R2,5 mil can only achieve BEE compliance by complying with the 5 pillars of the BEE scorecard.

Once the Act is promulgated, an estate agent will not be able to apply for a Fidelity Fund Certificate without proving BEE compliance. The Act was signed by the President in 2019, but has not yet been promulgated, but that is just a matter of time. So, if we are not BEE compliant, we cannot practice as estate agents and earn commission?

So, my feeling is that this is a sort of forced appropriation without compensation and without my consent. Surely my constitutional right to Freedom of Association Section 18 is being violated? As well as my Freedom of trade, occupation and profession as stated in Section 22: “Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated by law.”

May the regulations be altered so unfairly, as to prejudice my rights of association?

Tell me if I am smoking up the wrong tree!? It all just seems so morally wrong to me. In principle, I don’t mind having a black partner / co-shareholder, if they pay for the shares and they bring expertise and add value to the business. But why should I be forced to sell or give anything away? In terms of the Constitution’s Section 25 my rights as business owner are as follows: “Property (Section 25) (1) No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.”

I presume this means property in the broad sense of the term to include a business?! The Property Practitioners Act forces arbitrary deprivation of ownership rights. Do you think there might be a valid argument in the Constitutional Court for my gripe?

Jan le Roux, chief executive of Rebosa, responds

The legal advice on pursuing a Constitutional Court application is not exactly as the author perceives it to be, however one must take note of the following:

Firstly, the new Act does not actually stipulate “compliant”, just a valid (issued properly) BEE certificate. This has been confirmed legally and in discussions with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). A non-compliant score still constitutes a valid BEE certificate.

Secondly, the Property Sector Charter Council has recommended to the Department of Human Settlements that the threshold be raised to R5 million. Please, however, note that it has not been finally approved.

Lastly, it is not correct to state that in terms of the Act estate agents without a valid BEE certificate will be unable to practice immediately once the Act comes into effect (which only happens once the current draft regulations are approved). A “valid" BEE certificate will only be required after promulgation of the Act and iro renewals for 2022.

That said, please be careful of “fronting” as penalties are prohibitive - 10 years or 10% of turnover. Fronting is any misrepresentation, e.g. splitting one’s business into two entities in order to reduce turnovers to R2,5 million or less.

5 November 2020

What happens to a property that was co-owned if one of the owners dies intestate, that is without a will? What are the legal rights of the heirs in such a situation? Robert Krautkramer, director of Miltons Matsemela weighs in.

When a person who co-owns property with someone not related to him, dies intestate, the surviving owner does not inherit the deceased’s share (whether an undivided one half share, or a share that is specified as a fixed share in the title deed). Instead, the deceased’s share falls within the deceased’s estate and will devolve upon the beneficiary/beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate, in accordance with the laws of intestacy.

One must bear in mind that when one inherits a property or a share in the property, one is not obliged to take transfer of that share. All it means is that such a person/persons obtain the right to such property or share therein. The beneficiary/ies may then elect to either take transfer or to instruct the executor to try and sell the share to the other owner at an agreed price. It’s then that simple. The beneficiary/ies inherit money instead of the property. So, the beneficiary/ies is/are not compelled to first take transfer before on-selling, whether to the other co-owner or a third party. Important though, is that if there is a bond over the property, it must be dealt with first. If the surviving co-owner can’t take over the bond, then a sale of the share to him will not be possible. It may be possible that the heirs and the co-owner want to sell, too.

Furthermore, if the sale is to the other owner, normal transfer duty applies calculated on the sale price or reasonable market value of the property. Transfer duty commences at R1 000 000 but the calculation for shares is more complex. If, however, the beneficiary/ies take transfer of the share in the property, then no transfer duty is payable because deceased estate transfers to beneficiaries are exempt from transfer duty. Transfer fees and disbursements are however payable to the conveyancer. Where you have multiple beneficiaries, they can also agree amongst themselves, which of them will take transfer of the share in the property, and which of them will rather take cash (if there is any in the estate), by way of a redistribution agreement.

Lastly, if the intestate deceased is survived by a spouse and children, and if the value of the share in the property is more than R250 000, then the surviving spouse firstly has claim to the R250 000. The spouse will always inherit this as a minimum. Otherwise the spouse inherits the same share as a child or children.

It’s much better to have a will!

Mokone Nakedi

Truth be told selling and conveyancing of a property are two separate but supportive professions. Unfortunately, the estate agents’ education is far too low, and the selection is not rigorous enough to bring quality and credible individuals. Every Tom, Dick and Henry enters the profession as a quick money-spinner. On the other hand, the conveyancing profession is well-organised and has stringent processes until a person is admitted as a conveyancer.
It is for this reason that estate agents have to be trained by conveyancers to do the work that they themselves are incapable of doing. Only estate agents can end this by getting sufficiently educated to be the authority in their professions.
Estate agents’ education must be raised a few bars higher and acquired differently. Colleges and universities must develop that education as several subjects need to be learned such as psychology, development studies, statistics/mathematics, economics, ethics, marketing, and business management. A high degree of emotional intelligence is required. The list of requirements for estate agents is inexhaustible.

Rod Studley

Amongst the many good ones, I’ve also seen lawyers that don’t read the offer beyond the second page and you have to point it out to them. Local problems which you can resolve by a visit to the municipality don’t get reported to you. I had a firm that sold a property by auction although they were also busy with the conveyancing and meanwhile another firm charged R2000 for starting the paperwork (filling in a template) that I reimbursed out of my pocket. The OTP they all use, that was obviously drawn up by an academic who has never sold a thing in his life, is cantankerous and convoluted.
Some have access to municipal and mortgage defaulters which give their agents an unfair (and illegal) advantage.
The estate agent, to deliver good service to the seller must monitor, and sometimes teach the conveyancing clerk and even the conveyancer, their jobs.
Lastly their fees are prescribed and increased by the Law Society while we are supposed to negotiate each transaction like a peddler while a high level of professionalism is demanded of us.

Andrew Sadomba

I know of a few attorneys who uses agents whom they never register with the EAAB. No FFC for their agents from the EAAB.
Some attorneys help the unregistered illegal estate agents with property transfers which shows that some attorneys do not have our industry at heart.
If they really wanted to take over, why would they not register their agents with the EAAB?
The more we try to fix things the more some attorneys messes it up for us.
Wish they could always stay in their line.

29 October 2020

The article ‘Attorneys not under attack’ sparked a lively debate on the topic of the merits (or not) of the current situation where both the legal profession and estate agents are selling property.

Mokone Nakedi

Truth be told selling and conveyancing of a property are two separate but supportive professions. Unfortunately, the estate agents’ education is far too low, and the selection is not rigorous enough to bring quality and credible individuals. Every Tom, Dick and Henry enters the profession as a quick money-spinner. On the other hand, the conveyancing profession is well-organised and has stringent processes until a person is admitted as a conveyancer.
It is for this reason that estate agents have to be trained by conveyancers to do the work that they themselves are incapable of doing. Only estate agents can end this by getting sufficiently educated to be the authority in their professions.
Estate agents’ education must be raised a few bars higher and acquired differently. Colleges and universities must develop that education as several subjects need to be learned such as psychology, development studies, statistics/mathematics, economics, ethics, marketing, and business management. A high degree of emotional intelligence is required. The list of requirements for estate agents is inexhaustible.

Rod Studley

Amongst the many good ones, I’ve also seen lawyers that don’t read the offer beyond the second page and you have to point it out to them. Local problems which you can resolve by a visit to the municipality don’t get reported to you. I had a firm that sold a property by auction although they were also busy with the conveyancing and meanwhile another firm charged R2000 for starting the paperwork (filling in a template) that I reimbursed out of my pocket. The OTP they all use, that was obviously drawn up by an academic who has never sold a thing in his life, is cantankerous and convoluted.
Some have access to municipal and mortgage defaulters which give their agents an unfair (and illegal) advantage.
The estate agent, to deliver good service to the seller must monitor, and sometimes teach the conveyancing clerk and even the conveyancer, their jobs.
Lastly their fees are prescribed and increased by the Law Society while we are supposed to negotiate each transaction like a peddler while a high level of professionalism is demanded of us.

Andrew Sadomba

I know of a few attorneys who uses agents whom they never register with the EAAB. No FFC for their agents from the EAAB.
Some attorneys help the unregistered illegal estate agents with property transfers which shows that some attorneys do not have our industry at heart.
If they really wanted to take over, why would they not register their agents with the EAAB?
The more we try to fix things the more some attorneys messes it up for us.
Wish they could always stay in their line.

22 October 2020

The phrase ‘subject to the successful sale of’ is often used when an offer to purchase is made. Andrew Walters wonders if including ‘successful conclusion’ would make a difference in court?

Andrew Walters

I found a discrepancy in the article [‘Popular clause puts buyer at risk’]. The judgement was based on the sales agreement stating, “subject to the successful sale of” and not “subject to the successful CONCLUSION of the sale of”. If the word “conclusion” was in the clause the interpretation by the courts would, in my mind, have been different.
Once a Sales Agreement is signed and accepted by all parties the property has in essence been sold. By inserting the wording “successful conclusion” it surely means that the sale must progress up until it is successfully concluded.

Denoon Sampson responds

The phrase “Successful Conclusion” is used widely in judgements, legislation and legal textbooks. However, the phrase is never used to imply, nor refer to payment, delivery and transfer of ownership.
Most textbooks on contract also describe offer and acceptance as resulting in “conclusion of the contract”; meaning that the contract successfully comes into force upon acceptance.
Also, if one successfully concludes an instalment sale (Deed of Alienation), one might have to wait five years for final payment.
It could be argued that when the purchasers’ s mortgage bond is finally granted; that sale is successfully concluded.
At best, the meaning of ‘successful conclusion of the sale’ is ambiguous and does not necessarily mean payment, delivery and transfer of ownership; so it is wise to include ‘registration of transfer’ in the condition.

15 October 2020

Millions have been spent in the past few years on initiatives to bring more agents from previously disadvantaged backgrounds into the real estate industry, but with very little to show for it. Fact is this is a tough industry with no shortcuts to success.


This industry does not discriminate. Whether you are black, brown, yellow, pink, red or white; if you don’t work, you won’t earn!
You can throw as much money as you like at this industry, it will not “transform” magically…
It takes something which the youth of today does not want to do: WORK!
Go read the article published in September by PP “How to make it in the real estate industry”.
You’ll quickly find that all those who contributed says the same this: You have to put in the effort!
What to change this industry?
First ingrain in the applicants that there is no easy way and no shortcuts!
Want to earn the big bucks? Do the WORK!

Johan Scott

This is absurd in so many ways. They are trying to “correct” the imbalance of the demographics by changing the rules of the game and it didn’t work. The real estate industry depends on public trust in the ability of each individual agent in the business. That trust has been gained by the grueling test of the agents metal every step of the way, without it there is no public trust and no real estate industry.


This is a shameful situation and the CEO needs to take full responsibility and accountability for the wasted money that was used on this program! R300,000 per person is just ludicrous, if she was in private practice she would have been fired long ago! If Mohlala has even one ounce of decency, she would resign with immediate effect!

The occupation of the Camps Bay Airbnb illustrates that threats to property rights are arising from multiple quarters and more such actions could follow if government presses ahead with the expropriation without compensation (EWC) policy writes Terence Corrigan, project manager of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).

We at the Institute of Race Relations have repeatedly been asked whether the government’s drive towards expropriation without compensation (EWC) will impact on urban properties. The answer to this was always that they are firmly in the EWC policy sights. This has been made abundantly clear since EWC was first mooted.

Events in Camp’s Bay, however, illustrate that threats to urban property – indeed, the threat to property rights – are arising from multiple quarters.

The occupation of a holiday mansion by the Queer Radical Feminist Activist Collective, a group of ‘artivists’, was intended not only to seize a particular space, but to make an ideological point about the illegitimacy of property rights.

The ‘artivists’ booked to stay in the luxury Airbnb for a weekend, but, when the rental expired, indicated that they would not be leaving and appealed for a meeting to discuss turning the rental property into something more in line with their priorities. A case of expropriation without compensation from below?

But this action is not directed solely at the owner but at the state, too. Like most land occupations, they took possession of a piece of property in violation of the law, and dared the state to stop them.

Having endorsed the need for ‘radical’ action, the state is confronted with a difficult choice. Enforce the law and betray its ideological convictions; support the occupiers and send an investment-killing message.

In the event, the state is all too incapable or lacklustre in its response. It has said that ‘land grabs’ will not be tolerated, but in reality they are a serious problem. In the Camp’s Bay case, the police confirmed that ‘an investigation is ongoing’. The property owner, Turnkey365, eventually took legal action.

Ultimately, it has taken a court order to move the occupiers, who were given a deadline to vacate the property.

As the government presses ahead with EWC, it is likely that it will unwittingly stimulate do-it-yourself seizures. Urban property owners may well increasingly find themselves on their own.

Terence Corrigan

Project manager, Institute of Race Relations

Disputes frequently arise due to agreements of sale that were poorly drawn up by unqualified persons – therefore Clive Valentine of Valentine Attorneys proposes that this task should be reserved for attorneys only.

I agree wholeheartedly with Eduan Milner. There is no doubt in my mind, based upon over 30 years’ experience as a conveyancer, that the seller should appoint the conveyancer. However, there may well be merit in the suggestion that the seller rather than the buyer should pay the costs. I would perhaps go further and propose that the buyer should be responsible for the transfer duty which is laid down by law and non-negotiable and for the bond registration costs and the seller, who appoints his conveyancer to effect the transfer, should be responsible for the transfer fees and various disbursements incurred by the transferring attorney.

Furthermore, as regards the agreement of sale, I am of the view that the drawing up and finalisation of the agreement should be reserved work for attorneys. The agreement of sale is a legal document and, in most instances, deals with an individual’s most valuable asset. The conveyancing process merely flows from the agreement. It has long amazed me how such an important legal document can be left to persons who are not legally qualified and yet the conveyancing process is reserved to attorneys. As attorneys we are frequently called upon to resolve disputes arising from agreements that were poorly drawn up by unqualified persons. Both the conveyancing process and the drawing up of agreements of sale should be reserved for the legal profession. This would in my view be of benefit to the consumer as it should reduce the number of disputes. At the same time this will not deny the estate agent of earning their commission but will rather free the agent up to do what he/she does best which is to concentrate on marketing of the property and finding the most suitable buyer.

With reference to a recent online debate sparked by ‘Homebuyers should nominate the transferring attorney’, agents argue that it is generally not in the seller’s best interest to let the buyer choose the transferring attorney.


I have been in the industry for more than 38 years and am a principal and a full principal estate agent and fully qualified and never ever heard of the law society not paying out due to theft by the attorney.

If the seller has the said property in the market for sale, his entire funds and capital and profit lie in the said sale and WHO IS THE BUYER TO DICTATE? The protocols are already in place to set standards for the selling of a property. It’s the same for a car dealership selling you a car, new or secondhand. It is up to you the buyer to make sure YOU DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK and make sure everything is correct from plans and approval thereof to extensions done and it’s approval thereof as well as electrical and gas inspections and repairs.

IT IS FOR THE SELLER NOT THE BUYER to make sure his property is in the correct condition for the sale of the said property to the buyer. It is for the purchaser to check on the conditions of the property and if they are unsure, employ a qualified construction expert to inspect and make sure the property is sound with the buyer is paying his costs - then the buyer can make an informed decision to buy or not to buy and have peace of mind.

Everybody wants to put so much against the seller and make the seller pay for what the buyer thinks or wants. Remember the buyer is looking at other property also and has chosen the seller. It is the seller’s right to protect his property against illegal occupation, moving in prior to full purchase price paid and all legal costs etc. And it is also the seller who has to make sure the buyer is a genuine buyer and not a scammer.

Regarding the position of the seller losing his home and funds due to his attorney running off with the said funds, I would disagree fully [with the ruling] and would lodge an appeal. If this is put out there, people will think they can go and do the same with other properties and get attorneys to join in the scam. Not a clever idea.

Sellers beware again! No, you only use your own attorneys and never give occupation until all, yes all, the funds and costs have been paid into your attorney’s trust account and registration of transfer has been effected without prejudice. PS: What happened to the agent’s fee and commission, surely he /she was paid as the effective cause?


James Otter

I have been in this business for 37 years.

In my experience, more than half the sellers give the discretion for the appointment of the transferring attorney to the estate agent. I have never been aware of an instance where this has occurred that the attorney has been responsible for a transfer going wrong.

I observed quite a few cases where the seller has appointed some obscure attorney or an attorney with no property experience to do the transfer, and the attorney has made a botch of the transfer.

I have observed instances where the purchaser has prevailed upon the seller to allow the purchaser’s attorney to effect the transfer. In almost every such case the transfer had not been satisfactorily handled, in particular where the purchaser was delinquent. The estate agent would do well to advise the seller of the danger of surrendering his/her right to the purchaser. Often the purchaser is a relative of the attorney and is looking for fee cut or a freebie.

The reality of the situation, therefore, is that in most cases, it is the estate agent that is the de facto selector of the attorney as the seller cannot be bothered, and this works well.

As regards the payment of the attorney, I believe that the seller should be responsible for paying the attorney and not the purchaser. He who pays the piper should be able to call the tune. This change would naturally become integrated into the economics of property transactions. It would also eliminate unpleasantness that sometimes arises. The ethics of the status quo is questionable.

Real estate agencies invest so much to improve services to external clients, but what are they doing to look after their ‘internal clients’, the committed intern agents who are struggling without a regular income, writes Jane Labuschagne.

I love the real estate industry but being a 46-year-old single woman, with a bond and two dependents to support this is not working in my favour. I am weighing my options.

The property industry has its highs and lows that are caused by external factors such as politics, economy, change in the standard of living etc. and because of these factors, in most cases agents take a knock.

Now being an agent in a new franchise there is a lot that needs to be done to take first position in the market. Planning and strategizing needs to happen to see what the competitors overlooked. I understand that to get your listings you need to be more out there and I that is so true. Action or visuals are better than words for most people. However, the expos, show houses, putting up and taking down area boards, property viewings, magazine drop offs, driving around the area and client visits all are for the agent’s expense.

My observation since being in this industry since 2016 November in Midrand, is that there are three types of agents: one with financial support from a partner, second with a small business on the side and the third with only family and maybe friends supporting them financially.

I discovered that people with stable financial support never last in this industry when faced with challenges, because they always have a plan B.

The agents that have a small business on the side, their first priority is their businesses and real estate is just a means to help them push their business to the next level but that does not happen in a given time frame, they jump the boat, because money is going out instead of coming in.

The last group of agents invests a 100% unto the business. Firstly, because they do not have a plan B and financial support, or maybe their financial support has run out. These are now your agents that share the vision and mission of the real estate franchise. They perform as expected and may even exceed expectation. Though things are tough they still give 100% in commitment and effort to the business, because these are the agents that understand the concept of being a business partner. The two aspects that drives this agent are passion and hope.

I see my brand invests a lot in terms of the brand and service level for their external clients. My question is, what is the plan in retaining these last group of agents, because they are the ones that will help the franchise fulfil its vision.

If you only look to one side of your business (external clients) and you don’t come up with a solution of retaining agents such these last group of agents (internal client), then instead of achieving goals, this will be more like chasing your own tail.

I suggest that intern agents are paid a retainer of R2000 per month during their first 12 months. After six months set up a review on their performance taking into account the general sales activity in the area. This gives the agent a chance to the commission they earn in their first year to pay of debts and even save up for rainy days in their second year.

In conclusion: Sales, commissions and profits will never happen without people. Training taught me you need the agent, the seller and the buyer to make a deal. The seller and buyer can be there, but if the right calibre agent is not in the mix, then the ideal to list and close a sale will remain a dream.

More estate agents have expressed their agreement with Rebosa that the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) can’t charge penalties to estate agents who are reregistering after a period of absence from the profession.


Jan, your interpretation of the act according to a past test case makes 100% logical sense, as opposed to the ludicrous EAAB interpretation which basically states that if you are an estate agent at say 18 years of age, practice the profession for 1 year, then decide this is not for you. 30 years later, you decide to give it another go, so now you must pay the EAAB for 30 years of “outstanding” fees before you will be allowed to re-enter the profession!!! How ludicrous is this woman?
It is time she and all the other incompetents are permanently removed from office!
They are just running a money making scam as another way to finance their GRAVY TRAIN, which by the way, is currently being funded by the exorbitant CPD fees!

Debbie Wall-Smith

Charge a rejoining fee, but to charge penalties with no correspondence warning the person there will be penalties is not reasonable. Reason should prevail. I have had two agents not returning to the industry because of the penalties. I paid the penalties for one who lasted only 6 months. It is a tough business and with the current economic climate, people will return but there should be a reprieve for at least 6 months.

Corrie du Plessis

Good afternoon. I was principal estate agent and left the market in 2011 without notifying the EAAB. In 2017 I wanted to register again only as a full status agent. I had to do my 6-year oudit of dormant trust account (R18000 cost from an auditor) and now have to pay R16000 penalties for that 6 years. I took me about 2 years to have this sorted out. Am I still obliged to pay such penalty?

Sarina McAlister

When re-entering the industry in 2017, after an absence of 14 months, I had to pay over R3500 in penalties because I neglected to let the EAAB know that I resigned. I mistakenly assumed that my principal notified the EAAB of my resignation. Rebosa was helpful but in the end I had to cough up and pay. I sincerely hope that Rebosa wins this case! Even if the penalties remain, the amount per month far exceeds what is permitted as interest according to the Financial Act, I was told.

The lockdown and post-lockdown period has shown it is possible to run a real estate franchise remotely but whether that is the most preferable model long term remains to be seen writes Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

With the announcement of the lockdown there was obviously an urgent and pressing need to enable our business digitally and remotely in all respects. This was both from an agent’s perspective as well as from more traditionally office bound employees, namely administrative, managerial, and other staff. Very rapidly and with the assistance of technology, much of which was essentially already in place, we were able to pivot the entire business to this new and dramatically different way of working.

Post lockdown, and as we are moving up through the various Covid lockdown levels, there is sense of the possibility of gradual return to using the offices in certain specific instances and with strict observance to the required Covid protocols, and generally only when deemed necessary. What this lockdown and post lockdown period has shown, is that it is indeed possible to run the entire business remotely but whether that is the most preferable model long term remains to be seen. I think it is inevitable that we will see some permanent changes to the ‘’old way of working”, but I also think that we are starting to see and hear the need expressed for some in-person engagement beyond just a Zoom screen.

Given the uncertainty of the times in which we find ourselves, I think it will take some time for things to ‘’settle‘’ into the new way of working more permanently, but at this early stage it seems to be a mixture of remote working and some (but reduced) office engagement as necessary or desired, which would suggest that the physical space of offices is up for review and potential reconfiguration. However, like so many issues related to Covid, it’s probably too early to tell definitively.

Mike Spencer has been in the real estate industry since 1975. He writes that South Africa has to get out of the current economic cul-de-sac caused by legislative red tape and explains what needs to change to restore investor confidence.

Property and development are the way how most successful countries pull their socks up and create a wealthier society for all. Singapore would be an excellent example where property development changed a basic, poverty-ridden island into one of the most modern countries in the world.

But we are failing to do the same in South Africa. Contrary to the pragmatic ways in which modern countries are uplifting their population by encouraging property ownership and development, here in South Africa we are making property ownership less and less attractive. Major construction companies are being destroyed in the process. South Africa’s economy is floundering and the number of unemployed is rising daily. Construction and development are an excellent way of employing people while at the same time providing living spaces and an opportunity to invest in the country’s future.

Why do I say this? Just think about all the new acts already in effect or which are to be brought into existence.

The CPA means that no developer can get funding for his new developments as banks will no longer lend to them. Previously any developer who sold 70% of his development could get the development fund loan needed. Now the banks feel that the risk is too great because the CPA says that any contract can be cancelled with 20 working days’ notice and thus funding is not available. Only developers who have the capacity to fund each project totally from their own funds can do developments. This has resulted in the demise not only of developers but also the supporting industries such as brickfields, roof and truss makers, tile manufacturers and their supporting industry members such as plumbers and electricians and painters and more.

The POPI Act now forbids or makes near impossible many forms of marketing vital to the development industry to market their products. This is again negative for the building industry, especially as it is no longer legal to build up a history of their previous buyers when marketing their developments into the future.

The legislation requiring a 40% low cost housing component in every new township development does nothing to encourage hard-pressed developers to be enthusiastic about getting into new developments, especially when it can easily take up to 7 years to get township approvals.

The proposed law to allow for the expropriation of property without compensation, which is applicable to all property, is absolutely a total disincentive to invest in new projects or to buy rental property as a long-term investment.

Even such acts as the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act are designed to be as complicated and difficult to implement as possible. For example, the act has converted a relatively simple show of hands voting system into one of a PQ voting system. Not only does it make attendance and voting overly complicated but extends the time needed for meetings considerably. They also increased the number of owners needed for a quorum from quite moderate levels to 33.3% which is impossible to achieve in many cases. If a meeting cannot be held because there are not enough owners present, then anyone – yes anyone- who comes to the postponed meeting the following week automatically forms a quorum and makes all the decisions. Complicating the administration of these developments does little if anything to encourage anyone to become involved as an investor in this market – without investors you won’t be seeing new developments.

Previously the act allowed for non-payers, rule breakers and troublemakers, to lose their right to vote, but the new act says the body corporate has to take them to court and prove their guilt before they can lose their vote. It is another incentive not to invest in property. More importantly, owners can’t evict tenants who do not pay rent. I have had a tenant since September last year who has not paid rental for 1 year. This non-paying tenant had the audacity to lay a charge for harassment because I came around to my flat to demand that they pay up or get out. They did not pay the water account, but I am not allowed to disconnect the water or electricity! Why can tenants not be held responsible for not paying or be forced out? Does this encourage people to invest in new properties and encourage development?

What is the solution? Firstly, acknowledge that building and development is the powerhouse of many developing and emerging economies. The building industry, if properly encouraged, can create many thousands of employment opportunities. To do this every overly complex, red tape-filled act must be reviewed, and amended to be as simple as possible to understand and implement. People must be made responsible for their actions (or non-actions). If you do not pay rental, then you should know that a simple system of notification will be followed by automatic eviction. Certainly, landlords and body corporates should be able to disconnect services that have not been paid for. How can a landlord be forced to continue to supply a service for which they are not being paid – it does not make sense.

Getting development and building on the go in a large way will be a way to get our economy growing again and to provide jobs and business opportunities on a large scale.

Homeowner Association (HOA) budgets are under financial pressure as more homeowners are falling into arrears with levies as a result of the restrictions around the pandemic – however may HOA’s restrict levy defaulters’ use of communal amenities as was suggested in ‘How to stop HOA levy arrears’?

According to one Property Professional reader the answer to this question is no. Kaysha wrote in her comments: This does not appear to be the correct position. Read Fisher v Body Corporate Misty Bay (2012 (4) SA 215 (GNP)) wherein Judge Malesela Francis Legodi “disagreed that writing a rule into a contract or the scheme’s conduct rules allowed the body corporate to resort to unlawful action and that any limitation of access that would curtail the applicant’s possession or use of the house and/or motor vehicle amounted to spoliation”.

Gerhard Kotze, managing director RealNet replies

The circumstances in the case noted were quite specific and somewhat different to what we had in mind in our article. However, the issue is clearly contentious, and rather than risk causing conflict in any HOA, we withdraw our suggestion about restricting levy defaulters from using communal facilities, and also apologise for any confusion caused. However, we would urge HOA directors to use all other remedies at their disposal to deal swiftly and decisively with defaulters, for the sake of those owners who do pay.

Managing agents need their own professional body. The definition of property practitioner in the new Act doesn’t apply to managing agents writes Phil Rowley, managing agent for some 20 years.

The definition of property practitioner in the new Act doesn’t apply to managing agents, but I have never taken up the cudgels with the EAAB regarding this matter.

However, with the new Property Practitioners Act, I realised that the definition of a property practitioner did not apply to us. Further reasoning makes it quite plain that there is NOTHING that equates or even remotely identifies the functions, business, responsibilities, or service of a managing agent to that of an estate agent.

I also practiced as an estate agent for many years, so I do know the difference. I have had to keep my estate agency, and trust account (which I do not require) in order to continue in my present practice. This with the CPD exams, has cost me a great deal of money over the years. There is also little in the exams that apply to us.

I am pursuing my argument that normal managing agents, EXCLUDING executive managing agents, are NOT property practitioners, simply because the weight attached to these assertions is fairly conclusive to any thinking person.

NAMA is a great institution, of which I am a member and advocate Barbara an incredible help with the STSMA. So, if NAMA could somehow become the institution under which managing agents can be qualified, then we would finally become the professionals we aspire to.

I must repeat – WE ARE NOT ESTATE AGENTS! WE ARE NOT ADMINISTRATORS OF PROPERTY! We need our own professional society for a very select profession.

With regards to the new Property Act, I wish to make the following comments:

The assertion expressed, without explanation, that managing agents are “property practitioners”, contradicts both the S.T. Act and the CSOS Act – and I quote the latter: “The scheme management service as defined in the CSOS regulations means any financial, secretarial, administrative or other service related to administration of a community scheme”. Bear in mind, this is referring to the scheme – NOT the land upon which it stands.

The definition ascribed to property practitioners states clearly that it applies to those who “manage immovable property”.

So, for a start, in order to “manage” common property in a complex – one would need to be an “Executive Managing Agent” – subject to the duties and obligations of the Trustees, as per M. Rule 28. (3) & (4). And if one studies the same Rule (5) (b), it states plainly that even the various duties placed upon an ordinary managing agent, are “under the supervision of the Trustees”. They do not require separate management obligations! This is vital in understanding the position of a managing agent in a body corporate.

Immediately it becomes obvious that it is the Trustees who are responsible for managing the common property as per M Rule 9 (b) AND Section 7 (1) & (3) of the Act – where they are described as “Owners of the Land”. Even Regulation 16 (1) (ii) of the S.T Act 95 of 1986 states:-“control, management and administration of the Common Property”.

Managing agents are very definitely NOT common property managers for a very good reason. In trying to inspect, report upon and maintain the common property would require hiring a specialist to perform such duties – way beyond what is required of any managing agent!

In fact, that is why most larger complexes have care takers. Managing agents are NOT caretakers. Yes, all caretakers should now be property practitioners. To repeat, managing agents purely and simply administer the business affairs of a body corporate. In fact, our particular management agreement specifically states that we do NOT manage the common property.

I have an email from Dave James (of NAMA) who specifies that “the managing agent normally does not manage the common property … . The managing agent very seldom gets involved in physical management”.

Kind of contradicts any assertions to the contrary.

And here below is a comment from Craig Guthrie, of Guthrie, Colonna Attorneys:-

Reading the Property Practitioners Bill together with the Community Schemes Ombuds Act 9 of 2011 (“CSOS Act”), a managing agent would not need to register as a property practitioner so long as they are providing their managerial services to a community scheme as defined in the CSOS Act. Examples of a community scheme being a sectional title development scheme, a share block company or a home-owners association.

Finally, here is what sectional title specialist attorney Marina Constas says in her book:

“A managing agent is appointed to perform specific financial, secretarial, administrative and other management services UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE TRUSTEES. In NO circumstances can the Trustees shirk their duties and obligations under the Act. In other words, the buck stops with the Trustees! Managing agents are JUST agents.”

Therefore, I rest my case and there is absolutely NOTHING in Rule 47 that determines a managing agent must be a property practitioner.

Social media platforms are abuzz with estate agents complaining about their July invoices from Property24. With the reopening of the real estate sector in June, pent-up demand resulted in more leads than during lockdown hence an increase in subscription costs for many agents, explains JP Farinha, CEO Property24.

Our For Sale subscription costs are based on lead brackets. They are payable in advance, so July’s invoices were based on June’s leads. Post the hard lockdown, once agencies were again able to reopen for business, we experienced a substantial increase in lead volumes. The increase was a result of both pent-up demand, and also the lowering of interest rates.

The jump in leads has actually over-compensated for the loss of leads during the hard lockdown so that we are now in a position where we have more leads generated in 2020 year-to-date than the same period in 2019.

The large increase in lead volumes has resulted in most agencies moving into a higher lead bracket and the resultant increase in costs. Recent discussions with many agencies reveal that this increased volume of business has indeed resulted in record levels of contracts being signed.

We are confident that our prices reflect excellent value to agents.

(PS: In recognition to the financial impact of the lockdown, Property24 gave a 100% discount to subscribers in April followed by a 50% discount in May. Editor)

Please Rebosa speak out on behalf of South Africa’s estate agents to get answers from the EAAB re outstanding FFCs, non-existent CPD courses and the lack of communication, writes Chris Crous, principal Jawitz Pinelands. Jan le Roux, CE Rebosa responds.

Chris Crous

So, the EAAB has shut their doors once again; this time till the 1st September, because of someone coming into contact with someone with the C-virus. Like our Deeds offices this has just become far too frequent and begs the question 'why go to work, if you came into contact with someone who may have the virus'?

Isn't it just so very easy to get some more time off at full pay!!

If I am wrong, please correct me, but I don't believe I am. At our agency we do everything by the book, ie sanitising, social distancing etc., since re-opening on the 1st June and not one of our staff have missed one day at work since. I am sure that this applies to most other agencies.

Surely the time has come for all principal estate agents, with their sales and rental agent teams, to stand up and say so far and no further with the EAAB.

AND that all CPD payments for 2020 paid by agents to the EAAB, must be refunded.

That no agency / agents pay for the renewal of their FFC for 2021 till we have answers to our issues.

Therefore we ask that Rebosa speak out on behalf of the SA estate agents and meet with the Minister and the CE0 of the EAAB, to get a clear undertaking that all these issues re outstanding FFC's 2019/2020, re non-existent CPD online courses, re total lack of communication etc, will be addressed ASAP. What is the point of paying for something that is of no service or value??

But, like so many things, unless we speak as one voice, nothing is going to happen, and everyone will continue to complain and complain.

Please Rebosa!

Jan le Roux, CE Rebosa

Whereas normal business practice would necessitate the payments being refunded, I do believe that it might be better in this case to let sleeping dogs lie. The EAAB does not have the wherewithal to refund such payments and insisting on same could actually cause delays and confusion. It at least does help if one's account is credited accordingly.

The failure to make CPD courses available is of course inexcusable as is the lack of communication in this regard. Our information in general is, though, that the value offered was negligible at any rate. It does not make a lot of sense to complain about something you don't value in the first place! Rebosa is doing what it can to motivate the enhancement of the CPD courses and the timeous delivery thereof.

We are doing our level best to communicate with the Minister but strongly advise against a boycott on the payment of CPD and FFC fees. The board has the power to not issue FFC’s in such an instance resulting in agents not earning a commission – a situation where one will be cutting one's own nose to spite one’s own face.

We do understand and share the frustration.

Is there no way that the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) can be held accountable for gross negligence? estate agents ask in reaction to the news that the EAAB did not renew the industry’s personal indemnity cover.

Keith de Villiers

Is there no way that the industry can all stand together and institute a class action for gross negligence and maladministration against the EAAB and then also against Mamodupi Mohlala? Then also institute an action to remove the EAAB as the governing body for the industry and then let the industry itself form their own regulatory body comprising of representatives from the various independents like Rebosa and IEASA? Right now we are all being ripped off so that others can live a lavish lifestyle on fat cat salaries with benefits etc. What has the EAAB done to try and assist and seek government. relief for the industry during lockdown? I stand corrected but if memory serves me well real estate is the fourth biggest contributor to GDP. The government gets their slice on all deals be they VAT or transfer duties. Then we still get taxed on our income but when the paw paw hits the fan, we get the middle finger. First things first, let the industry self-regulate. Maybe they are too scared that they will be shown up when the industry runs the way it should.

Andrew Sadomba

Real Estate has a lot of legal things. Unfortunately we all come from different industries with or without legal background. The new youth interns have no or little experience of any field.

Knowingly or unknowingly, we are all at risk of being dragged to court for whatever reason good or bad.

I strongly believe that the authority can cover us just on this one unlike the EEEB which was there to protect the public not for us as agents.

Erica Solomon

The EAAB does not care a damn for any estate agent. It is a money-making racket. The CPD structure has no structure and they are sitting with our money and we still have not received any assignments or details for this year. Take all the money received for this and the interest will be tremendous for they will benefit.

I accidentally sent an amount of R7 200 to them by EFT and I have been trying since April to get my money back. They are now saying they cannot work because of Covid.

Ian Badenhorst

I am arranging my own cover for public liability and professional indemnity at a premium of just over R5000 for a 12-month period.
I shall not be renewing the EAAB membership which was to have provided such cover which was part of membership fees paid last year, and now again for the new year going forward.
I trust that REBOSA will act on behalf of the industry and secure the interests of estate agents which is to replace the EAAB who cannot meet its own obligations and required regulating of the industry in protection of consumers.
Win the consumers and EAAB will find it difficult to gain confidence of its own purpose.

Charles Uren

I feel that what the EAAB has done, needs to be investigated and people should be held accountable. Firstly, I want to know what happened to the funds that we paid all the years to cover us. The yearly fee included the insurance cover. Why should we pay more if there is no cover. Proper CPD courses should be done.

In level 3 lockdown visits with family and friends at home are not allowed. However, a trustee writes that owners of their large sectional title complex protests that the trustees are infringing on their rights when they enforce this rule. He asks what can they do and not do?

Andrew Schaefer, managing director Trafalgar responds

Trustees are of course expected to assist with enforcing the regulations issued in terms of each disaster alert level (currently Level 3). So. it is reasonable for them to instruct security and access control to not allow visitors and only allow authorized deliveries and service providers to enter the complex at this time. Any owners who resist or protest should be referred to the CSOS (Community Housing Schemes Ombud Service) should they wish to escalate their complaint.

There is no way a show house can meet the requirements set by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) COVID guidelines writes Tony Clarke, managing director Rawson Property Group.

The comment: “The guidelines of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) doesn’t prohibit the hosting of show houses per se but do list a number of safety requirements to adhere to during the physical viewing of a property” (‘Covid 19 the gamechanger for real estate’) refers.

Paragraph 8.2.1 of the EAAB guidelines reads as follows: ‘Any viewings of a property should be done virtually. Physical viewing is only recommended where a buyer/tenant has expressed definite interest in a particular property, and in line with viewing protocols.’

According to 8.2.1 above, the buyer/tenant should only be taken to the property once such buyer / tenant has expressed a definite interest in the property. There is no way that holding a show house can meet this guideline as the visitors to a show house arrive out of the blue. An agent has no way to determine a buyers “definite interest” before exposing the seller’s property to such undue risk.

Estate agents working from home isn’t really new as there are agencies that has been doing just that for years but perhaps the cost savings this has for agencies will lead to a redistribution of commission in favour of agents? writes Jim Alexander from PropertyTime Mossel Bay and Garden Route.

All of a sudden the ‘industry’ has woken up!!

There is nothing new or even enlightening in this front-page article (‘Covid-19 the game changer for real estate’).

At last, the value of using tactics like, show houses, walk-ins, neighbourhood drives, pamphlet hand-outs etc are all being questioned. Really?

Forgive my cynicism. Those tactics have been obsolete since before the virus.

There is much more to ‘working from home’ than just working from home. During lockdown, we were forced to do it and it was a very artificial set of circumstances. Adjusting to that way of life permanently can be incredibly challenging, and it’s not for everyone. Many people do not have the self-discipline, technological know-how or facilities to work effectively.

Another aspect of such a dynamic not covered in the article is that of commission distribution. While working from home might reduce agent costs, the major saving will accrue to the agencies. Surely agency cost reductions must lead to a redistribution of commission in favour of the agent?

The lockdown hit the real estate industry hard and left thousands of estate agents with little or no income. Could the real estate regulator have done more to show support? Many estate agents felt left out in the cold.


The EAAB was missing the action even before the new CEO made all her promises to fix the establishment and its problems.

I wonder if we had to disappear, like the EAAB did when COVID 19 hit us, what would have happened to our businesses and staff we employ? You just have to be on social media to see the frustration of the industry as a whole.

The EAAB showed zero compassion towards their clients (estate agents) during this COVID 19 lockdown….in other words they did nothing to HELP us.

Daily operational tasks for example to match a payment on a bank statement with an account on their system – they can’t even do that!

As an estate agent with 14 years experience, I don’t feel represented by my regulative body (EAAB) at all. I feel left out in the COLD trying to survive on my own with the added stress of the audits that needs to be in by the end of June 2020 and the CPD that I paid for but can’t use to further my skills.

This is a 2020 HORROR story featuring the EAAB and its CEO clearly not giving a damn about the real estate industry at all.

All we can say is thank you to REBOSA & newly formed NPPC for keeping us informed and for trying to get us working ASAP. We salute your efforts and appreciate your intervention in representing us. All of us!

The EAAB is not interested in the property industry and it shows through their responses that they have communicated so far. It says nothing that we don’t know already and says more about why they won’t work from their offices anytime soon than how they are HELPING the estate agents through these tough times.

They are probably on full salary in these times? So why would they even bother?

Anyhow, now I feel better that I got a real chance of voicing my frustrations on ground level.

It is evident that the EAAB is far removed from what is actually happening on the ground. And that is a fact!


It is actually to impossible to gauge the level of service being delivered as it is so dismal that it does not reach a level. I am of belief that the easiest way for this to be turned around is for the EAAB to invest in a world-class online system. The main issue we sit with is caused by them attempting to deliver online with a system not designed to be able to deliver. There are many online businesses that run a pure online system from registering, ordering, paying and delivering. This is not a new invention that requires years of research. Their first point of transformation should be transforming themselves to be able to deliver to an industry that has for too many years just put up with bad service. Less time spent on issuing long and convoluted emails explaining why they cannot and more time actually doing. COVID-19 is the best excuse that has come along for now they have an actual “reality” that we all have witnessed. If they had done the investment on the infrastructure and ensured we had a world-class online system, the agents would have been able to function regardless of them being in office or not!


I would like to know who in the real estate industry ever thought for one second the EAAB is there to support, educate and uphold the needs of the industry?

Nonsense – The EAAB is a public service and serves the general public NOT estate agents / agencies – if a member of the public feels done in by an agency or an estate agent for that matter, they log a complaint to EAAB and within 24 hours that agency/estate agent has a mail in their inbox requiring an explanation with proof of their version of events or face a hearing…. what does this tell you?

The sooner the industry sets up it’s own regulator and/or body to support the needs of industry the better with a fund for agents who are in need of financial assistance whether in food vouchers or airtime, or medical expenses the better.

Nico Oelofse

I always read and enjoy your publication to keep abreast on the property industry.

I have never received my CPD renewal notification this year from the EAAB.

A fellow principal (in fact many) also never received there notifications.
I sent about 2 emails to the CPD department asking them what the situation is, and to my surprise I have till date never received any reaction from anybody.

I had done already about 8 years rolling CPD courses through the years but the service of the EAAB is getting worse by the year.
Not even mentioning presenters not even turning up last year for CPD presentations in Port Elizabeth.

Does somebody maybe have any advice or help on what I can do in my situation?

James Otter

It is the VISION or IDEAL the EAAB is seeking to attain and we, as property practitioners, should wish them success in this endeavor.

The EAAB is not there for the benefit of property practitioners. Its purpose is to regulate property practitioners in serving the public interest by restricting and imposing on property practitioners in terms of legislation.

The Institute of Estate Agents is a professional body serving the interests of property practitioners and interacts on their behalf with the EAAB

REBOSA is a body serving the interests of estate agencies (in effect the larger
agencies) and interacts on their behalf with the EAAB.

The EAAB controls the industry via legislation, we are merely one of several stakeholders.

Should the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) have been held responsible for settling the legal costs in the ‘No FFC no commission’ appeal? This would be fair in the opinion of some as the legislator is responsible for not issuing the correct FFC timeously to Signature Realty.

Dean Thurley

How will this ruling apply to the provisions of the new Property Practitioners bill?

In this case the dispute was between the 2 agencies, where the second one would end up paying costs and the EAAB, who is the actual party at fault, walks away without any costs order. As this resulted from the board not doing what it needs to, I feel that the costs order should have been paid by the board for both parties.

Gavin Hutchinson

This is a great victory for estate agents and now we don’t have to rely on the incompetence of the EAAB in the issuing of our FFC’s after we have paid and followed the correct procedures. The EAAB has been failing to issue legit FFC’s for many, many years and caused so much grief and tears and even loss of earnings for legit estate agents trying to make a honest living. GREAT VICTORY and what a waste of money in legal fees that I am sure government will have to pay – persons responsible at the EAAB need to answer.

Jeanette Hall

I agree. The EAAB should gave paid the costs. Once again, they walk away scot-free. Their incompetence is mind-boggling. Especially when an agent/agency has complied with all the requirements towards their FFC, and the board has not reacted. Forcing the agent into a vulnerable situation.

Johan Scott

Well done to all concerned, you did a great service to the industry as a whole. It is just a pity that the EAAB, who is ultimately responsible for the fiasco, isn’t penalized from their personal funds. Atlantic Seaboard Realty, who in my view tried to unfairly take advantage of a fellow agent’s predicament, will find they have lost credibility way beyond what they initially hoped to gain. Good luck with recovering from that.

‘It feels as though the entire EAAB is down with an infection – no action’ writes Arthur Mills, principal Augmentis, regarding his frustration with resolving his CPD and FFC payment updates.

I paid mine before the lockdown started. The lockdown is an ideal opportunity to get stuck into the CPD e-learning questionnaires/tests.

I have been and am still being prevented from accessing these questionnaires/tests because “the system” has not been updated with my payment and I am told I cannot proceed unless I have paid. For the past two months, I have been emailing EAAB to rectify this status and although I receive acknowledgement of those requests, NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

I am exasperated. It feels as though the entire EAAB is down with an infection – no action and this is not the only matter outstanding; for a full year and a half, I have been trying to get my FFC sorted out and again, I do exactly what is requested and when it is requested, but there is no change in status – it’s as though all my requests and submissions via email and telephone go into a deep and dark hole.

What is one to do?

Security estates in many areas have apparently been indicating that they will continue to refuse access to anyone other than residents or emergency contractors. David Dewar, director of Thomson Wilks Attorneys, Notaries and Conveyancers responds.

The estates have to allow access as visitations are allowed under the lockdown regulations so therefore no laws nor regulations are broken by property viewings.

Worst case scenario, residents can take the matter to court, but one letter of demand to the chairman of the body corporate or home-owners association should set the matter right. The letter must be addressed to the chairman, however, and not to the security company as they will be taking their instruction from the estate governing body.

Cool heads need to prevail or the rental market will be in serious trouble due to the high increase in the number of tenants unable to pay rental partially or in full raises writes Ian Badenhorst, owner Dominicum Properties.

As much as we as estate agents regret the effects that the Covid-19 virus and the lockdown had on all South African citizens – the effect has also made a significant impact on the ability of many tenants to continue to pay for and afford their lifestyle, given that many lost their income and/or job, and face a bleak future which may last several years while the economy recovers.

Those that cannot afford their own property and rely on rental options for their housing needs, is likely to grow in number even when affordability becomes an issue.

The courts are expected to be lenient towards supporting tenants and their plight to have a place to stay while being without a job and income to survive. The courts have in some instances already given their views to this question and from a social point of view, orders and judgments will most likely be set aside “sine die” and evictions will not take place until there is benefit of employment and affordability present in any tenants’ contract.

If any default on the payment of rentals on the basis of not having any or not enough income, will be allowed, this will cost the rental market and will be a put off from interest in investing in rental property somewhat.

This puts the question of how willing property investors will be to continue with an investment property without assurance or protection on rental payments to cover the cost of purchase. Estate agents will also face the possible reduction of income out of rental management of lease agreements when rentals are not paid. This spells trouble to agents and their earnings.

Another aspect is the payment of levies, payable by owners of sectional title schemes and many other forms of community schemes who rely on the levy income so as to be able to provide the services most needed for all the owners and residents within the community scheme.

There is thus the possibility of further collapse of this select section of the property market, which has been the most active in providing lower cost residential housing to the growing housing market. Without stability within the property sector, how is any form of recovery within the depressed economy expected to become a reality?

What is to be understood is that the economy is reliant of the obligation to pay for what you consume or take as a service or a benefit as part of a business transaction. Any default is seen as a damage in one area, which then impacts other areas that are also affected and becomes damaged as well. The negative impact will worsen if non-payment becomes the culture – this will happen after lockdown should the courts follow their hearts as opposed to their heads. The courts should adhere to legislation and not interfere in independent contracts between parties. If they don’t, this will lead to the collapse of personal rights and the cornerstone of civil law.

Thank you for your open letter EAAB CEO Mamodupi Mohlala – please also follow-up on the lack of e-learning CPD courses, as there currently aren’t any, and the lack of response to CPD and FFC payments and queries …


I must applaud your well-articulated response, Mme wa Rona, I personally feel much more relieved to have heard directly from you, especially where you make reference and emphasis to the need to protect human life without apology and compromise.

I wish to also state that I have had issues with my FFC for sometime now (despite having paid and sent proof of such through the web and I have colleagues who can also attest to suffering same). I think the much-needed response is in relation to systems and mechanisms for estate agents’ Covid relief funds of some sort or form.

It may appear as rather unfortunate, unpleasant or unfair to place all our anxieties and frustrations on your doorstep, but we do this because you are our point of reference (Re bana ba hao). Please help find ways to improve the efficiency of your subordinates such that we could avoid knocking directly on your door.

Aluta Continua, Serame

Remo Zambetti

It is high time that you as the CEO of the EAAB, stop defending your continued incompetence!

  1. FFC’s are supposed to have been issued by the end of 2019, it is May 2020 and if you, as you stated in your reply, are still busy issuing FFC’s, then you have failed in one of your primary responsibilities! Accept responsibility for your incompetence!
  2. You have not answered one of the queries from Mr Le Roux, i.e. why during lockdown, you sent out emails of demand for so called outstanding money, with threatening action if not paid within 10 days. In my case a total BS outstanding amount as I do not owe the EAAB 1 cent! I immediately answered your threatening email, but as per standard operating procedure for the EAAB, I have never received any explanation or apology from you or your staff that submitted the emails in error in the first place! I still await your explanation in this regard as you seem to have chosen to ignore this issue in your response to Mr Le Roux! Accept responsibility for your incompetence!
  3. The fact that you are not prepared to waiver all CPD fees for 2020, explains a lot about the EAAB. We, the agents are paying CPD fees, not to cover the cost of the CPD program, but to continue financing your glorious gravy train that you are operating at the EAAB! If this is not the case, then please explain why you require the ludicrous amount of over R80 million (40000 agents X R2000) to run a simple CPD program which I could run for less than R5 million? It is time you stopped this gravy train and operated the CPD program on e-learning alone and cut the CPD fees down to R500/agent which will give you R20 million to run the program, which I think is still excessive!

Thank you for your response Madam. However, I, as I am sure are many principals and agents, have been waiting for our “CPD plan 2020” to:

  1. Be shown as paid – which mine was in January and to date, whilst using the correct portal and then liaising with someone on email am still waiting for my R2500 to reflect as paid – so that we can register for now all online events we are nearly half way through the year and come 2021 the EAAB will announce that no FFC’s will be issued to those who have not completed 2020 CPD… I suppose
  2. Getting letters of demand (without a previous invoice) for only you would know to the tune of R12 000 my queries have gone unanswered by the souls that sent this to me twice. Send me an invoice please – all my Trust Audits are up to date and the interest earned paid up to and including 2019 audit… 2020 is still in progress so what indeed could your team be wanting R12 000 for?

MIA ... yes madam you have been and your staff have NOT been performing.

Leon van der Westhuizen

As if the lockdown is not bad enough for estate agents, we also struggle with a regulator that is completely unresponsive.

The Online Query facility is not working and has not worked during the complete lockdown up to date. The email address supplied for CPD points enquiries is faulty: nomlindi.gxasheka@eaab.org.za

The e-Learning facility is still not available. This means that estate agents could not use this lockdown period to complete their CPD points for the year.

Leon Jackson, principal Nicolway Real Estate

Excellent response ‘EAAB CEO Mamodupi Mohlala‘ as a registered principal agent and active operator in the property sector I applaud your professional response. I have constantly perused the EAAB website and can attest to all the points you have so professionally iterated upon. Yes, it is certainly trying times for us all, no one person or entity is immune to the current catastrophic circumstances we find ourselves faced with.

As a responsible citizen and operator in the property sector, as much as we are all faced with the financial constraints and economic backlash being unable to do business as usual, I do comprehend and agree with the measures put in place by our ‘Excellency Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa’ under the advice of the Covid-19 Command Council in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Furthermore, I appreciate all the work, planning and effort that your team together with your leadership have gone through, to ensure the wheels of the property industry keeps on turning. Your consideration to accommodate, motivate and provide extension relief on the submissions of the normal annual ‘CPD, AUDIT SUBMISSIONS AND FFC RENEWALS’ that we agents and principals are mandated to adhere too, relevant to our legal status in the industry, is appreciated.

As an independent operator with a small office, the current financial constraints are challenging. Prior to the ‘coronavirus’ our markets were already flattened and running out of steam with the poor economic state of affairs in our country and high unemployment. However the hurdles and challenges, I do believe that the tide will change, our current circumstances, we find ourselves in, will run its course and we will again rise and thrive. We will do this keeping in mind this pandemic that has made the whole world see the light, lessons learnt for sure.

Keep up the good work, together we will all certainly overcome adversity.

How can the selling of motor vehicles and gardening appliances be allowed during lockdown ahead of real estate services? Our government needs to understand that in real estate we don’t only sell property, there is far more to our industry than that, writes Bruce Campbell from Natal Property.

I commend Jan Le Roux and all the other stakeholders including the newly formulated NPPC for their continuous efforts in trying to convince the government to open up real estate in level 4 of this unfortunate lockdown. Our industry is under severe financial pressure, our agents are in dire straits financially, and many other related businesses such as conveyancers, and not forgetting many sellers, are also hugely affected.

I cannot comprehend how the selling of motor vehicles can be allowed ahead of selling of property, and that garden services are allowed before real estate. My agency manages over 700 rental properties and about 140 body corporates around our city. We have had endless issues trying to communicate with owners and tenants from our homes regarding payment and non-payment of rentals, services accounts, levy payments, insurance claims and related issues.

Our government also needs to understand that in real estate we don’t only sell property, there is far more to our industry than just that. I believe that it is time for them to allow us to return to work under certain restrictions that have already been suggested by our representative bodies, otherwise our industry and many businesses will eventually be forced to close down, resulting in a further loss of jobs.

The lockdown has had a devastating impact on the rental market. One of the issues raised is whether landlords and/or rental agents may refuse early termination of a lease agreement from a tenant that is unable to continue paying rent due to loss of income due to the lockdown. Jacqui Savage, national rentals manager for the Rawson Property Group responds.

During this time we have seen large numbers of landlords accommodating their tenants with regards to their financial position. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) clearly states a tenant may cancel their lease agreement with 20 business days’ notice, so a landlord may not prohibit a tenant from cancelling a lease agreement.

Ubuntu comes into effect here, where the situations of each party need to be considered. Lots of people have lost their income or had decreases to their salary during these difficult times and each party to the lease agreement needs to ensure that they are considerate and understanding to these circumstances.

There are documents in place to assist tenants in financial situations during this time and it is crucial for all parties to discuss a way forward.

The most important advice I can offer at this time is that the line of communication between all parties must remain open and honest. We are in this together and we will get through these difficult times.

Estate agents are pleading to be allowed to work. Thousands of property professionals remain excluded from the ‘essential or permitted services’ allowed to operate during lockdown Level 4 – with no indication of the duration of this state that could mean months of no income.

Joanne Attenborough

I believe sales agents should come together to bring a mass petition to the EAAB for relief funding. The industry brings billions in tax towards state coffers annually. The EAAB can lobby government on our behalf if they are unable to offer any financial assistance from the Fidelity Fund.

It’s outrageous that the EAAB has completely neglected to reach out to its members during this unprecedented pandemic. There are many agents who have no sales in the pipeline due to sales being cancelled and delayed indefinitely, many bonds not being granted due to applicants losing jobs, having salary cuts etc.

The simple fact is that we will remain in lockdown until level 2, with no way of knowing when that will be. Add to that the depressed economic market we as real estate practitioners will be entering once we are allowed to go back to work, it most likely will result in any potential income we are able to earn, taking possibly at least 6 months from now, to reach us. 99% of sales agents will NOT survive staying in this industry if faced with this scenario, which is definitely not an unrealistic estimation of how long it will take for any bucks to reach our bank accounts.

The reality is that by the time we do get to close our first sale after lockdown, we will be so deep in debt due to NOT having been able to stay on top of our monthly expenses that it could take us years to recover if we don’t go after some kind of financial aid NOW.

I suggest that we NOT wait any longer for the EAAB, Rebosa, our agencies or government to reach out to us with a plan, we may just end up waiting in vain. We are just as entitled to financial aid as any other tax paying worker in South Africa, but we have been completely overlooked – blocked – shut off from benefiting from any offerings of MEANINGFUL financial aid/relief. SPEAK OUT! TAKE ACTION! COLLABORATE! Estate agents need to UNITE to save ourselves, each other and our dependents, let’s be that VOICE that speaks out to protect our hard earned careers and incomes.
Email me at attenborough.joanne@gmail.com Send me your suggestions as to how you think we can make this happen quickly and what skills you can contribute to petition the EAAB and/or government. Thank you.


Many agents don’t do sales and rely on their rentals for monthly payments and commission. Many are single parents that have children to feed and bills to pay. Us rental agents need to live and work and support our families. Please, please let us work.

Seamus Connell

The Deeds Offices should have stayed opened at the beginning of lockdown to finalise transactions that were there at the time. The Deeds Offices will receive very few deals in the next month/ 6 weeks as property brokers cannot even show a property. I do not believe that government understands how pivotal the property industry is in this country. A property broker creates so much employment ie in banks, mortgage originators, attorneys, insurance, assurance, plumbers, electricians, locksmiths etc, etc.

Chrystal Naidoo

Dear NPPC, we look towards your guidance and unwavering pressure on government to allow us to operate during Level 4. As a principal of a real estate firm, I have tried to reduce company expenses to assist agents financially to at least put food on the table, but banks are slow to assist. Please help us get back to work, we need to stay relevant in the property sector and get the industry and related industries to generate much needed income.

Toegtisa Fakier

As a matter of urgency, we as estate agents would like to know how must we survive in this industry if we are commission-earners only. We are a business in business and nobody has even given us a thought. We also need to buy food and pay bills. Also, there are some of us that also need to feed our families.

We pay loads of money to the Estate Agency Affairs Board for CPD points and Fidelity Fund Certificates. We are professionals that have been neglected all these years by the EAAB.

Peter CP Greyling

I operate an agency in a coastal town where political problems such as “illegal” land grabs (tolerated by the police and DA municipality) have contributed to sales dropping by over 60% in the past 2 years. One of my few sales was due for transfer during April with the seller, tenant and buyer agreeing that the tenant would be able to move on 30 April. Now the seller says “I can’t pay the levies for May”, the tenant says “If I can’t move I am not going to pay any occupational rent” and the buyer says “Where the h….. do I go? I don’t have a place to stay“. My debit orders are bouncing today, and all I can say is “What did you expect?”.

Kathy Brown

What is worse, placing our economy at risk financially or allowing people in the high-risk areas to be affected by close contact which is unavoidable. The heart of the matter does not make sense!! I understand that all environments need to be prepared to combat this virus, hence the 6 weeks we have had should have been ample time for this. We are all human, and the more income, the more the whole of SA thrives. All industry plus real estate in this environment should be allowed to operate post-haste as long as social distancing happens. The financial support the South Africans have given out to help towards the elimination of this corona virus is phenomenal and the less we work, the less we support!!!

Abegail Morrison

I am a single parent with 4 kids and 2 in varsity with no assistance at all from any institution. So really, I have fees to pay, food to put on the table, data for assignments as tertiary education is being conducted online. I solely depend on selling property and nothing else. There has never been such a traumatic moment in my life … government needs to rethink.

The real estate sector broadly welcomes the new representative body for the sector, the National Property Professional Council (NPPC). Graham Lawrence hopes the professional bodies will in future also be laying down and enforcing the ‘house rules’ for the industry

Graham Lawrence wrote: Much appreciation for your magazine and keeping us informed.

Suffice for me to say that to qualify oneself was a difficult and expensive exercise. To see our industry improving and becoming much more professional makes me proud to be a “professional property practitioner”.

However, we still have others who get away with unscrupulous conduct and illegal involvement in transactions. The time has come for all our professional bodies to lay down certain house rules if we are to be respected in the industry. The law needs to be applied to the letter.

Question: Do the professional bodies have any legal capacity to act and to address matters?

Property developer Reinier van Loggerenberg, managing director Craft Homes, pleads for the re-introduction the VAT Act as this will bring significant cash flow relief to property developers.

Our brave President’s new economic plan has found favour with many South Africans and its businesses affected by COVID-19. I personally commend his efforts to bring about fundamental change to the economy and create greater equality for all, especially in these trying times. I will most certainly be doing my best to contribute to our national effort to protect, restore and build this great nation.

As a property developer we harness the uncertainty and unknown by reflecting on the situation collectively; Utilizing existing knowledge and bring about change through constructive dialog. The uncertainty in the market conditions during and post Covid-19, dominates these discussions and certainly has the potential to repeat the 2008 residential market crash. Will the recent consecutive reduction in the interest rate be enough to stimulate the market? or, will the consequences of the adverse market and economic conditions push prospective buyers into the rental market? Let’s not wait in vain for a Cassandra figure, let us bring about effective policy change.

Section 18B of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991 (the “VAT Act”) ,was introduced early in 2012, this legislation brought about significant cash flow relief for residential developers by allowing them to temporarily let their residential units (held for sale) for a period of up to 36 months before the VAT under the change in use provisions became payable. However, it was only short-lived relief as the cessation of relief under section 18B of the same act, was enforced in January of 2018 triggering an immediate VAT liability on the open market value of all unsold residential properties temporarily let.

Reintroducing Section 18B will bring about significant cash flow relief for property developers who in turn will through further investment stimulate the residential property market, a pillar for the new South African economy. Let us bring about effective policy change for a better future. Add your voice by joining the discussion.

There continues to be difference of opinion as to whether trustees may make rules that permit use of the common area in a sectional title development, or put another way, whether the police is wrong to assume restrictions about walking dogs in public also applies to the use of the ST common area.

Dave Farrer wrote

In response to ‘Sectional title schemes aren’t exempt from lockdown rules’:

Graham Paddock, writing in the Daily Maverick, states that: “the regulations in regard to the restriction of movement do not apply to private property as found in any gated village, only to places or premises normally open to the public”. He goes on to say that: “As the regulations stand, I consider the SAPS opinion to be wrong … If the minister wishes to deal specifically with restricting resident movement in the private property in community schemes, she can amend the regulations to do so”.

Commenting on the article mentioned above, Brian Edwards (a non-practicing attorney) concurs: “the way the Minister of Police and some police leaders have pronounced is not in my opinion binding – only their personal opinion. The regulations, as I read them, say only we are confined to our “place of residence” – there is no definition of the term in the regulations. Apparently ministers have the right to issue clarifying “directives” and I have found no evidence of one in this case”.

“In sectional title, you own a section and a share of common property, for residential purposes. This means that owners can use common property for access and recreation. And under the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act trustees are not entitled to make rules confining owners to their sections” (Graham Paddock).

Based on the above, unless a minister has issued a “clarifying directive”, residents in a sectional titles scheme may legally continue to use the common property and trustees may not make rules to prevent this.

Many property professionals, buyers and sellers voiced great support for the appeal that government declare the Deeds Office an essential service as it would give financial relief to thousands – but some felt exceptions shouldn’t be made.

Erwin van der Westhuizen, property consultant Harcourts wrote

I cannot agree more with the article on the opening of the Deeds Office.

I have commented on Maroela Media regarding all the attention given to entertainers who lost their concerts and gigs. The gist of my letter was that the estate agents are much worse off because even after the lockdown we will still have no money while the entertainment guys will get paid immediately. I only wanted to draw attention to the section of society who is dependent on many institutions in order to earn a living which are now closed.

We will at best only start to receive commissions 2 months after the lockdown is lifted.

I hope the request is considered in a very serious light because it will influence many peoples’ lives.

Belinda Kotze

Agreed, why can’t the Deeds Office accept the latest property municipal accounts, which are supposed to be up to date – for rates & services clearance figures – which is available electronically immediately.
(1) The conveyancing attorneys requests the rates clearance of that/the latest amount x 4 in any event.
(2) Then the banks can also accept the property owner’s latest bank bond statement – electronically, with no intervention of any human, juggling figures. In any event, the whole property-transfer-process is going to be digitalised soon.
(3) Proof of payment to SARS from the conveyancers should be sufficient to conclude a property transaction.
(4) Accepting the fact that there will be some glitches in terms of metre-readings, etc. which in any event are minor issues and those transactions can be dealt with differently.

Jabulane Gumede

I fully support the idea that the real estate agency industry should be declared as an essential service.

For 22 years being in the real estate industry, I have depended on a commission-based salary. Now with the lockdown, I have already gone down due to these registration delays.

I cannot imagine property practitioners, that joined recently, how they will survive for the next coming months. Some of their first sales are not being attended to and all prospective leads are going to disappear just like that. It takes a turnaround of about 6 months to achieve the first successful transaction deal to get your first commission.


I have paid bond registration and transfer costs in February 1st week. Currently I am renting a room with my child and the living conditions are extremely poor. I fully understand the lockdown regulations, but the Deeds Office should function. As a buyer this has put us under a lot of stress.

Ian S, also an estate agent

If you open up the estate agency business, as is now requested, you can just as well cancel all Covid-19 regulations. Everyone thinks his situation has merit, where do we stop?

Steven Jefferies

The lockdown is affecting everybody and not just real estate agents and conveyancing attorneys. Many of us have small businesses that employ several people. I do not see why exceptions should be made for this sector while the rest of us also suffer financially while our businesses are closed. We are all eager to finalize projects that we started before lockdown.

Why can’t the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) set aside some of the funds collected from fees for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training to assist estate agents during lockdown?

Commercial and industrial property broker Peter Kleynhans wrote

I would really appreciate if the following question could be considered and published - a question which I didn't notice asked or mentioned on Speakers Corner (which is insightful) is that of CPD points.

As agents, we are required to contribute an annual fee towards this initiative. Most of my colleagues and real estate agents / people I ask, don't even know what the purpose is or what these funds are used for?

I would be interested to hear an opinion as to why some of these funds couldn’t be set aside to assist estate agents during this time, in lieu of UIF?

Jan le Rouw, CE of Rebosa responds

The EAAB argues that the CPD fees are raised to cover costs … I of course don’t agree but the Act empowers them to do stuff like this to raise funds. Please look at their annual report for the last year, you can find it under PUBLICATIONS on eaab.org.za.

They seem not to have money to spare and if they did the Act does not allow them to support estate agents in tough times. They can at best discount CPD fees. We asked and they refused.

(Editor’s note: The EAAB was also asked to comment on this matter. No response was received.)

I have been an estate agent for many years but never contributed to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). Can I look towards the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) for financial assistance? Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa explains why not.


I am an estate agent for the past 25 years. As is the norm we agents don’t even contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). With the Covid-19 pandemic we are basically unemployed and obviously not earning monies. What can the EAAB do to assist agents that are feeling the pinch of this shutdown? In my opinion we as agents should at least be registered to pay UIF and in times like this we should also be allowed to claim for temporary unemployment. I know the argument will be that we are independent contractors, but this does not mean we have to always sustain ourselves.

The EAAB has over time collected our FFC registrations and I’m sure they have funds to assist agents. In the future after the pandemic, I can see there will be quite a number that will be out of this business.

Your input is vital.

Jan le Rouw, CE of Rebosa responds

Agents should be contributing to UIF in terms of the law. Normally, one cannot claim when you are employed, but because of the unusual circumstances created by the lockdown, the UIF and the Department of Employment and Labour have launched the new Covid-19 temporary relief scheme. This scheme will provide relief to businesses in distress and unable to pay their employees’ salaries.

The EAAB does not have the funds nor the authority to pay estate agents any income. The objects of the EAAB are to maintain and promote the standard of conduct of estate agents and to regulate the activities of estate agents - that is it.

What about people who are supposed to move into a new property after 26 March and are afraid they will have to pay rent for both their current and new property if they can’t move during the lockdown?

Marlon Shevelew, director Marlon Shevelew and Associates responds

When it becomes impossible to perform in terms of the terms of an agreement, then the party who cannot perform will be excused from performing, and, as such, a failure to perform will not amount to breach of contract. This is called supervening impossibility. In order for a situation to fall under the doctrine of supervening impossibility, performance must be objectively impossible, and not merely difficult; if a specific person cannot perform but another person notionally could, then it will not be a situation of supervening impossibility.

The lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is what is in Latin called vis major. It is an unforeseen event beyond any person’s control which could not be prevented. It results in performance of certain obligations in terms of some agreements becoming impossible.

One example of a supervening impossibility is a tenant who is due to move into a property during the lockdown. Such a move is prohibited. Therefore the tenant cannot be held liable for a failure to move in as was agreed. Depending on the duration of the lease and the lockdown respectively, the whole lease may be void, or otherwise the tenant will be entitled to remission of rental for the period that it did not have beneficial use of the property. 

In short, if these people can’t move into the new property, the landlord will not be able to enforce the terms of the lease. This is an example of vis major releasing a party from its obligations

The country’s biggest property portal recently announced their annual subscription price increase – a matter that evoked a lot of response from estate agents.

Jim Alexander

With reference to my previous articles on the P24 ‘leads’ charges, I did as I said and pulled all of my listings from their portal. When will the rest of you follow suit instead of moaning?

Both JP Farinha and Charles Scott are experts at spin. Note this comment above… “…we align our costs with value created,”. What value is created when people ‘apparently’ click to open an email address or see a cell number, but never, never make any contact?

I asked P24 this question some time back. Charles’ response was to inform me that I should remove my listings. I already had. When will the rest of you follow me?


Totally agree. Hopefully a new portal will kick them out of the market in the not too distant future. They seem arrogant about their decision, their service poor. Time for decisions and if our agents, together, decide to stop advertising on their portal, they will have to go back to the table and sharpen their arrogant pencil.

Natasha Swanepoel

It is ridiculous to increase prices so drastically. Us smaller agencies are really struggling to keep head above water. Bring back the system you had before, with every registered deal you take a certain percentage. That worked out much better for us.


Have you maybe taken the time to sit down and negotiate your pricing, terms etc? We did and we are getting a better service at a better price with additional add-ons. We also get way more leads, to be fair negotiate first and then relook at things before commenting. Speak to Robyn she sorted us out in less than 2 days and we are extremely happy.

1) As long as expropriation of property is not defined, there is no legal basis why government can’t claim more than land and buildings, so there is reason to be concerned writes Ian Badenhorst.

In respect to the comments of Terrence Corrigan, I am of the opinion that the comment can be considered a strong possibility. The perception among the previously disadvantaged persons in South Africa, including those from Zimbabwe and other northern regions of Africa, who are now either holding some form of temporary residency or holding a refugee status, are that they qualify for government grants, housing and the same old promises the ANC gave to all those supporters leading up to the first general election at which the ANC took over government.

The promise was free housing, free services, cars and appliances which township residents were said to be deprived of.

Note that the term property is not defined as land and buildings so expropriation can be anything and everything that the government wants to take.

They are already starting with pensions and forcing banks to lend money to collapsing SOE’s who, if allowed to continue, will wipe those assets, pension funds and banks into extinction.

Where is the building of wealth and creation of employment being advocated by government? It is all a bunch of smoke blowing up the backside of international players waiting to reap the benefit of taking all the cream of the economy and its investment once the economy goes into final meltdown.

On the point of the EAAB and CPD. The annual fee paid for CPD should be in keeping with the cost to provide local training to all agents. The training presented at regional venues several times within each year should meet the needs of each category of agent who is in business

The training is not focused on the professional field of an agent, for example, those specifically dealing with sales or those specifically dealing with rentals and those specifically dealing with sectional title services to body corporates.

I am a sectional title specialist and take appointments from the court on the administration of a body corporate in distress.

As a qualified insolvency practitioner, I can compare this as being similar to that of business rescue but under different conditions, rules and processes under the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act.

I cannot see any reason how my activity is requiring me to travel at my cost outside my region to attend training, and, at a further cost to myself to attend training in performing functions that I am not performing or practicing in this profession.

2) With regards to the new SPLUMA legislation, Andrew Walters asked what happens with agricultural properties that don’t have approved building plans.

Andrew Walters writes

Hi, we deal predominantly with country properties, plots and farms. Many of these properties do not have approved building plans due to the slack enforcement in the recent as well as the historical past.

In some instances, municipalities have had incidents where plans were destroyed by fire etc or just simply lost.

It appears as if SPLUMA will mean that the owners, when they want to sell, will have to have plans drawn up despite that it is not their fault?

Attorney and conveyancer Matthew Ainsworth responds

Hi Andrew, as stated, much depends on what municipality the property falls under and what by-laws are adopted there.

If providing such a certificate is a requirement and it turns out that there are not valid building plans, then unfortunately yes, the owners would need to have plans drawn up.

Where the lack of valid plans is due to the municipality having lost the file or a third party cause then it may, and I say this very hesitantly, may, be possible to claim the costs of the plans from those parties, but it would still mean the owner would have to pay to have the plans drawn up in the first place in order to get the certificate.

The Institute of Race Relations’ Terrance Corrigan says there is no guarantee that any property will be exempt from expropriation without compensation (EWC). Some found his views subjective paranoia mongering while others thought it spot on. What do you think?

Andre (email)

Terrance Corrigan’s view on EWC is absolutely contrived and mostly subjective paranoia mongering. I am surprised it was published.

Please get a lawyer to write a factual article that takes account of the draft legislation and the Constitution.

(Property Professional has published articles that looked at EWC from a legal point of view. Recommended reading: ‘Expropriation with(out) compensation part 1 and 2’. Ed.)

Leslie Howard Taylor (web)

Put bluntly and correct. A big concern to me as a South African is:

Who will the land be given to? All the cronies and the ones with the biggest gang or guns. Surely a big risk. It is already a failure with all the corruption in our country and South Africa may end up a Zimbabwe or Venezuela and this can create anarchy and destruction. The majority of South Africans will become beggars. All the signs are there and we definitely may end up in civil war.

There must be another way to give people land as government does have most of the land. It is a wait and see.

Waldo (web)

Well, this is communism at work, which has never worked. The ideology is straight from communism. The State is the ultimate. The State owns everything, and the individual is given according to his/her need from ‘Das Kapital’ by Mr Karl Marx. Unfortunately, this has not worked in Russia or Cuba, and ends in poverty and more corruption. To be fair, it is easy to sell this to someone who is poor and wants more. Again, it is doomed for failure and individualism/entrepreneurship is killed in the process.

Expropriation without compensation remains an important issue that needs to be carefully resolved. What will happen to outstanding mortgages, farms and residential property are some of the concerns raised in response to “Why EWC remains a concern”.

Kobie Nortje, Pretoria

My friend, if government pull this law through, they must pay the landowners’ bonds in full. This can be a dispute for years to come. The ANC sits with thousands of hectares of ground and all the RDP houses that they can register in the family’s name. Just allow that to happen. Don’t take farmers’ property! Assure with this action that they can succeed in farming and renovate their own house in new areas. You don’t take somebody’s farm and equipment, who plant plant food for the masses, and give it to a person for free. I can assure you that will bring war and hunger to our nation!

Jeremy Carr

Yet again the big boys are not prepared to state the obvious. So I guess I will.

The ANC have deliberately fudged land reform for 26 years because their intent has always been to follow through with the ‘National Democratic Revolution’ (NDR) and take possession of all property.

The definition of the word ‘property’ in respect of the Act is all encompassing and includes cash on hand, bank accounts, pensions, equipment, land and improvements etc etc.

The ANC repeatedly tell us that productive farmland and food security are not at risk. Question, if that is the case, why does the Act not specify it?

The large corporate banks could get together and pressurize the ANC to change course yet they have not. Any thinking person would have to ask why not? One also needs to question either the intellect or the ethics of that leadership.

The same can be said about the medical schemes’ almost silence on NHI, one could be forgiven for thinking backroom deals are afoot ensuring corporate wealth is unaffected. No such comfort for the average citizen. I say average citizen because this will damage everybody except the ‘elite’ chosen few.

It is clear for anybody with a functioning brain that the intention is to change the Constitution to allow EWC and thereafter nothing will stop them altering the Act to change the timetable and order of that expropriation.

All the time corporate SA sits back and says nothing. You have to ask, Why?

A further point that none of the big boys make is that if the ANC do not intend to touch residential property, then why is it simply not excluded from the Act?

Wake up and stop pussyfooting around and grow a spine before it is too late.

The EAAB says from 1 April black estate agents may apply for exemption on fees and time limits to meet regulatory educational requirements. Termed everything from reverse racism and a great injustice to black agents to a sensible way to make the industry more accessible to less fortunate individuals from previously disadvantaged (PDI) backgrounds, this plan has the industry talking.

Justin Clarke (website)

Like all misguided bureaucrats the EAAB is doing a great injustice to PDI estate agents and creating a perception that agents of colour are inferior. The message to the market is that estate agents of colour are not at the same level as their white colleagues … and that is unfortunate because now CONSUMERs will keep them out of the market.

If the bureaucrats at the EAAB knew anything about this industry, they would create an elite training school for PDI agents so that the consumer would actually select PDI agents because they were perceived to be better.

Finally, TRUST is one of the most important factors in selecting an estate agent, and the EAAB is suggesting that a consumer should hand over a deposit to an agent who has not bothered to submit their trust account for audit?

Misaligned and absurd decision!
Apologies to my highly competent black agents who will be regarded as second-class because of their skin colour.

Lynda van Niekerk (Facebook)

Audits cost a fortune, so why can’t we all be exempted?

Ralph Pandoy

We are 26 years into democracy and still one sector of the population is being treated with kids’ gloves. Give everyone the same opportunity. This opens the door for more unqualified persons to enter the industry. Just a question, who falls under PDI’s and how is this going to be controlled? Submitting bank statements is not sufficient proof because this will be encouraging more and more non-disclosure to fall within the limit. More fraud.

Michelle Smit (Facebook)

So tired of EVERYTHING being about the colour of your skin. I appreciate the history of our country is something we must never forget, but we will never move forward together as long as one race feels disadvantaged. Where’s the incentive to work hard to achieve anything anymore if it basically just gets handed to you on a silver platter.

Mapule Mokhawa (Facebook combined comments)

Sorry that it affects you that way, but it’s really not on a silver platter. Our society in general is far from being transformed. This is not a political answer but it is the reality of people coming from households that survive on R3 500 or less a month. Then our industry expects that person to afford a car or taxi money to get to listings, airtime to call clients around, pocket money for marketing material, etc. So, when the EAAB says instead of two years, let’s extend the expectations for NQF qualifications to five years based on financial constraints that being previously disadvantaged comes with, it makes perfect sense to me. I was opposing it too before I got to fully read the facts. Seek to understand, engage with your black countrymen on a deeper level, you’ll realize that they don’t even have airtime to call around. Rather than taking offense of efforts to transform society, seek to understand. Being black myself, there was no way I could have been able to make it in the industry had I not first become an engineer. I’ve spoken to a lot of ambitious black people who took interest, attended training to start in the industry, but failed to kickstart due to initial cost. And I mean a lot of people, hey.

Meryl Muller (Facebook)

From a facilitator of real estate courses – training and education. From inception in July 2008 of the mandatory qualifications for all principals and agents in South Africa, it has been a privilege to take some 2 500 learners, from all backgrounds, along the learning path towards becoming qualified estate agents.

It has been a lot easier for some, but the majority of learners battle – not only with the workload required to be found competent and be certified – but with the expense.

This is not just about paying for the tuition, it’s about being able to sustain oneself for a lengthy period of time, to be able to ‘set the wheels in motion’ so as to be able to earn on a regular basis … and this in a commission-earning capacity is not mean feat.

Whatever it is the EAAB has in mind, with regards to assisting PDIs in be qualified and, it appears, assisting failed PDI businesses to fast-track to re-establishing their business, it is not going to be a ‘walk in the park’ … and it will have to comply with the present EAA Act and ‘soon to be’ PP Act.

So, before knocking the intention, let’s see how the EAAB intend implementing this! Just saying ….

Leon Jackson (website)

As an operator in the property sector, I am 100% in favour of the PDI exemption coming into effect, opportunities should be afforded to all our citizens who are willing to work and contribute to the South African economy. ‘Working together we can grow and prosper’ making our country great in every aspect.

2) For managing agents to do continuing professional development (CPD) courses is like being a butcher but taking exams on plumbing writes Les Reynard.

I wish to throw a log on the fire.

I have been a managing agent for 36 years – I now have to do CPD and because I do not rent or sell property I have to learn all about it to keep my status as an estate agent (also waiting for my FFC having paid for it in July).

This is like being a butcher but having to learn about and take exams on plumbing – JUST TO BE ABLE TO WORK AS A BUTCHER.

In all the years I have done CPD there has only been about two programs on sectional title. When there is a road show, I take my budgets and work on them whilst the talk is on. There is absolutely nothing for me to learn on the videos or at the shows!

Two of my staff became estate agents – not because they had too, they thought it would be a good idea. The one year internship was a joke – as principal I have to sign all their reports – and I don’t know a thing about selling. My staff had to give copies of their adverts and copies of their contracts – what a joke.

1) Why is mass non-payment of CPD fees not a practical strategy to exert pressure on the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) to force them to improve their service delivery? Jan le Roux, chief executive of Rebosa weighs in on the matter.

Off course Rebosa shares the concerns of industry given the fiasco in respect of the issuing of FFC’s.

It is unfortunately not practical to promote the non-payment of fees for CPD, or FFCs, for that matter.

If the only penalty was a fine, one could pursue this option. Unfortunately the penalty is forfeiture of commission as the EAAB will not issue one’s FFC if you are not in compliance.

Once that is rectified you may still battle for months to get your FFC re-instated.

2) When did the EAAB become a money-making institution?

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) was established in 1976 in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 112 of 1976 (‘the Act’), with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest; and for incidental matters.

So, the EAAB, being a government department, is a regulatory body established to protect the public at large against unscrupulous estate agents. Employees of the EAAB are government workers and as such are paid a government salary.

On 17 May 2012, the EAAB, after reporting to the Minister of Trade and Industry since its inception in 1976, was transferred to the Department of Human Settlements by proclamation of the then President of South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma.

In 2015, some 39 years after its inception, the EAAB introduced CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for all qualified estate agents in South Africa at R2 000 per annum per estate agent.

I doubt very much that the EAAB has the best interests of estate agents at heart or are genuinely concerned with the personal professional development of estate agents in South Africa and nor should they be. The EAAB is a regulatory government body and not a training academy and/or money-making institution, … or are they? Estate agents and estate agencies in South Africa managed just fine before the introduction of CPD.

Let’s say that there are 40,000 qualified estate agents in South Africa, multiply this by R2,000 = R80 Million per annum. Employees of the EAAB are paid their salaries by the government, so where does all this money go to? So, in 2015 the EAAB’s annual income was bolstered by approximately R80,000,000 per annum, going forward, quite a feat! Project this annual income forward over 10 years and it is a staggering amount of money.

Let’s not forget that each and every registered estate agent in South Africa also has to pay for their annual FFC each year too.

– Anonymous estate agent

1) Is the big brand office model on the way out in real estate in South Africa or not yet? Property practitioners argue in favour and against the office model in reaction to Weighing up: The office or work from home?

Ross Everitt, Chas Everitt

Whilst I can appreciate the benefits of working remotely; I prefer to work in an office environment. The structure of going to work at a certain time each morning, the routine it offers in our constantly changing day; the contact with colleagues and feeding off their energy are all great benefits. I also prefer setting a boundary between work and home.

We are all different and I am so fortunate to work in a real estate company which is flexible and embraces the needs of the agent. Whilst many more of my colleagues will be working from home – those who chose, remain office-based and there are quite a few. It’s up to the agent to choose. Thank you, Chas Everitt, for your flexible model which meets a variety of agents’ needs.

Nicci Strooh, Harcourts

An interesting article. Whilst I support the flexibility that comes with being an agent, the importance of being informed and keeping abreast with changes, training, technology and legislation remains critical to an agent’s success. Agents are having to continuously reinvent themselves. Having the backing and togetherness that comes from a structured, positive working environment where staff share successes, problems, obstacles, etc goes a long way to creating a positive mindset, which in turn helps a salesperson to do better than they would on their own.

Bernard Wiese, principal CCH (Cape Country Homes and City Country Homes)

The choice to be more dependent on a brick & mortar office with a national brand does at present cost estate agents between 52% (company share) to about 30% (company share) of the commission earnings. In some instances, such office focussed brands charged fixed admin and desks fees of up to R6 500 per month – i.e. excluding any marketing costs.

The CCH virtual office system has been operational since 2006. Experience has taught us that the freedom to operate without any restrictive business model rules (no allocation of farming areas or compulsory office duties) does attract a more independent minded businessperson – someone who would like to earn up to 90% of the commission.

CCH strives to provide time consuming marketing services to our member agents for a fraction of the cost it would be should they be doing it on their own. This includes social media management, photographic including 3D model services, CRM system services, provision of marketing material through inhouse graphic designer etc…

Biweekly training meetings are hosted and every area has a variety of active Whatsapp groups through which agents communicate continuously with each other.

Real estate (sales) offices will undoubtably become less and smaller. The fact that big office based national brands only handle 30% [would the national brands agree with this percentage? Ed] of all transactions in South Africa clearly testify that office dependence is already a minority preference.

The fact that 50% [more correct to make this approximately 50% Ed.] of all estate agents in SA are intern estate agents (who are in need of a much more closely monitored management style) does however point to a continuance of our present dispensation – where at least a big proportion of newcomers will keep on joining the national brands for more structured training assistance and remain with them until they reach their “tipping point” and move on to business models which offer them much higher commission earning scales.

Adrian Grove, Entegral

The future of real estate is virtual with remote offices to reduce operational costs. Critical in a highly competitive environment where agents command top commission splits. We are helping an increasing number of virtual agencies to launch at Entegral, including franchises that convert to independent status, thus saving on brick and mortal plus royalty fees. It is a no-brainer if you are focusing on the next generation of agents who are comfortable to work like that.

Jim Alexander, PropertyTime

There are at least 4 trends that mitigate against the traditional office model.

  1. Rising rental costs
  2. Low cost, easy to use technology
  3. Younger agents who prefer technology over colleagues
  4. Virtual office space – rent by the hour.

When I walk into most agency offices, they are empty as they should be, assuming the agents are in territory. Mostly the only people there are the manager/owner and the receptionist.

Fixed offices are no longer a sustainable nor cost-effective option!

2) In response to ‘A heartfelt apology might have cut it, denial does not’ complaints from agents desperate to obtain their FFCs keep coming in. Here Elda Crous vents her frustration.

Your article was 100% correct and the long reply published by the CEO of the EAAB is a lie.

I had logged queries since April 2018 with the EAAB regarding our company’s FFC not being issued. My business partner (83 years at the time) resigned as a director and principal of the company in January 2018. He personally delivered his resignation from the EAAB to their offices.

I am compliant with all the EAAB requirements. I forwarded the official confirmation from CIPC that I am the only director of the company. My previous partner has also been removed as a signatory to our trust account.

When I log onto the EAAB website, a query logged on 30 October 2019 states: In progress (Carol Mauda). A follow-up query logged on 17 January 2020 states: Not Started (Carol Mauda).

I tried twice to call the EAAB on Monday 20 January 2020. Both times I was put on hold for more than 15 minutes. Eventually I just ended the calls. I took photos on my phone to prove the dialled EAAB number (0872853222) and the duration of the calls.

I check the website daily to check their progress. I have been without a company FFC certificate since 2018 but paid all my fees on time and submitted the auditor’s reports on time.

To me the EAAB is just another SOE milking hard-working businesspeople to enable fat cats to sit in cozy jobs doing nothing.

I appreciate you putting the effort in to bring this disgrace of an organisation’s ineptness to the surface.

I am beyond desperate and am glad I could vent my frustration to someone who understands.

Some agencies invite agents to join them with the promise that they will be able to run their own business without an NQF5. Can this be right that people are helped to operate a real estate company without the correct qualifications? 

Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa, comments

Without commenting on an offer made by any particular agency, it must be noted that it would be legal for a qualified principal to be registered with the EAAB as a principal in more than one estate agency.

Such a person can therefore offer to become the principal of the estate agency that belongs 100% to another person not so qualified. Even a candidate estate agent will be able to own an estate agency with the assistance of somebody qualified.


If this is done correctly it does not necessarily follow that the agency would then be run by somebody without the required qualifications.

Therein lies the catch though, as this principal will be responsible for the running of the agency as far as all compliance issues are concerned.

The new Act, when promulgated, will make this even more onerous to this “principal for rent“ as Section 64 (3) of the Property Practitioners Act stipulates that “In any proceedings in respect of sanctionable conduct, it is no defence that the principal property practitioner was not aware of the acts or omissions of the property practitioner or the candidate property practitioner.“

If the owner of such an estate agency happens to be a candidate estate agent, the "principal for rent”, of course, is responsible for supervision of the drafting of documentation as well.

1) Not only can’t estate agents trade legally without a new FFC, but the lack of a response to their emails and calls to the EAAB exacerbates their frustration. Many agents commented on ‘EAAB disappoints’ that they’ve paid their fees months ago but are still waiting for a response as well as their FFC.

Terry Wild

We still have about 10 agents FFCs that are outstanding from the EAAB and has been queried with them and no response has been received.

Mike Spencer

All fine and dandy except you don’t get a tracking number from the EAAB that is needed when making a report to REBOSA. Thanks Jan for the help. We are still awaiting our FFC and are writing every two days to the EAAB without a response. We will be OK after the end of January because if they don’t respond the new act says that it is taken that you have been issued with a certificate. The EAAB is in shambles and should be disbanded. We are trying to create employment for new people, but it is impossible. The cost of joining and renewing with the EAAB is as much as one sale for many agents. The cost of training for the NQF4 is simply beyond the finances of most new agents. It is a crazy situation. Totally going in the wrong direction. We sent all our stuff on 30th October 2019 and to date have never been told why we have not been issued with our certificates. What a joke.

(Mike, the Act will only become effective after finalisation of the regulations, probably around June according to our information. In terms of the Act the EAAB will be obliged to issue but that does not mean it happens and may still leave you not "in possession". Best to persevere now. Ed.)

Ryno Brand

I paid 18 October … still waiting …

Johan Scott

Thanks for the update and all your effort, Jan. It’s good to know that there is someone taking them on. Perhaps it’s time we considered a class action against them for depriving us of our livelihood through their incompetence. I did try the ‘complaints’ address provided but it seems to be incorrect or perhaps no longer operative. I would appreciate it if someone can tell me what the case may be.

(Hi Johan, I sent a test email to the same address and got a response the same day. Perhaps just check whether you used the correct email address: ffc.complaints@eaab.org.za)

Teresa Wessels

We paid all the agents’ FFC on 8 October and uploaded it to the site. Logged a query on 13 October and followed up weekly on the phone. On Thursday 9 January, I sat on the phone listening to the recording to lodge three queries at a time (that’s the maximum they can assist with). This was then escalated to finance. Yesterday morning (16 January) I decided to fly from Durban to JHB. I went to the EAAB and within an hour had all the outstanding allocated with the cashier and this morning was able to download them all. Why does it take going there to sort this out this issue? So frustrating and expensive. I don’t see how an agent who is compliant and paid on time can be denied earning an income.


Self-regulating is the way to go because we will be able to monitor better. Question: I paid for my FFC on 6/10/2019. Up to today I have not even been issued an FFC, yet I have not received any explanation or response to logged queries. What happens to the interest on monies paid to the board and who is it due to? I support a own office for the Western Cape. Self-regulating yes.

2) Commenting on Jim Alexander’s complaint about a major property portal’s billing system for ‘leads’, John Fuller writes: There are continual complaints regarding “leads” as defined by the portals. One of the problems I have as a subscriber is that each time a property is listed, our competitors open the new listing to view the property, see who the agent is, check out the listing description and images, rate & taxes, levies, address, etc.

If you live in a small town as I do and my agency lists 50 new properties in a month and there are 100 estate agents in town, then each property is theoretically being “viewed” up to 100 times, and total monthly “views” are therefore 50 x 100 = 5000.  And these “views” are without a potential buyer having “viewed” any of the properties!

Perhaps inquiries from all registered estate agents who list properties on each portal should be recognizable by the portal’s backend so that they are not included as “views”.

Jim Alexander, estate agent from Mossel Bay, writes that after his last letter of complaint (Speaker’s Corner)  about Property24’s ‘charging for ‘leads’ which are no more than clicks’, he did as he promised and delisted all his properties from their portal. Except, he missed one …

It was an old listing outside of my normal territory. Entirely my fault!

So, how did I find out about it? Courtesy of P24 when in November they sent their October invoice stating that I had received 23 of these so-called ‘leads’- on one old listing.

Convinced there had to be some mistake or glitch, I went into my Agent Zone as I had done previously to see what types of ‘leads’ these were made up of, cell phone, emails or contact forms.

There was no longer any such report readily available – interesting!

On further investigation, I discovered that apparently my, ‘rights’ and that of all our other agents had been rescinded. They blamed our general manager (GM). Not even close to the truth.

(Some of you might have noticed quite a few features and other aspects of their site have changed over the past months.)

After numerous phone calls from myself and our GM to our relatively new account manager, she told me my rights had been re-established. However, I still could not find the previously available report. It’s no longer there and so I could not even check their stats against their invoice!

So next, our new account manager provided me with the steps to get the report….

  1. change my computer settings,
  2. download a comma delimited Excel
  3. do another couple of things and then I had my report.
  4. finally, I had to then filter to isolate my particular ‘leads’

What used to be simple is now complicated! Any more conspiracy theorists out there?

What I learned was that apparently there were 144 views of which 23 were ‘leads’, executed over a period of about three weeks on my single listing with not one sales enquiry. Quite incredible, me thinks.

So, armed with assurances in writing from previous altercations with them that they do not charge for duplicate ‘leads’, my next step was to request that they check for duplicates.

Well, well! Did that throw the proverbial pussy cat amongst the vultures?

First, our GM was told that P24 does not have the resources to go through endless lines on a spreadsheet to check every agent’s ‘leads’ individually as it is very time consuming. Then I was told they have an algorithm which identifies duplicates and deletes them. Which is it? And if there is an algorithm, please don’t ask for proof that it works!

P24 didn’t say as much, but why would I NOT get the impression that I must just pay up and shut up?

I won’t bore you with the rest of the gory details. Suffice it to say that after almost three weeks, I still do not have any answer, any proof that there were no duplicates, or any clicks for that matter!

Watch this space!

JP Farinha, CEO of Property24, responded that he is unfortunately travelling and may not be able to comment immediately since he will need to investigate the allegations contained in Jim Alexander’s letter. “What I can say is that our leads are de-duplicated through a technical process of identifying each individual browser to our site by using standard methodologies which are ubiquitous across the internet and widely accepted,” he ends.

Estate agents are talking about the news that Mamodupi Mohlala, CEO of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), took a video of her altercation with an employee and then filed a R800 000 lawsuit against the same man for calling her a bully and an autocratic leader. Here are some of the comments on ‘This is not leadership’ says Rebosa.

Mike Spencer

Now you know why the EAAB is in shambles. It is quite obvious that the CEO has no idea about how to handle people. This is the attitude that permeates this organisation and it placed on the companies and people that are registered (or not) with the EAAB. This is how we are treated generally. Don’t blame the organisation, blame the leaders.

Talitha Finkay

It seems to be a sad reality in our country of too many CEO’s and Ministers alike who are way too arrogant, yet un-skilled in the basics of sound business practice and social skills needed from anyone in the position they hold. From the arrogant thrones they sit on, treating the public as well as their staff, with contempt! Bit dictatorial I would say!

Linda Byron

Wow, this is definitely a case of trying to distract her detractors. I have had dealings via email with this employee and I am not surprised at his frustration as he was one of the few that actually helped solve problems. At the moment the CEO should ask herself if she is another square peg in a round hole and completely unsuited for the challenge of the position she fills. The state of the EAAB is an embarrassment to the profession and it is an insult to the professionals that everyday have to deal with the paralysis that seems to have taken hold with absolutely nothing happening with regards to service. The Department of Human Settlements needs to take drastic action to rescue this situation and restore a semblance of order!


With the immanent closure of the EAAB and being replaced by a new identity, the ”Property Practitioners Regulating Authority” - I would expect that this is the best opportunity to implement a change of leadership of whoever is to move into the new Act with its administration. No sense in keeping leaders who are not suited to the position of CEO or any other management position and who do not comply with the expected behaviour requirements with regards to the public image as well as industry professionalism.

The holiday season is upon us and once again many homeowners in sectional titles face the prospect of noisy holidaymakers disturbing the peace at all hours. Wendy Shawe asks if the trustees can stop short-term letting if the conduct rule of their sectional title development states that excessive noise will not be tolerated? Coenie Groenewald, COO of the National Association of Managing Agents responds.

Bodies corporate are governed by specific rules and regulations. These are contained in both the Act and Regulations and is extended to the specific conduct rules of the body corporate.

Section 7 of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act states that the functions and powers of the body corporate is to be performed and exercised by the trustees of the body corporate.

The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, Regulations clearly states that;

a) A member (owner) must take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the conduct rules in force in terms of the Act by any tenant or occupant of any section or exclusive use area, including the member’s employees, guests, visitors and family members.

This places the liability on the member (owner) to ensure that the tenant or occupier is informed of the rules prior to occupying the property.

Management rule 30 further states that;

The body corporate (by means of its trustees) must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a member or occupier does not;

b) use a section or exclusive use area so as to cause a nuisance

Recent debate on short-term letting includes the concept of AirBnB. A recent matter before the courts are pending an appeal process where an owner was prohibited to let her unit on the AirBnB platform.

Argument can also be made to whether the body corporate is mainly used for full time primary residence by the members or whether the development is holiday accommodation.

The fact still remains that the rules must be upheld, and where contravention occurs, the trustees must inform the owner of the unit thereof and request that his tenants adhere to the rules.

Failure to comply may result in action which includes a dispute and complaint being lodged to the Community Schemes Ombud Service or perhaps imposing a fine if the aforesaid is also agreed upon in relation to the rules, which must be registered and filed.

It may be advisable that where this type of letting occurs within the body corporate that the members secure proper rules on how short-term letting must be managed to ensure that there is no uncertainty.

It was found that the issue of short-term letting or AirBnB is an International trend and different countries apply different rules and strategies to manage this. These include but is not limited to: additional levies or charges, restrictions to communal property, additional security measures Etc.

Pending the outcome of the appeal as noted bodies corporate may in future prohibit short term letting.

There appears to be divided opinion among estate agents on whether the ‘No FFC no commission’ ruling should be fought or not. One of the main concerns is that overturning the ruling will make it easier for unlicensed agents to practice.

Sandy Hammond

Why fight such an important ruling? At last something to protect our industry from fly-by-nights and there's a drive to overturn it. The mind boggles.

Cyril Pulvenis

NO FFC NO COMMISSION. There is no place for bogus agents

Matt Mercer

Agreed Cyril – but what happens if you are one of the 27 000 who have paid their certificate but aren’t processed in time through no fault of their own. It’s happened to all of us. I paid my contribution because it is the right thing to do … if you can’t afford R200 there is nothing wrong with paying what you think is fair … some folks have paid R50 … every little bit counts.

Also Romy Tarboton doesn’t need to appeal- she is doing it as a service to the industry. The industry bodies can’t spearhead this for political reasons, but we can all make a difference if we choose.

James Otter

The case should be determined on the morality of the situation and the spirit of the law. Applying the letter of the law in this case is unjust, based on the evidence you have presented. Whilst the sharing agent is acting in accordance with the law, he/she is acting unethically by pursuing this case. It is an abnormal situation requiring special attention and common sense in the light of the circumstances which Judge Davis seems to lack.

With regard to the non-issue of FFC’s properly applied for, it seems that the law requires the estate agents to cease trading until the certificates are issued which is absurd. Provision should be made that if the estate agent can prove an application has been made, that trading is permissible (this would have resolved the above case).

Going back to the legalities of case study. Here’s another legal way of looking at it. If the two agencies had a sharing agreement and one agent did not have an FFC, does it entitle the agency with the FFC to keep the commission earned by the other agent? Isn’t that unlawful enrichment? It seems to me that the disqualified commission should be returned to the client who utilized the services of both estate agents in terms of the law. I would suggest that the Judge should have instructed that to be done to follow the letter of the law. The client could waive that entitlement and solve the problem or keep the commission. I would be interested in seeing a counter-argument.

Ian Badenhorst

To protect agents from damage due to a delay in FFC’s issued by the EAAB or future Property Practitioners Bill or whatever reason may be involved in the late issue of an FFC, I believe the right process should be to have a guardian fund with the requisite law society of each province where attorneys / conveyancer and who are required to pay over such commissions should be permitted to make determinations as to whether a valid FFC was in place at the time of the sale being concluded. Secondly, if there is any doubt of the validity of the FFC then such commission payable should be held in trust for a period not exceeding three months after which the funds with its interest should be transferred to a law society guardians fund for a further three months.

Should the agent not make a successful claim with a valid FFC certificate by then, the monies shall be repatriated to the attorney who was originally the conveyance, who shall refund the seller the applicable value as was the commission deducted from the selling price.

No other party (EAAB, or new Property Practitioners Bill regulator or the attorneys) should have any claim to the funds thereafter.

(Just to be clear. The aim of the appeal is not to overturn the current legislation that requires an estate agent to be in possession of a valid FFC when transacting to be entitled to commission.The relief sought by the plaintiff, Romy Tarboton, is that the court acknowledge that she has proven that her agency had fulfilled all the legal requirements to apply for a new FFC timeously; and therefore should be entitled to commission. Even if Romy Tarboton is successful it would not mean that those who have not complied can trade illegally. Ed.)

The new Property Practitioners Act says that a property practitioner must have tax clearance to qualify for a fidelity fund certificate, without which he can’t trade legally. What happens if you happen to be in a dispute with SARS asks Lauren Frizelle.

With regards to the requirements that an agent must be in possession of a valid tax clearance certificate in order to be issued an FFC, have there been any processes put in place to accommodate a situation where the agent is in dispute with SARS and therefore will not be issued a tax clearance certificate? What about instances where an agent is behind in tax payments, but is in the process of paying the outstanding amount/s? If such agents are unable to be issued with a tax clearance certificate, the capacity to earn an income as an agent is taken away, which effectively removes their ability to pay, whether this is in settlement of a dispute or in settlement of outstanding taxes owed.

Robert Krautkramer, director with legal firm Miltons Matsemela responds

Agreed. I would think that SARS will probably issue a Tax Clearance if arrangements have been made. It is still very uncertain on what basis SARS may refuse!

Property developers are included in the wider definition of property professionals in the new act but what about private sales by homeowners? Are there exclusions? The article ‘How the Property Practitioners Act affect property developers’ raised this and other questions.

Theo wrote

Property practitioner is defined as … “includes ANY PERSON who sells, by auction or otherwise, or markets, promotes or advertises any part, unit or section of, or rights or shares, including timeshare and fractional ownership, in a property or property development”. ANY PERSON could also be a ‘property owner’ selling privately. Are there exclusions in the Act?

Schalk van der Merwe responds

Theo, there are indeed exclusions, specifically a person who facilitates the sale of a property not in the ordinary course of business. Interestingly, another exclusion is a natural person selling his/her own property in the ordinary course of business. This to me looks like another anomaly: what about a company or trust in the same position, selling its own property? I don’t want to become too technical (and remember that the article only dealt with the position of property developers) but I think the intention was to exclude all private sales, but due to the numbering of the paragraphs there is some confusion here. There are no exclusions under sub(b) other than attorneys.

Robert Krautkramer wrote

Developers are not included. Read the definition. It is someone who, for gain, ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER, sells leases, negotiates or facilitates the sale or lease of property, business, time share or fractional ownership (fancy word for a type of time share), etc. A developer acts for HIMSELF. Not on behalf of a third person. So, this cannot be correct.

Schalk van der Merwe responds

Robert, your reference is to paragraph (a) of the definition; property developers fall under par (b).

Lauren Frizelle wrote

With regard to the requirements that an agent must be in possession of a valid tax clearance certificate in order to be issued an FFC, have there been any processes put in place to accommodate a situation where the agent is in dispute with SARS and therefore will not be issued a tax clearance certificate? What about instances where an agent is behind in tax payments, but is in the process of paying the outstanding amount/s? If such agents are unable to be issued with a tax clearance certificate, the capacity to earn an income as an agent is taken away, which effectively removes their ability to pay, whether this is in settlement of a dispute or in settlement of outstanding taxes owed.

Colin wrote

A developer never has money, their finances are always tied up in developments. With this new legislation the only time a developer will have money is when they stop developing.

With reference to the recent article in Property Professional on ‘Cocooning’ property consultant Jim Alexander writes he finds working from home liberating and he doesn’t miss the office politics.

The recent article ‘Cocooning’ was focussed on the trend of ‘people opting to stay home rather than go out for their entertainment.’

This was influencing home design and renovations driven, apparently by digital technologies as well as crime and unrest.

If the second driver is anything to go by, South Africa will fast become a world leader!

While reading this article, I was reminded of the trend which started quite some years back which can be summarised as ‘people opting to work from home rather than go to an office’. While those in employment required permission or buy-in from their employer, those self-employed and independent contractor types were free to implement this as they pleased.

For the employers/employees the advantages seemed obvious. Less time and money spent travelling (the fuel price was much lower when this trend first hit the headlines); more time with the family; no need to ‘get ready’ every morning; less expenditure by the employer on office space, coffee, printer paper and toner etc. etc.

I thought at the time that the real estate agent ‘job’ was very well suited to this work model, especially as we are all independent contractors, right?

I myself did find an environment where this model works very effectively and over the past 4-odd years have shared my wonderful on-going experience with quite a number of traditional model agents.

Some of them get it and are liberated. but many of them don’t seem to find it very appealing. Why not? I have no idea. Are office politics really that attractive?

As with the ‘home entertainment cocooning’, advances in digital technology help me considerably in working from home, not least of all because the price of digitisation, laser/colour printing, internet use and phone calls, net meetings etc are very affordable.

And, since I spend significantly less time on the road, my chances of becoming a crime statistic are considerably reduced.

So, while you are cocooning and watching Netflix, maybe you should consider joining the growing (slowly) ranks of the other type of cocooners and reflect on just how independent you actually are!!

There was a lot of hype a few years ago when some new players entered the real estate industry and promised to disrupt an industry that was in need of a shake-up. Harcourts Heritage principal Marc Rodrigues reflects on the changes he has observed in the marketing strategy of these ‘disruptors’.

One of these so-called ‘disruptors’ even had an advertising campaign poking fun at real estate agents whom they said did nothing except play golf all day and spend their ‘easy earned’ commission on luxury goods, holidays and fast cars. These companies offered a flat fee or very low commission but took away much of the services offered by other real estate agencies. Their focus was on technology and the key focus of their marketing efforts was on price – “one flat fee” was all that they required. They even had calculators on their website showing you how much you would save by using them instead of other estate agents.

It was no surprise that these companies gained some traction in the market as sellers looked to save money. One of the major services that they did not offer was showing your home to prospective buyers as they stated that ‘no one knows the house better than you do’. However, what they forgot was that the average person doesn’t sell houses every day, that even when bookings are made buyers fail to show up. Some buyers don’t like to meet with the person they are buying the house from and this makes the situation uncomfortable. A buyer can’t ask a seller property-related questions on matters such as servitudes, zoning rights and market trends in the neighbourhood. Sometimes sellers say things that inadvertently put a buyer off the property. The problem is that the process becomes personal and buyers and sellers get emotional when buying property. The buyer may also say something that doesn’t sit well with the seller and even if that buyer is willing and able, the seller may be unable to put emotions aside in order to get the sale through.

These companies have also stated that ‘traditional’ estate agencies do not have the technology to compete and that is why their fees are so high. I fundamentally disagree with their views and you will find that many real estate companies are focussing on offering technology to empower their agents to be more efficient and effective. Harcourts have a world-class system that assists with database and listing management and have even developed a number of apps, endorsed by Apple, that agents can use while on the go. The Harcourts technology roadmap takes the best ideas from people on the ground from all over the world, so this will place us in a good position going forward.

Perhaps most importantly, it takes a lot more to be a successful real estate agent than taking good photos, posting the listing on websites and boosting posts on Facebook. There are agents in our group who have been in this industry for over 40 years. They are still relevant today because of the knowledge that they provide to buyers and sellers, and we all continue to learn from them. Property transactions can be complex and if they are not handled correctly, any possible sale is bound to fail. Technology is an enabler to produce more effective marketing and make us more efficient in our day-to-day tasks but it can’t handle the emotions of buyers and sellers, it can’t make a deal work that was bound to fail and it can’t gain the trust that a good agent can when dealing with buyers and sellers.

It is true, you get some terrible agents out there that aren’t worth the commission they charge but there are others who are worth every cent.

In our business we have always focussed on relationships and offering a personalised service to our clients. These ‘disruptors’ have changed a relationship approach to a commodity approach. They may offer 24-hour service but most times you are talking to a computer or call centre agent. Our agents are on call on evenings and weekends. Our valuations are not based on gut feel, but rather on our intricate knowledge of property and the markets in which we operate. Our technology gives the seller full transparency with reports showing website activity, enquiry details as well as feedback on viewings. Many of our agents have degrees and many don’t, but when you have 40 years of real estate experience behind you and constant real estate training from the Harcourts Academy what does a degree matter?

It is interesting to see how these disruptors are slowly changing their business model placing more emphasis on the importance of the agent and no longer advertising their one flat fee. It seems that their business model wasn’t sustainable and that they have maybe come to the realisation that there are many good, knowledgeable, trustworthy and professional agents out there that aren’t in the business of ripping off their customers.

Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa answers more questions on the National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA) and how it impacts the real estate industry.

Natasha Walters wrote

I could not attend the road show in Cape Town. I live in Mossel Bay, a bit too far to drive. Can we please get clarity on the wages for agents? I have only one full status agent and she has a permanent job and works as an agent on her off days.


Comment: The road show in Cape Town was cancelled, but all information on whether your agent qualifies for minimum wage or not will be found in the Rebosa reports which are available online.

Jacques Smit asked

If the NMWA still apply if there is no employment contract between the agency and the agent?

Comment: If there is no contact the person clearly is not an agent in the agency. I assume you refer to a written contract, the absence of which has other complications. If there is at least be a verbal contract resulting in the agent being an employee, the minimum wage will apply.

Now that the Property Practitioner’s Act has been signed into law, some say that the title ‘estate agent’ has become redundant and must be replaced with ‘candidate property practitioner’, ‘property practitioner’ and ‘principal property practitioner’, with reference to the terminology used in the Act. What do you say?

Commercial and business specialist Trevor Young from Mossel Bay thinks so. He wrote the following letter

Thank you for a great publication and excellent journalism.

  1. The Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019 (“PPA22/19”) was signed into law on 03 October 2019, and Gazetted (No.42746).
  2. Act 112 of 1976 has been repealed.
  3. The PPA22/19 defines Property Practitioner / Candidate Property Practitioner / Principal Property Practitioner.
  4. Will you please consider referring to “Candidate Property Practitioners”, “Property Practitioner” and “Principal Property Practitioner” as defined in PPA22/19?
  5. The term or designation “Estate Agent/s” bears no legal substance or reference anymore since PPA22/19.
  6. We greatly depend on the media to move parallel with industry in transforming the South African real estate industry into a reputable profession in an attempt to advise the consumer of the upliftment and regeneration currently being driven.
  7. I am convinced that Samuel, Lew and Barry share the same sentiment.


Editor’s response: The Property Practitioners Act has been signed into law, but as was explained in the article ‘Property Practitioners Bill signed into law – now what?’ the relevant regulations to this piece of legislation has to be drafted and published before the Act will come into effect. The Estate Agency Affairs Board is currently undertaking the process of drafting the regulations – a process that is expected to take us well into 2020. In the meantime, the current legislation, the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976, still applies. However, this is a good time to start making the necessary adjustments to changes that are coming under the new Act. It is unfortunately true that estate agents generally have a ‘bad rap’, so perhaps a name change could be like getting a clean slate? On the other hand, keep in mind that the new Act includes a large group of professionals under the term ‘property professional’ – besides estate agents, also included are mortgage brokers, home inspectors and property developers to name but a few. How will we differentiate estate agents from these professions then? Real estate property professional falls a bit heavy on the ear, don’t you think?

Natasha Swanepoel asked about the implications of minimum wage

I could not attend the road show in Cape Town. I live in Mossel Bay, a bit too far to drive. Can we please get clarity on the wages for agents? I have one full status agent and she has a permanent job and works as an agent during her off days.

If a landlord changes a lease agreement during the lease period citing ‘the reflection of new laws’ as reason, is a tenant obliged to sign? This question was asked in reaction to ‘Six questions tenants often ask

Fred Foster wrote

My landlord sent me a new lease for my rent-stabilized apartment, to commence in December. I signed it and returned it. Now the landlord informs me that he wants to replace the lease he submitted with a new lease which “reflects the new laws.” This is the email he sent: “I received your lease but I will be sending you a new set to sign. The rent laws changed and last week I was provided updated lease forms to reflect these new laws. I will be preparing them and sending them to you to fill out & sign.” Do I have to oblige?

Craig Guthrie, partner at Guthrie Colananni Attorneys comments

First things first, the Rental Housing Amendment Act (the “Amendment Act”) has not come into effect yet nor is there an estimated date when it will. When it eventually does come into effect, the main impact that it will have on leases is that they will be required to be in writing with the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords also being added to the already existing list of items which are required by law to be included in a lease. The Amendment Act will also give teeth to the Rental Housing Tribunal, empowering it to make orders compelling the payment of rental as well as to make any order that is necessary to give effect to the contents of the amended Rental House Act. So whilst it is important to bear the provisions of the Amendment Act in mind when drafting and entering into a new lease, the Amendment Act is not in effect and cannot, at this stage, be relied upon should a dispute arise, as noted in the case of Kondile v Canary and Another. It is more important, at this stage, to ensure your lease is in line with current, effective, legislation such as the Rental Housing Act, Consumer Protection Act and the common law.

The Property Practitioners Bill was signed into law last week but won’t be enacted until the President makes a formal announcement in the Government Gazette. One of the concerns about the new Act is the broader definition of ‘property practitioner’. In reaction to ‘Property Practitioners Bill signed into law’ Les Reynard asked if managing agents would be included.

Craig Guthrie, partner at Guthrie Colananni Attorneys, comments

Reading the Property Practitioners Bill together with the Community Schemes Ombuds Act 9 of 2011 (“CSOS Act”), a managing agent would not need to register as a property practitioner so long as they are providing their managerial services to a community scheme as defined in the CSOS Act. Examples of a community scheme being a sectional title development scheme, a share block company or a home-owners association.

In reaction to ‘Minimum wage is no storm in a teacup’  a property practitioner comments: In a country where unemployment is of the highest priority, I do not understand the continuous obsession to make employers (employment givers) pay minimum wage.
Have nobody noticed that a minimum wage strategy only increases unemployment?
Practically speaking the only change will be the following for me:
My pool of non-performing agents, who I put my trust in to improve and learn, will decrease substantially (this is called risk management). These extra agents will then soon be without any job or income.

Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa comments

Whether a minimum wage is a good idea can most certainly be debated. It is however also true that, should you employ an agent that sells R1,680 000 pa  (or average of R 140,000 pm ) at 5% commission ex VAT, that agent would receive R42,000 pa = minimum wage. Should you have an employment agreement in terms of which it is agreed that you can deduct the minimum wage paid from commission earned (see detail in Rebosa Report), you could actually be back to square one, ie no additional cost. This is not a big number, would one want an agent that cannot achieve as little?  Surely this can also be debated? Especially because the absence of fixed income has always been one of the biggest barriers to entry.

(PS: The Rebosa event on the new Minimum Wage Act planned for 8 October at The River Club, Cape Town was cancelled.  Editor.)

Learning that interns and estate agents in most cases would qualify for minimum wage under the new Minimum Wage Act have led to concerns being raised about potential job losses as well as other questions such as whether a sectoral exemption for real estate could be negotiated. 

Dennis Hamer

The basic conditions of the Employment Act has been in existence for more than 20 years. If an agent is not an independent contractor, he/she is entitled to paid holiday leave calculated at the average of the past 6 weeks pay. Good luck trying to run an agency where an agent takes his paid leave after a big commission payout. Same applies for sick leave and work on Sundays. Rebosa should engage the Dept of Labour to negotiate a sectoral determination for the real estate industry that will enhance transformation and not add another obstacle to market entry.

Robert Eugene Lopes

I have been to three presentations by labour attorneys in Port Elizabeth over the last two months, directly addressing this problem. The only logical answer is to create a Bargaining Council for our industry. This can then lay down the regulations, and in essence be created by the real estate industry to suit the unique working conditions and paid for by the agents and the interns. This is an industry trying to become a profession, unfortunately it is unique in many ways and very different to all other commission-driven enterprises.

Brent Hamilton

Currently, as commission-based estate agents, we operate as follows:
We work strictly on commission. We earn commission based on a % split with the company broker owners and not all agents are on the same split (which is determined according to your previous performance valuation) – my split is 70/30 (30 % goes to the agency and 70 % to me).
Once we have made a sale, which has registered (which can take up-to three months), VAT is deducted from the commission amount. Then we pay royalty fees of 10% (up-front) to the franchise founder. After this, we are payed our commission according to our split (70/30 split) with our office. Then we pay tax and desk fees, etc. Not leaving us with much of the pie left.
My question – will this change and how? Who will regulate this?

Cyril Pulvenis

Would this mean that an intern would earn less than a qualified agent? How would this affect an agent if the company they were working for was not registered. I was told there is an agency in Durban that’s not registered yet the Estate Agency Affairs Board is doing nothing about it, so what recourse would an agent have in this case?

(Rebosa is hosting a road show on 6 October at The River Club, Cape Town where the new Minimum Wage Act and it’s ramifications on the real estate industry will be fully unpacked. A second road show is planned for Gauteng – as soon as details are confirmed, it will be made known. More information on this critical issue to follow soon. Ed.)

It is better that trustees are not involved in work done for the body corporate writes Mike Spencer.

Trustees are elected to represent the body corporate and must be very careful not to give the impression that they are benefiting from their position.

The Sectional Titles Management Act makes it very clear that trustees may not be present when anything that is being discussed directly or indirectly involves them. The type of thing that will arise would be discussion of quotations involving the Trustee or the Trustee’s company or discussion on arrears owed by a Trustee.

Personally, I often find that trustees can offer to do work for the body corporate at a lower than normal cost, but the trustee must be very careful that they don’t see the normal contractor’s quotation and then do it for somewhat less. This is considered to be unethical. It is better that trustees don’t give quotations for work rather than be conflicted. That’s actually what the STMA suggests.

The problem is that many trustees do do work for the body corporate and I personally don’t see a problem with this, but trustees really have to be careful that no other owner or even tenant think that they are benefitting (even tenants can make a complaint). If the trustee is prepared to do the work for nothing (excepting actual costs of components) then there should not be a problem, but not if the trustee is charging for labour.

Commenting on ‘Minimum wage or maximum earnings?’ Mark Jones wrote that the financial impact will probably add to the reluctance of business owners to take on interns. Many agents also expressed concern about the financial burden implementation of minimum wage will place on small agencies.

Mark Jones, Port Shepstone

Whilst the implementation of minimum wage may well be a reality that the industry needs to deal with, it in all probability further impact on the reluctance of many business owners to engage interns at all.

I would like to comment on the popular misconception that guides the “hit and miss approach” and the narrative that under-performing agents don’t cost principals much because they are on a “commission only” remuneration structure. Many principals themselves (except perhaps those who have true independent contractor contracts in place) have unfortunately never accurately quantified the cost of an agent. When all factors such as office space, advertising costs, personal marketing support and material, phones, web portal costs etc are taken into consideration, a minimum cost of R10,000 per month is not inconceivable.

There is also a very subtle, unquantifiable and seldom considered cost that for want of a better word let’s call opportunity cost. That is the cost incurred when an intern cannot maximise opportunities such as a listing or maybe a buyer because their closing rate and relationship building skills can never match that of an experienced agent. If that occurs six times a year, for example, that is in fact a cost of hundreds of thousands in lost revenue. In a market of limited opportunities, why would a principal expose himself to such risk?

A radical mindset change is required. When you enter the real estate industry, you are not taking on a job or starting a career - you are opening a business. Even if you are associated with a principal you are in business for yourself, just not by yourself. We need entrepreneurs, not employees.

As an entrepreneur, what investment are you prepared to make in starting up your business. If you want to enter this business you need to come with capital and pay a principal for his mentorship, his brand or at least pay for your costs. Where in the world do you get to start a business at someone else’s risk? Food for thought.


This will have a hugely negative effect on the establishment of small agencies and the resultant employment opportunities. How on earth can a small entrepreneur afford to carry even one, let alone several interns, for at least 12 months? The big boys must be rubbing their hands together!!

Anton Ferero

This will result in more job losses than ever. How can you pay someone if there is no guaranteed income? I have seen agents sitting in offices making phone calls and never sold a property. In three months’ time the estate agency will be bankrupt.

Many agents reacted strongly to the news (‘This is disdain and it spells double standards’) that the EAAB cancelled their contract with PrivySeal, after stalling for five months to renew said contract yet received services without paying for it. Here are some of the comments received.

Clive Levy (email)

It is so typical of the incompetence of the EAAB, yet again! Jan le Roux of Rebosa nails it when he says what we, the estate agency fraternity, have been saying for years: The double standards that the EAAB has when it comes to us having to comply with so many regulations before we are deemed fit enough to be able to ply our trade legally, but the EAAB remains seriously missing with their responsibilities:

"… the utmost professionalism is required of the estate agents by the EAAB. Yet, the EAAB fails to meet the same standard." – Jan le Roux

Get your act together EAAB.

Alan James (email)

The regulator is simply behaving in line with any other state-run endeavour. Why are we surprised.

Marlene (web)

Somebody needs to take the EAAB to task. I am tired of being “intimidated“ yearly with all the processes such as:
1. Company self-assessments
2. Annual audits
3. CPD points
The list goes on and we are told our company FFC’ s will be cancelled if we do not submit by certain dates.

Then on a Sunday evening I get a rather horrid shock by receiving an email in big red letters saying my PrivySeal is cancelled! I am sorry I have no good words left. Can any organization out there at stand up and take these jokers to task.

I seriously don’t feel like renewing my 2020 FFC’s but we all know that will not entitle me to qualify for commission (which the attorneys don’t even ask for). It seems easier to do business without FFC’s because the EAAB only worry about the paying agents and turn a blind eye on illegal operators. As if we don’t have enough to deal with. 

John Fuller (web)

My Privy Seal has disappeared! Am I concerned? No! It’s very rare that I ever see it on other agents’ emails, there has not been an awareness programme to consumers as promised, and why should one in any event need duplicate evidence of one’s qualification? It was completely unnecessary to have introduced Privy Seal in the first place. The EAAB should rather spend the funds and their energy on eliminating illegal non-compliant rental and sales agents. If this aspect was tackled, the industry would have a reduced number of agents, but be much more sustainable, and able to seriously address the costs required to ensure faster transformation in real estate.

Johan Meyer (web)

I find it interesting that they suddenly now comment that they need to follow a procurement process. So, why did the EAAB not start the process before the current agreement with PrivySeal expired or have they suddenly decided it is no longer important. Why was it then so important a few years ago when we were told in no uncertain terms to have PrivySeal on all our e-mails. Oh boy, what a mess we find our governing body in.

‘You need a phone and listings – not a minimum wage’

Commenting on ‘Estate agents could qualify for minimum wage’ long-time estate agent Iavona Engelbrecht shares why she believes a good agent starting out needs a phone and listings more than a minimum wage.

When I started selling properties in 1991 as a rookie, my colleagues, who were already busy for a while were astounded at my success. Without any effort I took the prize for agent of the month every consecutive month. I bought an almost new car cash within the first three months.

Most of the time I’ve found rookies to be more successful than the experienced agents. I absolutely don’t think the taxpayers should be burdened to fund this crazy and opportunistic idea to knock the economy harder by paying an estate agent a basic wage – you either have it or you don’t.

When you start, you just need a phone. Today it’s so much easier, there are internet shops all over, what you need is listings. And what is always so awesome, if you are a nice person and get along well with people, belong to a church or any good organisation you will do well. For those who can’t speak English and Afrikaans well, read a lot, read the newspapers and find out what’s going on around you, then you should have an income within the first three months. Don’t spend all your money, work wisely with it. If you think you need a basic wage, then this profession is definitely not for you.

For those agencies who have been around for a while, making such suggestions is shocking – our country is in a mess because of all the crazy suggestions.

Lots of monies have been given to you to train old experienced agents as interns. You have sold many houses over many years, the average age in the industry is 58 years, why should people go back to Sub A and the poor taxpayers had to pay for these ideas that are so costly.

So, in a nutshell, no to basic wage, the funds are much needed to grow our economy and restore SA.

Why am I still in this game – because it is the life!

Roger Lotz, sales partner with Rawson in Somerset West, was asked recently why he is still in real estate to which he instantly replied “I love it” but that night he started thinking about it. He shares his answer as follows.

I am always thinking of ways to enhance my business, like get up early in the morning and prepare my mind for the day, keep myself updated with current market trends and market myself in whatever way possible to keep me sharp and on the edge. So, I recently identified a few select clients on my database and asked them if I could earmark them as my ambassadors. These are people I keep close and they, in turn, refer business my way. While having lunch with one of my senior ambassadors, he posed the question to me.” Why are you still in this game Rog? Surely it gets tough sometimes.” I laughed it off and gave the expected answer saying “I love it” which in all honesty I do. That evening, as I lay in bed, the question kept running through my mind, keeping me awake. So, I decided to get up and write down the answer to his question.

For me, being in this industry, you need to have real grit. It is very challenging to keep up with market trends and the ever-fluctuating economy. It can be very competitive and at times it can beat you down to the ground. There are so many things that are out of your control and often the disappointments, and hours, for that matter, don’t seem to be worth the 5% (if that, sometimes) we fight for. You really need to be tough, and I don’t mean hard-headed and obnoxious tough, I mean that cowboy-you-see-in-the-movies kind of tough. The one that manages to keep riding and heading for the horizon, making his way home to his family through the icy cold winters and the dry hot summers, never losing focus of what is waiting for him at the end of his journey. You have clients sometimes with unnecessary demands, buyers with cheeky offers, sellers with extremely high expectations and often, some really inconsiderate requests. So, while writing this, I’m seriously asking myself, “why am I still in this game”?

Well, each and every time I do a deal, something just north of brilliance happens. There are those young first-time buyers and newlyweds who are so eager to start their journey, and watching them go through the process of learning how to buy a house and walking them through all the necessary qualifying steps to get them there, is always entertaining. There are those young families that are not looking for a house, they are looking for a home and it makes you feel as if you are starting a family all over again, remembering how it was for you and guiding them to avoid some of the mistakes you made. There are the more senior clients that want to get away from the empty nest syndrome and you highlight their sale by introducing them to the young family who will flourish in their home. Then there are the tough ones, like a break-up, or a health issue or loss, and even though those ones are hard, you get a sense of servanthood by assisting them and somehow making their load seem just that much lighter.

Every deal is different and each deal I do holds a new memory for me and an even better lesson. Most of the clients remember me and a beautiful friendship is formed. Some clients may move away and then the phone calls dwindle and then stop. Whether these clients remain in contact or even if they never remember my name, they will always remember how my profession in some amazing way impacted their lives. So, to answer your question as to why I am still in this game, Mr Ambassador. To me, this is not a game, ” THIS IS THE LIFE” and I intend to live it to the full.


2) Alma Bronkhorst shared her personal opinion about the EAAB: I have been a registered estate agent for more than 35 years, paid my fees and received a beautiful professionally printed FFC every year.

The last few years the fees went up exorbitantly, you have to print your own certificate, attend CPD meetings that take you out of the office for half a day.

I learned to do eLearning to curb time and cost – Now why must I pay R2,500 to sit at my desk and do unnecessary training of myself? It is a never-ending 3-year cycle, surely we can do it every 5 or 10 years.

What happens to all our money, our fund should be billions, we never get anything back, not even a printed certificate. Surely the interest on our fund is enough to pay their salaries and create bursaries to several approved interns.

I had no freebies, paid for my own petrol, walked the streets, got bitten by dogs, had to deal with unfriendly people, had no internet, no cell phone and had to pay for publication of adverts in newspapers. We did it the hard way.

Today everybody sits behind their desk, a necessary evil. You are consumed by administration, printing costs, internet advertising fees, auditor’s fees and, am fearful of the EAAB. Now they are using the attorneys to police us … “no FFC, no commission”. Really?

Will enforcing minimum wage be too much of an additional financial burden on agencies, making especially smaller entities hesitant to take on interns? Many agents thought so after reading ‘Estate agents could qualify for minimum wage

Charles Haigh

With the majority of agencies having a “hit and miss” approach to taking on interns, this legislation will have a severe impact across the industry namely:

  1. 1. Current “non-performing agents” will be retrenched for non-performance
  2. Agencies will be reluctant to take on interns
  3. Interns cannot be independent contractors
  4. Franchise models with costs per agent will have to rework their cost model.
  5. The act creates yet another barrier to entry
  6. The act is also counter-productive to the transformation drive
  7. Small businesses simply cannot afford an overhead like this.
  8. Interns will be subject to vastly different operational requirements from
    employers so gone will be the days of flexible hours for agents.
  9. Interns will be subjected to harsh probationary periods.

The list could go on, but these are the glaringly obvious and indicative of yet again a short-sighted implementation of legislation without role-player consultation.

Lee Clarke

I’ve worked with intern estate agents earning a stipend and, to be frank, ulterior motives around the use of said stipend are always evident … the die-hard motivated and successful agents in our industry attended the school of hard knocks and with it some enlightening lessons around work ethics, determination and the drive required to achieve success in this field. This is utter BS and obviously an ingenious way for government to walk away from the stipend centric initiatives the recently incorporated to assist PDI’s penetrate the property market … our market place without the buy in from their Public Works budgets.

Francois P Theron

What if the Government pays the minimum wage for the first 12 months if the average income is less than the R3 500 minimum wage so as to curb the ever-rising unemployment? Perhaps similar to “3000 unemployed youth will be trained by this R250m programme. … With the additional funding of R250 million, CapaCiTi will now be training 3000 candidates with industry-demanded technology and business skills, placing them in permanent jobs in South Africa’s leading companies.” I guess unsustainable and lack of funds …just asking?

Alta Fourie

The EAAB has a “One Learner One Agency” not enforceable policy in which they expect an agency to train an intern at its own cost. Add to this the implications of the Minimum Wage Act, estate agency principals will rethink any training of new estate agents. The average age of estate agents is around 53, mostly white females.

The news that Leadhome dropped the fixed-fee model in favour of a ‘variable fee’ drew a lot of response, mostly from traditional agents with some proposing the disruptor offer an apology for their bad rap of the former. Here are some of them:

Website comments:

Leon Jackson

As a fellow property practitioner in the industry, I believe in the method of building face to face relationships with clients. The values of honesty, integrity and service delivery cannot be compromised when dealing with clients most valued assets and in an effort to build long lasting business relationships.

Clients still prefer personal hands on expertise and with the use of technology we as agents have a platform to be more innovative in how we derive and achieve results, that’s beneficial to our customers all the time and every time.

A lesson can be learnt, and all too often people and organizations get it wrong.

I still believe, one should slowly go about one’s business without passing judgement and publicly making negative comments, and let success be one’s noise. This way if all else fails at least you can still show face. Hard lessons …

Michael Black

I think before they move into the same real estate industry that they ran down to build their brand, they should make a formal apology to the entire real estate industry for their destructive entrance into the industry.

Leigh Brodie

I see a place for both technology-based agents, as well as traditional agents. God speed to all.

Adele Pretorius

Computers can’t think out the box…. something agents have to do on a regular basis. Computers can’t advise you. Professional agents are well worth their fee. And it doesn’t take the same amount of work for every deal ... high or low … not true. Each deal is completely different and you never know what to expect. You have to be ready for anything…. pretty much 24/7.

Adrian Grove

Driving high volume in a slow market to justify set fees was always going to be difficult. Purplebricks in UK and Canada still going strong, they strangely used a different model in new markets in the US and Aus. Time will tell if investors will keep supporting them. Have a look at Realogy (US) and Countrywide (UK) stock prices – some traditional models suffering more.

John Fuller

Most of the bottom feeders who have recently entered the industry openly slander and denigrate professional estate agents; and greedy sellers who support them lap up false information and believe by listing with them they will save money.

The truth is:

  1. Low fees don’t sell property! Professionals negotiate better selling prices that far exceed a few thousand rand saving in fees.
  2. Professionals have an expansive data base and large referral network.
  3. Professionals have strong brand awareness which is attractive to buyers.
  4. The real estate industry has been offering all the technology benefits, and much more, to buyers and sellers for years, plus many years of expertise, knowledge and other value-added solutions.
  5. The “technology” companies merely jump on the bandwagon, subscribing to technology that the traditional professionals have developed over many years. They have not developed or added any industry beneficial techno systems themselves.
  6. Traditional agencies market property; and advertise real estate across a very wide spectrum of websites and portals locally and internationally. Their branded websites are highly ranked. The bottom feeders merely advertise on some property portals and hope for a lead.
  7. Do an internet search and see how many of these wizkid businesses are ranked on the first few pages of the Internet?

I am looking forward to the next year. The current economic slump will sort the men out from the boys!


Gail Gould

I have been selling real estate since 1989 and the majority of my business comes from my database and referrals. My clients prefer to work with me (a trusted and knowledgeable agent) and pay a fair commission, than go with an agent they don’t know for cheaper and risk a bad transaction. Computers don’t have local knowledge. Technology has a place, clearly, in the future of real estate, but human interaction and trust cannot be replaced.

Geoff Stroebel

Only a matter of time before PGP realize just how much they paid for a model doomed to fail … Soon it’ll be cheerio Eazi.com and PropertyFox.

The boom in sectional title units may be short-lived according to some of the comments received on ‘Why sectional title sales are booming in SA


Why the trend towards Sectional Title accommodation ?…the answer is simply because the initial escalation of PRICES of the household properties and the affordability ongoing, of living in a SUBURBAN HOUSE….especially now , in the Western Cape, is too HIGH… what with the huge increases in Rates affecting the Western Cape., as a result of the DA local government increasing the Municipal Valuations by 30-50%!
As a result , this action will have a rolling add on effect that will necessitate higher prices in the near future especially on Sectional Title units which come up for sale ! NOT SUCH GOOD NEWS!

Avril Mitchley

Absolutely correct re your last comment, Winston. Sectional title units may be selling faster but the main reason for so many sectional title units becoming available is the problem of high rates and levies being imposed. Many sectional title owners (especially investors) are finding that the rentals they are asking cannot keep pace with the levies and rates they are paying. Rental amounts are actually coming down because of the financial constraints of tenants. Owners are paying higher rates and levies (which often include special levies and CSOS levies), so holding sectional title units is no longer seen as an attractive investment and they are being shed by disillusioned investors. Eventually the glut of stock will also impact on investor sellers as they try to get good prices for their units and don’t succeed.

The barrier that regulatory ‘red tape’ poses to transformation as explained in ‘Meaningful transformation requires a shift in attitude’ struck a cord with some agents.

Charles Haigh

Fully agreed, after all this time there is no apparent improvement in the drive for transformation. This week I received a copy of a letter from the Cape Town City council refusing to issue board permits to agents if they are in arrears with their property rates and taxes in addition to forcing non-selling principals to register for board permits in order for interns to obtain their permits. The question begs:

  1. Does the City view the industry as a soft target to fill their coffers?
  2. How are agents that do not own property dealt with as they do not have rates to pay?
  3. All of their policies create yet another barrier to entry and goes against the national government policy of unemployment alleviation and job creation.

The departments throughout the various parastatals need to co-operate with each other and ensure that policies do not clash or at least compromise, so that all can move forward in one direction instead of pulling in different directions. Or we’ll face stagnation as we currently do, and as a result we now have this transformation idea that hasn’t gained traction because of the various agendas at play.

Emma Madola

It is quite a very sad story more especially to us as the ‘novice’ to break-through in this industry and as the writer alluded, the biggest barrier is that of lack of access to equity and enterprise development funding.

The most disheartening matter is that at a grass root level you find that the beginner has done pretty well in terms of owning that piece of land and developed it to be what it is today, but in order to climb up to another level the funding is needed.

Indeed, the industry needs to prioritise programmes that support and develop emerging real estate enterprises.

Mike Spencer, principal estate agent with Platinum Global, writes he believes equally important to selling a property is educating a home buyer, especially a first time buyer, on all that this big decision entails.

Most first-time home buyers often know next to nothing about the ins or outs of buying a property. There are also many new buyers that come from a background where property ownership is unknown and I personally believe that estate agents have a moral, if not legal, obligation to make sure that these new buyers are informed about all that happens when anyone buys a property.

Few people buy more than the home that they live in and as a result over a lifetime they might buy a flat when they are young, a house when they have a family, and a sectional title unit when they retire. In other words, they only buy a property every 10 years or so – and there can be major changes in how this is done over that time.

In terms of the Code of Conduct of the Estate Agency Affairs Board, an estate agent is obliged to explain the contents of the offer to purchase that the buyer is signing. In practice, if the estate agent does try to comply, they often just read the contract to the buyer. This does not explain it. I would suggest that in most cases the buyer is simply asked to sign here, here and here!

Should estate agents go further? In our company every new buyer is firstly interviewed about what they would like to buy, why they would like to buy and how much they can afford to pay. Before the buyer is shown any properties, they are connected with a leading bond originator who pre-qualify them for finance. With this information our estate agents are able to show properties that the buyers can afford – including taking into account the transfer and bond costs. During the interview we help the buyers by explaining the buying process particularly with focus on things such as explaining extra costs, rates, levies, water and electricity. Also explained is a sectional title buyer’s responsibility for looking after their unit and to some extent how sectional titles work. For us an important discussion is around payment of the bond and transfer costs. Further to this we explain how bond payments are calculated and the real advantages of paying extra on their bond.

While our job is to sell a seller’s property we believe that it is equally important to educate a buyer on the buying process.

Educating the buyer will result in fewer problems for everyone.

What can a landlord or rental agent do about a tenant that is continually 3-4 weeks late with their monthly rental payments? Rental law expert Marlon Shevelew, director of Marlon Shevelew & Associates shares advice on this and other rental-related issues.

What can a landlord/rental agent do if a tenant is continually 3-4 weeks late every month with their rental payments?

If a tenant is late with his/her payment, and assuming we are dealing with a natural person, then a formal letter of demand is required. The demand can clearly state that in the absence of payment within 7 (seven) calendar days, legal action can be commenced for the amounts owing plus costs. It bears mentioning that in any month, if the payment is still not forthcoming within 20 business days from date of the demand, the lease may be cancelled and the occupant provided a period of time to vacate. Note: the notice should also make express provision for the tenant to remedy his default within the stated 20 business days in order for the right to cancel the lease to accrue to the landlord. 

What happens if a tenant signs a 12 month lease and leaves after four months but the rental agent took commission on 12 months upfront? Does he/she have to refund the landlord for the balance of the lease?

A procurement of a tenant is a specific mandate that a landlord provides an agent and if the agent has done its due diligence when placing the tenant, there would not be an opportunity for the landlord to claim back the commission earned for the balance of the lease. There is no law that provides for a claw back of commission in such an instance, especially if the actions of the tenant are no fault of the agent. Note: the landlord may be entitled to levy a portion of the lost commission to tenant in the form of a cancellation penalty pursuant to section 14(3) of the CPA - this will have to be a pro-rated amount. 

What happens if a property is sold after the tenant moved in and paid a deposit? In this case, the tenant didn't get his deposit back and the new owner is also demanding a deposit which seems a bit unfair.

In short, the tenant is not liable to pay any further deposit. This deposit should be paid over by the previous landlord to the new landlord whom has stepped in his predecessor’s shoes. Note: the principle of huur gaat voor koop would apply so as to ensure the validity and enforceability of the lease going forward. The tenant’s obligations thus remain the same, as do his / her rights. In terms of the RHA the landlord is required to invest the deposit in an interest bearing account, and upon expiry the tenant is entitled to return of same (along with accrued interest), less any amounts deducted for damage to the premises and other amounts that may be owing in terms of the lease. Thus, it follows that in the event of the property being sold the previous landlord is required to pay the deposit to the new landlord, as the new landlord will be obliged to refund the tenant upon expiry of the agreement.  

Many estate agents have complained in the past that Property24 tallies every click on the agent’s phone number or email on a listing as generated leads and bills them accordingly. Jim Alexander, area manager from Mossel Bay, laments this method and explains why. This is his letter.

We are all familiar with the term P.O.P. It usually means Proof of Payment but can also mean Proof of Purchase.

For example, like many of you, I subscribe to Windeed and when I use their service, say to get contact details, they send me an invoice stating the number of times I searched for contact details in that month. There is a record of each search I made, and I can send myself an email of the contact details as further proof to check when the invoice arrives.

The same is true if I use Lightstone services – there is a record of my transactions that I can cross-check with the invoice.

Not so, Property24!

With P24, apart from the significant charges each month for my listings, I get charged monthly for any ‘leads’ that were generated through their portal. Well, on the surface of it, that could sound reasonable, but it’s not and it gets worse.

Even if I do agree with their definition of a ‘lead’ (which I do not), I have no way of checking. All I can do is go into my Agent Zone and will then see that the number of ‘leads’ generated is recorded there. If I ask for IP addresses, they are unable to provide same. That is their proof of purchase, their statistics backing their invoice.

I must just pay – and preferably shut up! Because, according to Charles Scott, their General Manager, he has evidence that most sales made in our industry (I think he said 90%+) are generated through the P24 portal. He waxes lyrically about how important P24 is to us agents and even states that, if he was forced to change the method of charging, he would do so in such a way that P24 would generate the same revenue – or even more!

So, what is my problem, you might ask? Here it is.

If someone opens a listing of mine on P24 they will see under my name at the right-hand side 2 blue hyperlinks. One says, “Show Contact Number”, the other says “Show Email Address”. If either of these is clicked on and therefore opened to view, P24 defines that as a ‘lead’. It doesn’t matter that I did not get a call or an email, that is a ‘lead’. Fake news, anyone?

If you go to Wikipedia, amongst a lot of information on the different meanings of the word ‘lead’, you will find this wording “a lead is usually allotted to an individual to follow up on”.

How can you follow up on someone who never called you, never texted you or never emailed you?

One of my agents who normally gets an average of around 15 ‘leads’ got 77 this month and no way of checking, no proof of purchase, just pay up.

This method of generating revenue is the height of arrogance.

Finally, I ask, “Who is to blame for this blatant profiteering”?

To quote Walt Kelly’s phrase “We have met the enemy and he is us”. I have decided I no longer want to be my own enemy. I will be delisting my properties from P24 this week, who will follow?

Comment from JP Farinha, CEO of Property24

The clause in our monthly subscription agreement clearly states how a “lead” is defined and what agents are paying for. If we were able to charge only for actual leads, we would need to track phone calls which would be an added expense and our prices would change to reflect each actual lead as opposed to the current definition. It would not reduce our pricing, the cost per lead would simply increase.

Charles Scott, general manager of Property24

Leads are defined as an active click on the “show contact numbers”, “show e-mail addresses” or completion of the capture form that can be sent to the agent/agency as an SMS (and copied via e-mail).

With regards to leads and lead quality classification, we treat our lead brackets as indicators of listing distribution, brand exposure and market interest. We do not operate on a strict pay per lead model, nor do we associate a particular value or fee to each type of lead. We view an aggregation of all lead types as a trended measure of opportunity over time and have thus priced them accordingly.

(Scott also indicated that Jim Alexander wasn’t the contract holder with P24 but his business owner who had agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract but passed the costs unto each such individual agents. Ed)

In response to ‘SSETA leading the way’ Angela van Deventer wrote and asked: “Will we be able to do our PDE this way. Looking at next year.”

Janet Alexander, CEO of PropAcadey answer

The Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) set the Professional Designated Exam (PDE) and they embrace elearning. PropAcademy have an easy to follow online PDE course for both Level 4 and Level 5 and have an extremely high pass rate. With this elearning course we offer free webinars and if required a face-to-face half day workshop.

“New real estate models and technology advancements are increasingly challenging the status quo. This is why it is currently not a clear-cut choice on whether to go for franchise or independent agency if you are looking to start a new business”, comments Adriaan Grové, CEO of Entegral on ‘Want to own a business? Joining a franchise is one option’.

Based on client feedback from over 14 years and closely monitoring international trends, there is however indications that opting to go the independent route, has opened up more value compared to 10 or 20 years ago. Today you need less red tape and a more agile business model to survive the onslaught of disruptors entering the real estate market and compete in a more competitive market where commissions are increasingly under pressure.

Looking at the US it’s hard not to notice how Wall Street is throwing money at new real estate models and companies that are starting to dwarf existing franchises in terms of valuation, but that not necessarily profitable. This is the new normal. Big changes are coming in real estate and the focus is on efficiency and scale for exponential gains. A lot of franchises are re-positioning themselves to be seen as more tech focused, but I’m wondering it this is a little too late for a lot of them if you look at share prices.

At Entegral we’ve seen an increase in the number of agencies converting to a more virtual environment to reduce operating costs. No franchise border restrictions helps with efficiencies both in terms of the size of your operational areas and agents you attract. At the same time we see smaller operators having big success in smaller more focused areas, where they have stamped their local authority with a few high performance agents.

Today the internet is an equaliser with small and large estate agencies competing with each other on the same property portals, social media platforms and in many cases use the same back end software.

Independant agents make up the majority of the market when it comes to agent count. It’s a trend we see in the US too and companies like Redfin and Compass has put a damper on the agent growth of many franchises. The franchise of the future is the one who can focus on maximizing profits and efficiency for their agents.

This year has probably been a record in the number of franchises looking to go the independent route with no less than 3 large franchises converting to independent status in the last month with Entegral.

Some of the feedback we received from owners includes issues with having to compete against your own brand in the same area and the freedom to try new initiatives without head office restrictions. Another major advantage for them is that they are not forced into agreements with certain suppliers and not having to pay royalty fees improves their cash flow.

Fact is, today many independent service providers have systems that are on par or superior when you compare it with franchise offerings. Independent service providers like us receive a constant feedback stream from a variety of real estate models, leading to better focus on the critical features required by everyone, it is not dictated by a few within a certain real estate franchise model.

In the end of the day, both franchise and independent agencies can be mediocre or industry leaders, no matter what resources they have available to them. To me, it is all about the leadership that drives a certain vision and that is open to change.

A drawback currently for independents is that there is no collective bargaining structures in place. We’ve seen this with some franchises having shareholding agreements with portals and bond originators, leading to benefits on their bottom line through for instance, more preferential subscription fees.  On the other hand, some would prefer a business free from bureaucracy and it is here where the independent model while shine for some.

‘The EAAB should focus their attention on investigating non-compliant agents than policing the compliant agencies’ says on ‘Rebosa says EAAB must halt wasteful inspections

Kim van Niekerk

I have been in the industry for 20 years.
From 2003 every year until 2017, I spent many hours compiling lists with names / cell number / website addresses etc. and checked on the EAAB website if these persons had FFC’s and indicated this on the forms. I personally handed these lists to various EAAB officials at numerous “stakeholder” events… as well as via the whistle-blower route. In the end I had inspections done at my company with no problems on my site but for the past 16 years NOTHING has been done against those on my lists. These persons still trade and this includes attorneys who have “agents” that “work” for them!

This is disgusting as we who are agents that jump through all the hoops, red tape, audits, FIC compliance, register for VAT etc. etc.…cannot sustain our agencies due to these illegal operators! A large portion of our income goes to being compliant and these rogue agents get away with all of this and get the mandates as they can operate on 4% commission. Shame on the EAAB…but it is the norm for them!

Fatima Ahmed

To obtain consent to conduct compliance inspections from estate agents who hold valid Fidelity Fund Certificates will not root out the ones operating without an FFC. The Board must run through their files and check on the disqualified estate agents. The word goes around that some of these agents opened estate agencies where they act as managers and/or directors in such agencies. The Board must do a thorough investigation in this regard. This is my opinion.

John Fuller

The EAAB should focus on approaching the hundreds of unregistered agencies and thousands of illegal agents as well as the so-called (unqualified) property consultants working for low cost attorney firms. And, when is something going to be done about the thousands of illegal rental businesses and their unregistered agents, including all the online home rental businesses? All of the aforementioned are undermining the industry, threatening the viability of compliant entities and therefore impacting on transformation.

Dirk Reuters

The property industry would totally collapse if agents only charge 2% commission as suggested that SA does the same as the UK. One must consider the principal agency takes 50%. Ridiculous suggestion.

Adriaan Grove

The majority of homes in Australasia sell by tender and not via auction as stated in the article. About 24k homes are on sale in NZ currently, with only about 1k marketed as auctions.

Stock price of Purpble Bricks dropped. But is it worse than Realogy (holding company for Sotheby’s, Century21, ERA etc) which lost more than 50% of it’s value since start of the year. Truth is, traditional franchise models are currently under a lot of pressure. The only winners today are the portals (look at Zillow and Rightmove stock prices).

In the UK, the published rate is about 2% commission but nearly all London high street agents actually charge between 1-1.5% fee. Agents work on basic salaries ((£15 to £20k basic per annum) and then take about 10% commission split. You need to factor in cost of living and longer work hours, so the commissions are in fact much lower there.

In the US, due to seller/buyer agent representation an agent makes 2-3% and not the full 6% in most cases. The US antitrust division is currently investigating MLS buyer commission structures, which might disrupt the whole MLS market, kill buyer agents and open the door for low fee agencies like Redfin.

Mike Sutcliffe

In the UK agents work for a salary of 2000 pounds per month and a small commission after so many units sold, I do not think that system will work in SA.

Comments on ‘high’ commission rates of SA estate agents in response to comments on ‘Hidden costs when using set-fee agencies


I’m not a fan of one of the biggest “fixed fee” agencies as one has to show potential buyers your home and there is no agent present. I agree with most of the article. Traditional estate agents need to be far more flexible as their commission rates are too high. They would not get away with those rates in other countries such as the UK where the rate is around 2% not 5 or 6%.


Graham – commission rates are indeed much lower in the UK but property prices are much, much higher in the UK. The proceeds of sale of a rather average home in the UK would buy you a ‘dream’ home in Cape Town. Also, it’s a more efficient market with higher turnover, especially in metropolitan areas; from a technological and regulatory perspective, it’s much more up to date and sophisticated. If we were all selling R15m – R40m homes in CT regularly, then 2% wouldn’t be so hard to bear – but we’re not. If agency commission rates dropped to 2% here, I think a very large number of agents would leave the business, as they wouldn’t make any money at, say, half of 2%. Moreover, their employers would either go bust, or have to drastically reduce agents’ share of the gross commission (prompting more agents to leave the business) – and the remainder might have to convert to digital, just like the disruptors the article refers to. So best keep commissions where they are and provide the best possible service to clients.


As an ex agent and principal of 30 odd years in the SA industry and now living in the UK, I can tell you that while the commission rates here are much lower (2-3%) the agents in SA earn and deserve every cent of their money. Agents in the UK do not have to go through the onerous task of studying (or RPL) or in fact be qualified in any way. They only work business hours, they do not go out to show properties but rather either send the buyer on their own or employ “viewing agents” who merely open the door but have little or no info about the property. The agent merely verbally passes on the price offer to the seller, the solicitors then write up the contract and also does the finer negotiation on fixtures, occupation date etc. Both the buyer and seller have to engage their own solicitor so in spite of the low commission rate, the seller in addition still has to pay for his legal representative and this runs into a couple of thousand pounds. All in all, South Africans get a much better deal for similar cost. When buying our house here, we dealt with nine different agents from the same agency – none of them took accountability, knew pretty much nothing and could not give us any advice or direction.

One estate agent commented that the safety tips in One agent assaulted, another hijackedwere “fabulous but not practical”. Read her letter and share your thoughts whether you agree that verifying a client’s identification before showing a property is not only impractical but could cost your agency sales.

The tips are fabulous but not practical. I think ‘no ID, no viewing’ is not possible unless the EAAB makes it compulsory. I am of the opinion the moms and pops agencies will take buyers out regardless and so the reputable agencies will lose business this way and thus just be forced to compete with 1st call answered or 1st viewing arranged mentality from the buyer.

If a buyer drives past your For Sale board and calls to view the home, it is impossible to check email addresses etc.

If you take a client to one house and they want to see two or so after that appointment, there isn’t always time to call the office, but yes, this one could probably make the most sense of all of them.

A code work such as ‘Check the electricity box with address’ is impossible when you are in an armed robbery as my business partner was a month ago. She had a gun to her head and we all knew where she was (as I was supposed to be there but was running late) and so there was no way of knowing that she was standing with a gun to her head as the armed robber was not going to give her any “one last call” opportunity, so no code word in the world could have helped her here as there was no way of knowing there was a problem. She wasn’t alone. The developer was with her and also the helper. Not ONE of them could use any code word of any sort. All they could do was pray.

Group viewings – a great idea, but again you may not have a group interested in viewing the property and so many times you end up with one viewer OR have to co-ordinate a group’s diaries … impossible task.

Show houses – you often have one car stopping and another a minute after, and so while greeting the current viewers the second family already enter. It is thus impossible so assess the situation and make a call to close the gate in their face.

All these tips are really grant ideas, but I find none of them truly useful.

My aim is not to challenge the tips or opinions but rather to TRULY find a solution to the dangers we face many times in a single day.

I had a professional person view a home the other day. A lawyer, in fact, and all legit as I had to call him back at the office. I was asked by this person if I would care to pleasure him while the owner of the house was downstairs. This to me is our biggest risk, you cannot trust anyone. Not even a professional in a fancy suit. And so, if we cannot trust anyone, then what is the answer to keep us safe or sane actually?

On the role of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in real estate (in response to ‘AI in real estate need not be feared’) there was some difference of opinion. Here are the comments from our Facebook page.

Adriaan Grove, CEO of Entegral, real estate tech provider
Marlin Oakes

The article ‘One agent assaulted and another hijacked’ once again illustrated the vulnerability of estate agents when hosting show houses or meeting clients to view a property. Here is what some of you had to say:

Danie Barnard wrote via email

I want to suggest that the industry through all its platforms “promote” the fact that buyers need to be informed/advised that it is becoming a requisite that they need to provide ID before viewing will be permitted. I would even say that they have to provide proof of residence as well whilst at it. They will need to in any case by the time they wish to make an offer.

By all platforms I suggest that the likes of Private Property and Property24 publish it somewhere in the showhouse adds as well.

Charmaine van Antwerp wrote via email

I agree with the fact that agents should ask their prospective buyer for a pre-approval letter from their bank or their bond originator together with a copy of their ID document before viewing any properties.
I have personally done so for a while already. However some agents have made appointments with me for their clients to view and when you ask them the surname of their client, I have often been told that they don’t know the surname of their client (only their client’s first name).
This is shocking to me that an agent can run with people that they don’t even have a surname of as I can tell people over the phone that I am Sandie when I am in fact Charmaine.

Property Professional website comments:


It is nerve-racking to list property in areas, especially where crimes are least expected. I believe all agents should be armed with some sort of protection like pepper spray, tazer, gas gun etc.

I am an agent and was assaulted in an area in Polokwane. Six tenants under the influence of alcohol threw me with beer bottles. One even got in my vehicle. I drew my firearm and all disappeared in separate directions. No one was harmed, but things could have gone real bad. I reported the incident to my principal and the owner and was told to rather not list in that area again.

I agree at least two should work together and still be armed. We are there to make a living and agents will go anywhere to make a deal happen. This is their food on the table. Be safe, be armed! (Comment shortened, Ed.)


I believe the only time the issue of agent security will be properly addressed is when one of us gets killed. Show days should be banned on a national basis. Appointments checked out before viewing.

Here are some of the comments received on ‘Hidden costs when using set-fee agencies’:

Hayley le Roux

Well said, most local agents tend to go the extra mile. It’s not just about listing and selling, it’s about knowing your market, building relationships with buyers, sellers and other role players. It’s about stepping in when a seller is out of town and requires assistance. It’s about assisting the purchaser who doesn’t drive but wishes to view, assisting with requesting plans … the list goes on and on.

Tim Smith

Two possible major factors that are often overlooked when ‘employing’ a budget agency option to market your home (marketing does not necessarily lead to a successful sale), are:

  1. The inherent inability to deliver a high level, sustainable marketing plan, that exposes the property to potential buyers that are ready and able to purchase your property at a premium price.
  2. Unmotivated estate agents and support staff, that are not able to cover their cost of service delivery to the seller, could result. The lack of incentive alone is an indicator of possible failure to deliver, and acceptance of first-come, first-served offers from potential purchasers becomes an option.

Possibly seen by struggling estate agents as a short cut approach to real estate marketing, it is simply not a sustainable business model, and the client potentially loses.


I’m not a fan of one of the biggest “fixed fee” agencies as one has to show potential buyers your home and there is no agent present. I agree with most of the article. Traditional estate agents need to be far more flexible as their commission rates are too high. They would not get away with those rates in other countries such as the UK where the rate is around 2% not 5 or 6%.

“The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) overburdens the real estate industry in South Africa – for the industry to flourish and grow fewer regulatory and costly barriers to entry are needed,” comments an experienced property practitioner. Here follows the rest of his letter:

The EAAB is not only frustrating the industry but oppressing our businesses and prescribing how we must run our enterprises, to our own detriment and that of our industry.

They are the cause why our industry has regressed instead of flourishing and gaining new members. Their barriers to entry and rules and regulations, the compliance imposed on existing members and new applicants, make it impossible to grow a business, employ new staff and grow the industry. They are the cause why a great majority of potential estate agents are not prepared to join the industry.

For individual agents the monetary costs for licence fees, logbooks, NQF4 fees, PDE and keeping themselves going is indeed a huge challenge. Most persons seeking employment in the industry are down and out elderly persons with a small income, looking to boost their monetary situation. Where are newcomers going to get the money to enter the industry, sustain themselves, pay for expenses for private über, or running a motor vehicle, paying for basic expenses, business cards, registration fees, cell phones etc?

The majority of estate agencies are family-based small operators, perhaps just a husband and wife, or medium sized companies and cannot carry others in their businesses or assist financially. They can only help a select few that show some potential and stability.

If you take into account the countrywide statistics of real estate sales and compare it with the number of agents whether registered and compliant or non-compliant and illegal you will discover that the average agent is on a starvation diet.

If we are going to transform this industry, we want no barriers of entry, just a small registration fee to ascertain who is registered as an estate agent and what the count of our registered members are. We will double the influx of estate agents to our businesses in a matter of months

‘Intern’ agents will be allowed to operate totally on their own after a year or 18 months. They can earn more money on commission splits after writing a practical exam set by the board and passing same. If an individual wants to establish their own business, they can, say after a minimum of three years of uninterrupted practical experience in the industry, take a further exam. The board sets the study material and the final examination.

The EAAB can also consider creating a practical and educational real estate school for interested newcomers to the industry and all graduates from that facility will be employable immediately. It is impossible for a principal today to tutor, fund and taxi interns and still have time to do everything else that is required to run a successful business.

Why must the EAAB place themselves between the existing laws of the country and the real estate industry? There are existing laws for misrepresentation, latent and patent defects, theft, fraud, FICA, unfair competition and anti-competitiveness etc.

In any industry, the business owners or directors are always responsible for the actions and omissions of their employees and staff. In the same way, real estate principals and directors are responsible for the actions of their employees and staff.

We have to create an easier way to recruit. We need an environment where the real estate business can flourish and gain new members who will remain loyal and become successful employees as well as new members who will learn the business and start their own. This is what has always happened in the past.

About a decade ago there were over 80,000 registered estate agents in this country. Those figures has dropped dramatically since, keeping in mind that a percentage of the reduced membership are strictly speaking non-compliant not to mention the percentage that is unlicensed. One phenomenon that all stakeholders must accept is that the real estate industry since its’ inception has always had a large turnover of staff. Like the saying goes a third are coming, a third are leaving and a third are staying. This is the greatest challenge for any type of business or industry, especially real estate.

The composition of the EAAB Board should also be structured totally different from what it is at the moment. There are many astute persons serving on the Board, but I am amazed that only a few of those serving on the board have come through the ranks of the real estate industry. How can they make rules and regulations when they have no practical experience of the vast complexity of the real estate industry – the challenges, the hardships, the competitiveness, the frustrations, the financial demands, recruitment difficulties, exploitation by some of the property portals, print media expenses, the marketing costs associated with our industry? Surely the existing successful practitioners and leaders in the industry can give some guidance on what the practical challenges of the real estate industry are and offer some possible solutions. That said, cognisance must also be taken that some of the franchisors/franchisees have different agendas to further their own goals and aspirations to the detriment of other competitors, newcomers, rules and regulations and independent owners. The ideal “Board” should therefore consist of estate agents (60%) of which 30% maximum represent franchisors/franchisees and 30% represent real estate independents. The other 40% on the board should be public representatives such as attorneys and people representing other fields of expertise.

An Imbizo should be held by the EAAB with all the major role players. It must be also noted and understood and brought to the attention of all, especially the EAAB, that the perceived BIG players do not necessary do most of the real estate business in any given town. If you do a survey you will find that the independent estate agents combined might be doing more business than the bigger brands. A lot can be learned from the “smaller operators” which is where all today’s big business brands started. The Board should be more attentive to the huge challenges that both parties are experiencing at the moment and I am surprised and perplexed that we cannot solve these problems and yet we all have the same goals to grow the industry.

These ideas have been restated on numerous occasions. The time to engage with the EAAB is sooner rather than later if we are going to achieve what both parties are envisaging.

P.S. Remember that acts, rules and regulations can be amended and changed if you dedicate yourself to the process.

The ‘One Learner’ estate agent training programme is a great concept as long the promises made about stipends and proper follow-up are kept. A few principals shared their experiences with the first roll-out of the programme in response to the article ‘EAAB recruiting for ‘new’ One Learner programme.

Debbie Wall-Smith, director Core Property Group

I love the idea, but here is my experience:

About 7 years back I employed an intern, enrolled him on the program - neither he nor the company ever received a cent. He dropped out.

About 5 years ago I employed another intern and tried to enroll him. One morning at 8.30 am he received a text saying we had to be in Observatory for orientation. I cancelled all my appointments, signed wads of documents and never heard another word. Neither the intern nor the company received any money. After 4 months I reduced his salary with the hope that by that time he would be earning commission and he left.

In 2018 I enrolled an intern who had already started with a real estate training school, the promise was a stipend and free tuition. We filled in every form, got a time table and eventually received a curt email saying she did not qualify because she was enrolled at another school. Clearly the real estate training school was getting the money and in control.

In 2019 I employed a young chap with a property qualification on a stipend. I promised to pay him more if there were any incentives from the EAAB or SSETA.
Three weeks in, he was contacted by the EAAB as they were offering jobs, he took the day off to meet with them. He returned with an email address for an EAAB employee, and the belief that he would be on the program with our company as the employer. I emailed the EAAB employee twice, no response whatsoever. The intern emailed and got a response. I was given another name and I emailed that person, no response. Towards the end of March or April IEASA advertised on a Friday morning on Facebook that the EAAB is looking for host employers by 5pm that evening, for induction the following Tuesday. I saw the Facebook ad at 7pm and responded. No response to date.

This intern previously enrolled on a program and has now been fined R1500 by the EAAB for not paying R350 for his FFC last year when he was unemployed. One would think that this would be waved for a black intern.

How can the program be successful when estate agencies are not asked to participate?
I have so much knowledge to give but paying an inexperienced person a salary indefinitely is a cost to the company. The EAAB should be paying me to train interns, they would learn so much.

Some companies get 10 interns on stipends, but legitimate companies like mine do not even have emails returned.

I really question the process for the selection of the estate agency employer. Why is every application my company makes unsuccessful? It simply does not add up, the EAAB and Services SETA need to explain why:
Every principal wasn’t informed by personal email of the program. To find out about a program, advertised by a voluntary association on Facebook on the day the offer closes, is beyond ridiculous.
If an intern is signed up, the payment is never received?
Why only some schools qualify for the program?
Why it is always done in such haste and such a disorganised way?
Why EAAB employees ignore emails?
Why such a few estate agents are given the opportunity.

The concept is great, but the implementation is not.

John Webb, (commented on the Property Professional website)

When the One Learner program was set up some years ago, I embraced the process and interviewed a number of suitable candidates and took on a learner that had a 2 or 3 year entrepreneurial diploma. As a result, I was immediately able to place her as an intern. The EAAB provided the stipend for 12 months while I and other senior staff in the office mentored her.

The fact that today she is now a qualified agent has nothing to do with the EAAB. She received no educational help from the EAAB. At the end of 12 months her stipend fell away although I pleaded with the EAAB to continue the stipend until she qualified. I made the decision to appoint her and provided the resources to ensure that she received the educational training. At the time the EAAB wanted 20 000 learners on the program. My gut tells me that less than 20 learners on the program qualified as agents. If you work out the cost per qualified learner, it paints a very scary picture.

Many estate agents says they were inspired by Willard Nyamagodo’s success in property sales without a car of his own and wanted to know how did he do it? Here’s his answer and some of the comments on the article.

Willard Nyamagodo says

The answer to that is as an estate agent you must manage your time and make sure you are on time for your viewings. I did that using Uber nothing more.


Congratulations Willard for all the hard work and the motivation you have contributed to the likes of me. When I think of the fact that presently I have no car, I get a bit demotivated and a bit anxious but with your input here, I am going to push forward just like you and hope for the best.


Well done!!! I am sure you will prove to be an excellent agent who will achieve great heights of success. It just shows you with determination you can achieve your goals and you were relentless in all the obstacles that you were given. There are many agents who sit back and moan about what is not happening in the real estate industry and having all the tools to work for them. You have now proven what can be done and with hardly any resources. I say again, well done to you.

Lucky Matamboye

Well done Willard, I know that you are aiming higher and you have shown that it’s possible by being resourceful in your own way and its paid off ... congrats go get that 30 million … I am also motivated.

Mike Spencer, principal of Platinum Global in Bloemfontein writes that government should look at using underutilized industrial sites to solve the housing crisis.

We are all aware that there is a shortage of zoned low-cost residential sites and we are plagued with informal housing projects. These unsightly and illegal developments are a blot on the landscape and are often developed in quite the wrong spot for entirely the wrong reason. Their presence often causes a host of problems from unsightliness to security and health issues. The government is struggling to control this illegal development which is encouraging widespread disregard for proper town planning across the population.

It would seem that the government has not made provision for housing sites for the lowest income population and has been overwhelmed by the shift from rural to urban living. In many cases this is exaggerated by populations moving from one province to another as is evidenced by the shift of population from the rural Eastern Cape to the Western Cape.

At the same time, in many parts of the country formal development of industrial areas has taken place, often in excess of the requirement for industrial property. Many of these sites are now unused or underused with many standing idle and in older industrial areas with little hope of ever being used for industrial purposes. Even parastatals have excess property that could be given up and used for other purposes. Transnet has a network of unused stations and workshop areas that could be made available, much of which is situated in the centre of towns and cities or close by.

Much of this underutilized industrial property was designed with heavy production in mind and are supplied with high levels of water and electricity connections which is more than sufficient to cater for the population of a new residential development. These sites are already situated within zoned areas and could be used (often without rezoning) for residential purposes. They usually have some public transport associated with the area and are served by existing road infrastructure.

Could these sites not be purchased or reallocated for use for low cost and indigent housing?  Instead of informal settlements, without any facilities and subject to the risk of fires and rioting, formal low-cost housing could be created on formal sites that are already supplied with the necessary infrastructure. These sites are also well situated near to potential sources of employment and at worst are on formal transport routes for commuting to where work is available in other parts of the city.

Use of these sites would be cost effective. The necessary changes could be implemented with the minimum of fuss and time delay and would allow for a far higher level of affordable housing at minimal cost.

Perhaps it is worth thinking about and investigating further.

Keri Ferreira, principal of Home&Equity Property Services asked why sectional title property managers don’t have to register with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB)? The principals are registered but the individual portfolio managers working in the sectional title property companies are not. This is unfair practise and something the EAAB is turning a blind eye too?

Comment from the Estate Agency Affairs Board

The definition of ‘estate agent’, as contained in section 1 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, was expanded by a Specification of Services notice published under Government Notice R1485 of 17 July 1981.

Regulation 2(a) of that notice extends the definition of estate agent to include any person who collects or receives money payable by any person to or on behalf of a developer or a body corporate in terms of the Sectional Titles Act in respect of a unit or proposed unit. The regulation deals, in essence, with the payment of monthly levies or other moneys due by the owner or purchaser of a sectional title unit to the body corporate. The EAAB, thus, exercises jurisdiction over sectional title managing agents who collect or receive money payable by any person to a body corporate in respect of a sectional title unit. The EAAB, in addition, has jurisdiction over managing agents who institute legal proceedings to recover payments owed to a body corporate.

The principals, and various other persons in the service of the sectional title management enterprise, are required to register with the EAAB, and to be issued with a valid fidelity fund certificate, to enable them legally to perform their sectional title management services. It may sometimes happen, however, that specific portfolio managers are not actually involved with the payment of monthly levies or other moneys due by the owner or purchaser of a sectional title unit to the body corporate.

The ‘Has SA become too unsafe for open show houses‘ article had numerous readers commenting on this topical matter on the Property Professional website link. Here are some of the comments received:

Robert Slabbert

I live in East London and when we put our house on the market and it was a show house, our problems started. In a short period of time we had 6 break-ins and that was with 4 big dogs in the yard. After I put beams on the outside it stopped. So crime is really on the increase, also in complexes which we now live in. Show houses also bring criminal elements.

Estelle Piek

Show houses are unsafe both to agent and seller. It is time to do a virtual tour of properties at the office, or a restaurant, after a formal qualification of what the purchaser can afford. Principals need to modernize their marketing methods. Real modern buyers prefer this time-saving method. Once this pre-approval of both buyer and property took place, a formal viewing can be arranged.

Jeanette Hall

I have felt strongly about this subject for years!!

I believe a set appointment with viewers during the week gives the buyers every opportunity to view the property in a shorter space of time. In fact, this creates exactly the auction type excitement show days are supposed to do. I used this method effectively in Gauteng and Durban. Genuine buyers will attend.

It’s way past the due date to hold Sunday show days. In SA it’s not sensible anymore. What is everyone waiting for? A tragedy? This has already happened to agents in SA and to have two agents going to meet a client is not going to stop a robbery, it just means two agents are going to be vulnerable.

Show days can also be held at an open office and agents can go from the office to the property (on a Sunday if this remains popular) with the clients. With other agents/buyers around it’s less likely people, like the sellers, the agents or even buyers will be vulnerable and lessen the chances for opportunists. It’s time to change current methods and consider everyone in the equation: sellers, buyers and the agents who are so vulnerable. It’s about caring for everyone concerned.

Monica Coetzee

The event in Rustenburg proves that even working in a team doesn’t make a difference (the agent took a colleague with her) – all that does is increase the number of victims. Any time of appointment – whether it is an open show house or viewing by appointment – is a risky business. Agents have to come out of the bubble of “it won’t happen to me”, become more vigilant, put systems in place (like a panic button and a tracking app on their cell phone, e.g. Life360) to let somebody know when they are in trouble, and proper self-defence training (e.g. Krav Maga) is extremely important. At the end of the day, there is nothing like a physical viewing of a property by a potential buyer, which ‘feeling’ I don’t think any virtual tour will ever be able to achieve.

Robin Willmot, principal Willmot Properties

Being an agent who has been involved in selling land, I do not have this problem. I once had a seller of land in an estate who refused to let me go on show. I notified certain select clients (about six of them) that I would be on show at a certain time, no ‘On Show’ boards etc. I had an excellent turn out and sold one property … it really works! These days to have six genuine buyers at a show is a fair response! The buyers also arrive with a feeling of importance knowing they have been ‘selected’.

Beverly Pekema, comments on ‘There’s no excuse for poor marketing’

Even worse, the same agents who complain about crime and lawlessness are the same people who illegally place advertising boards on the median and in fact just anywhere they want in contravention of the bylaws. I fully agree with this well-written article and know that the change begins with me.

Numerous agents commented on our Property Professional website and on our Facebook page in reaction to ‘Agent robbed at gun point by ‘home buyers’. Shockingly quite a few indicated that they had also been victims of crime during home viewings.

Peta Ann

We at Urban Spaces Realty in Sunninghill don’t have open show days. Our show days are organised for a certain time during the week, whereby we become familiar with the potential buyers and have all their details before the viewing.

Julie Hodge

I was a real estate agent for over 20 years and ran my own company for 14 years. I received a call from a so-called “seller” who asked me to come and valuate his property in Quellerina (Jhb). I made an appointment for the next morning and when I arrived, he was nowhere to be seen. I walked through the garden gate and saw this man bending over the flower bed who said that he was looking for his remote. I said I would help him and turned the other way. When I turned around again, he was spraying pepper spray in my face and came behind me and that is all I remember. I was unconscious for 2 hours and when I came too, I found my 2 carat diamond ring and hand bag was stolen. I was kicked all over my body and he obviously tried to strangle me and thought I was dead. After many months of therapy, I decided to close my business.

Roleen Beelders

I was held up at gun point – gun against my head in a show house. Let me tell all of you it is a fear that will never leave you. Since then I will not to show houses even being 2 in a show house. If 3 guys walk in with guns, what can you do? Nothing. We don’t sit at our own homes with our doors open allowing stranger to walk in.


I honestly believe that when the agent arranges for the potential buyers to meet at the agency’s offices, a photo of the buyers should be taken to add to all the other documentation such as ID, vehicle registration number and proof of residence.

Maria Nenkov

No open show houses – only controlled viewing.

G Delport

Pre-approval of a potential buyer can sort this out. If it is a serious buyer, they will certainly have no problem with giving their info. Without that, rather lose a sale than your life.

Lynn Kaufmann

Perhaps view by appointments should be considered for the near future. We all know as agents that show days are the best way to obtain exposure and names of prospective buyers, however in the present economic climate in SA reality indicates that crime is paramount.


Learn self-defence, including awareness training and last resort, emergency options as part of your skills set.