We are living in uncertain times and as South Africa nears the peak in COVID-19 infections no one knows exactly how or when this pandemic will end or what it will mean for our future.
When faced with the unknown it forces one to think more critically about how to manage change, deal with adversity and prepare oneself for the unexpected.
Rebosa is currently at the coalface of all industry matters. We are set to represent our members in every area of concern in 2020 including PoPI becoming operational and the expected finalisation of the Property Practitioners Act Regulations in the next few weeks which will change the way we operate in future.
Despite the many challenges we also have some good news for our members. The Private Property share offering is launched at last and is outlined in detail in this report. Rebosa will also not be increasing membership fees for the seventh year running.
I wish you well over the next weeks.
Private Property – The Estate Agents Portal: Shares Available to all Rebosa Members
South African estate agents have missed many opportunities to make our industry more competitive in a world of disruption – not that we’re alone in the world as far as that is concerned!
For many years one of a real estate agents biggest expenses was advertising in property papers as these were tightly controlled by a small number of print media houses. It took years for industry to become invested in print publications and to ensure that there was transparency and competition for estate agent advertising. Through that, we saw competitive forces introduced into the market for the first time, and that led to print media prices being a great deal fairer.
Lo and behold when digital marketing came to the fore, we didn’t see it for what it was and we now see history repeating itself.
The net result was the advent of two dominant portals, Private Property and Property24.
At first, digital advertising was very inexpensive and saved everyone a lot of money. Over time, that has changed significantly and the more dominant portal is dictating prices, much like the print media houses before. In many instances prices now exceed what print ever cost – according to some. There is no doubt that this trend will continue.
During the print media days, it was still possible for new publications to start up and introduce competition back into the market. In the digital world it is not as easy, in fact it is almost impossible. The risk of a permanent monopoly position in future is very real and it can be challenging for portal number two to even compete with portal number one.
Six plus years ago Property24 created a joint venture company with the industry called Real Estate Agents of South Africa (“REASA”) and through this vehicle, and dominant media interests, established themselves as the market leader. Unfortunately for the industry Property24 cancelled that agreement.
Four plus years ago a number of national estate agencies, through the offices of Rebosa, obtained a significant share in Private Property giving industry some say in the future of one of the leading portals. These shares are held by the Estate Agency Property Portal Company (Pty) Ltd (“EAPPC”).
In 2016 Property24 took the bold step to “purchase” Private Property (including the EAPPC’s shares), an event that created panic in the real estate industry as the immediate result would have been one monopoly portal controlled by Property24. Fortunately this transaction, following the intervention of Rebosa and industry leaders, came to nothing and an opportunity presented itself for industry to obtain a bigger stake in Private Property.
Ideal partners were found in Caxton Publishers, BetterLife and ooba. Caxton was poised to invest in the digital space through its Hozi platform. Caxton (through a majority stake in Cognition Holdings Ltd) became a major investor in Private Property with their focus on the long-term and valuing the partnership of the industry in the process. BetterLife and ooba, both closely associated with the real estate industry, each took up shares.
The intention was and is to make shares available to all Rebosa members on the same terms that the initial real estate investors made their commitments and investments.
All Rebosa members now have the opportunity to be issued shares in the EAPPC on the same basis as the founder agencies at no cost. To qualify, members must have a signed advertising agreement with Private Property. Qualifying agencies will be rewarded annually with a share issue in this company that is the owner of 12.35 % of the shares in Private Property South Africa (Pty) Ltd. No difference exists between shares obtained in this manner be it iro bigger or smaller agencies.
Private Property’s objective is long-term investment, partnership growth and a competitive industry. The intention is to be fully transparent and inclusive of all industry players.
What to do? Just click HERE , complete the online form and a Private Property consultant will contact you.
Rebosa Board Appointments
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Herschel Jawitz to Rebosa’s board. Herschel is the CEO of Jawitz properties and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the board. We believe Herschel will be a tremendous asset to Rebosa, especially during these challenging times and we wish him every success going forward.
On this note, we wish to thank our outgoing director Amanda Cuba for her valuable contribution and unwavering commitment. Although Amanda leaves the board we look forward to her ongoing involvement in the organisation.
Richard Gray’s term as our Chairman comes to an end and we thank him for his leadership and the outstanding job he has done shaping Rebosa for the past three years.
While Richard remains on the board of directors, he hands the baton over to our newly elected Chairman, Tony Clarke. Tony has our full support and under his stewardship we are certain Rebosa will reach new heights.
The Board reinforces its commitment to looking after members best interests, good governance and effective representation. We are eager to work with our new Chairman and board in navigating Rebosa through the uncertain times that lie ahead of us.
The renewal for 2019 FFCs opened on 1 July 2020 via the MyEAAB agent portal on www.eaab.org.za. Unfortunately the EAAB IT system is not functioning leaving agents unable to transact online.
We are waiting for a response from the EAAB as to how FFCs can be renewed and when the system will be operational again.
In the interim Fiona Chaitowitz is assisting members renew their FFCs manually.
We also remind members to urgently let us know if they are still outstanding 2019 FFCs so that we can try and assist.
The EAABs offices have been closed for a significant amount of time since the initial lockdown and we are relying on a handful of personnel who are working remotely. Some also do not have access to the system so please bear with us if we do not get back to you timeously. The most important issue is that you are recorded on our list for resolve.
The Minister announced that CPD fees will be waived in her budget speech of 22 July. On 30 July the EAABs CEO Ms Mohlala announced that while CPD fees have been waived, there will be no refund for those who have already paid their CPD fees. Instead their accounts will be credited for the next financial year and they will not be expected to pay again next year. We have of course raised questions regarding this.
Ms Mohlala also announced that the EAAB will soon be providing CPD on an electronic platform and the details will be communicated to the industry in due course.
Professional Designation Exam
An online PDE exam option is being explored. To date no 2020 PDE exam dates have been announced by the EAAB.
REBOSA Membership Fees
As a result of sound financial planning, we are pleased to announce that for the 7th year running, Rebosa will not be increasing its membership fees.
We continue to manage the organisation with low operating costs so that funds can be allocated to our core mandate of protecting real estate business owners’ interests.