Designer Halston’s iconic Manhattan townhouse sold

Former property of Gunter Sachs – The unique design is the work of acclaimed architect Paul Rudolph.

Engel & Völkers, New York has successfully brokered the former residence of the US designer Roy Halston in Manhattan for 18 million US dollars (approx. 15.9 million euros).

The townhouse is located on the Upper East Side and was designed in 1966 by the world-famous architect Paul Rudolph. The prominent American fashion designer Halston purchased the property in 1974 and turned it into a venue for legendary parties attended by New York’s high society.

Stars from the worlds of film, art and music were frequent guests, including Andy Warhol and Liza Minnelli. The Halston House, as it is known, was acquired by the German photographer and art collector Gunter Sachs in 1990. He filled it with portraits of its famous visitors, including a Warhol painting of Brigitte Bardot, his third wife.

Living inside a work of art

The Halston House is one of the very few New York homes to be designed by the renowned architect Paul Rudolph. The façade is made from steel and glass, a strong contrast to its neighbouring brownstone mansions. The design reflects Rudolph’s modernist approach, strongly influenced by the Bauhaus movement. Inside, Rudolph’s skillful use of natural light is evident. The interior space totals some 700 square meters, with three living rooms, four bedrooms, four full and one half bathroom, plus two kitchens.

The sunken living room with its triple-height ceiling, a wall of windows and a fireplace forms the centerpiece of the house. From here a floating staircase leads up to the upper floors, where a 148-square-metre outdoor terrace awaits. “Due to its glamorous past and cult status, this house cannot fail to make an impression. With its unique architectural design and luxurious finishes it is a work of art in itself while at the same time offering a realm of exclusivity,” said Stuart Siegel, Managing Director Engel & Völkers.

Dainfern residential property enjoys significant growth due to investment and development

Established a little over 25 years ago, Dainfern is an upmarket suburb within a sprawling residential and commercial hub touted as Johannesburg’s ‘New North’. The suburb is home to well-known celebrities, artists, entrepreneurs, business owners, wealthy individuals and expatriates who enjoy the many live, work and leisure benefits that the area and its surrounds offer.

Dainfern is part of the greater Fourways area – the New North, which is one of Gauteng’s most rapidly expanding and developing nodes. Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa explains that the growth shows no sign of slowing down and may soon overtake Sandton as a prominent business district.

“Dainfern property is back in demand, especially with the R2.4 billion expansion of Fourways Mall and significantly, within the next 10 years, the next two stages of the Gautrain development,” says Hutchison.

Fourways is ideally situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, providing convenient access to major highways and arterials. The area is also equipped with an array of excellent private and public schools including Fourways High School, Crawford Fourways, Bryandale Primary School, Chartwell Country College and Cedarwood School. In terms of essential amenities Life Fourways Hospital is highly regarded and Sandton Clinic and Sunninghill Hospital are in close proximity.

World-class shopping and entertainment are also on offer at Monte Casino, Design Quarter and the expanding Fourways Mall. Lanseria International Airport is a few kilometres away and for individuals who enjoy the outdoors it is an easy drive to the Magaliesberg Meandor and to the Norscott Koppies Nature Reserve.

Hutchison explains that Dainfern residents have the opportunity to enjoy all that the area has to offer and more. Dainfern Lifestyle and Golf Estate is at the heart of the neighbourhood, and is flanked by the smaller suburbs of Dainfern Valley and Dainfern Ridge.

A wide range of properties on offer

 For both buyers and investors, the neighbourhood offers a wide range of properties from apartments and townhouses to clusters and sprawling family homes. The area attracts young individuals and families with the majority of buyers in the 36 to 49-year-old age bracket followed by consumers aged between 18 and 35. Many buyers view property in the area as a long-term investment and will rent units out, taking advantage of the buoyant rental market.

Studio apartments sell from R600 000 onwards. Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments range from R960 000 to R1.5 million. Cluster homes in secure complexes or estates start at approximately R1.7 million. Whilst freestanding properties average around R1,6 to R2 million with the top end standing at over R5 million.

“Dainfern’s residential properties have once again become sought after assets and property prices will climb as demand continues. The new Fourways Precinct currently underway makes the suburb a thriving Metropolitan area offering convenience, growth and lifestyle,” says Hutchison.

“We have recently been mandated by International Housing Solutions to sell a current development on their books, The Paddocks Estate” stated Craig. For both buyers and investors, the Paddocks is ideally situated within this thriving neighbourhood. The lifestyle is perfectly suited to young professionals, those starting a family or investors with a keen eye for a quality development,” concludes Hutchison.

The Paddocks is a 3 storey walk-up development catering for everyone with 4 options to choose from ranging from Studio apartments from R610 000, Bachelors from R645 000, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom from R900 000 and 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom from R965 000.

The complex has 24 hour security with access control offering a secure lifestyle with abundant open park spaces, children’s play areas, a tennis and basketball court, clubhouse with pool and onsite laundry facilities.

The Paddocks is conveniently situated with direct access to the trendy Dainfern Square Shopping Centre, which is home to a Virgin Active Gym, Woolworths, Pick n Pay and a selection of restaurants – a world of retail and entertainment on your doorstep.

For more information, click here

Creative Property Investments

Investing in property is invaluable, offering long-term rewards and is still regarded as one of the safest permanent investments. Most people would like to diversify their property portfolio but think they won’t be able to afford it or that they will not have the money for a deposit.

“Purchasing investment properties can be capital intensive, but there are ways to reduce the capital requirements by approaching the investment in an informed manner.” says Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

When it comes to property investment, there are many strategies to adopt, depending on your personal situation and goals. We look at a few creative ways to approach your real estate investments:

  • Partnerships: a typical way of obtaining financing. It is the way many young real estate entrepreneurs go about financing their projects. By finding investors who can put the money up and split the profits on the upside. This also limits your risk and makes the money go further.
  • Private Lenders: a less risky alternative to a better cashflow. This is because you can often arrange the terms of repayment with the private party. They can be anyone such as a friend or business acquaintance. The loan’s terms are agreed upon by the two parties, which can make purchasing a property with little or no moneya likely possibility.
  • Rent-to-own or lease with an option to buy: This option is especially great when considering how to buy first rental property. If you have a lease-option for 5 years, at the end of that time, you will need to purchase the house and can get a bank loan then. Meanwhile, you can use the time to fix your credit and/or save for a down payment. Some contracts may put some or all of the rental amount towards the deposit.
  • Use a home equity line of credit from another property:If you have equity in another property, you could use that as a deposit on purchasing another investment property.
  • Borrow against your own home: Some people in this situation choose to extend their mortgage to release the cash to invest elsewhere. Some financial institutions will be happy for you to borrow more against your house in order to invest in property. Once you are able to buy an investment property, you can refinance it in one year.
  • Rent rooms in your home: If you own your own home, you can raise money by renting out a spare room. If you’re willing to put in more work, you’ll get higher returns by renting your room through a short-term lettings agency. The profits can be very high if you live in an area with decent tourist, student or business demand.
  • Borrow money for a deposit from a relative: If you are fortunate to have a relative with some extra funding and you really know your stuff and can produce a compelling business case, it might be worth a shot, asking them for funding towards/for a deposit to purchase the property.
  • Invest with friends: If your friends or business partners are also have a passion for property, you could always invest together. If you do decide to invest with someone you know, make sure you’re 100% aligned, discuss what you want to do, and all those scenarios that could go wrong. Plan what will happen if someone wants to sell and the other doesn’t – or one person needs their money back unexpectedly, and get it all down in writing.
  • An instalment sale: Is an agreement, documented in a water-tight contract between a buyer and a seller that the buyer will pay off the purchase price in monthly instalments within 5 years. This enables a buyer to acquire a property by paying the seller in more than two instalments (in usual bank-financed transactions there are two instalments: the deposit and the final settlement amount) and over a period longer than one year, but not longer than five years. Once a buyer and a seller have agreed on a price, the payment arrangements and the terms and conditions, a special purchase contract is drawn up by attorneys that specialise in ALA transactions, which meets all the requirements of the ALA to ensure the transaction is legal and protects the interests of all parties.

Only a handful of investors will make it past their first investment whilst climbing the property ladder even though their intentions were to make it big in real estate. “Establishing and expanding your property portfolio needs to be done with careful forethought to ensure you get the most out of it” Craig concluded.

From paperclip to howeowner

Did you know that one man managed to trade his way from a paperclip to a homeowner – here is how:

1. On July 14, 2005, he went to Vancouver and traded the paperclip for a fish-shaped pen.
2. He then traded the pen the same day for a hand-sculpted doorknob from Seattle, Washington.
3. On July 25, 2005, he traveled to Amherst, Massachusetts, with a friend to trade the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
4. On September 24, 2005, he went to California, and traded the camp stove for a Honda generator.
5. On November 16, 2005, he made a second (and successful) attempt (after having the generator confiscated by the New York City Fire Department) in Maspeth, Queens, to trade the generator for an “instant party”: an empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the holder’s choice, and a neon Budweiser sign.
6. On December 8, 2005, he traded the “instant party” to Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette for one Ski-doo snowmobile.
7. Within a week of that, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk, British Columbia, in February 2006.
8. On or about January 7, 2006, he traded the second spot on the Yahk trip for a box truck.
9. On or about February 22, 2006, he traded the cube van for a recording contract with Metalworks in Mississauga, Ontario.
10. On or about April 11, 2006, he traded the recording contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona.
11. On or about April 26, 2006, he traded the one year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona, for one afternoon with Alice Cooper.
12. On or about May 26, 2006, he traded the one afternoon with Alice Cooper for a KISS motorized snow globe.
13. On or about June 2, 2006, he traded the KISS motorized snow globe to Corbin Bernsen for a role in the film Donna on Demand.

We open the door to the Engel & Völkers Training Academy

Engel & Völkers prides itself in producing some of the best agents the industry has to offer. Their In-House Training Academy offers various courses for agents, management and support staff and is bench-marked on international standards. “Our goal is for our agents to become successful through our training programmes. New agents opt in favour of joining Engel & Völkers due to our intensive training and then ultimately remaining with Engel & Völkers as a result of the standard of our training” states Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.


We had the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes and meet the head of the training academy and qualified trainer, Lara Machado-Spronk to find out a bit more about who sits at the helm of the In-House Training Academy.

About Lara

Lara was born in Mpumalanga, and then relocated to Bethlehem where she spent most of her childhood. She is the youngest of 3 girls, with Bianca being the middle child and Tania who is the oldest. In 1996 her journey began when they moved to Johannesburg, she matriculated in 2002 from Sunward Park High School and if asked, Lara will passionately express her love for the big city and given the chance, she would love to one day own a loft apartment in New York. With school out of the way, she decided to jump straight into her studies by studying a diploma in Press and Broadcast Journalism which included PR, Radio, TV Presentation and Media Law from Damelin and graduated in 2004.

Throughout her schooling career and her studies, Lara also focused on her dancing, which has been a passion of hers since she was 5 years old. She was a dance teacher for over 5 years. “I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my passion in life, but I have always wanted a corporate career and after graduating in 2004 this was my target” Lara shared. Being the dynamic person she is, she picked up the yellow pages and called various events & exhibition companies in search of a job – and of course, she succeeded, although it did take admirable determination as she only landed her first interview on her 73rd call. “What can I say, I was born for the career I have today as I have always been a big fan of cold calling”.

The interview was a roaring success and she joined an exhibitions and events company which then took a turn to construction with her completing her qualifications in Project Management & HR. She ended up living in the Middle East for just over a year where she learned a lot about culture, business, and also managed to fit in a bit of travelling in between. Upon her return to SA and catching up with some friends on Facebook, she came across an advertisement for a career in real estate and so her journey with Engel & Völkers began.

We sit down with Lara and delve a bit deeper:

Who is Lara when she is not training or travelling around the country?

Lara is a very happily married woman with her husband Ryan always by her side, encouraging or motivating her after those tough days. They live in the Beverley area of Johannesburg and are the proud parents of two 4 legged children, Soup and Pooky – who Lara says definitely run the house.


Given the chance, she enjoys hiking and some arts and crafts to give her mind some much needed rest. “Nothing better than getting out in nature and taking walks exploring rivers and mountains. I am currently training to do the Otter Trail next year, and hopefully soon get to do a few overseas hikes. If I can’t get out into nature, you will find me on my patio with a good book and a cup of coffee enjoying my weekend. My life is filled with 7 nephews and nieces, so any time I get to spend with them is treasured”.


Tell us about your experience

​My first professional job was working for a company that specialised in events and exhibitions. We ran events for South African government officials as well as sold expo stands to our target market of ambassadorial teams from the United Arab Emirates including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai to showcase what their country could offer South Africa and vice versa. The company then progressed to project management where we headed up projects on construction sites including ambassadorial homes in Waterkloof, mosques in Killarney and various other projects in the Middle East.


I then took a leap of faith and responded to a Facebook advert for a Team Assistant position at the Broadacres office, where I was later promoted to Office Manager and Team Leader for both the Broadacres and Bryanston shops. I assisted agents and the shops to sell properties for just over 2 years. I was approached by MLP SA to move over as the Team Assistant and Systems Trainer, I did this for just over 2 years and then started heading up the SA Training Academy where I was privileged enough to be trained by one of the top trainers in Hamburg, to be recognised as an International Sales and Operational Trainer for Engel & Völkers. My focus is to provide hands-on training and support for LIPA’s, managers and agents on the day to day functions in a sales environment.


What is your ultimate goal in life?

​Professionally, I would like to own an E&V franchise and personally, to own a few loft apartments in New York City and build a property portfolio there. I would also like to once a year, explore a city or country that I have yet to see.


What do you think makes a successful agent?

​Understanding that this career is not an 8 – 5 job. This job requires you to become the job. You need to live, breathe; sleep real estate and you need to enjoy the process. It has serious ups and downs and you need to roll with the punches. You need a strong sense of integrity, drive, passion and be able to work well with the most difficult of clients. It is not rocket science, it just takes a personality that enjoys consistency, reliability and an urge to learn that make the most successful agents.  ​


What is your most memorable training session?

​As a trainer, it is very difficult for me to choose one session that I hosted as my most memorable, as each session brings out various moments of connection between individuals that are either complete opposites or like-minded. However, my most memorable training session was the one where I was trained, by E&V and Pawlik consultants in Hamburg. They taught me that to train is not to teach, but to give the tools to the delegates to teach themselves.


What do you love most about training?

​The fact that I get to motivate people that have taken a leap of faith by leaving a permanent job with a salary, to become commission earners and giving them the tools to assist them in becoming successful. The most rewarding part of training is after training when the agents contact me about their first mandate, showday, listing, and enquiry and offer to purchase. That is why I do this – to see other people succeed at something that they were nervous about.


Tell us a bit about the In-House Training Academy / what your training comprises of?

​The In-House Training Academy is divided into 3 sections:

  1. LIPA and management training ​

​2.  RtS!  for Agents

  1. RtA! for Team Assistants


I am very fortunate to have Elfie van der Westhuizen focusing on and managing the RtA! (Ready to Assist) training for all the Team Assistants around the country. Her dedication, attention to detail and focus really has made a serious improvement in the skills of the Team Assistants across the country. The RtA! content focuses on the on-boarding plans of Agents joining our brand, HR, marketing of properties for agents, agent management and support roles as well as the day to day functioning of an E&V office.


The RtS! (Ready to Sell) is run by myself for all the agents across the country and the main focus of this 4 day course is to introduce the agents to E&V, the tools they have, to create business plans and marketing plans, the sales process, customer relationship and management as well as creating a long-lasting career. We also spend a lot of time on self-development with relation to sales competencies as well as developing personal plans to strengthen any areas that may need it.


We run workshops countrywide covering topics from OTP to mandates to after sales to marketing and tools. The LIPA and management training workshop is focused on running your shop and agents according to the E&V systems and procedures. These hands on workshops guide and educate the LIPA’s and managers on what is available, how to use it and how to execute it in their shops. Our Sales Director, Wendy Williams and I work on the content together so that we ensure we cover all topics that the shops may need.


Why do you think training is important for agents?

​It is important that the agents have a foundation upon which to build a successful career. Whether they are completely new to the industry, or experienced agents, training allows the groups to learn from each other, build networking relationships among themselves from across the provinces, as well as give them a clear guide on what is expected from them and this career and the potential that they can achieve. The E&V training for agents allows the agent hands-on experiences in a practical manner that gives them the tools they need to either go out for the first time agents or enhance and refine their skills for the experienced agents.​


Tips for people who are not yet in the industry, and want to make a career move to becoming an agent?

​Firstly, ensure that you have financial backing or savings to carry you through to your first sale registering. Sales can take anywhere between 2 – 4 months to register and in the beginning the agent needs to have financial peace of mind. Secondly, understand that this is not a part-time job. This job requires you to become the job. You need to eat, breathe and sleep real estate in order to become top of mind. Lastly, what better job to have, than one where you write your own pay check? Consistent hard work will provide the agent with financial freedom.​


​Be sure to join a real estate company that provides you as a new agent the right tools, be it marketing, support or management tools in order to succeed. The E&V way is designed that if our agents follow the system they will be successful.​


What qualities and attributes do you think makes for a successful agent?

Local knowledge, or the willingness to gain local knowledge; if an agent works an area that is manageable in terms of size and transfers happening, their knowledge will increase and become a great asset for future sales. Having a tendency to pay attention to details; in this industry, the smallest of details could make or break a deal. Tenacious – clients want to work with an individual that never gives up and always has the energy to carry on. Honesty and reliability – you are dealing with probably the most expensive asset a client owns. Having traits such as honesty and reliability as an agent is what generates positive word of mouth advertising to future clients. Lastly hardworking – what you put in is what you get out. It is that simple.​


Give us some insights on the property market at the moment from the agents’ perspectives that you’ve trained recently

We are still very much in a buyers’ market with sellers holding their ground in terms of prices that they want to achieve. Unfortunately this makes the seller overprice their properties and in turn makes the buyers offer an amount that is way below the value. Agents are currently emphasizing information and market reports to both buyers and sellers so that they can meet in the middle. The market at the moment is all about being top of mind so maintaining the activities of agents is very important. If an agent is managing their farming area correctly and consistently, they become top of mind to current sellers as well as future sellers that will be going on the market.


Do you have any buyer/seller advice?

​Always work with a reputable agency and agent. I encourage sellers to sign exclusive mandates with one agency, so that they are not seen as desperate sellers. The agency will spend money on marketing their property exclusively to the market. Agents are achieving closer to asking price on exclusive mandates versus open as they push the buyers to put in higher offers, as well as negotiate with the seller’s interests in mind. From a security point of view, you deal with one agency that has access to your property and brings qualified clients through to your home. More agents do not equal more buyers. When buyers are shopping and they see a property listed by more than one agency, they immediately think it is a desperate sale. To add insult to injury, some open mandated listings are priced differently by all the various agents and this creates an even poorer image in the buyers mind. For buyers my advice is always become qualified before you go shopping. Our E&V Finance department will assist all our clients with per-qualifications to see what you can afford and once an offer is signed, they approach all the banks to get the client the best offer.


​Not only does the In-House Training Academy provide the various courses and workshops to assist new or experienced agents, we also do many shop visits across the country throughout the year to motivate and coach all agents in anything that they need. We also encourage agents to do refresher courses with the academy so that they keep up to date with any changes that they need to be aware of. The In-House Training Academy is not just a training facility it is a hands-on coaching department too.

Scott Pharoah shaking things up in the property world in Johannesburg

Scott Pharoah made his debut to the property industry in 2015, by acquiring the Hyde Park Licence for Engel & Völkers in South Africa; he then expanded his portfolio to Houghton, Bedfordview and Midrand. This was just the start of more exciting things to come, as Scott just recently acquired the Sandton licence area. His network of property shops now covers a vast area in Johannesburg. Chantalle Bell, Feature Writer for Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, sat down with Scott to find out who he is when not investing in the real estate sector, what makes him tick and where he plans on heading from here on out…


 The personal side of Scott:

Those of you who have met Scott will agree that you can’t help but notice his passion and love for all that he does. The exuberant, enthusiastic, positive energy he has for being part of an International Real Estate brand, and the Johannesburg city life is definitely infectious. He noted that he has seen the ins and outs of Johannesburg, and is yet to come across an area that he doesn’t like. “I can truly say that I love Johannesburg – every single corner”.

We started at the beginning and gained a peek into his younger years. Scott grew up in Limpopo in the small town called Duiwelskloof, at that time it only had a population of 2 000 people. He then moved to the big city, Johannesburg, to pursue his studies where he also managed to land his first job in sales, which he did whilst completing his studies. The vibe of the city became part of his blood, and he has now been living here for the past 27 years.

Scott says his passion lies in his family and his faith. He is very blessed to be able to have grown up with rock solid role models in both his parents and grandparents, and this played a big role in the success he has today. He now lives in Atholl, Sandton with his stunning wife of 14 years, and their 4 children aged 2, 5, 6 and 7, equally divided between 2 boys and 2 girls which keeps them quite busy most of the time, not leaving much time for ‘hobbies’. “I do believe that a hobby is just something which you enjoy, and I love any time which I can spend with my family. We have a rule of taking 2 dedicated holidays a year, where we completely go off-grid and quality family time is the agenda of the day. In today’s busy life, I think we tend to allow technology and work to distract us without us even noticing, and we sometimes just need to take a step back and focus on what is most important.

“I recently returned from our 2 week break at our holiday home in Mpumalanga and it has re-energized me completely, ready to get all the new ventures going – so even if one does not always have the time, I do believe you need to make time”. You also need something to take your mind off work when you cannot be on holiday, and during weekends they spend their time relaxing and unwinding at various restaurants in Johannesburg where they love the energy of the city. Scott highly recommends taking a family trip to 44 Stanley, Salvation Café, The Parks, Vovo Tello and New Town JHB to name a few. It is clear that his childhood dream of becoming a restaurateur is not completely dead – the passion is still alive and being lived.



 Scott and property:

When asked whether he thinks that property is a good investment – Scott simply smiled with a bit of a frown, almost as to politely say, ‘I own 5 real estate licences – of course it’s a fantastic idea’. He says that in his opinion, next to gold, property is the investment that appreciates the most. After moving out of his parents’ home to Johannesburg, the first property he lived in was a room he rented above a double garage from an elderly couple. After he had a bit of capital built up, he proceeded to obtain his first property in 1997, which was a 2 bedroomed apartment for just R350 000 and it all just grew from there.

Scott noted that he can’t tell us where his dream home would be, as he is already living in it – in the heart of Atholl, although his ideal holiday home would be on the West Coast in Church Haven, Langebaan. He did however quickly answer our question with regards to his favourite room in the house without any hesitation or thinking – “It is definitely the playroom – it is our family’s heart. In this room anything goes. Although I do believe in discipline, I also believe that we all need a space to let our hair down – and this is what our kid’s playroom represents. It is a room where there are no rules – toys and crayons lying around… fabulous, organised chaos.


The Red & White side of Scott

The biggest risk which Scott ever took was leaving formal employment and taking the risk of opening his own business in 2004, this risk has turned out to be the biggest reward! He has since then only continued to expand his business portfolio with the addition of his first E&V shop in 2015.

Scott was introduced to the Engel & Völkers brand by way of visibility in his area, which led him to approach the Engel & Völkers Bryanston shop to assist with the marketing and selling of his property. Needless to say, this resulted in a successful sale and he was very happy with the service received.

The brand stuck with him, and when it came to the decision to expand his business interests to the real estate industry, Engel & Völkers was his next logical step as he loved the brand awareness, the shop concept and the exclusivity. He joined Engel & Völkers as the brand epitomises luxury, professionalism which translates into success. The brand also offers phenomenal systems, classic corporate governance and is truly an international brand.

He believes that the secret to owning a successful business is running a sales team, in a service industry that needs to revolve around good, solid and honest leadership of your staff. Promoting staff and being empathetic to both the buyer and sellers is the philosophy. At the coal face, agents need to be sensitive and understanding to the needs and wants of their clients. “In business, I view staff and clients equally as my responsibility to nurture”.

Any industry has its rewards and challenges, and we wanted to know what his experience has been on this front. Scott says the most gratifying side of real estate is the thrill of fulfilling people’s dreams and ambitions of being property owners. “You get to re-live the excitement of becoming a property owner. Think back on the day when you bought your first or last home, and that moment when you were handed the keys – it is hard to explain the feeling, but I am sure that all property owners will be able to relate”. On the opposite side he also shared his most challenging aspect, which he noted to be maintaining motivation levels of staff in incredibly tough economic times. He added a bit of advice to newcomers to the industry and that is to never let up on their dreams despite the adversities.


The future according to Scott

We all have goals and targets of what we would like to achieve, and Scott is no different. In fact he has already marked out the timeline and is on track to achieve all of his set goals.

Scott is busy getting his Johannesburg office set up as a MMC (Metropolitan Market Centre) in order to get it recognised as an official MMC by Germany. “The ultimate goal is to be Africa’s ‘Manhattan office’, the first of its kind on the continent. It is not a matter of if it will happen; it’s simply a matter of when”.

As we mentioned earlier, they are indeed on track with their plans and we wanted to know what exactly has been happening and what they have been busy with. Between his 5 shops, he will have a team leader for each area, which is assisted by admin staff to support the team in reaching their success. They are currently looking for managers to head up these positions as Scott is looking for exceptional individuals who will share his dream of where the company needs to be.  “I believe one needs to utilise any opportunity to its max, so I am embracing this feature, by inviting anyone who reads this article, and feels as passionate about the industry and growth as I do, to contact me about filling one of these positions”.

We almost need an organigram to keep track of the empire which Scott is busy setting up, but we have tried to keep up. Starting at the top, Scott is hands-on involved in the business, but believes in having a strong team who can run with things. For this specific task, he has appointed Debbie Robertson as Operations Manager of the entire group. Debbie is more than qualified for the position. Her career in E&V has grown immensely over the years, starting off as an intern agent; she used the expertise she had acquired over the years to grow into the Team Leader position at the Engel & Völkers Midrand office. In just a short time another opportunity came across her path, and she is now the Operations Manager for all 5 of the shops.

Debbie will be overseeing all 5 team leaders mentioned above, as well as the sub-divisions which are already in place. These include dedicated teams to service all areas of the industry and company. “We have a legal division headed up by Kiki Smith, our in-house attorney who will oversee all the contracts, together with her legal apprentices. Next will be our HR Manager to look after our staff and their needs (we are currently also looking for the right candidate – applications are welcome). Our finance department is overseen by Brendan Pharoah and our in-house marketing by Robert Ogall who looks after the social media, branding and events side.

Scott’s vision is to gain a sizeable and dominant market share in all of their areas in the next year, and whilst he understand this will take time, their teams are driven and pushing towards exclusive listings and gaining market share on a daily basis. With their support staff structure they have in place, there is no doubt that anyone will be able to make a success of their career in real estate, and Scott & Debbie invite candidates for a cup of coffee to see their offering in real time.

If you share Scott’s passion and vision, feel free to make contact and meet him yourself and chat about the opportunities available – or even if you simply feel you would like to meet this ball of energy in person – life is full of possibilities…

Wrapping up Women’s Month with Dane Van Niekerk, Captain of the Proteas Women’s Cricket Team

In the month of August we paid homage to the women of our nation and we celebrated the women in our communities. “We have celebrated all types of women this month and have acknowledged and still applaud the women of South Africa who take a stand, and who continue the fight against all the issues which seek to bring women down” says Tihara Baker, Relationship Manager of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.


As our Women’s month draws to an end we have the privileged of speaking with Dane Van Niekerk, the right hand batter and Captain of the Momentum Proteas Women’s National Cricket team and gain some insight into her sporting career.


Dane’s journey started when she was just 4 year’s old playing cricket with her dad and brother in their backyard. She then started playing cricket as a sport and went through all the ranks in woman’s cricket:  U/9, U/12, U/13 and U/15. She was spotted at the U/19 woman’s cricket where she then went to trials for the South African side and was later picked for the 2009 ODI Women’s World Cup in Australia and since she has not looked back and is living her dream.


What advice would you give to other women who wish to have a successful sporting career?

If you fall in love with any type of sport you must follow your dreams. Talent only takes you so far. You have to work hard. You don’t jump into any professional environment. You really have to work hard and train, but if you follow your dreams and if it’s something you really want to do then the opportunity in South Africa is there to pursue it, more so in cricket to be professional and do it as a job.


 Do you have a role model? Who and why?

That’s difficult; if I have to look in cricket probably AB de Villiers at the moment. It was Shane Warne, but AB de Villiers is the best batter in the world and, you know, critics are getting him, but he just shows his class every time he goes onto the field and he never backs down from a challenge and he leads his team really well and that’s something I wish to do. He [AB de Villiers] has never been anything less than respectful to anyone that\s ever said anything to him so I think any person would strive to be, first of all, a person like that and a cricketer.


What is your motto in life? / What is your favourite famous quote?

“For with God, nothing shall be impossible”, we have a few players in the team that pray before a game and I believe in that and I guess I go about that before every game.


How do you conquer fears?



What is your outlook on investing in property?

Yeah, look, I think it’s important to invest. People like different things. I like property, because I like houses – it’s there and I can live in it. We’re actually in the market for a new house at the moment so I’m all for investing [in property].


Do you own any property?

Yes I do. A townhouse.


Where would your dream home be located?

Probably a beach house down the Garden Route. I would love anything by the beach so Knysna and those places.


Which room in your home is most important and why?

My room, because there’s a nice TV in there and it’s my bed. We don’t get to sleep there often so when we are there it’s probably the best room. And then the braai area (laughs).

People & Property: Jacqueline Grobler, South African Gin Maker

Engel & Völkers Southern Africa believes that property is more than just the actual houses for sale, it is about the people and the lifestyle. With a love for people and a passion for property, we enjoy a moment on the red couch with some of South Africa’s high profile personalities, to gain some insight into their lives on both a professional and personal level, and by delving into their property insights and preferences.


“This week we are kicking off our Women’s Month and focusing on some of SA’s powerful ladies. We had the privilege to sit down with Jacqueline Grobler, South African Gin Maker (Ginifer) and entrepreneur. Here is what she shared with us…” noted Chantalle Bell, feature writer of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “


A bit of background on Jacqueline:

A woman seldom daunted by the unknown, Jaqueline Grobler took each new challenge to heart, embracing the learnings and the education afforded by the school of life. Building a distillery from scratch, managing contractors, planning layouts with engineers was all in a day’s work and while at times intimidating, she still found it incredibly fun. Not someone who can be contained – this vibrant entrepreneur loved every moment of her journey to launching – believing boredom to be the real killer.

When talking about the tough days, she says that everyday made her realise just how deep she could dig for strength, always finding the resolve she needed to press on and retaining her sense of humour through the small setbacks along the way. Her first delivery of glass bottles came in two containers and she didn’t have a forklift operator to assist her. She laughs when she recalls single handed offloading 30 000 glass bottles with her little 3 ton forklift – a process that took five hours and left her unable to move her shoulders the next day.


A Quick Q&A:

If you were to wake up tomorrow and find that you are a man? What would be the first thing you would do?

[box] I would take full advantage of having a wife; I’ve always said I want my own supportive, loving wife. I would also be unapologetically bossy and enjoy telling people what to do without feeling guilty.[/box]


[box] What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I don’t wear a wedding ring – I haven’t for years – and I was proposed to by a customer who was sampling our cocktails. I think he believed that any woman who can make alcohol must be the perfect woman.[/box]


What is the best advice you have ever been given in business and who gave it to you?

[box] That no degree or age will ever prepare you for what your own business will throw at you. You should always celebrate the small successes. It was my mother – a very wise woman indeed – who shared this sage advice with me.[/box]


Any exciting new future plans on the horizon?

[box] We have a few very exciting new products in the pipeline that are fun and light hearted. To be honest I am enthusiastic about every new product we launch; it’s like I’m growing our family. We have – Luvoa – a Craft Vodka and Venom – an African Moonshine – both of which are launching soon. Without sounding arrogant – these products are master pieces – truly exquisite; from their bottles to their unique taste profiles they are exceptional. We are confident that like our other brands, they will be well received by the market.[/box]


You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

[box] I would most definitely learn to ride the elephant and go ahead and cause chaos in the Sandton traffic; I’m not so keen on cleaning up after this animal though.[/box]


What is the most important room in your home?

[box] The kitchen is the centre of my home; I find creative expression through my love of cooking and baking.[/box]


Could you tell us a bit about your own home?

[box] I own a very old farmhouse in the centre of Sandton with thick stone walls fashioned in the shape of a Rondawel with a thatched roof. It’s quirky and odd, but it suits our family perfectly. We are surrounded by large trees; it’s our sanctuary.[/box]


Do you have any interior style tips you can share with our readers?

[box] I studied interior design and my favourite type of house is eclectic and individual. Style cannot be bought or imported. It comes from within and it comes from being you.[/box]

In the Spotlight: Tom Davids – up-and-coming real estate agent in Centurion

In the Spotlight: Tom Davids proves a positive attitude, faith and hard work does pay off

We have a chat with Tom Davids, an up and coming real estate agent in the Centurion area. Tom is an inspirational sales advisor at Engel & Völkers Centurion who has only been in the industry for 10 months but already making a success of his new career.


Tom will tell you that it is by pure chance that he pursued a career in real estate. His journey began when he ran into a friend of his whilst shopping, and she invited him to come meet her manager who just happened to be the Team Leader of Engel & Völkers Centurion and the rest is history. Tom shares some of his career tips to his success and what he has learnt along his journey to being an agent and having a successful career.


“Coming from a retention & sales managers background the transition was fairly easy for Tom and he has certainly worked very hard to earn his status as a successful rookie agent in Centurion, we are very proud to have him as part of our team” states Wendy Williams, Team Leader Engel & Völkers  Centurion.


The other side of Tom

Upon asking Tom to tell us a bit about his family life, he shared that he is married to a stunning lady, Cindy and that they are blessed with 4 beautiful children, 3 girls and 1 boy. He says that his family is his world but they come second as God is on top of his list of priorities. Tom loves people and love helping others when possible.


Tom’s hobbies include selling properties and having 3 little children in the house, other than that there is no real time for relaxing. When he is busy with his hobbies, he relaxes, which is why he loves spending time with my family and doing show houses and expos. Tom added that this personal goal in life is to always try and make a positive difference in the lives of others. “I love helping people in general and my goal is to be able to help so much more than what I am currently helping.  I am most passionate about sharing as I do believe that sharing is caring” Tom added.



On the more serious side

Tom’s says that his greatest achievement would be when he made a decision to serve God and to be obedient to His commandments. Getting married to his wife and being blessed with their 4 kids is most definitely also one on the list. “Let me just mention that the last set are twins just in case you think that we don’t have any hobbies” Tom smiled.


We got to do a quick Q&A to gain some more insight into Tom’s life:



Tell us a bit about the market you specialise in?

[box] I cater to both Full and sectional title in The Reeds area of Centurion and have noted that a new trend is developing where young couples (newlyweds) are buying property together. This proves that buyers are educated about their financial growth and focussed on investing in property from as young as possible.[/box]


What are your top three secrets to success?

[box] Hard work, positive attitude and prayer.[/box]


Can you remember how many properties you have sold?

[box] I joined the industry in January 2017 as an Intern agent and have managed to successfully sell 5 units in the past 6 months since my career took flight.[/box]


Which part of the property industry do you enjoy most?

[box] Selling property[/box]


What is the most vital business tool that estate agents should have at their disposal in today’s market and why?

[box] A positive attitude and a determination to succeed and not to give up.and not to give up.[/box]


Do you remember the first property you sold? Please tell us about it.

[box] Yes! I do not think that you will ever forget your first deal – the rush and excitement is simply unexplainable. It was a cash deal and the client came all the way from Limpopo to view one of my properties. He was adamant that he only wanted to deal with me which obviously gave me a confident boost as being new to the industry is a bit nerve wracking. I had been working with the client for almost 6 weeks by sending him properties from my colleagues that matched his requirements and being available to answer all his enquiries. We are still in touch till today, and we have built a solid relationship.[/box]


What do you find to be the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of the job?

[box] Most enjoyable would be the freedom, flexibility of time (It’s not necessarily working shorter hours) but you are not trapped in a 9 to 5 job. The most challenging is iff one is not disciplined and focused in managing your freedom and flexibility of your time, you could end up being discouraged. [/box]


What characteristics, in your opinion, make for a great estate agent/broker and why?

[box] A person that is disciplined, has a positive attitude, is self-motivated, a driven/go getter and they must have faith. Selling property is not child’s play and if no one is standing behind you to “manage” you, it is easy to become despondent and that is why you need to believe that things will work out for you.[/box]


Please tell us a bit about your best listing currently on your books

[box] It’s a 134sqm duplex in an estate selling for R1,27 million. Web ID: ENV98112 just incase you are curious to have a look. I believe this is a fantastic investment as the area is excellently located and security is guaranteed. It is well priced and the owners are realistic about their expectations and informed on what the property market is doing at the moment.[/box]


What is your personal goal to achieve in turnover for the financial year? / What are some of your career goals?

[box] I wanted to achieve R1 million in commission earnings and I would also like to become a motivational speaker as I believe that helping others should be a target for everyone.[/box]


What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you or told you when you first started out in property and why?

[box] That it requires a lot of patience.[/box]


What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success in their career in property?

[box] Don’t think success will just happen without your commitment and hard work. You need to love what you are doing.[/box]



On the lighter side:


Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

[box] I am both.[/box]


You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

[box] I will make sure he understands that sitting on cars is not allowed.[/box]


A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

[box] Ola Amigo, he is looking for a bachelors flat.[/box]



Celebrating Women’s Month with the Momentum Proteas

With Women’s month underway, we take a step back from property and look South Africa in general, as it is after-all our home. And we celebrate the females of the house in celebration of Women’s Month.

The Momentum Proteas Women’s Cricket Team are rising to their strengths internationally and in South Africa. They are rising as role models, national heroes and inspirational sporting champions. They are rising with the launch of the very first television commercial for the Momentum Proteas, which celebrates the sport, the team and every young girl who keeps rising to the challenge.

The commercial follows the story of young girls who all share a love for cricket. We witness their grit and determination to play well and always be better. Their hard work, passion and joy is inspired by, and paralleled to, the Proteas’ training and matchplay. The juxtaposition between the girls and the Proteas team displays the talent, commitment and love for the sport, despite age or gender. It shows both the girls and the Proteas as exceptional talents, who love the game (despite some people saying it’s not for them) and who are always willing to get better, summed up in the #alwaysrising hashtag.

The underlying message of the commercial rings clear – South Africa’s girls can do anything and be anything. The Momentum Proteas are testament to that. The team is proud to represent our country, they are professionals who have the talent, the grit and the determination to win at an international level. They are proud because they are #alwaysrising.

The team is made up of women from all corners of South Africa and from all walks of life – from a grade 11 learner, to a mother of a small child. From a young age each of them was relentless in taking their innate talent for cricket and fostering this potential. Daily discipline and practice honed this skill until it shone through for the country, and now the world, to see.

From a young age, each team member was #alwaysrising. Always rising to meet the challenge and always rising to go beyond it. Always rising to take their talent and their skill beyond the threshold. As the Momentum Proteas, they are #alwaysrising.

Team captain, Dané van Niekerk says, “We know what we’re made of. We have worked really hard to prepare for the World Cup in England and we’re incredibly proud to represent our country and our badge. We want to be able to inspire women and girls of all ages through our work and the manner in which we go about it. As a team, we just want to keep getting better and to make sure that the women’s game in South Africa is always rising.”

The Momentum Proteas Women’s National Cricket team are:

Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), Trisha Chetty (wicketkeeper, Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Boland), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Masabata Klaas (Free State), Lizelle Lee (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)