The Rawson Property group’s expansion programme has taken a quantum leap forward with the establishment of their first franchise beyond South Africa’s borders.
Tony Clarke, managing director of Rawson Properties, has signed an agreement with RM-Africa Property Consultants to set up a residential property franchise in Zimbabwe.
Richard Matengambiri, RM-Africa’s MD, said it might surprise South Africans to learn Harare property market is active and performing satisfactorily.
The limited building of the last two decades, he said, has resulted in strong demand for existing stock.
The residential market is achieving ongoing sales, especially in the $25 000 to $150 000 bracket — with other sales both above and below these prices.
“Right now,” said Matengambiri, “we are employing seven agents, but within the next year we expect to take on a further three.”
Rawson Properties, he added, is not the only South African property company now represented in Zimbabwe — most of South Africa’s big name national firms and at least one international property firm, Knight Frank, are already there and generally doing well.
The RM-Africa directors came to Rawson Properties because they had read Fast Forward Your Retirement Through Property, a book by Jason Lee, now in charge of Rawson’s commercial franchising division operation.
The RM-Africa directors found Lee’s details via Linked-In, made contact and then took a plane to Cape Town with an open-ended return date.
“We were,” said Matengambiri, “determined not to return home without a franchise.”
Once in Cape Town, they dealt initially with Lee, who helped them to stitch together a deal.
Simon Bere, marketing strategist for RM-Africa, said that they wanted the franchise because its “brand power” would appeal to Zimbabweans and be of great benefit to them, ensuring them of a higher profile, increased customer confidence and more referrals.