Empowering the next generation of property professionals

Empowering the next generation of property professionals

The Attacq Foundation, a corporate social investment initiative focused on sustainable education and training, powered by Attacq Limited, recently held its much-anticipated Attacq Foundation bursary session for students studying property-related and engineering courses at its partner institutions. The students’ studies are facilitated and managed collectively by the SAPOA bursary fund, South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP), The Atterbury trust, Women’s Property Network Bursary Fund (WPN) and the University of Pretoria.

Two events themed “Recruitment and Support during Youth Month” were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively and brought together the bursary students studying in these cities to network and engage with each other, and with leaders in the property industry, who shared inspiring words and as well as insights from their years in the sector.

Attacq Social Executive, Janine Palm says, “It is so fitting that we are hosting our bursary sessions during Youth Month. Higher education in South Africa is sadly inaccessible for many young people and I am proud of the work of the Attacq Foundation which, along with our partners, is empowering the next generation of property professionals”.

Founded in 2015, Attacq Foundation supports disadvantaged students pursuing real estate and construction-related courses by providing financial support through established and proven programmes. Ensuring the youth is educated, equipped with necessary skills, and well-prepared for employment is the primary focus area of the foundation.

Since its inception, the foundation has initiated and supported a number of initiatives that address the challenges facing primary and secondary level education in South Africa such as their Keep Our Girls In School #Endperiodpoverty campaign and Rise Against Hunger school meal initiative.

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“Building our nation is about uplifting and giving back to the community in ways that create a sustainable difference. The link between education and empowerment cannot be overstated. I am excited to watch the journey of the bursary recipients we support as they grow into confident and competent industry players.”

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READ MORE: Rosebank development gives investors the ideal all-in-one investment solution

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Rosebank development gives investors the ideal all-in-one investment solution

Rosebank development gives investors the ideal all-in-one investment solution

The Bolton is at the centre of Rosebank’s rapidly growing residential offering in Johannesburg. Nestled in what some would call the perfect location, the developers – Feenstra Group and Emira Property Fund – are giving investors and professionals alike a unique opportunity to invest in an area that has seen a 6% year-on-year capital appreciation on sectional title offerings.

The epitome of the 15-minute neighbourhood trend that is taking South Africa by storm, The Bolton is at the centre of it all. Residents can enjoy a wealth of advantages when it comes to accessibility with its proximity to office parks, transport, shopping malls, fitness centres and a bustling nightlife. As you step out of the residence, the options for professional and personal offerings are many and varied. Prominent global companies, law firms and media agencies are already part of this growing landscape. Art lovers can also appreciate the culture of the popular Keyes Art Mile and the heritage of the contemporary Goodman Gallery. For fitness fanatics, Virgin Active, Viva Gym and Bodytec are all within a 700m radius while wellness centres – Life Day Spa and Orient Spa – are less than 300 metres away. Rosebank Mall, The Zone and The Firs provide shopping convenience less than 200 metres away and restaurants such as Saigon Suzy, Marble Restaurant are close by for spontaneous night outs or planned networking or even catch ups with friends.

The Bolton in Rosebank is daring to be bold and leading the way in the residential property investment game. Already a fully developed property with a 99% rental occupancy rate, the development is pivoting and giving opportunities to investors to have their share of the success it has seen over the years. With the launch of sectional titles earmarked for July 2022, ambitious professionals and investors can enjoy an abundance of convenience all on their doorstep.

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The development includes 282 units of which there are studios, 1 bedroom-, 2 bedroom- and penthouse units starting at R750 000, ticking all the right boxes as the perfect investment opportunity at an affordable price point. Current rental incomes range from R6 000 to R13 000 (2022) giving you peace of mind on a sound return on investment that is ideal for Professionals choosing to live the on-the-go lifestyle in Rosebank. Ownership has also never looked more tempting with no transfer duty fees and only a deposit of R5 000 to initiate the process.

To help you balance the stresses on everyday life, the amenities in the development include a laundry area, a garden and pool, a braai area, 18 seater cinema room and storage facilities for sale. The stringent security protocols include biometrics access, 24-hour security presence, CCTV and a concierge service. As a result of the growing need to work from home, residents have access to work pods, meeting rooms and a boardroom within the development itself, each building equipped with a full backup generator for uninterrupted work sessions. The move-in ready apartments are ideal for professionals and investors looking for a lock-up and go solution.

Many talk about having a balanced work and life dynamic, but The Bolton offers this in spades. There is something for everyone at every corner and the growth in this vibrant part of Johannesburg is sure to keep you smiling all the way to the bank.

Visit www.thebolton.co.za or call

087 537 0778 for more information

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READ MORE: Fractional Investment is the easiest way to invest in property

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Fractional Investment is the easiest way to invest in property.

Fractional Investment is the easiest way to invest in property.

 EasyProperties, established just over two years ago amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has gained traction with its model that “democratises access to property investment through fractional investments.

Headed by CEO Rupert Finnemore, EasyProperties, one of the newest additions to JSE-listed Purple Group’s portfolio of innovative businesses that are disrupting the market by making it easier for almost anyone to invest and get into South Africa’s property market.

 The company started in the buy-to-let residential market and offers an alternative way for people to get a foothold in the property market – whether they have R1 or R1 million to invest. It gives investors access to real estate opportunities in prime locations that they might otherwise not be able to tap into, such as Sandton, Rosebank, the Cape Town CBD and Ballito.

 “Access to investment in properties and the rewards of capital growth and rental income has historically been reserved for the wealthy. We’re changing the game. EasyProperties offers a simple online investment process for any investor, regardless of income or net worth.”

 “Essentially, we are a prop tech platform that serves to democratise property investing. We are passionate about changing the traditional belief that investing in property is hard, by disrupting and removing the barriers to entry.”

 EasyProperties uses its networks and expertise to access property developments like The Rockefeller in Cape Town, BlackBrick projects in Sandton and Cape Town, The Blyde in Pretoria, Ballito Hills on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and The Polo Fields in Waterfall.

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 The group bulk buys a certain number of units in a specific development – often negotiating a discounted price – then offers the properties to investors on a fractional investment basis.

 Finnemore explains that the fractional model which EasyProperties offers is different to the traditional fractional property ownership concept. The latter saw investors buying a share of a specific property unit, and then qualifying to stay in the unit for a few weeks of the year. Like timeshare schemes, these are generally linked to hospitality properties.

“Our fractional investment model sees investors gain a share in property opportunities we research, source and even manage, thus taking away all the friction points that people wanting to invest in the property market may grapple with,” says Finnemore.

 “People who invest through EasyProperties gain a share in a specific development that we’ve secured units in. They can invest based on what they can afford … For example, we may have 10 units in a residential property development, but those units can be fractionally owned by 7 000 investors.

 “We handle the leasing, rent collection, management and maintenance of these property units. Our investors get rental dividends based on how many shares they own and can also benefit from capital gains after a five-to-seven-year investment period,” he adds.

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 Finnemore explains that investors still enjoy liquidity flexibility if they want to sell their shares, which is done on the group’s online platform via auction to others in the EasyProperties investor community.

“Just over two years down the line – essentially its start-up years – the company has signed up over a quarter of a million registered customers. Finnemore says the business currently has over 70 000 active investors or “invested customers”.

 He highlights that EasyProperties is regulated and operates under the relevant financial sector rules. The company is a juristic representative of First World Trader (Pty) Limited, which trades as EasyEquities, an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP). EasyEquities has shaken up the market in SA as a low-cost investment platform for those wanting to invest in local and international stocks.

 “We have over 260 residential units in the EasyProperties portfolio, valued at around R300 million. And it is growing . We expect to top R500 million next year,” Finnemore points out.

 “The average amount invested by our active investors is between R1 300 and R1 500, but we have other clients who have invested a few hundred thousand rand or over R1 million.”

 EasyProperties is also eyeing expansion into student accommodation as well as commercial property opportunities in the burgeoning industrial/logistics sub-sector of the market.

souece: Moneyweb.co.za

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BEE not enough to measure infrastructure performance

BEE not enough to measure infrastructure performance

“Infrastructure development is a catalyst for economic development but is often accompanied by strikes from communities, business forums and criminal activities by construction mafias. At the centre of this instability is the demand for meaningful participation by communities in the labour and business opportunities inherent in infrastructure projects.” said Newton Baloyi, Vice President of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) at the recent Western Cape Property Development Forum Conference held in Cape Town.

While the ASAQS welcomes the announcement of the establishment of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council by President Cyril Ramaphosa, it however notes with concern that the panel seems not to have any representation from the built environment professions or construction sector procurement, despite the critical nature of infrastructure to South Africa’s economic recovery and development, and the high levels of instability and community disruptions on infrastructure projects.

B-BBEE in the construction sector has specific unique challenges that need urgent attention. “The missing link is that our infrastructure procurement regulatory framework does not go far enough in addressing the socio-economic concerns of communities,” Baloyi said.

“We need other mechanisms for measuring the performance of infrastructure projects. We must go beyond the delivery of just physical infrastructure to delivering socio-economic impact and inclusive community development.” Baloyi told the conference and supported his statement by sharing the findings of a pilot project he conducted. The pilot was based on a project set aside for the community.

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The findings showed that the benefit of the project to the community could be increased from 6 cents to 40 cents per Rand spent on the project and the payback period reduced from 17 years to 2.5 years. This meant that the benefit to the community could exceed the client’s procurement spent in just over 2.5 years. In addition, the social return on investment (SROI) would be improved from a negative 94% to a positive 60%.

According to Baloyi, there are four interventions required to achieve these kinds of results for the construction sector. Firstly, a mindset shift to integrate impact measurement into construction projects. Secondly, integrate impact delivery into infrastructure procurement practices and legislation. Thirdly, establishing sector community capacity development programmes that enable meaningful community participation in projects rather than the current project-by-project approach. Lastly, proactive establishment of community buy-in based on the shared impact objectives of projects. “These four interventions must be coordinated and integrated into projects; having one without the other does not work,” Baloyi warned.

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The failure to integrate the four interventions is where B-BBEE fails communities and the construction sector.

“Communities expect participation with or without capacity, otherwise there will be strikes,” said Baloyi “Yet, there are no sustainable capacity building programmes for community businesses and skills. The financial support needed by local businesses can hardly be accessed within the life of a project.”

“These are systemic challenges that cannot be solved by social facilitators on construction projects, nor by a developer or contractor on a project-by-project basis. These challenges play a significant role in project delays, poor service delivery, budget overruns and delayed economic development. We hope that the B-BBEE advisory council will go a long way in addressing the fragmented approach to B-BBEE and foster the integration proposed herein.”

“Given the high levels of poverty, inequality and especially youth unemployment and the negative economic outlook of South Africa, urgent interventions are required to avert intensified and violent strikes in the construction sector. Low hanging fruits include the establishment of an initiative led by the construction sector that integrates all stakeholders in the built environment to establish a voluntary pilot that can inspire hope in communities and reassure them that their concerns are being addressed.”

“Rather than theorising about transformation, let’s do it in real-time and with real results as the built environment,” Baloyi told the conference as he called on developers, built environment professionals and contractors to amalgamate their skills development, supplier and enterprise development and SED/CSI resources to establish such a pilot linked to their portfolio of projects.

He suggested that it is time for the built environment professionals to lead the transformation agenda in the construction sector. “We are the experts in infrastructure procurement and strategies and not government”

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Residential estates made safer with biometrics

Residential estates made safer with biometrics

Access control at residential estates is crucial, yet most of the commonly used systems today face several pitfalls. Gate remotes with flat batteries can leave residents stranded outside, access cards are easily misplaced, keycodes can be forgotten, and all these devices can be stolen or intercepted – leaving every resident in the complex more vulnerable to criminal activity.

What if gaining access to your residential estate was as easy as waving your hand, opening your car window, or looking at a camera as you walk in – while non-residents are always thoroughly screened? Enter biometric access control, the most advanced way to secure residential estates.

Rethinking access control

Nicolas Garcia, VP MEA, Biometric devices, at IDEMIA says the trend today is towards contactless biometric technology, which provides the ideal combination of security and ease-of-use. “Historically, access control was provided through keys and locks or, more recently, access cards. However, how much can we rely on keys and cards to protect us from intruders when we know how easily they can be borrowed, lost, or stolen? In fact, they can never really offer valid assurance of who is accessing a building.

“This is where biometrics comes in. Every human being is already walking around with highly unique and measurable information – fingerprints, face and iris— not something you can forget! Biometric access control provides the tools that can leverage that unique data you carry around with you. Using this human factor, it’s possible to identify you with certainty in a frictionless and secure way. For unmatched security biometric data can be combined with something you already own, like your card or your smartphone.”

IDEMIA’s own VisionPass facial recognition access control technology provides near-motion one-second verification through multiple angles and in all light conditions, is efficient with medical masks, and resistant to all kinds of spoofing attempts. It integrates with MorphoWave™ Compact fingerprint devices, which accurately scan up to four fingerprints in less than one second with the wave of a hand, as the market’s most efficient and hygienic range of contactless biometric devices for access control.

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Balancing security and convenience

Residents want to be able to go in and out of access points with the most convenience, but at the same time they want to feel safe and know that not just anybody can gain access. IDEMIA factors in all these expectations when developing biometric terminals.

VisionPass can identify residents on-the-move in less than 1 second. It works in all light conditions, from complete darkness to bright sunlight, with all face types and skin tones, and with various vertical and horizontal angles to cope with users of different heights. It also counters spoofing attempts from criminals presenting images or 3D masks to the camera to gain entry.

“This is made possible through multiple cameras and powerful algorithms,” says Garcia. Facial recognition usually is the first option at estates but contactless fingerprint scanning is also a very valid alternative that ticks all the boxes. IDEMIA has seen successful implementations of both technologies at estates.

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to specific sites’ and users’ preferences: some will prefer to use their hand, while others prefer to present their face. Both, however, are at the forefront of residential estate security today.”

READ MORE: Rise of hybrid working sees new flex-space in Lynnwood Park

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Rise of hybrid working sees new flex-space in Lynnwood Park

Rise of hybrid working sees new flex-space in Lynnwood Park

IWG, the largest global workspace network and Attacq, one of South Africa’s largest Real Estate Investments Trusts (REITs), have partnered to bring flexible working to prime locations. The first of these centres opened on 01 June in the 5 -Star green SA office Lynnwood Bridge Office Park.

Mere steps away from the Lynwood Bridge Retail development, with its vibrant restaurant and retail offering, which now links, via the new Daventry Road Bridge, with the neighbouring Glenfair Boulevard, also owned by Attacq, has proved to be a perfect place for flexible workspace offering.

 The office park has achieved a 5-Star Green Star SA Office v1 Design rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), placing it among South Africa’s leading green buildings.

 The precinct includes sought-after A-Grade offices with blue-chip tenants such as Adams & Adams, Aurecon and Citadel, a mix of exclusive stores, a hotel, a gym, entertainment, and fine dining. Mixed-use precincts are growing in popularity across the globe. And it’s not surprising given that they’re all about creating spaces where residents can live, work and play.

 As businesses embrace hybrid working, how they use office space is set to change for good. JLL estimates that co-working space in retail properties is predicted to grow at an annualised rate of 25% over the next few years. Flexible office space in retail locations will reach 3.4 million square feet by 2023, and nearly 55% of retail coworking spaces will be in suburban areas.

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Diversifying the use of a building also diversifies risk – a key consideration as the world’s economies begin the long road to recovery after Covid-19. Bringing flexible workspace – serving a growing market – into a building that also features more traditional retail or hospitality outlets is arguably intelligent in the current climate.

Long periods of lockdown forced businesses to allow more remote working than ever before, driving home the benefits of reduced commuting and increased flexibility. For people, improved work-life balance has meant better health, more time with friends and family and even increased professional productivity. For businesses, the reduction in travel has helped to cut carbon emissions and, in some cases, prompted cost-effective decisions to downsize real estate footprints.

Hybrid working is the preferred way forward for employers and employees alike. This approach – which allows employees to split their time between home, the office and a third location such as a nearby flexible workspace – combines all the benefits of staying local with the boost of occasional trips to the corporate HQ for collaboration and connecting.

“With hundreds more rural and suburban flexible working locations set to open in the coming years, we expect a wide range of vibrant local communities to develop with thriving businesses at their heart,” says Joanne Bushell, MD, IWG, South Africa. “People want to work close to where they live, so this is a trend that’s going to stick.”

As a result of this shift, communities worldwide are encountering a new wave of suburban revitalisation, with people spending more time (and money) in and around their local area and creating a boom in demand for the amenities they need – including flexible workspaces.

 The rise of the multi-functional precinct

 For landlords and property developers, there’s enormous investment potential. Thanks to the growth of hybrid working, demand for flexible work solutions in the suburbs and beyond is at a record high, creating a solid case for regional investment.

There are strong incentives for companies to invest in local offices and coworking hubs, and their employees are driving this shift. Working close to home provides significant well-being and productivity, and for companies, it also helps them achieve their ESG targets due to fewer carbon emissions. With the help of savvy landlords, people can live and work in ‘model villages’ in the future, where all local amenities such as shops, schools, restaurants, and workspaces can be reached easily.

 According to IWG data, enquiries about flex-space in suburban and rural areas grew by 32% and 20% during the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period pre-Covid-19.

“We know people should work near where they live,” says Bushell. “If they can go shopping nearby and have the leisure and services they need around them, too, it allows them to have a more tranquil existence.”

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