GETTING TO KNOW ANDREW GOLDING
Current position: Chief Executive, the Pam Golding Property group (since 1996)
Education: Bsc Hons, MbChb
Family: Wife Tanya and 3 children
Hobbies/interests: Cycling, Iron Man Triathlons, golf, music
Books reading /Favourite book: Sporting biographies
Personal motto: Press on…regardless
Favourite quote: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take”
Dr. Andrew Golding is the chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group. He was originally in private practice as a General Practitioner on the Atlantic Seaboard from 1991 to 1996, following which he joined the family business as MD in 1996, followed by his present position. Internationally known for his global networking and ambassadorial role in promoting South Africa, Dr Golding is a board member of mortgage originator, Ooba and a former president of REBOSA (Real Estate Businesses of South Africa), as well as a member of the Institute of Directors, the Young Presidents Organisation and the SA Medical Health Profession.
First involvement in property
Property was always a topic of conversation in the Golding household, as he grew up hearing his late mother Pam negotiate deals on the phone and discussing the business at length with his late father Cecil. Andrew had a successful medical practice in Sea Point, and originally had no intentions of entering the family business. However, ultimately it seemed a natural progression and while being a medical doctor may at first seem far removed from property, his experience in dealing with people has stood him in good stead in the property industry.
Andrew’s first business was co-owner of a restaurant/nightclub which was synonymous for its live jazz music in Cape Town. It was initially very successful but then through a combination of bad luck and poor decision-making got into financial trouble. It taught him to not take initial success as a predictor of future or sustainable ongoing success.
The impact the family has made on him has been huge and Pam (his mom) was his mentor and an invaluable sounding board over all the years. He considers it a great privilege to be able to be in a family business where commonality of values, vision and trust is unquestioned. Furthermore, to be tasked with perpetuating and growing an existing legacy is an exciting and inspiring challenge. Andrew says that the biggest challenge is to separate the family business life and concerns from the true non-business family issues as the two can easily become blurred.
In today’s world there is still value in large scale family businesses. There are many very successful businesses that range from 100% family owned businesses, to hybrids where families are in control of the business but with outside shareholders, to family businesses where the family is in a minority. Andrew says, “I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule and it all depends on the type of business and the nature of the relationship between the various parties.”
Andrew is obviously biased towards real estate as an investment category as that is the business he operates in. His most significant returns have come always come from property acquisitions. Most importantly locations where he has bought well have served him well especially if you view them as long-term investments.
The company values have stood them in good stead during times of a downturn in the economy as well as during buoyant trading conditions, and he finds that they benefit during challenging times, not only by attracting agents of high calibre to our organisation, but also being able to maintain the same high levels of service and integrity as before while adapting quickly to rapidly changing market conditions. With the changing dynamics of today’s ever-evolving residential property market, real estate agents have to employ a whole new set of skills in order to service the requirements of the marketplace successfully.
As a result, their agents have to be more skilled, experienced and professional and this requires full-time focus, commitment and dedication from staff and agents, and those who are able to identify with our premier brand succeed. Strong and inspirational leadership is essential and although Pam Golding Properties has over the years grown and achieved record sales, they have a culture of genuine empathy which is based on meaningful relationships with staff, agents and clients alike.
Andrew would like to build on the work of many others before him in promoting the industry as one that adds real value to peoples lives and is seen as competent and professional. From a company standpoint, they have always been leaders in innovating change in the industry and he would like to see this trend continuing.
Andrew says that getting to understand that property markets move in cycles and never just keep going up or down, a residential real estate transaction – while seemingly simple is often complex and nuanced, so real estate agents need to be better at defining the value proposition they offer clients. The value proposition is an excellent one, however, it is generally poorly or inadequately understood or explained.
Opportunities going forward
Andrew says some of the best opportunities going forward is demographics – for example, the young age profile of residents of SA and much of Africa presents a huge opportunity. Also, the fact that the bulk of future population growth is going to be in Asia and Africa. So there is definitely long term structural demand for housing. That is a positive underpinning for the market – although it will require economic growth to ensure these potential homeowners are able to get into the market.
South Africa is a global leader in green/sustainable building – already in the commercial sector and increasingly in the residential sector. This is a sector which is gaining momentum worldwide, and SA is leading the way.
Niche accommodation such as student housing and retirement units both of which are growing markets and also ones in which developers are only now beginning to adjust to the lifestyle requirements of these buyers.
Apartments – because first-time buyers generally start with an apartment but so do downsizers (although they opt for high-end apartments). But SA housing stock still reflects the old preference for large suburbs homes – which for cost and security (and lifestyle) reasons are now less popular among some home buyers.
Small towns/lifestyle towns – towns previously considered holiday homes are now beginning to attract a growing number of buyers looking to purchase their primary residence in these towns. This is because of the stress, congestion and expense of living in major urban hubs. With private schools and hospitals being built in smaller towns eg Hermanus, it becomes an option to live there. Homes are more affordable, lifestyle is more relaxed and commuting is less stressful.
foresee in your sector/industry in South Africa as well as throughout Africa? – see below
The emergence of PropTech:
Having upended industries like taxis and hotels, venture capitalists are now looking at real estate – which is seen to present a big opportunity because parts of the industry – like pricing, mortgages and building management – have been slow to adopt software which could make business more efficient.
Until recently, the biggest tech innovations to hit the residential real estate market have come from listing sites like Zillow and Redfin. But the start-ups in the new wave are tackling a wide range of areas – appraisals, building management, financing, co-working, co-living and empty retail space.
In the US, the company Opendoor is an example of an instant buyer’. The company replaces estate agents with algorithms that crunch data (number of bedrooms to local crime rates) to estimate a valuation. The home is then purchased at a discount to the computer price, spruced up and resold. Opendoor says its average fee is 6-6.5% – about the same cut as conventional estate agents take on a sale (in the US)
As people increasingly adopt a live-work-place lifestyle, we are starting to see the growth of decentralised hubs in which there is a growing 24-hour economy. This is a major positive for property owners as this means that it is possible to get more use out of an existing property – not just for working or living but instead a single building/development is used for living, working, shopping, exercising, entertainment (for example). Francois Viruly speaks about adding a time dimension to property.
Andrew’s insight for property investment
* Good location (congestion)
* Price (in current environment)
* Understanding the type of property for which there is consistent demand e.g. first-time homes, student accommodation, retirement units and high-end sectional title (downsizers)
* Understand more about the market during times of subdued activity
* Price growth in order to capitalize on sound buying/investment opportunities.
“Work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s watching” Unknown Author