Disruption or Transformation?

Disruption or Transformation?

Attorneys selling property through their existing practices, via the Attorney Realtor Hub, play a substantial role in advancing the transformation agenda in the property ownership space, says ARH co-founding member, Giles Buswell.

There are many new entities in the property industry who are labelling themselves as “disruptors” but apart from lower commissions or low set fees, what are they doing to truly advance transformation in the industry?

This is a question put forward by the four Cape Town based attorney firms who founded the Attorney Realtor Hub a short while ago, and who, in that short space of time have made huge inroads in their approach to dealing with those who are selling or buying property.

According to them, they offer much more than lower commission structures, and while they suggest a more competitive commission be charged by the attorney who sells a property on behalf of their client, they have not boxed themselves in by saying they will only work in one way, or not at all.

Attorneys going this route have been assisting clients in the home selling process for many years, but it was a natural progression for them to evolve over time from the role as attorney (simply providing advice on the contract and related procedures) to that of an attorney realtor (assisting their clients in selling their property themselves) where needed, says Charlene Joubert, ARH co-founder and director at Henkes Joubert Barry Inc. Attorneys.

The average home seller and buyer is much more capable, tech-savvy and informed of their options and, given the fact that some of the well-known property portals (and now even major banks) now prompt sellers to sell on their own (with several products available to assist them), it is merely a natural consequence that clients would approach their attorney to assist them should they opt to go this route.

Hub attorneys can and actually prefer to employ only very experienced estate agents to work for them, thus not only enabling these agents to work far beyond a set franchise area or structure but to have the added benefit of offering legal services from start to end, all under one roof. ARH does not sell franchises nor do they have set areas in which they work – they have maintained fluidity and flexibility by allowing whichever attorney who is able to do the job of selling a property to do so.

The Attorney Realtor Hub has from the outset made it clear that they are serious contenders when it comes to transformation in the industry – through education and creating a platform for information. ARH recently launched the start of a property education series in Khayelitsha, not only offering tickets free of charge, but lining up well-known leaders in the property industry to help support the programme of continued education for those who would like to own their own home.

These sessions will be held monthly for the next ten months at the Khayelitsha Youth and Community Centre Trust, and further information on these will be announced each month on their Facebook page and in the media.

The founding members and others actively involved in ARH recently contributed to the All About Property show on DStv’s Home Channel in season one, which was such a huge success that the second season is already in production. Over the 13 weeks the first season of All About Property attracted 1 822 999 adult viewers. Not only is this seen as brilliant for a first season, it is also great considering that the monthly average on The Home Channel is approximately 2,7m viewers, according to Cornelius Koopman, the producer of the show.

This initiative was also driven by the need to educate buyers and sellers, particularly those who many not realise how many options they have through engaging the services of an ARH attorney member or buying through the Rent2Buy Finance option (for those who might not quite be able to purchase outright just yet), as well as various other educational topics such as credit ratings or the legalities around selling a property.

With ARH co-founding member Meyer de Waal now reaching an agreement with major property developers, e.g. working closely with groups such as Old Mutual Housing and others to get stock to those who need it, there is an added chance for many young buyers to purchase their own home instead of renting in perpetuity.

To expand the home ownership education and information further, de Waal also presented the Rent2buy concept at the First Time Buyer stage at the Property Buyer Show held in Sandton in October.

ARH members want to drive education and transformation – apart from being attorneys who have a duty to look out for their client’s best interests and will do everything in their power to ensure that the contract signed is well drafted and fair, as well as doing their best to ensure that no complications arise that could delay proceedings – which is often offered as a value-added service by members of ARH.

This also flows from the home ownership education course developed for the employees of a leading financial institution by de Waal, that is now in its third phase of implementation. “There is a lot of window dressing when it comes to transformation – and we feel we need to be doing the work involved and be in front – leading proper transformation,” says de Waal.

“What is very important is that anyone involved in a property transaction should be guided fully through the process, from beginning to end, and this is what we aim to do with as few (preferably no) complications or delays as possible,” says Buswell.

“We are actively transforming the property industry through innovation, education for home buyers and effective application of property technology. Add this to our years of property knowledge, experience and skill, and our legal background, we feel we can only grow from strength to strength from here.”

SOURCE: Attorney Realtor Hub

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