Every so often you come across a prolific business team, people who take an opportunity, seize it and turn it into something special, such as this husband-and-wife team started out with four agents and one office, and transformed it into three successful offices with more than 50 agents. In real estate, success stories of this magnitude are few and far between. Hartwieg Du Rand and his wife Azelle of Harcourts Upper Highway, Harcourts Scott Bay and Harcourts Toti have done just that.
Their story begins in 2002 when Hartwieg and Azelle started working together as teachers in the 90s before making the shift to real estate. It is this very foundation of family working together that plays a part in their growth.
"After I finished my studies and completed my time in the army, Azelle and myself started as two new teachers at the same school in 1991. Ever since then, we have been working together and now our sons, Gustav and De Wet, have also joined us on a part-time basis while they are completing their studies at the NWU in Potchefstroom. So it is an all-in. After 20 years in the property game, it feels like the norm working as a family," Hartwieg explains.
They were recently inducted into the Harcourts RWK Legacy Club in 2021 as one of the Top 5 Business Owners in South Africa. This achievement is a true testament to his and Azelle’s leadership and innovation in the property game. "Everything makes me excited about real estate – I love what I do – from managing the offices, training agents, securing deals, all the way through to sorting out various scenarios within our three offices”, Azelle says excitedly.
Hartwieg and Azelle joined Harcourts in 2011 and wish they had joined sooner. They are true representatives of this incredible real estate brand. "Harcourts must have the most professional look and feel as a franchise. When we were given a sneak preview of their systems and what they offer, my words to Richard Gray were “why do you keep all of this such a secret?” So, in the past 10 years, with the technology, the new branding and world-class training, Harcourts SA and Harcourts International just cannot be matched."
Being a part of a great brand plays a major contribution to long-term opportunities and growth. Hartwieg and Azelle explain that hard work, being consistent, and doing the right thing every day is their mantra. "We also have a super team of agents in our three offices. Coming from a sporting background, I believe in teamwork – we will not employ any agent or administrator that will not fit in our team", says Hartwieg.
After all these years in real estate, Hartwieg and Azelle remain positive about real estate in South Africa. "Long gone are the days where this was a part-time job. With all the Legislation and qualifications that are in place now, real estate became a career that offers so much more. At the pace that the world is turning now, you must be part of a high-tech real estate franchise, or you will die a slow death – technology is king. It is for this reason that Harcourts International, together with our own COO, Anton Jansen van Vuuren, invests hours and hours every day to ensure that Harcourts SA stays the leader in real estate technology", Hartwieg adds.
In closing, Hartwieg and Azelle’s goal is simple: to stay among the Top 5 Business Owners in Harcourts South Africa, then to maintain the great team that they currently have and potentially grow their number of agents even more.