meet-the-team

South Africa Team

Meet the team responsible for the strategic direction of Harcourts nationally. This includes the delivery of support services to franchisees, business development, training, administration, finance, marketing and event management.

Meet our international team here.
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Richard Gray

Chief Executive Officer Harcourts South Africa

Richard’s primary role is to provide the vision, strategy and direction for Harcourts and to ensure this strategy is implemented and executed. He also manages key relationships with HarcourtsInternational, industry bodies and our business partners.Managing our investments and ensuring that Harcourts remains financially sound forms part of Richard’s role as well. The corporate governance of the company is Richard’s responsibility – being accountable to our Franchise Council, Board and shareholders. Richard also ensures delivery of the tools and services necessary for our offices and their people to be successful. He maintains a work environment where every team member understands their role within Harcourts – and is always given the opportunity to both fulfil that role and to grow.

Richard’s extensive experience in IT, project management, corporate operations and financial services provision offers invaluable support to the group and makes him the ultimate candidate to lead as the CEO of the Harcourts South Africa team.

Richard attended Rhodes University where he earned his BSc (Hons) qualification and then began his career in the IT field by working for Oracle and Kellogg’s in the USA. He later worked as the Head of Systems for the Homeloan Division of NBS Bank.

During his initial years in the property industry, Richard was given the ‘Young Lion Award’. He was a founder member of mortgage origination company Bond Choice and later earned the title of CEO, eventually taking the helm of the Harcourts group in 2010.

Harcourts’ unique value proposition as well as the potential Richard saw in the brand is what drew him in. His admirable leadership qualities and passion for the brand shine through the entire Harcourts SA team, and are also evident in the brand’s phenomenal growth and success since he first took his seat as CEO. He firmly believes that Harcourts will reach the position of number 1 real estate group in South Africa.

Richard is known for his cool, approachable demeanour and his pleasant nature. He enjoys playing golf and loves to travel.

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Anton Jansen van Vuuren

Chief Operating Officer

Anton ensures the functionality, relevance and evolution of all the
technology and systems implemented by Harcourts South Africa.
He constantly assesses and improves our systems and processes
to ensure the offices and consultants have the best technology to
be leaders in their industry and to provide an exceptional service.
He also assists Harcourts International in developing leading-edge
technology. Harcourts South Africa’s online presence also forms
part of Anton’s profile, as well as distressed sales and technology
for the RentalsDotCom division.

Anton joined the real estate industry in August 2006 after many years as part of the Management team in Government Services. He successfully completed the Estate Agents Affairs Board Examination in June 2007 and graduated from the Homenet Training Academy in June 2008. In his previous role as Business Development Manager, with his areas of responsibility including Gauteng, Free State, Northern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Zambia, Vaal Triangle and North West, Anton built close relationships with his franchisees, keeping them motivated, informed and content in order for them to deliver a professional service.

Anton’s passion lies in the field of technology, hence being promoted to Head of Technology and E-Commerce in August 2009, undertaking the management of the technology base for Harcourts South Africa.

His passion for people is every bit as boundless as it is for his field of expertise – he’s always willing to help and to learn from others in order to increase his own knowledge.

Carina

Carina Hambloch

Head of Finance & Human Resources

Carina manages the accounts for Harcourts South Africa. Her role involves invoicing of royalty fees; distressed sales commission and other fee income; collating, calculating and loading of monthly franchisee debit orders; capturing of the cashbook and reconciliation to the bank statement; making EFT payments to suppliers, staff and franchisees and processing of payroll for Harcourts head office staff.

Christel

Christel Willett

Head Of Marketing, Brand & Communications

As the Head of Marketing for Harcourts South Africa, Christel is
the foremost guardian and architect of Harcourts South Africa’s
visual identity. She liaises and maintains relationships with
all offices as well as Harcourts International to establish and
uphold brand specifications as well as facilitate world-leading
marketing implementation nationwide via a broad spectrum of
media platforms. Christel strives constantly to deliver a first-rate
marketing service to our people that is parallel with Harcourts’
values and long-term objectives. She also manages public relations
and communications including social media.



In 2006, Christel left the group then known as Homenet to further her marketing career, working for a well-known and reputable FMCG company called Nature’s Choice Products. She played an integral role there and was involved in all above and below the line marketing as well as the quality control of all products.

Christel was later head hunted by former employers Homenet in 2007, which rebranded to Harcourts in 2009. She played a major role in overseeing the massive re-brand project as well as managing all production of the branding elements associated with this mammoth task. It was for this stellar achievement that she was awarded ‘Employee of the Year’.

Christel is extremely passionate about marketing and her contribution to the ever-growing success of Harcourts is in incorporating and executing all marketing strategies with passion, integrity and creativity.

Jenny

Jenny Swanson

Head Of Events, Foundation & Partnerships

Jenny Swanson heads up all corporate events. She also manages
key partnerships and the Team Benefit programme. Jenny is also
the Harcourts Foundation ambassador for South Africa.

She began with the Homenet group in 1993, contributing her wealth of knowledge in marketing and communications to the company, and was awarded ‘Employee of the Year’ in 2008.

Today, she remains an invaluable and well-respected member of the Harcourts team for both her loyalty and for her immense undertaking of singlehandedly managing all corporate events and public relations for the brand.

Gael

Head Of The Academy & Client Experience

As Head of the Academy Gael’s focus is the development and
growth of our team members through upskilling, training and
coaching. She ensures that all the programmes available
through the Harcourts Academy are delivered to all regions by
co-ordinating and implementing the Corporate Training calendar.
Gael also correlates the legislative training in Harcourts to ensure
our team members are qualified and compliant . She is also our
Harcourts Inspirational Women Ambassador for South Africa and
heads up the Client Experience initiative.

Gael boats an extensive career in corporate sales and customer service. She joined one of the biggest real estate players in the industry in 2003 as a sales agent and during her 7 years of selling property, she won the title of ‘Rookie of the Year’ as well as many awards including ‘Top Agent Based on Commission’, ‘Most Income Generated’ and ‘Most Units Sold’.

Gael joined Harcourts in 2010 as the Business Development Manager for the KwaZulu-Natal and East London regions where she has been able to combine her previous experience to do what she is most passionate about – growing people and their businesses to their full potential.

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Kobus Louw

Business Development Manager: Western & Eastern Cape

Kobus maintains a positive and inspirational approach, as
well as a stellar channel of communication with all agents and
business owners within the Western Cape and Port Elizabeth
regions, enabling smooth and productive business strategy for his
branches.


Kobus joined the property industry in 2003 as real estate consultant in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town. In 2004, he won his company’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ award and in 2006 was awarded the title of ‘Agent of the Year’. In 2008, Kobus started his own real estate business, gravitating toward the corporate side of the real estate industry by 2012 owing to his passion for leadership and people development.

In 2012, Kobus joined the Rawson property group as National Franchise Sales Consultant and had the privilege of visiting many regions of South Africa, interacting with real estate professionals and business owners. It was during these travels that Kobus encountered numerous Harcourts offices. He recalls his impressions of these offices and his interactions with Harcourts business owners as most impressive.

The word-class, industry-leading technology, as well as the values and company ethos of the Harcourts group impressed Kobus immensely! In April 2012, Kobus joined the Harcourts Group as Business Development Manager – a position and challenge that excites and energizes him daily.

 

AJ

AJ Cochrane

Business Development Manager: Inland

AJ’s role is to build, develop and support new and existing
Harcourts offices, ensuring that all agents and business owners in
his region are well equipped to provide their buyers and sellers the
best service possible. AJ facilitates the leading-edge in tools and
technology, as well as training and coaching in practical skills and
leadership development to make certain his people remain at the
top of the real estate game.

Andrew-John Cochrane, better known as AJ, was born and raised in the beautiful Jacaranda city, which he still calls home.

In 2006, AJ joined one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa where he received numerous awards and recognition for service and teamwork. During the last 3 years of his service he formed part of the corporate banking sector, where he worked with high profile clients and assisted with their day-to-day banking needs.

Excellent service has always been a priority for AJ and that’s the reason why he ventured into the real estate industry. His personal experience with a real estate agent sparked his desire to become a world-class real estate consultant. In February of 2013, AJ joined the Harcourts Zambezi team, who share his desire to deliver next level service to both homeowners and sellers alike. Within his first year with Harcourts Zambezi, he was awarded ‘Intern of The Year’.

His passion for Harcourts means that he has truly adopted the Harcourts vision, living and breathing the values in his every day life.

Robyn

Robyn Evans

Business Development Manager: KwaZulu-Natal & East London

Robyn is known for her hands-on, personal approach to business development in the KZN and East London regions. She brings to the mix her hands-on, over 15 years of industry expertise, applying her vibrant personality, flair for business and her passion for people, which is why those she works with are always both smiling and successful.

Jono

Jonathan Stewart

Business Operations Manager

As the Business Operations Manager for the coastal region of South Africa, Jonathan is able to fulfill his passion for Training, Coaching and Support, maximizing the use of ‘The Harcourts Way’ systems and encouraging the use of the powerful resources that they entail.

Zelda

Zelda Wessels

Business Operations Manager

For the past eight years, Zelda worked at two major property portals in South Africa. Her career initially started as the System Trainer, and then moved into a sales position as Account Executive at Private Property. For the last four years, she was a Customer Relationship Manager at Property 24 and serviced most of the Harcourts offices in KwaZulu-Natal.

During this period, she learnt a lot about the real estate industry and the systems used by all the real estate franchises. She handled customer queries, sales and trained agents on various products and tools to assist in their day-to-day operation.

Zelda loves technology and understanding how systems and technology can improve the lead generation of an agent and an office. She is passionate about service delivery and enriching other people’s lives and knowledge. Her clients are her passion and making them succeed is her goal in business.