Although South Africa's economy has been under pressure in recent years with rising costs placing consumers in a price pinch, compounded by volatile market fluctuations causing unpredictable cyclical trends - Harcourts South Africa experienced unprecedented growth over this same period. Sales have grown 115% in the past five years, the amount of agents have doubled and 2017 was Harcourts' most successful year on record.
There are a multitude of reasons that form the pillars of Harcourts' success locally as well as internationally. Harcourts South Africa is part of the impressive International Harcourts group, boasting more than 850 offices globally supported by almost 7000 sales consultants, it is no wonder with that extensive global support structure that regional market penetrations are successful.
Since 2009, the year Harcourts was established in South Africa, the real estate brand has been able to double its market share and have now close to 150 offices in South Africa.
"Even though macro-economic factors influencing the economy and political uncertainty caused certain real estate markets to stagnate, Harcourts had the growth to defy that. Our growth goes against the grain, and it is undoubtedly due to our values based approach to this sector. We are guided by a set of values that dictate how we approach the industry, our colleagues, the brand and most importantly our clients. It is intrinsic to our ongoing success, and Harcourts people live their values," said Harcourts South Africa CEO Richard Gray.
Successfully buying and selling real estate is mostly about fulfilling people's needs and aspirations. That's why Harcourts people not only receive in-depth professional training (the benchmark for the industry) but are also committed to building meaningful and genuine personal relationships with their clients. And the huge volume of referrals and repeat business generated is proof that this works to everyone's satisfaction.
Gray goes on to explain that in addition, their success is upheld by the most amazing business structures supporting these very values. "Combined we are able to offer our clients the best possible real estate opportunities due to a plethora of industry leading options."
Technology is one of those options and a crucial arm of Harcourts South Africa's arsenal. "With the market evolving so rapidly we prioritize the advancement of technology in the real estate sector and continually develop strategies aimed at equipping our agents with the latest, proven and available technology to ensure a greater client experience," added Anton Jansen van Vuuren, National Operations Manager. One such example is the Harcourts App store. "We are one of the first real estate companies, globally, to take advantage of and build our own member-facing app store on Apple's Developer Enterprise Program," added Jansen van Vuuren.
Harcourts has invested in the development of cutting edge systems, property consultants have the full range of marketing, research and technological tools available to them at all times. Working within a tightly-knit and highly-motivated team environment, the business, customer support and online services which they can draw upon are very impressive.
"Our efforts on the digital front from a marketing perspective has certainly assisted us in growing the business locally. There are very few opportunities in highly competitive markets, but we were able to identify the advantages of digital marketing and the possibility of building relationships online early on, and this has given us the edge in the local real estate marketing spheres," said Christel Willett, Harcourts South Africa Head of Marketing, Brand and Communications.
Harcourts looks set to continue taking the South African real estate market by storm and their continued growth is certainly going to turn heads.