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Three Reasons For Harcourts Success

CULTURE

 

We Create Success

Whenever anyone interacts with the organisation, they must be more successful for that interaction. Whether the person is a client, a business owner operating a Harcourts franchise or a receptionist, the organisation is committed to assisting and ensuring that that person achieves their goals, whatever they may be.

 

The Four Values

A large percentage of Harcourts growth is organic, a reflection of this commitment. Harcourts business philosophy is based on this purpose and four specific values that are communicated frequently throughout the organisation. These values guide the decision making and behaviour of every individual within the Harcourts group. Not only does this contribute enormously to an enhanced client experience, it also determines how members of the team work together, creating an environment where team members are just as determined to assist each other as they are to satisfy their clients.



TRAINING

 

Having the very best people is fundamental to Harcourts success

However providing them with the opportunity to be the very best practitioners is equally imperative. The organisation has recognised that a basic human need is growth, both personal and professional. Satisfying this not only delivers on the group’s purpose to create success for every individual within the organisation but it also provides a compelling reason for people to stay with the organisation.



The Harcourts Academy

The Harcourts Academy was established in 2000 to provide a vehicle for delivering a range of training programmes, from sales training for new entrants and cadetship's for the future team members, to high level business planning for multi office business owners." - The Academy has a team of 15 people focused solely on developing and delivering training and skill building sessions – over 400 last year alone."

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

Maintaining industry leadership

Technology, specifically the Internet, has had and will continue to have a profound and far reaching impact on the public, our lifestyles, buying products and services and information gathering therefore creating the greatest opportunity for change and growth of any business.

 

Harcourts One

Harcourts has a proprietary system - Harcourts One using the very latest Microsoft platform, which is a fully integrated, fully online programme that manages client databases and e-marketing, appraisal, listing and sales management, trust accounting and commission calculation, combining an internal social media platform, international referral system and all linking through to a fully integrated web 2.0 website. The first real estate organisation to upload listings to its own website, the first to have a website, the first to launch an application for PDA's and iPads and the first to develop a fully online programme for its offices to manage their business.here.

Consumer Protection Act

Consumer Protection Act
The Consumer Protection Act and Typical Property Transactions

Introduction

Legislation relating to consumer protection in South Africa has for many years been behind that of other jurisdictions. There had been no real review of such laws for a lengthy period of time. As a result of the same it was decided to review all legislation relating to consumers. This involved reviewing approximately 70 different Acts and considering different methods to ensure that the consumer was protected. This resulted in the Consumer Protection Act (the "CPA") being signed into law on the 24th of April 2009. Effectively the Act is divided into two portions. The initial portion did not affect estate agents and effectively dealt with the establishment of the National Consumer Protection Institution. The balance of the provisions are meant to come into operation 18 months after the act was signed i.e. on the 24th of October 2010 (however this date might be extended at the last minute). These provisions include a "Consumer Bill of Rights" and as a result the CPA will, when the second portion comes into operation, provide consumers in South Africa, with one of the best protections in the world..... click here to download the CPA in PDF format.

Gas / Electricity Certificates

ECCThe requirement of gas and / or electricity certificates remains a contentious subject and has been debated over for many years.  The Seller is usually responsible for providing an electrical certificate in terms of the stipulations in the sale Agreement between the parties.

In terms of Section 7(5) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, "the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate of compliance is older than 2 years".  In such case, the Seller has to appoint a competent electrician to issue the certificate of compliance meeting the requirements of the regulations. If any work is required to meet such requirements it would be for the account of the Seller.

In the event of a sale or rental the "user" is not always the registered owner and therefore the person with whom the responsibility lies is unclear and an issue of contention.  Although the aforementioned may indicate a statutory responsibility for the issuing of an electrical certificate, it does not indicate that the Seller per se is liable for the costs incurred in obtaining such certificate.  This should be regulated by the Sale Agreement.

A further requirement regarding the obtaining of a certificate of compliance with respect to a gas installation was published in 15 July 2009 by means of Government Gazette No 32395, Regulation 734, which requires that such certificate has to be issued by an authorised person confirming the conformity of the gas installation or modification, in the event of a change of ownership of the property.  The Regulation also fails to indicate who should bear the costs incurred in obtaining said certificate.  It should therefore be regulated by the Sale Agreement.

The fact remains that a purchaser cannot obtain finance without submitting a certificate of compliance, that is not older than 2 years. The same applies to gas installations.

Make sure then, that the electricity or gas installations comply with safety regulations before entering into a Sale Agreement. Also determine, by stating clearly in the Sale Agreement, who will be liable to obtain and pay for the necessary certificate as this will pave the way for a far smoother process of registration.

 

New Certificate Requirement for Electric Fence Systems

EFRegulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations 2011 imposes an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have a certificate of compliance.

The requirement does not apply to a system installed prior to 1 October 2012. However, this certificate will be required where an addition or alteration is made to the system or where there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists, if change of ownership takes place after 1 October 2012.

The electric fence system certificate is separate from an electrical compliance certificate and is therefore an additional requirement if the property has an electric fence system.  It will also be necessary to include an appropriate clause in Sale Agreements concluded after 1 October 2012 if there is an electric fence system on the property.

A transfer registered after 1 October 2012 therefore triggers the obligation to provide a certificate.  It will thus be necessary to arrange for an electric fence system certificate if an electric fence system exists on a property that is in the process of being transferred.

The certificate is however transferable: Once it has been issued, there is no need to obtain a new one upon change of ownership.