Harcourts entering South Africa
Harcourts entering South Africa in exciting joint venture
18 September 2008: In its “most significant step” since it established Harcourts in Australia more than a decade ago, Harcourts International Ltd (HIL) is entering South Africa in a joint venture with a major local real estate company, Executive Director Paul Wright announced today.
The agreement will see the New Zealand-registered company take a shareholding in the high-profile Homenet Group, which it has licensed to use the Harcourts brand and systems, and Homenet, which is headed by Chairman Robert Ketjen and CEO Martin Schultheiss, being rebranded over the next 12 -18 months.
“Homenet is one of the top five real estate organisations in South Africa with over 130 offices throughout the Republic,” Christchurch-based Mr Wright says. “Partnering with them is a truly exciting step for Harcourts, continuing the strong international growth of our brand, moving closer towards our goal of being one of the world’s leading real estate franchise groups and providing even greater marketing opportunities for our clients through greater brand awareness and profile on a global stage.”
Already the fastest growing real estate group in Australasia and the largest in New Zealand, the latest agreement, which follows another in China earlier this year, means Harcourts is now in eight countries: New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Singapore, Zambia, China and South Africa.
Homenet, which also holds a significant shareholding in leading South African mortgage originator Bond Choice, has remained a “value for money” organisation since its inception on 1 September 1991 when a group of small independent estate agencies combined their collective marketing strengths to compete in the highly competitive South African real estate market, according to Mr Schultheiss.
He says Homenet prides itself on embracing change and being committed to providing its offices with relevant marketing and management support that enables them to compete in the ever-changing, competitive real estate market and provide exceptional and effective service to their clients.
Over the years the group has developed a range of innovative marketing products and systems for the use of its agents and offices, he says, with the new joint venture being their “next step forward”.
“In order to continue to offer our clients world class service, we saw the need for our organisation to join with Harcourts, a world leader in technology, marketing, tools and systems, as the next step forward. Now we are able to offer our clients international exposure for their property, and our team the very latest in international real estate training and systems.”