Leapfrog’s Jan le Roux has been appointed chief executive of Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA) and has begun his tenure with a structural overhaul that should prove a game-changer for the non-profit organisation as well as a draw-card for those agents who have not as yet joined.
Established in 2012, REBOSA aims to represent the interests of small, medium and large South African business owners, principals and employers in the real estate sector. The key focus of the organisation is “to unite, transform, uplift, empower and develop the real estate profession across all areas of the market, achieving an environment for business to thrive in and expand while contributing to a vibrant economy”.
According to Dina Porteous, a REBOSA director, the organisation came about due in part to the changing landscape of the property industry, which has seen a greater level of professionalism come into play since 2008.
Porteous explains that REBOSA originally based its support and representation structures on a regional framework whereby members of every region were supposed to meet on a regular basis to discuss pertinent issues. Unfortunately, this never really happened, she says, and various pieces of legislation and issues that affected the industry have largely gone unchallenged.
“We were effectively being steamrollered, which, given the size of our industry and the fact that we contribute 12.5% to SA’s GDP, is unacceptable. As such, we decided that it was high time that we became more organised for representation purposes so that we can lobby against legislation and issues that affect the industry and property rights.”
The result is a structure to which SA’s top 25 real estate agencies representing around 6 000 agents have signed on as members. Under the new structure, five of the industry’s top principals including Bryan Biehler, Andrew Golding, Stuart Manning, Herschel Jawitz, and Andile Ben-Mazwi will also meet every month to discuss industry issues and structure appropriate plans of action.
“Arguably the most important change to arise from the new structure is the fact that the residential property sector is now speaking with one voice, which means we can really engage with the issues that impact our industry. And with legislation such as the Property Practitioners Bill and the Property Charter on the horizon, it’s really important that we get our house in order. Suffice to say this is a milestone in our developmental history and we look forward to maturing still further as an organisation.”
It is worth noting that REBOSA membership is still voluntary and is open to all business owners, principals and employers who are registered with the Estate Agents Affairs Board and hold a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate. Membership under this new structure costs a mere R20 per agent, per organisation, per month.