Category General News

WITH eight awards won this year and nine scooped last year, there are smiles all round these days at the Estcourt branch of the fast-growing Dormehl Phalane Property Group (DPPG).

"Consistent hard work has been our strength," says Roy Emanuel when one remarks on the fine awards tally of his branch, which, under various names, Roy has owned and been principal of for some 46 years, the past five as a member of the Dormehl group.

His office has one qualified sales agent (Debbie Roos), one intern agent who is a rental manager and book-keeper (Pranitha Ramlal), one rental assistant (Sherilyn Mackenzie) and one administrator (Carron Melville).

Situated at 107 Lorne Street, Estcourt, the branch took the DPPG award for Franchisee of the Year 2017, while other awards included the Ooba Award KZN runner-up for Top Supporting Agent, units and value (Debbie Roos); the Ooba Award KZN runner-up tor Top Supporting Office, units and value (Estcourt / Roy Emanuel); and Top Achiever 2017 (countryside) for Debbie Roos, for the second consecutive year.

The branch was also proud to take awards for National Rental Management Agent of the Year 2017 (Pranitha Ramlal); Overall Rental Agent of the Year 2017  (Pranitha Ramlal); National Rental Management Office of the Year 2017 (Roy Emanuel / Pranitha Ramlal / Sherilyn Mackenzie); and Overall National Rental Office of the Year 2017 (Roy Emanuel / Pranitha Ramlal / Sherilyn Mackenzie).

"It is very encouraging to achieve something when most of your time and energy is spent on it," Roy says of his branch's awards success.  

"I belong to a team with which I work well," he says, adding that his branch covers a large area of farms in KwaZulu-Natal, from Nottingham Road to Harrismith. 

"We handle farms, smallholdings and house sales, rentals and commercial. Our rentals are very busy but our sales are equally important. We also assist body corporates with the management of sectional titles."

Roy, who grew up in the area, says his passion also lies in being a small farmer.

"I grew up on a farm in the KZN Midlands and spent weekends working for, and living with, one of the area's most renowned farming families, who taught me a lot.  

"My father was a trader on the stock exchange and then chased the 'lifestyle' of farming.  I attended Treverton Preparatory School and my brother and I often rode to school on horses."

Roy's father was also in property, and Roy explains that after working as a computer clerk, he worked at his dad's Estcourt estate agency from 1972, taking over the business from his father in 1985, when he retired.

What does he see as the Estcourt branch’s strengths?

"We are committed in building meaningful and genuine personal relationships with our clients. We are always looking forward, knowing there is room for improvement in all that we do.

"Our rental figures each month are always very good as we have about 200 rentals that our office handles for the town of Estcourt. Also, we had only two months of the 2017 year where a house was not sold.  

"We are well known in the town of Estcourt as we have been here for so long, which carries an advantage to the business. However, we still have our competition so are always kept on our toes to sell more. 

"We are challenged daily in our work as, being closely connected in such a small town, we have to keep our good reputation in check.

"The Dormehl Phalane brand is growing and one can gain strength and knowledge from its many members. I am very excited to be a part of the Dormehl Phalane group," he adds, pointing out that he finds Owen Dormehl to be "a man of his word".

"Owen is very much a people’s person, no problem is too small or too big for him to listen to. He usually gives an intelligent answer very quickly.  I've only met Mr Phalane once and he is a very outgoing, positive person. With these qualities they are natural leaders."

Why would Roy encourage investors to seek property in the areas his branch covers?

"The KZN Midlands and Central Drakensberg are very beautiful, peaceful areas with excellent climatic conditions. There is plenty of room for growth and property prices are very affordable

"Close-knit communities have many advantages which include a very important aspect these days, namely security and safety. There are many neighbourhood watches established to report and handle crime - from the public reporting suspects, to security companies and police making arrests quickly and efficiently."

Roy, who was born in Johannesburg on November 17, 1948, went to Treverton Junior Primary from Class 1 to Std 5 and then to Estcourt High School from Std 6 to matric. 

"I served in the SA Defence Force for nine months, in Walvis Bay, then went to Johannesburg to study at Damelin Night School for Chartered Institute of Secretaries Diploma from 1968 to 1970.  During that time I worked in the day for the National Board of Executives as a computer clerk. 

"I then started working for my father when he decided to start his own estate agency and I obtained every Estate Agency Board qualification.

"I took over my father's business in 1985 when he retired, bought a farm in 1975, and was a Rotary Club member for many years, and chairman of the Estcourt Farmers' Association. I am currently involved with Farm Security for our local farming community.  I am fluent in English, Afrikaans and Zulu."

Challenges and plans for the Estcourt branch? 

"To keep up with the times I have implemented a sound business plan and strong marketing strategies, with constant upgrading of systems... thereby providing up-to-date, invaluable support, knowledge, sharing and training to be able to stay ahead of the field. 

"Our rentals have been challenging in that the laws are more now in favour of the tenant."

Views on the South African property market in general? 

"A big concern is that too many people are moving, for safety reasons, to estates. However, the market is in a much better position than it was after 2007/2008.  

"Economies and markets always go through up-down cycles at irregular intervals, and now is as good a time as any to sell property. Thousands of property transactions are currently being concluded on a monthly basis countrywide, and finding a buyer in this market also means that you are likely to get a serious offer from someone who is serious about buying your property. 

"Unfortunately though, if sellers are looking to make hefty profits, now is not the time. Buying conditions are good as banks are granting more home loans, so the opportunity for funds is freely available if buyers can qualify. Even in downmarket conditions, you can still make a quick sale and achieve a good price.  

Roy's views, looking forward?

"If you remain positive in anything in life, you can face challenges with a better attitude. Preparation for the future is to be kept up to date with the latest news and be willing to make changes where needed," he says.

Away from the property world, Roy enjoys a swim and horseback riding.  He also has a bird eggs collection, and handles an orphan outreach programme providing food, shelter, clothing and basic services to many orphaned families.

"I also collect wheelchairs and provide them to those who cannot afford them," he says, going on to say he was a Springbok polocrosse player in 1976, and is now a Commissioner of Oaths and appointed Appraiser.  
He is married to his life partner Laura, a retired professional nurse, and has two daughters who are married, Tessa and Jessica, and two grandchildren whom he sees regularly.

His most memorable moment working in property? 

"I was once picked up from the front lawn of my house on the farm, in a client's multi-million-rand helicopter, and flown around game farms for the entire day," he explains.

Author: Billy Suter

Submitted 23 Jul 18 / Views 844