This month we focus on property management for entrepreneurs and meet Gino da Silva and Gary Gould, our latest square pegs.
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In hard times, property location becomes even more important

The thing about a cliché is that it always contains a kernel of truth, and no less so for the well-known refrain of “position, position, position” as the three most important factors to consider when buying property.

In hard economic times it becomes even more relevant, says Willem Bosch, Business Partners COO of property management services. “In good times, nearly any business property can work because the tenants queue up to sign leases. But when the economy turns, the badly situated ones do not survive,” he says.

What constitutes a good location for a business property? The two main factors are visibility, especially for retail property, and ease of access, says Bosch. A property that can easily be accessed from both sides of a main road is so much more valuable than one that can only be reached from one direction.

Thinking of redeveloping?
Do your calculations carefully

On the face of it, an older commercial building can look like a juicy opportunity for any business person with an entrepreneurial eye and some surplus cash to invest. A lick of paint, a bit of fixing, and the tenants will be queuing up to sign long, easy leases, right?

Not quite, says Owen Holland, the property investment general manager at Business Partners. Buying to redevelop is a tricky business even for those experienced in the game.

One of the most common mistakes that inexperienced property investors make is to underestimate the cost of redevelopment or refurbishment, says Holland. Wanting to save costs, they avoid using professional contractors and service providers. Hiring the bakkie brigade seems cheap at the start, but can turn out to be much more expensive when the paint peels to reveal shoddy work.

November 2014 / Vol.5.9


Are you a
square peg?

This quiz is not scientific but serves to highlight some of the key attributes of entrepreneurs or “square pegs”, as we at Business Partners affectionately call them. The quiz should give you some idea on whether you “possess” entrepreneurial qualities, or not. However, please remember that a positive outcome/score is not a recipe for success.

Take the quiz

Seeing business property the entrepreneurial way

Gino da Silva is no ordinary chartered accountant. As a young man, he had quit his comfortable job – only the third he ever had – to start a business with his brother Celes in an industry he knew very little of, and over the next 25 years they built EIS Engineering and Industrial Supplies, one of the biggest in the industry in KwaZulu-Natal.

Chartered Accountants are usually quick to advise businesses to rent rather than buy their premises if they are not in the property business. “Stick to your core business,” is the usual advice. In contrast, Gino strived from the beginning to own the property in which they started their first shop.


Building success a step at a time

Owning one’s own business comes with a certain amount of risk, but as many business owners will attest, seeing a business grow and succeed is incredibly rewarding.

Unity Properties, a specialist investment company which specialises in syndicated investment into properties, mostly on behalf of private investors, has grown from a small start-up to a robust business since its inception in 2003. Managing director, Gary Gould, says that over the past 11 years, Unity Properties has put together over 60 property deals.

These grew progressively in value, and recent deals have been in the order of between ...

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