TO LOVE your job is to be blessed, say friends and business partners Larry Whitehead and Anthony Swart, who both attended Grey High School (albeit a while ago).
They love working as estate agents for Richmond Hill-based Chris Van der Walt Properties. So much so, they consider working a six- or seven-day week as part and parcel of a successful career in property.
Swart has gained 27 years as an estate agent, and his enthusiasm for property remains undiminished. There are not many estate agents in Nelson Mandela Bay who have been in business longer.
Business is brisk, he says.
“This year we have surpassed last year’s sales volumes.
“There seems to be more vibrancy and buoyancy in the market than we have seen in a while.”
While Whitehead didn’t start out in property, he has an instinctive feel for a good buy.
“I didn’t inherit, but I bought my first house when I was 22 years old,” Whitehead said. He only lived in it for a year, and then rented it out, selling it a few years later, and continued investing in property.
His advice to young buyers is simple: “You need to save for your deposit.”
Swart said the property market “has improved in leaps and bounds,” with July having been a busy month for sales.
“Pre approval of buyers and sellers is very important. We have only had one deal in the past couple of years that we could not get bond approval on. Correct pricing of properties is equally important.
“We must like the property and it must be one that we are comfortable selling,” Swart said.
PE-born and bred Whitehead recently returned here from Cape Town. “PE is home,” he explained.
Something he would like to see rectified in Nelson Mandela Bay is the amount of red tape and slowness in reacting to zoning applications by the municipality.
Swart said the municipality needed to be more proactive.
“I never have drama at the municipality, but they should be running the city as a business to attract people; offering competitive rates on water, electricity and services, like Gauteng, which is economy-driven.”
Chris van der Walt Properties also specialises in residential letting.
Swart and Whitehead said there was a shortage of good rentals available, with rentals fetching good prices.
The Stanley Street office has expanded to a team of 10 people.