18 August 2014
Riaan Kruger, a well-known personality in the hospitality circuit from Robertson, has partnered with the CEO of Fine & Country International Realty to open Fine & Country in Robertson.
Kruger, who has a wealth of experience in the hospitality and lifestyle industry, chose the real estate industry due to the synergies between the hospitality industry and real estate. He believes service is key and that there’s always scope for better service.
The office is in Voortrekker Road, part of the R60 which leads to the R62, as well as back to the N2 at Swellendam. This is one of the busier routes in the Western Cape and is used to travel from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route. He said, “We decided to open Fine & Country inside a lifestyle shop as it suits the brand perfectly.
I can now establish potential buyers’ and sellers’ requirements and needs over a cup of coffee in an environment which is less formal and I can get to know our clients’ needs on a more personal level.”
This new Fine & Country office will open late August but the official opening will be 1 September. Kruger says he decided to join this brand as it stands out from the rest and also due to the fact that it is an international brand, which has achieved major success in such a short time on the South African market.
He continues, “In the beginning it will be just Linda Erasmus and me until we show growth. We will cover the Robertson Wine Valley, Montagu, Bonnievale, Ashton and McGregor and we hope to open a secondary office in Montagu and home agents in the other areas within four to 12 months.
“We will concentrate on residential, agricultural and lifestyle living, as well as short and long-term rentals. We could also even consider holiday letting for the Robertson Wine Valley. There is huge scope as for thinking out of the box. Any other property listing would be a possibility as my expertise lies in tourism and hospitality. As Robertson is known as the Valley of Wine and Roses, the upper quartile of our market would be smallholdings, lifestyle farms, or even just people from elsewhere who want to invest in a weekend cottage
“Over time, we could grow the Fine & Country hospitality arm comprising lodges,guest houses and hotels throughout South Africa .However, we would like to ease into it over time. It’s nice to say you specialise in something, for instance, hospitality or agriculture. We would like to concentrate mainly on boutique hotels and lodges.
“Being part of an international group with great technology, marketing and networking opportunities will set us apart from our competition. Sellers in the Robertson Wine Valley will immediately benefit from this as they now have the opportunity to market through an exclusive international brand with an exceptional reputation to a wider audience, not just in South Africa, but abroad.
“South African estate agents in general neglect effort when it comes to property presentation. The fresh approach of Fine & Country is achieved by presenting properties well to an extensive market place. Reaching the buyer is not the only task of the estate agent; getting a clear message of what the product consists of and the lifestyle it offers acquires skills and knowledge in the field of marketing”. This is a Fine & Country difference.
“The huge benefit working within a network is getting news and listings across a wider spectrum and audience from a marketing point of view. Potential buyers in the wine lands may want to invest in an apartment in the city and potential buyers from the city may want a weekend getaway spot in the countryside. There are also certain audiences that like to diversify their investment portfolio which can include property in multiple countries or parts of South Africa.
“With travel and tourism as my background, I still do assist lodges and boutique hotels with operational issues, marketing and sales on a consultative basis. I am also co-founder of a gourmet tour operator called Foodroutes.co.za
“I look forward to this new chapter in my life and hope to make a positive contribution to the brand.”
Current principal of Fine & Country Robertson and CEO of Fine & Country International Realty sub-Saharan Africa, Linda Erasmus, said, “Having been involved in various segments of the hospitality industry for 15 years, Riaan is bringing a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, service orientation, marketing and sales skills to the table, which will benefit the brand as well as the Robertson Wine Valley. He will be able to learn from the best, as Linda Erasmus herself has got a string of accolades behind her name, as well as an LLB degree which she recently completed. Clients will benefit from a good support system already in place to support Riaan.
Hare & Ehrenberg Communication
P O Box 12521 MILL STREET 8010
ON BEHALF OF
Fine & Country International Realty SA
29 Autumn Street RIVONIA 2128
Please contact Rosemary Hare on +27 82 459 6226 or +27 21 438 7013 for more information.