Be wary of buying in high density sectional title developments

high density buy to let properties

Moderately priced high density sectional title apartments of the kind that have proliferated throughout South Africa have proved to be an excellent investment.

Nevertheless, he warns, there are risks and pitfalls associated with this type of purchase which have to be examined and checked out before any Deed of Sale is signed.

Loss of value

About 20% of South Africa’s high density sectional title developments are experiencing financial problems. Regrettably, the units in such schemes frequently lose value or, if they do show some value growth, they do so at an unsatisfactory rate.

This has in most cases come about because sectional title units are governed and controlled by committees of members (owners) of the scheme, elected by their fellow members.  Such people, he says, often do not have the business, accounting or legal knowledge necessary for a job of this kind.

Poor administration and a lack of leadership in sectional title schemes all too often leads to levies being too low and/or in being inefficiently collected – or not collected at all. It also frequently leads to inadequate maintenance of the buildings and dangerous lapses in the security arrangements. These, plus other factors, can and do affect the values of all the units in the scheme.

In certain developments buy-to-let investors form a large proportion of the client base and then compete for tenants by lowering rents.  This, in turn, can lead to the quality of the tenants falling below desirable standards.

Get proof before you buy

Two pieces of advice which I would always give to people contemplating buying into any sectioal title scheme, are, firstly, insist on seeing the scheme’s accounts (they are by law obliged to give these to you) and if you cannot understand these check them with an accountant.  The second piece of advice is to beware of schemes in which there are too many tenants because, as indicated, there should always be a satisfactory ratio between the tenants and owner residents for the simple reason that the latter look after their properties far better than the former.

There are many advantages of sectional title units quite apart from what is usually a lower cost. Single people and single parents, families with children and older people can often benefit from the improved security of such schemes and from being able to enjoy the communal facilities like swimming pools, large gardens, crèches, launderettes, tennis courts, gyms, cafés and playgrounds to which they would not have access if they lived in freehold properties.

contract cleaners hard at work washing office windows

What to look for in a office cleaning company

There are many benefits to getting an outside company to take care of your office and window cleaning. It allows you to focus on the important functions in your business. But the challenge lies in choosing a contract cleaning provider that will free up your time. There are many horror stories of outsourcing gone wrong. In this article, we will discuss 3 steps to take to ensure you choose a cleaning company that will give you all the benefits.

Step 1: What services do they offer?

If you have specific requirements when it comes to cleaning, perhaps you’re a car dealership that needs cleaning of cars, or perhaps you require solar panels to be cleaned, you need to find a cleaning company that specialize in the right areas.

Make sure to check which additional services the provider offer. Some cleaning companies can take care of your hygiene requirements, or can help with pest or rodent control.

Step 2: Customer reviews, references and awards

Once you have found a few vendors that are specialists at the type of cleaning you require, the next step is to do some digging.

Check websites like Facebook, Google My Business, and other online directories for client reviews and references. It is always wise to look at these types of reviews with a bit of skepticism, especially when there is a low number of reviews. But comparing a few vendors will quickly highlight who is doing a good job, and who might not be doing such a stellar job.

You can also look at industry awards. There are cleaning organizations, and business chambers that award well-run businesses. If you can find a business that has won a number of awards over a longer time period, you know you will be in good hands.

Step 3: What makes them different?

The marketing department will call it their unique selling proposition. What makes the companies on your shortlist different or unique?

Once company might make use of technology to be more efficient, another company might specialize in cleaning with organic cleaning material. If you need to dig deep to find what makes a company unique, it might be an indication that they are just one of many in the market place.

On the other hand, if you can clearly tell why a cleaning company is different and unique, you can choose the right company for your requirements.

The final say

My father always said that people do business with people, not businesses. So make sure to chat to whoever will be taking care of your account. Most of us, even though we sometimes don’t think so, will get a gut feeling about a person in a matter of minutes.

Go through the three steps above, trust your gut, and you should find a reliable cleaning company that will take care of your offices for years to come.

Running Your Business While You Move Office

planning thplanning the office move and checkliste office move and checklistAn office move is a big step for a small- to large-scale business. Aside from thinking about the actual move, you’ll also be planning the layout of your new space, talking with the office movers, coordinating with your staff, and keeping your business running.

Here are guidelines you can follow to make your operations go smoothly while you move.

1. Inform you customers in whatever means possible

You can’t lose customers just because you forgot to notify them. Go through all means possible to let them know you’re moving. You can try email blasts, newsletters, phone calls, or simply posting an announcement in your office. Constantly remind them until you move into your new space.

2. Change your address

Update your email signature, website, social media accounts, letterheads – everything that has your address on them. This ensures that your customers and partners don’t get confused when you move.

3. Plan the phases

Make the move in phases. Start packing one thing at a time whenever you get a downtime. Let your employees put away the things they rarely use. This saves you from cramming everything when the moving date gets closer.

4. Move on Off-hours

Big companies usually move in different stages over a course of time. Schedule a weekend or off-hours move so you avoid disrupting business operations. Make sure you to discuss your schedule with your removal specialist.

5. Take Note of Your Peak Season

As much as possible, schedule your move to your slow season for you. It’s best to settle the transition before you get into your peak season.

6. Throw a party

Invite your customers to your new office, and let your employees join in the fun, too! This helps foster a good relationship with them. This lets you introduce your new address to your customers, while keeping your team excited.

Related Reading:

When your business is growing and running out of space

The Big Move

Things to consider before hiring a plumbing company

As a Gauteng homeowner, you should be entrusting your plumbing repairs to plumbers in sandton. Remember, you’re putting your faucet, toilet, and water heaters in their hands. A faulty repair may lead to more expensive and complicated problems in the future.

plumbers in sandton

Consider these before you hire a plumber:

Experience

Always check the length of time your plumber has been in business. Bigger groups usually have more experienced plumbers, but better check just to be sure. Years of experience can mean that the company has built a good record.

Pricing

Plumbers would know the cost of repairs and should give you an accurate quote. More complicated repairs are a different story, though. But ask for quotes from different plumbers, and check for big differences. If the cost is too low, there’s a risk that the plumber is cutting corners, or using substandard parts.

References

Experienced plumbers should be able to give you references. Check with their past customers so you get an idea of how well they work. If they can’t provide you offline or online references, it’s a good idea to look for someone else.

Insurance

This is important. An insurance is you and your plumber’s protection in case of accidents or injuries. It’s best if your plumber is bonded, too.

Warranty

A plumber’s work should be covered by a warranty. This usually lasts for a year, and gives you a guarantee of their work, and the parts they used. If the plumber can’t give you this, you’re better off without them.