The ultra-ambitious goals that the Rawson directors and I set for the group in 2009/10 are being met. It was the Rawson Property Group's aim to have the largest national footprint of all the South African estate agencies by the end of 2015. To achieve this, the group would need to establish 100 new franchises annually and to have representation in every one of the nine South African provinces.
Initially at least, we would have to aim for a 40% turnover growth per annum. In addition, the group would have to be capable of offering a one-stop service that included rentals, commercial property and auctioneering - all handled through independent franchises. Also, Rawson Finance, the bond origination division, run as a head office service to franchises, was given similar growth targets.
At the end of 2012, with three or four weeks still to run, the Rawson Property Group had grown by 36.75% year-on-year and it had established no less than 51 new franchises in 2012, to arrive at a current total of 192.
Furthermore, all this had taken place against a background in which many major agencies had cut back and reduced both their staff and branch or franchise offices. On the information available, it appears that the only other South African estate agency group to rival the Rawson Property Group's growth had achieved only a 16% improvement.Increased market share
The growth was definitely not due only to setting up new franchises. In many cases, existing franchises throughout the country have significantly increased their market share.
The Rawson brand continues to attract high-calibre entrepreneurs who now believe that the Rawson Property Group provides a really comprehensive back-up service, is fast growing and is a front-runner in property-related IT for communication and marketing purposes. We also now operate one of the best management and business lead systems in the country.
The general perception is that we are better positioned in the most active markets than most estate agencies and it seems that not only are we growing faster than other estate agency groups, but we are also getting a great deal more fun out of it.