My first estate agency was opened on 1st March 1986.
Prior to this, when my husband and I were running a successful furniture business, friends from Johannesburg visited us in Cape Town to purchase furniture for two apartments. They owned an estate agency in Johannesburg and suggested that I go into the Real Estate business. I was inspired by what they had to tell me about the industry and enrolled on the first estate agency course available.
During my first month working as an estate agent I sold 6 properties and realised that I had at last found my niche in life.
After 13 months learning the business, my vision of opening my own Estate Agency materialised when premises in the City Bowl became available. It was here that Maranzi Homes was born.
The business grew rapidly and within a short period eight agents were working for me, two more offices were opened and I also became a 50% equitable partner in a large agency in the Suburbs.
During this period I joined Nationlink, a national company. With the support of a larger group, we benefited from their training and referral base.
After operating for a few years as Maranzi Homes Nationlink, we became ERA NATIONLINK, part of ERA which was an international company.
During our first year as Era Nationlink, our agency earned the award of “Best Agency in Cape Town for a Small Company”, with three agents winning an award for the top agents in their own categories.
In addition, during this period I became Regional Director of Nationlink for the Cape.
Prior to Nelson Mandela’s release in 1994, people were leaving the country in droves and property prices plummeted and for a while the property market was in turmoil. However, after the election, business slowly began to improve.
The prospect of hosting the 2004 Olympic Games boosted the morale of the people and the property prices started to escalate at a rapid pace but when South Africa’s bid was rejected, property prices once again spiralled downwards.
Mortgage rates escalated to a record high of 24.5% . Homes and businesses were being repossessed and I realised that I had the choice of closing down my offices or revert to selling properties myself.
This became a very challenging time in my life. I was on the verge of bankruptcy, about to lose my home, my business as well as everything I had ever worked for. It was time to go back to basics as a full-time agent, working 7 days a week, 365 days a year but within 6 months business was again running at a profit.
Vered Estates, Johannesburg, approached me to become an affiliate as an independent branch in Cape Town. This liaison operated as a very successful association.
Now after 10 years on, re-branded as LM PROPERTY GROUP, I will continue to offer an excellent service to home owners (both selling and renting) and developers alike.