In the last 30 years I have been privileged to manage or own a consistently trading real estate business that has operated from Tokai Road.
Many probably don’t know that this is the longest consistently trading real estate business in the area. In this time the office has always enjoyed a keen focus on Kirstenhof and Tokai and from that, has grown its service area to include Lakeside, Constantia and greater Bergvliet. Back in 1984 we operated from a (hot) converted garage towards the bottom end of Tokai Road, where Val Besaans was the popular manager. At this time the business traded as Steer & Co. We later moved to our current premises opposite the Blue Route Centre.
From the new premises on the corner of Tokai and Dam Roads we also re-branded in an exciting move at the time, when Steer & Co’s sales division became part of the first major international real estate brand that launched in “post sanctions” South Africa. As a result Steer & Co sales offices started trading as ERA Steer. At the same time a thriving Johannesburg real estate group made the same decision to join the ERA group, and so Chas Everitt became ERA Chas Everitt. This new affiliation with ERA had it’s challenges however and when Chas Everitt decided to leave with the intention of establishing itself as a national franchise, I decided to join them and consequently ten years ago Chas Everitt in the Western Cape was born, right here in Tokai. Today there are 100 Chas Everitt franchises and licencees in South Africa and our Tokai based business has also continued to expand as a franchise of Chas Everitt with offices in Bergvliet, Fish Hoek and an Administration Centre in Wynberg. In the last two years our Tokai office premises have been developed from the facebrick residential house it was to more modern commercial premises.
Much has changed over the years but the same service driven commitment stands solidly behind our Tokai based team which consists of; Tokai agent Lisa Rowell, Constantia Estates Specialists Sally Gracie and Marion Bolton, Winnie Sass in Lakeside and of course our Kirstenhof specialist Bruce Haywood. This is a formidable team that works exceptionally well together and achieves consistent results and very satisfied clients. As a matter of interest our Administration Manager Terence Ferdinando has been with us since the Steer & Co days!
The marketing of real estate has fundamentally changed over these 30 years. A black and white photostat was more than most agents gave out as a brochure in 1984. I remember well when we were the first agency in the area to hand out colour brochures we had printed on our very own equipment in the office. We had the opposition in a total tizz – it was so revolutionary! The principal of a competitor agency was rumored to have told his agents at the time that “such extravagance would bankrupt us”. Well they closed a few years later but we continued to invest in technology and innovative marketing.
We were the first to use digital cameras in the area and of course the first to embrace the potential of the internet in local marketing of , which is one reason we own Tokai.co.za and Constantia.co.za and Kirstenhof.co.za and Bergvliet.co.za and many others! Our innovations at the time were recognised with a Property Professional industry award, and we have never been caught napping with technology – it is a passion! Not surprisingly we were again first in the area to start virtual tours with a cumbersome 360 camera we imported from the United States that looked like something from Star Trek! We still do virtual tours but now they are fully integrated with floor plans providing a online walk through experience and this year we have started creating 3D floor plans! Being first with technological innovation has kept us relevant and exciting. Today over 70% of our sales come from our online marketing which now includes an active social media marketing focus and a number of “well guarded” strategies that continue to deliver results backed always by a service driven team of enthusiastic and friendly agents.
Above all this post is to say THANK YOU to Tokai and Kirstenhof residents! Your ongoing support and satisfaction with our services, over such a long period, has never been taken for granted, and never will be.
Tokai Area Specialist: Lisa Rowell 082 844 0800