On Friday, 25 February 2022, estate agents in the coast gathered at the Jetty Restaurant in Swakopmund as Bank Windhoek hosted its Annual Coastal Estate Agents award ceremony. Ramos Realtors Namibia, J & B Estates, and Home Page Estate Agency were recognised as the top three estate agencies.
Morne Human from J & B Estates won the Gold Award for Achiever of the Year in the Commercial category. Ramos Realtors Namibia's Claudia Lofty-Eaton won silver in the Commercial and the Residential categories. Cecillia Muller from Grobbies Estates occupied the third spot in the Commercial category.
Janine du Plessis from Monopoly Housing was crowned as the winner of the Residential category, and Toini Mweenda from Glory Real Estate won the third prize.
Bank Windhoek's Head of Specialist Finance, Saara Shivute, said that the Bank was cognizant that the prevailing economic conditions affected the Erongo Region due to its reliance on the tourism sector. "I am, however, a firm believer that any situation presents an opportunity. An opportunity to innovate and think outside of the box," she said. "It is thus pleasing to see that the resilience of the estate agents ensured that the housing market gain traction."
As she congratulated the estate agents, Shivute reminded them that the Bank values relationships. "Together, we are connectors of positive change for our mutual customers. We are therefore proud to be able to honour your achievements," she said.
Adapting to the market
As for their selling strategies, June van Schalkwyk from J & B Estates said that they identified the correct approach during the pandemic as a team. "It was critical to find the right buyers for the properties that came up for sale," he said. "Being a buyers' market, there were great opportunities for both cash buyers and investors alike," he said.
Du Plessis shared that she passionately served her customers and was delighted to see them become new homeowners despite the economic challenges. "I got emotional with my customers, and it was a journey with them all the way. And I have learned that our relationship grew during that period," she said.
Mweenda said that she went the extra mile to assist her customers. "Some of them could not manage to afford the properties. I decided to convince the sellers to lower their selling prices. It was not easy, but it worked," she said.
The agents all pointed out that the coastal industry market had challenges as buyers feared that the property prices would continue dropping for as long as Covid-19 was a threat. They shared that Bank Windhoek was professional and provided excellent service during the pandemic. “Their streamlined systems made it effortless to assist our clients, " said Van Schalkwyk. Du Plessis said, "Apart from the excellent service, the Bank also helps our clients," she said. Mweenda added that she appreciates the Bank's availability when needed.
Human and Page shared that to navigate a tough, challenging economy, they adapted to the market and met the customers where they were. The pair said they take all the customers to Bank Windhoek regarding financial support due to good service and turnaround time.
The Bank Windhoek Annual Estate Agent Awards offers recognition to residential and commercial estate agents, agencies, and developers, from the northern, central, and coastal regions, for their commitment, loyalty, and support to Bank Windhoek and its customers. The central region event will take place on Friday, 4 March 2022, in Windhoek.