Q&A in the spotlight - Charl Krumm

Charl Krumm
“Special occasions are made to be celebrated, and March sees us celebrating two of our Licence's Birthdays. We had a chat to the Licence Partners of each of the shops to gain some insight into their businesses and reflect back on where it all started. We would also like to thank them for their years of dedication and hard work, and wish them the best of success for the many years ahead.”

Craig Hutchison, Engel & Völkers Southern Africa – CEO

Charl Krumm, Licence Partner Engel & Völkers Bloubergstrand celebrating 2 Years

What is your connection to property?
I became qualified as a conveyancing attorney in 2008 and did my articles at a highly successful conveyancing law firm focusing on residential developments. Ever since then I have been closely involved with property. Having my wife as an interior architect certainly helps keep me on top of trends. I still practice as an attorney and we regard this an added benefit to our clients as there is always a lawyer on their side to assist with the process.

Can you tell us a bit about your licence area?
Our licence area covers the Western Seaboard area. Suburbs include Bloubergstrand, West Beach, Big Bay, Table View, Parklands, Sunningdale, Melkbosstrand, Flamingo Vlei and Duynefontein.  Personally I believe the most defining aspect of our licence area would be the world-famous views of Table Mountain and Robben Island, which are best enjoyed from the long stretches of white sandy beaches stretching from Melkbos to Bloubergstrand. Bloubergstrand has also grasped the kite-surfing phenomenon and is firmly on the global radar of all professional kite-surfers, thus making this stretch very popular with tourists and locals.

From a development perspective, the Parklands-North area is extremely busy and popular as it has the right mix of proximity to the ocean, affordability, public transport infrastructure, good schools and shopping centres. It has been mentioned as the fastest developing node in the southern hemisphere.

Do you have any new/exciting developments or projects on the horizon?
Yes, we have recently been mandated to sell-off a 72 unit sectional title development in Parklands-North.  Construction of this 2 and 3 bedroom apartment building should commence in March. Prices are going to be competitive so we are confident of achieving good sales as well as meeting buyers expectations from an ROI (return on investment) perspective.

What new areas are you looking at breaking into?
An immediate focus of ours is to find the right candidate/s to head up the brand in Atlantic Beach Golf Estate. The estate offers a secure eco-friendly lifestyle and a golf course. Being close to the Melkbosstrand beach is an added benefit. We are looking for an experienced resident agent to grasp this opportunity and take the brand into the heart of the estate. The Engel & Völkers brand is very well positioned to cater for this higher-end captive market and thus presents a very lucrative opportunity for someone with the right attributes. Interested candidates are welcome to make contact.

What does your current team look like and what are your plans for expanding?
Our team currently consists of 7 agents with 2 support staff members and an intern with a Belgium heritage. We have a rapidly expanding rental portfolio and we are looking to double up on the number of agents by the end of the year, but will not compromise on quality. If there are no quality agents available, I am happy to wait, as client service is of the utmost importance to me.

Why did you join Engel & Völkers?
For me there was no other choice, it was Engel & Völkers or nothing, no other brand offered what E&V could, from the global network to best CEO's at the helm both internationally and nationally. No other brand can offer the same exclusivity and proven performance, and this is primarily feedback received from our clients and certainly still my view.

We were looking for proven tools, systems and training coupled with support and an international network, and this is exactly what we found. The final item on our checklist was that it had to be a growing brand, and this is definitely something which E&V achieves year on year.

With the application of unique E&V business model, we have achieved an increased in turnover, above market average in Port Elizabeth. We are humbled and privileged to be part of the best real estate brand and people, as they are who make it what it is.

Since you opened your licence, what has your experience been within the Engel & Völkers group?
We have received tremendous training and support from the best systems and sales trainers on offer. Clients are attracted to the brand from our global exposure and through association from their international travels. It is great to receive feedback from clients who have travelled internationally and had the opportunity of visiting some of our international partners.

The brand attracts fantastic people. Locally our agents have outperformed the market and it has been a privilege to work with the loyal and dedicated agents who have made us what we are today. We truly are a family and this is our true success.

Can you tell us a bit about your licence area?
The Port Elizabeth licence area comprises a diverse market with a mix of residential, commercial and leisure properties available. Considered South Africa's Detroit, the market has impacted on the motor industry which has seen itself through a difficult period since 2008. However continued international investment into Port Elizabeth by forward thinking CEO's of VW, GM and Continental, to mention a few, have stabilised the market dramatically. There is a growing leisure market being driven by the new DA lead municipal governance. The interest we have noted since the DA took control has been remarkable and considering the rejuvenation of Detroit currently under way we only see good things in the way for the region as a whole.

What does your current team look like and what are your plans for expanding? 
We presently have 11 Sales Advisors and are consistently growing with dedicated committed individuals looking to make a successful career in real estate. We have a diverse team with experienced master agents such as the ex-Johannesburg based Nan Roberts, to keen and dedicated internationally trained local area specialists - all providing an exceptional level of service.

Our team motto is that of work hard and then play hard in that order, and the rise in external client referrals provides us with feedback that clients are satisfied and confident enough to refer clients to this dedicated team.

What other plans do you have for the future of the company?
Our long term plans are to expand and increase our interests within the brand to neighbouring licence territories. In order for this expansion to be effective and controlled, it needs to be organic and also at the correct timing of market conditions from a personal commitment back to the brand, to assist with continued improvements towards our internal operations and best practices.

What accolades do you have so far?
We have received CI shop of the year for 2013; Regional top performer for the past 2 years, as well as nominee for Lipa of the year.