Q&A with Roger Mortlok, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Suburbs

Roger Mortlok
Can you tell us a bit about your licence area?  
The Southern Suburbs is an incredibly diverse area, consisting of large family homes with sprawling gardens bordering on areas with trendy apartments mixed with commercial buildings, restaurants, art galleries and some of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Wine farms, historical homes, presidential homes and areas of natural beauty.
What areas do you currently cover?
Our office has a prominent corner location in Claremont, which has been earmarked as the new business district in the Southern Suburbs. This year we are focusing and building market share in the surrounding areas, particularly Claremont Upper, Rondebosch, Lynfrae, Upper Wynberg, bupper Kenilworth, Plumstead and Lower Constantia.
What does your current team look like and what are your plans for expanding?  
We have a team of 6 exceptional sales advisors at the moment, with myself heading the office as the Chief Operating Officer and Delia Walters as the Office Manager. We will be expanding with a mix of experienced and intern agents in the near future. We believe in steady sustainable growth and building a strong cohesive team. Careful consideration is given when adding a new member to the team and the dynamic changes to ensure we maintain a harmonious working environ-ment.   

What is your connection to property?  
I have been in property since 2006 faced numerous challenges during the property crisis that began with a sudden shock in 2008, which I was fortunate enough to overcome. I owned a property franchise covering the Fourways area in the northern belt of Johannesburg before joining the migration down to the beautiful Cape.

How do you view your market area?
The Southern Suburbs is known to consistently perform above the average national property growth rate, achieving top prices due to the desirability of the area, the high demand, and the presence of excellent schools and educational institutions. Since the end of last year we have definitely noticed purchasers becoming reluctant to pay such high prices. There was a tendency for properties to go to market well over priced and then sit for 3 to 4 months with no sale. It seems some sellers are catching onto this and are now willing to launch with more realistic asking prices. We firmly believe a seller will achieve a better price with less inconvenience by going to market with a realistic price, and being less negotiable than inflating it and allowing the property to sit and become stale. 

What do you think E&V offers your market?  
I believe E&V is a truly international brand well suited to the Southern Suburbs as it caters for foreign investors and we are able to find these investors a place to call home, or to sell the exclusive properties within our network to overseas clients.
What new areas are you looking at breaking into? 
 Newlands, Rosebank and Diep River is where we will be expanding into as these areas back onto those we currently cover.

What are your plans for the year ahead?  
To grow and raise the profile of the brand in the Southern Suburbs, to penetrate the market by distinguishing ourselves from our competitors and to offer a superior service to our clients.

What does the market prices look like in your area? 
For first time buyers in the Southern Suburbs, entry level homes in Plumstead and Diepriver start at about R1.9 million for a 2 / 3 bedroomed home. Flats in these same areas can cost anything from R1.3 million for a 2 bedroom. Entry level in lower Constantia is around R5.5 million and in Rondebosch Village, which is entry level to Rondebosch a semi- detached cottage could cost anything from R3 million upwards. Upper Claremont, Upper Kenilworth and Upper Wynberg family homes start at around the R5 million mark.

Visit https://www.engelvoelkers.com/en-za/south-africa/ for more information.