Sunday, 26 February 2012

Budget comment - Aida - Young Carr

Young Carr, CEO of Aida National Franchises, says today's Budget makes it clear that government wants to encourage individual property ownership - and to make this possible across as much of the economic spectrum as possible.
"This will begin with the implementation of the new housing subsidy scheme to provide prospective buyers earning between R3500 and R15 000 a month with subsidies of up to R85 000 and enable them to access mortgage finance for properties priced at up to R300 000.
"Then there is the proposed mortgage support scheme, which Finance Minister Pravin Gordahn confirmed is under consideration and is expected by the banks and others in the real estate industry to come into operation later this year. It is expected to make mortgage finance more readily accessible to first-time buyers and others in the low-income or small house sector for up to about R600 000.
"And thirdly, the Minister announced significant changes today to the rate at which Capital Gains Tax will be charged, from 50% to 66% on properties owned by trusts and other legal entities and from 25% to 33% for properties owned by individuals. This is further evidence of the fact that government wants to see residential properties mostly owned by individuals - as we saw with the recent granting of an extended transfer duty exemption for those willing to transfer their properties out of CCs, companies and trusts and into their own names. It is also underlined by the fact that the threshold at which CGT becomes applicable on primary residences has now been raised from R1,5m to R2m."
In the longer term, he says, home ownership will of course also be fuelled by the massive R845bn investment in infrastructure projects over the next three years, the government's much-sharpened focus on job creation and education, and the plans to root out corruption and money wastage, especially as it applies to home building, land restitution and the improvement of urban and rural living environments.
"Overall, we are also very encouraged, from a property point of view, by the largely positive financial position in which SA finds itself, in contrast to the situation in many more developed countries as well as the other developing nations. Now if the country can unlock its resources and reserves of talent through the development of its infrastructure and people as envisoned in today's Budget, there will undoubtedly be a very strong increase in home ownership - and individual wealth creation.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Why improved tourism is positive for property

Two years ago, SA was gearing up to host the Soccer World Cup – and looking forward to a major economic injection from the thousands of tourists who flocked into the country to watch the games and support their favourite teams.

“But since then,” says Aida CEO Young Carr, “there has not been nearly as much said about tourism or its value to the country, even though hosting the World Cup undoubtedly helped SA to weather the effects of the worldwide financial crisis better than most.

“A thriving tourism industry is still, however, vital to all of us, and especially the real estate industry, as it is an important catalyst for the creation of new jobs and thus a means to help more South Africans realise their dream of owning a home.”

Responding to the release of the latest tourism statistics, he said it was thus very encouraging to see that both domestic tourism and the number of foreign visitors to South Africa appeared to be on the increase once more, following a decline during most of 2011.

The latest Department of Home Affairs figures show, for instance, that some 3,7m travellers moved in and out of SA during December – with more than 2,5m of these people being foreigners, mostly from other SADC countries, the UK, the US and Germany.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Tourism Marketing Agency reported recently that the province’s tourism industry had been flourishing since December, and that the rise in domestic tourism was especially noticeable.

In addition, the latest results of the Tourism Business Index backed by the national Tourism Business Council (TBCSA) and FNB show a marked improvement in business performance for the last quarter of 2011. The index registered 87,3 in the quarter, up from 70,0 in the previous quarter and well ahead of the 80,7 expected by the industry. What is more, the expected index for the first quarter of this year is 82,2, despite the fact that these are usually the slowest months for the tourism industry in the aftermath of the festive season.

“TBCSA head Mmatsatsi Marobe recently appealed to private sector players in the industry to pay more attention to attracting domestic and SADC tourists,” notes Carr, “and we agree that given the current economic problems in Europe and other parts of the world, this is probably where the most potential for growth lies.

“And once again, that growth is vital in SA’s campaign to create employment. Tourism provides both the motivation and the means for many people to start their own businesses - including guesthouses, craft and curio shops, restaurants and specialist tour companies – and in due course to create jobs for others.

“It has certainly been a lifesaver for many small towns in the past few years and from a real estate point of view, we have seen that there is always an increase in home buying activity in areas where new jobs are being created through tourism.”

Issued by Aida National Franchises
Aida head office: 012 682 9600
Contact: Young Carr

Monday, 13 February 2012

A Brief Description of SEO and SEM

If you want your business to be successful online you must get visitors to your website. Not just any visitors however, you need targeted visitors and you need a great deal of it. Among the best techniques for getting targeted visitors is from the various search engines and social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook which are very popular in South Africa and around the world. If someone types a keyword into a search engine they are looking for specific information so if your web site appears within the results you will have a pretty good chance at getting a very targeted visitor to your site. But exactly how does one ensure that your website is the one that comes up in the search engines? That’s where SEO or search engine optimization enters the picture.
Search engine optimization can be explained as employing a number of strategies to get your site ranking higher in the search engines for particular phrases. Effective search engine optimization should always begin with good key-phrase research. You must make an effort to optimize your web site for key terms that folks actually are trying to find in sufficient quantities but also key terms that are not so competitive that it’s going to be nearly impossible to rank for them.

This is where Website Analytics comes into our strategy for you. The analytics of what is going on ‘behind the scenes’ of the website is monitored by your webmaster and relevant alterations are made to keep your Websites Up-to-date with (or rather aiming to be ahead of) other websites in your area. There are many Companies around that help/sell these strategies. We would like to inform you of what it is you will get when subscribing to an AIDA Office Website and not be left alone in the dark and unaware of what it is that promotes websites and will get you on top with the Search Engine Results. We exclusively cater for Google Search Engine since recent statistics show that 55.98% of our visits on the National website since November 3rd 2010 is coming from Search Engines and 51.92% from Google alone. Therefore that 4% other search engines is not Priority to us and will to be attended to, since Google is South Africa’s leading Search engine when it comes to Real Estate (as many other industries).

The route that AIDA is going with the Website Strategy is to get a Website to represent each area/ city we are painting red. That websites will be linked directly to a provincial and the national website in a Spider-Web-like structure with each website linking back and forth, from and towards all the websites in the network. This strategy promotes all the websites and increases availability of AIDA Websites in search engine results.

One of the most important parts of a website is the URL (the name of your website). Explaining this very briefly, a website called will show as a good result when searching for keywords such as pta, aida and properties even before any code, keywords and info on the website is being looked at. In the case of or obviously the keywords when searching for Pretoria and Properties it will most definitely be more available in Search Engine Results.
Having one of these domains in our possession is important and would help you as an office with viewers to your office website as well as our National and Provincial websites.
SEO is very closely associated with another term, SEM or Search Engine Marketing. This is the practice of promoting your business using the major search engines, seeking to get targeted visitors to your website by ranking for your carefully selected keywords. Smart business people know that getting their goods or services in front of these types of targeted visitors boosts conversions and higher conversions means more money.

We have already explained the importance of choosing the right key terms but there is a lot more to SEO and SEM than just choosing the right key terms. That is only the beginning. The tasks you will need to complete can fall into two categories, one is called on-page search engine optimization which would be the steps you can take on your website that the major search engines want to see and off page SEO which is in essence getting back-links directed to your website from other websites. These one way links behave as a vote of confidence for your own website and the greater the number of back-links you can acquire and the better the calibre of those links the better.
There is much more to ranking highly in the search engines than I can talk about in this brief article and in reality learning proper Search engine optimisation usually takes quite a long time.
With all this said. Yes, it is very important to have SEO in place within your website and to update your website almost daily with new stock or info relevant to the Real Estate industry and or your area/city. And Yes, it might easily become very expensive to have and maintain this type of websites. Although there are many offices owning additional websites we would like you to consider having a AIDA Office website which is integrated with Our Listing Managing System (Prima List) and other AIDA Websites. Should you require more than what we offer and have other websites out of the AIDA arrangements, it will be on your own account.
In the case of websites being more available and having more ‘windows’ to connect your office and agents to is important. Less is not more in this case, thus we try feed and post our information to most of the South African Property Portals and websites available.
For any website questions and enquiries regarding your office websites you may contact me
Jaco Smit (AIDA Webmaster) at
012 6829600 or email