12 Feb 2009
Leapfrog Property Group (Leapfrog) kicked off the New Year on a high note with the opening of yet another new franchise, bringing the total number of franchise areas in this dynamic and fast-growing property group to 48.
The latest duo to join the Leapfrog stable are stalwarts Neil and Michelle Vercueil, who, together with eight agents at their Port Shepstone Leapfrog office (formerly known as Exclusive Properties) service the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) area from Southport to Margate.
The family's property roots took off 35 years ago when Neil's mom, Sandy, a seasoned and highly respected real estate specialist, embarked on a real estate career. Today she is still actively involved in the business from a selling point of view, while the agency is widely acknowledged as a formidable real estate player on the KZN south coast.
During her long real estate career, Sandy Vercueil was actively involved in training many an estate agent and in the early days, she assisted in building up several local agencies, including Homenet and Pam Golding, says her son, agency principal, Neil.
"As one of the first people to obtain CRS certification, her credentials are impeccable. She's truly a rock in the local industry and, as such, our foundation. We've worked with her for many years and will be building on the successes we've achieved together," he notes.
"Exclusive Properties' motto – Let our family find your family a home – plays on the fact that we are a family business, all working together. We have created a family environment enjoyed both by our agents and a number of actual family members. Even our customers, whether they are corporations, families or individuals, are regarded and treated as part of the family and we will bend over backwards to find them homes. We don't sell buildings, we sell homes," he enthuses.
Regardless of the current 'soft' market, there will always be people who have to sell and others that need to buy, so, provided we keep our eye on the ball and work closely with these people, 2009 should be another good year, particularly under the Leapfrog banner which fulfils our company ideals," Neil believes.
The real sense of fulfilment when you've matched people to their dream property, is the main reason why Neil and Michelle thoroughly enjoy being in the real estate business. "Being positively involved in people's lives, helping them with one of their most important investment decisions and being updated about improvements to the properties, sometimes even years later, can give you an incredibly good feeling."
The appeal that has seen some of the industry's best join the ranks of the Leapfrog group is based on the group's visionary management style and superior benefits that agents and franchisees are privy to.
"Indeed, the benefits the group offers to agents to empower them and realise their potential, which was the main motivator behind our decision to join Leapfrog. The Leapfrog business model and concept are unique and excellent industry firsts. It's fantastic that finally a major property group has stepped in to reward agents, always the backbone of any successful agency, with a stake in the business and rewards for helping it grow. The fact that Leapfrog agents can look forward to not one, but three separate income streams that extend into retirement and even continue after the agent's death, will enable us to recruit the best local agents, and we wanted to be recognised as a business with good agents," says Neil.
"We also like the fact that it's a model that is committed to transformation, with solid empowerment credentials. The company's strong management boasting some of the best brains in the industry and headed by ex-Remax CEO and current MD Bruce Swain, was also a key determining factor. As a Leapfrog franchisee, the agency can also continue to build on its strong relationship with bond originator Betterbond," he adds.
Swain is confident that Leapfrog's fresh business plan will continue to draw best of breed to the group, particularly in the current difficult market. "The 'Leapfrog way' not only boldly challenges the traditional parameters governing the property industry offering, it also offers an innovative package aimed at guaranteeing agents stability and security, particularly in the current tough business environment," says Swain.
"In addition, Leapfrog invests heavily in formal training and education for agents from entry level right through to advanced qualifications. Our trainer, Greg Simpson, who has specialised solely in real estate training for close to ten years, heads up our training division, and courses are tailor-made for the South African market. Besides focusing on the broader business aspects of managing a successful real estate agency, it also includes relevant topics such as sales, admin, legal and financial issues, international trends and surviving in a tough market," adds Swain.
For more information contact Bruce Swain on (021) 702 3120 or 082 783 7198.
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