04 Dec 2009
Tyson Properties chief executive officer, Chris Tyson, said this was an important strategic move for the property group. Located in the Green Acres Centre in Howick, it is perfectly positioned to tap into the growing trend for city dwellers - particularly those from Gauteng - to relocate to the country for "quality of life" reasons. The Midlands is also becoming increasingly popular as a retirement destination.
Midlands' principals Gerard Robinson and Lucy Blackman have operated successfully in the area since 2006 and approached Tyson Properties to open an office in the Midlands. "They know the area well and will uphold our Tyson brand," Tyson said, adding that the Midlands office would be overseen by one of Tyson's most experienced property agents, Lee Ellis, who is now the inland director and manages the Westville, Queensburgh, Pinetown and Hillcrest offices.
Robinson was born and bred in the Midlands and schooled at Maritzburg College. He has been in the property business since 1970, specialising in the upper end of the market. Blackman, like many of her clients, relocated to the Midlands in the year 2000. She wanted a quality lifestyle and the good schools in the area helped with her decision. Her extensive experience is in the residential market.
Robinson and Blackman explained that they approached Tyson after watching the company's progress since it launched in 2005. They felt the Midlands was an obvious progression for Tyson Properties after its Durban successes. "We admire and respect Tyson Properties' professionalism and ethics. The industry as a whole has taken note of Tyson's' achievements and their recent Award further endorses this."
Tyson collected the award for "The Best Real Estate Agency" in the Europe & Africa Property Awards 2009 in October. To date, Tyson Properties is the first KwaZulu-Natal company to net one of these awards.
Tyson and local businessman Gavin Cunningham established Tyson Properties in response to a need for a sophisticated real estate environment in Durban. It started out with a single real estate office and a staff of six servicing the residential sector. It now boasts a staff of 130 and some of the highest market shares in the areas in which it operates.
"We focused on establishing a real estate office that offered exceptional services to top agents, providing them with a platform to excel," Tyson explained. This platform is now available to Tyson agents operating in the Midlands.
He pointed out that, in the Midlands, Tyson Properties would be selling a sophisticated lifestyle - country living, beautiful surrounds, a great climate, excellent schools. He said many of those living in the Midlands chose to commute for business reasons. The Midlands was also an important retirement destination with a well equipped hospital and medical facilities plus a wonderful sense of community.
"You get to meet wonderful people here. The Midlands has many interesting and colourful personalities," Blackman agreed.
She said the current sales mix was lifestyle, agricultural, residential and then secure developments. "We believe that more and more people are moving to the Midlands. With computers and the age of the internet, you can easily conduct business from this area and commute if and when necessary."
She emphasised that, going forward, the two would go all out to build the Tyson brand in the Midlands while promoting the lifestyle benefits and the value of investing in and owning property in the area. "We intend growing our turnover substantially and getting involved in the marketing of more Midlands developments now that we have the increased support and muscle of the Tyson group."
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