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BEE portfolio grows to R 1.7 billion

Posted On Monday, 26 July 2004 02:00 Published by
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Hermans and Roman Property Solutions, has grown rapidly since its inception just over two years ago.
By Graham Norris Property Editor -

Hermans and Roman Property Solutions, the first wholly black-owned property management company operating nationally, has grown rapidly since its inception just over two years ago. Speaking at the company's offices at the Tyger Waterfront, executive director Kevin Roman said that when they started in April 2002, they had property worth R250 million under management and the portfolio has grown to R1.7 billion.

Latest additions to their portfolio include: The Mitchell's Plain Promenade, with its 53 000 square metres of retail space with anchors tenants Pick'n Pay, Woolworths, Edgars and Game; Culemborg Motor City, Cape Town; Brookside Office Park in Claremont, where Deloitte and Touche is the anchor tenant; De Tyger Office Park in Parow; The entire R80m portfolio of the Pro Sano Medical Scheme, including their own Tyger Waterfront premises.

"We had six staff members two years ago and now have 25 in Cape Town and 10 around the country," said Roman. Roman and fellow executive director Leslie Hermans are well known in Cape Town commercial and industrial property circles. Roman was previously executive manager of Intersite Property Management Services' Western Cape region. He is also a director and vice-chairman of the Cape Town Partnership and vice-chairman of Sapoa Western Cape. Hermans was group financial director of a prominent property group for 13 years and has been responsible for systems development, property management and sales of investment properties.

Entrepreneur Peter Swartz has also joined the company, in which he has a 10% stake, as a non-executive director, and Bradley Bordiss recently became a director. Explaining their decision to form their own company, Hermans and Roman said that in recent years there had been a strong move towards property as an asset class again. "The listed property sector has grown from R8bn to R27bn in the past three years. We had both been in the industry for 13 years and we knew there were no new players in property management.

"You had a situation where 95% of parastatal and institutional properties were managed by companies with very little black ownership. This has changed with the major players forming partnerships with black companies. Tokyo Sexwale's Mvelaphanda Holdings is an example," said Roman. "In the past five years there's been a reduction in the number of players in the market, mainly through mergers and acquisitions. But there have been no other new players who have taken off from grassroots level like we have.

"Even though we are the only wholly black-owned property management company in the country, we are not selling black empowerment - we don't want handouts. We want to earn what is due to us through the quality of the service we provide and the value we add to clients' portfolios," said Roman. "We have demonstrated our entrepreneurship in the way we have grown our business in a short time from a zero base.

Our aim is to get to R5bn under management by 2008." The company has three divisions headed by the executive directors: finance by Hermans, facilities management by Roman and leasing by Bordiss. Finance places a strong focus on credit control, recoveries of operating costs and utility charges and budgetary control to maximise each property's "bottom line".

These key performance indicators are benchmarked for each portfolio under management. Reporting is customised to suite clients' individual needs by using a robust IT solution with instant access to all finance, property and lease data. Facilities management focuses on the aesthetics of the buildings, operating cost savings and economies of scale.

Condition assessment reports are prepared for each property, supported by pictorials, costings and recommendations. Leasing concentrates on the leasing of vacant space and lease renewals on the managed portfolio with the main aim of maintaining maximum occupancy.

This article was originally published on page 6 of The Cape Argus on July 10, 2004

Publisher: The Argus
Source: The Argus
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