Poverty Trends in South Africa report showed that, despite the general decline in poverty between 2006 and 2011, poverty levels in South Africa rose in 2015. Photo: Neil Baynes/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Habitat Homes is on a drive to help needy families have a roof over their heads by undertaking to donate 10 percent of its profits to Habitat for Humanity – an non-governmental organisation that helps build and upgrade homes in less-fortunate communities.

Habitat Homes is a new online real estate service that is shaking up the old model by significantly simplifying the process of selling a property and only charging 1.5 percent commission. 

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that its low commission rate was largely due to cutting out the middleman – or traditional agents – by taking most of the selling process online. 

Managing director David Taylor said people could now sell their properties in a few clicks. 

“South Africa is one of the world’s most unequal societies with about 12 million South Africans living in extreme poverty. Habitat for Humanity SA is driven by the belief that providing people with adequate, decent and affordable shelter is the best way to turn the tide on poverty,” Taylor said.

Poverty is on the rise in South Africa, according to data released by Stats SA. The Poverty Trends in South Africa report showed that, despite the general decline in poverty between 2006 and 2011, poverty levels in South Africa rose in 2015. 

Less commission

Taylor said: “We guide clients every step of the way. While they can look forward to paying far less commission, they can also feel really good about the fact that 10 percent of the profits go toward less fortunate communities.” 

Cost-cutting will prove to be quite an important thing to practice in the wake of the news of the country being in technical recession. Households are expected come under increased financial stress.

Habitat Homes explained that its selling process was simple: “Sellers sign up on the website, photos of the property are taken and the listing goes live online. 

“Viewings are arranged with potential buyers and a deal is negotiated with the help of facilitators. 

“Finally, documents are signed and the conveyancing procedures take place, with Habitat Homes’ legal experts on hand throughout the process.

“Nowadays it’s the norm to grab a taxi, order dinner or apply for a job via the web. So why shouldn't we be able to sell our properties in a similar manner?” 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE