By Andrew Walker
Many people often feel ridiculed every time they are told that dipping a hand in the properties cookie jar may be the exact thing that they need to do to start building a sustainable living for the now and for future generations.
This is quite for a simple reason that we have ignorantly participated in for a long time now; Property Investment is expensive. But is it?
When one imagines the property industry, they think of 6 figure bank balances and appealing credit scores.
However the reality on the ground is that, chances are often quite slim for anyone to have any of the two, especially young people.
But when we take a step we realise that perhaps you don't need much to kick-start your career in the industry.
Uber is the world’s largest taxi firm. It owns no cars. Facebook is the world’s most popular media company.
It creates no content. Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider. It owns no property. The trick is seeing the opportunity.
Opportunities like rent to rent have been one of the utilised opportunities across that budding property entrepreneurs all over the world have pounced on.
Rent to rent is a very different proposition.
Rather than taking advantage of people, rent to rent aims to add value to properties, turning them from scruffy, poorly-maintained properties into warm, comfortable homes ─ something the property owner may not have the time, money or energy to achieve.
Young people in general don’t always understand the depth of the sector and career opportunities that exist, particularly when you consider listed and unlisted commercial property.
There are many facets to real estate, beyond estate agency and property valuations.
Black youth, particularly in under-resourced communities, need improved access to information, via the Internet or career days at schools for example, with the participation of companies and tertiary institutions. South Africa needs a platform to create a greater sense of awareness and exposure to the promise of real estate as a sector.
Industry bodies such as the South Africa Property Investment Network Youth ( SAPIN Youth) have already started with school and tertiary initiatives to improve access to information.
More needs to be done along these lines.
Young people wanting to get into the sector need to identify companies where they can intern or volunteer, to gain exposure.
The youth should not be too pre-occupied with looking for employment with big corporates, particularly early in their careers, even though the employee benefits are attractive.
They could miss the opportunity to gain more hands-on experience and exposure to different aspects of the property business; these are the less tangible benefits that come from working in smaller companies which give employees greater exposure and relevant experience to different aspects of the industry.
Andrew Walker is an experienced property investor with over 20 year of experience in the sector. He is also the founder of the leading property investment company South Africa Property Investors Network.