Bay property magnate spreads his wings

BY BRIAN ANTHONY HAYWARD - APRIL 30, 2016

With an LLB degree specialising in contract law from Stellenbosch University, Jaco Rademeyer Estates’ founder and owner, Jaco Rademeyer, offers property buyers and sellers the sound advice they need to make the right choices.

Having established and grown the region’s leading real estate agency over the past 11 years, Rademeyer arguably has his hands full. But work for Rademeyer is a labour of love.

“By the time I was 10 years old, I already had a deep love for buildings and property,” says Rademeyer. “Deciding to study law was the first step towards realising my childhood dream because the legal and property fields are so inextricably linked.”

Upon completing his Stellenbosch studies, he embarked on a prestigious six-month exchange programme at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

“Coming home, I completed my articles with a local law firm, where I did transfer after transfer and learned a lot about the process and pitfalls of buying and selling property.”

Starting out in the industry in 2005, Rademeyer soon landed his first major success with the sale of an entire 40-unit residential development – all in one day.

“That first year in business was what I call the Chico year. I worked out of my VW Chico – I had no office and no agency experience, but I was determined to succeed,” he recalls.

That year he won the Institute of Estate Agents’ Rookie of the Year Award and was the first to do the double – earning Agent of the Year after that.

“Five years after opening my business, I was named SA Property Professional of the Year, beating 43 000 other agents nationally,” says Rademeyer. “This is our industry’s highest accolade and was based on a wide range of criteria like sales figures, turnover, ethics, client satisfaction, community involvement and education.”

The accolades have kept on coming. Rademeyer is proud to have been named in the business and law category of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans competition, as well as included in the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s Top 40 Under 40 business people.

He has also been voted the OfLocal Best Estate Agent in Port Elizabeth for 2015.

Rademeyer says hard work and dedication has made the business successful.

“I’m a matchmaker and my goal is to apply my industry knowledge in finding the perfect property for every client. Customer service is my number one priority,” he says. “Innovative marketing is also essential. The better your marketing, the more stock you have with which to work and to match buyers and sellers.”

But as if that was not enough, he is also chief executive of one of the leading businesses in the province: the Rademeyer Group.

This, he says, means that although he loves to travel, spend time with family, and even cook, his free time is minimal.

“As the CEO of the Rademeyer Group with my dad, Pieter, as MD, I oversee all our family businesses. These include Pieter Rademeyer Plumbers, PR Plant Hire, and PR Developers, which manages residential and commercial properties and a huge family property portfolio, and the list goes on,” he says.

“We also own Elizabeth Place, a conference facility in Newton Park. We have very good managers in place, but I still need to juggle my time to oversee all this. In addition, my dad and I specialise in building retirement villages in the city. We are launching the Montmedy Retirement Village comprising 77 units at the end of March this year.”

Although the property industry can be cut-throat, Rademeyer keeps focused on what is best for the client.

“JRE invests in people, who are the heart and future of my business. It all boils down to hard work and dedication,” says Rademeyer.

“The vulnerable members of our society are also close to my heart, so I support charity and fundraising drives for women’s shelters, the physically disabled and various animal welfare groups.”

His adoption of Curly and Chip – two aging shelter dogs – won widespread acclaim and has been featured in the local newspapers, on national TV news, and on international blog sites.