An easier way to invest in the real estate market

Rupert Finnemore runs a progressive and innovative online platform that makes it easier for almost anyone to invest and access the South African property market.

Finnemore is CEO of EasyPropertiesone of the newest additions to the JSE-listed Purple Group’s portfolio of innovative, market-disrupting companies.

EasyProperties, created just over two years ago amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has gained traction with its model which “democratizes access to real estate investment through fractional investments”.

The company started in the residential buy-to-let market and offers an alternative way for people to gain a foothold in the property market, whether they have R1m or R1m to invest. It gives investors access to real estate opportunities in prime locations they otherwise could not tap into, such as Sandton, Rosebank, Cape Town CBD and Ballito.

“Access to real estate investment and the rewards of capital growth and rental income have always been reserved for the wealthy,” Finnemore told Moneyweb.

“We are changing the game. EasyProperties offers a simple online investment process for any investor, regardless of income or net worth.

“Essentially, we are a tech prop platform that serves to democratize real estate investing. We are passionate about changing the traditional belief that investing in real estate is difficult, by disrupting and removing barriers to hall.

EasyProperties uses its networks and expertise to access property developments such as The Rockefeller in Cape Town, BlackBrick projects in Sandton and Cape Town, The Blyde in Pretoria, Ballito Hills on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and The Polofields in Waterfall .

The group buys a number of units in a specific development in bulk – often negotiating a discounted price – and then offers the properties to investors on a split investment basis.

Finnemore explains that the fractional model offered by EasyProperties is different from the traditional concept of fractional ownership. In the latter case, investors bought a share of a specific real estate unit and then qualified to stay in the unit for a few weeks out of the year. Like timeshare systems, these are usually linked to home properties.

“Our fractional investing model allows investors to earn a share of the real estate opportunities we source, buy and even manage, removing any friction points that people wanting to invest in the real estate market may face,” says Finnemore.

“People who invest through EasyProperties earn a share in a specific development in which we have secured units. They can invest based on what they can afford…For example, we may have 10 units in a property development residential, but these units can be fractionally owned by 7,000 investors.

You can catch Rupert Finnemore at the Better Investor Conference on Thursday, June 23 (Day 2) at 2:55 p.m. You can find out more here.

“We ensure the rental, the collection of rents, the management and the maintenance of these real estate complexes. Our investors receive rental dividends based on the number of shares they own and can also benefit from capital gains after an investment period of five to seven years,” he adds.

Finnemore explains that investors still have liquidity flexibility if they wish to sell their shares, which is done on the group’s online platform via auctions to other members of the EasyProperties investment community.

Just over two years later – essentially its start-up years – the company has signed up over a quarter of a million registered customers. Finnemore says the firm currently has more than 70,000 active investors or “invested customers.”

He points out that EasyProperties is regulated and operates according to the rules of the financial sector in force. The Company is a legal representative of First World Trader (Pty) Limited, trading as EasyEquities, a licensed Financial Services Provider (FSP). EasyEquities has disrupted the market in South Africa as a low-cost investment platform for those who want to invest in local and international stocks.

“We have over 260 residential units in the EasyProperties portfolio, valued at around R300 million. And it’s growing. We expect to exceed R500 million next year,” says Finnemore.

“The average amount invested by our active investors is between R1,300 and R1,500, but we have other clients who have invested a few hundred thousand rand or more than R1 million.”

EasyProperties is also considering expansion into student accommodation as well as commercial property opportunities in the booming industrial/logistics sub-sector of the market.

Presented by EasyProperties.

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