Real Estate Investor Magazine November/December 2023 Edition | Page 47



1 . WHERE DID YOUR JOURNEY TO SUCCESS START – LIST KEY MILESTONES & CHALLENGES ? I ’ m lucky enough to have been trained by my father-in-law , John Rabie who founded the company . His wealth of experience and knowledge was the best primer to enter the game .
We have had many challenges on the way , inflation , Covid , steel strikes , you name it . However , developing
The Onyx , our apartment-hotel asset was a game changer in how we think about long-term value .
2 . SHARE A SPECIFIC PROJECT OR INITIATIVE YOU CONSIDER A TURNING POINT IN YOUR CAREER ? Our first office to resi conversion was The Radission Hotel and Residence , now the new Pullman hotel .
That was a great experience and quite ahead of the time as we did it in 2015 , now because of Covid , they are talking about office conversions all over the world .
3 . ANY SIGNIFICANT SETBACKS , FAILURES OR CHALLENGES ? Sure , we have had projects that didn ’ t go to plan or that never even got off the ground because of planning . We never launched a project in Woodstock because we got knocked back at Heritage Western Cape .
4 . HOW DO YOU APPROACH RISK TAKING IN BUSINESS ? CAN YOU SHARE AN EXAMPLE WHERE A CALCULATED RISK PAID-OFF ? Our business is full of risk . It ’ s a terrible business . You fix your revenue at the beginning ( if you are lucky and can sell ) and the only thing that changes and it never goes down are costs , so you have to really be a bit of a fortune teller , gambler and all around lover of risk to be in this business .
We joint ventured with Jody Aufrichtig and Nick Ferguson , the guys who own the Woodstock Exchange and The Biscuit Mill on a project in Woodstock which became WEX1 . The land was not an insignificant line item , but we thought something was happening and it did .
Real Estate Investor Magazine DEC 2023 / JAN 2024 22