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Letter from the editor

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I'd like to use this space to appeal to the industry leaders who have led the way in the many crises we have faced over the years.

This is a time for co-opetition – that mix between cooperation and competition – in order to help the property industry transcend this new phase we find ourselves in.

It is also a time to re-imagine our future and take what we can learn from all sectors of our society to enhance the industry for the better.

We have never had to think on our feet more than now, with a future that is so unpredictable and so unclear. But this is an industry used to charting unpredictable and high waters. An industry known for its optimism and for bouncing back. In these times, however, the broad spectrum of those that make up this industry, and I include construction and developers here, are wondering what the new world will look like for the industry.

How will it evolve? What form and shape will it take? Will there be innovations? Perhaps we will even glean new ways of developing homes from innovations coming from all over the world, forced to build accommodation fast for those who are without homes. Are there new cooperations to be had to help our housing situation?

But that is the future.

Right now no work, no pay has left some devastated. Some estate agents are still closing deals but the money is not coming in. How long can the industry ride this? A month? Two months? Indefinitely?

This is the time I feel organisations established to help the industry need to step up to assist with concrete solutions to tide us over. The National Home Builders Registration Council has told us it would look at funnelling some of the money it has received from developers over the years into helping prevent huge job losses but we haven’t heard more on this.

And if they and the boards and associations and the local governments are not offering concrete assistance to bring immediate relief, then perhaps it’s time for industry leaders to take the bull by the horns, put pressure on them, and give direction in these uncharted waters.

Perhaps this is a time for new organisations and new leaders to emerge. And for those who have already been surfing the digital highways, or those who have innovations that will assist the industry to reach out in co-opetition to those who may be left behind. 

People are scared and confused. Talk to them. There is hope.

Let us, as an industry, put a plan together to chart a new way that is inclusive, exciting and helpful.

Stay safe

Vivian Warby and team

vivian.warby@inl.co.za

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