MID-YEAR BULLETIN 2016 – 2017

The year 2016 into 2017 has been a year of great uncertainty up to this point but we remain hopeful that things will eventually turn around in our economy despite all the challenges we face daily. The current economic situation has found citizens as well as businesses being negatively affected.  However, The Smart Move has managed to survive despite these hardships and our mission and vision remain unwavered as we believe this is merely a phase as nothing remains permanent.

Our service delivery continues to exude integrity and our main aim is indeed to keep you as our client happy and confident in our service delivery and what we stand for as an esteemed agent in Zimbabwe.

Many have been asking questions regarding the issue of mixed currencies, bond notes versus the USD in Zimbabwe.  Bond notes have brought much uncertainty into the market as many worry about whether they will be able to access their funds in USD due to the cash shortages that brought about the need for this currency.  The general feeling is that the scarcity of cash on the market has continued to increase and the availability of USD in cash is fast diminishing. 

The movement of funds outside the country is extremely regulated and no longer as simple a transaction as it used to be in the past due to strict exchange control measures put in place by the governing authorities.  Movement of funds locally, however, is still happening well and effectively.

 

Ø  SALES

The market has seen property sales decrease but at the same time there is an influx of mortgage bonds in the market.  They are however taking a longer period of between two to three months to process which then demands much patience from the sellers.  The mortgage bonds are playing around a certain costing so you will find that properties within that price range become scarce on the market.  Many sellers of late have been making inquiries on offshore funds for the sale of their properties.

 

Ø  RENTALS

We are grateful to have been able to stay afloat although we have also not been spared from the hardships that impact our economy at large.  The supply of rental properties is now much greater than demand which brings a challenge in terms of new business as the opposite is a better option for this division of our business.  Because of the latter it is taking much longer to rent out vacant properties hence we urge all our clients to take good care of their sitting (paying) tenants by also ploughing back into the property often to keep the property standards good.  Due to economic hardships all round we have had the majority of our tenants request for rental reductions and we are glad that many landlords have been very understanding of their plight and agreed to review the rentals reasonably. 

 

Ø  CITY OF HARARE or ZESA BILLS

It is of great concern to note that the majority tenants are not servicing their utility bills as is required.  This comes about from the ineffective bill management system put in place by the local authorities and also the lack of the service deliveries they are required to pay for.  While we try as the agent to manage the bills it becomes ineffective sometimes as we are deemed a third party.  On this background we deem it very wise to include the City Council bills in the rental to ensure there are no bills left at the property when the tenant leaves.  A few properties have had prepaid water meters installed which therefore means that the rates bill falls neglected by tenants and it needs to be curbed.

ZESA has installed prepaid meters in most properties but it seems a few properties were left out and this is also now a perennial problem which can only be controlled by installation of the prepaid meters.

 

Ø  REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE

This economic environment has everybody trying to make a quick buck at every opportunity and this has found some of our contractors also short changing our landlords.  We note that some of the contractors are putting a mark-up on actual prices of the material for jobs and this evidently pushes the prices up even after their labour charge.

It is in light of this background that we have come up with the initiative to create a division solely responsible for the repairs and maintenance within Smart Move.  This division will be managed and run by our own staff instead of using independent contractors for the work and see a considerable reduction in repair costs as well as a guaranteed delivery of quality work.  This division will be called “Smart Fix” and it will be a sub company running under the main Smart Move brand.

This initiative, however, is not compulsory for those of you who would still feel more comfortable using their own workmen on their properties and we will also avail comparable quotes to ensure you are getting the best deals.  If your personal contractors are to be paid from our office we would recommend that they have registered companies with tax clearance certificates at hand so as to avoid trouble with Zimra.

 

In conclusion we continue to assure of our best attention and we are here to ensure that your property is well looked after as per our mandate.  Hoping 2017 will be a better year going forward for all of us.

 

 

‘Creating Value for Our Clients’