It will soon be as obvious as ordering an Uber, but we are right at the beginning of a major disruption in the residential real estate industry. I sat down with Leadhome Property Agent, Jonathan Jacobs, to find out why he chooses to work for this progressive real estate start up.
How does Leadhome work?
Our model is very seller oriented. A seller goes to our website and books a free valuation. The Area Property Expert for that area is automatically notified and books a convenient time to meet the seller at their home. A valuation is done and professional photographs are taken. Once the property is live on our site, buyers are able to book appointments with the seller through the site to come and view the house.
Why connect the buyer and seller directly?
We believe the seller knows his or her home better than anyone else. We believe show days have become outdated – you get kicked out of your house for the whole day and many of the people who come past are nosey neighbours or people bored on a Sunday. It has also become a security risk.
With Leadhome, a prospective buyer books a convenient time to view the house with the seller. This method is much more flexible and direct and the buyer doesn’t feel the pressure of having an agent on their back.
Why did you choose to work for Leadhome?
We don’t sit for hours at traditional show days all over the place, but rather become experts on specific areas to assist our sellers.
Leadhome is having a major effect on the industry. The opportunity to be part of something so innovative doesn’t come along every day.
What makes you an Area Expert?
Despite being a Sharks supporter (because of brainwashing by my dad!), I am Joburg born and bred and know the various parts very well. I grew up in Randpark Ridge, so I know the area well and have a strong emotional connection to it, which makes it a great fit for me. My main areas are the north western suburbs of Joburg: Sundowner, Randpark Ridge, Boskruin and Northgate.
What are the advantages of these areas for buyers?
Boskruin and Randpark Ridge are very much up and coming areas. Sundowner is a sleeping giant that’s waking up. If you buy in these areas you are assured of a solid investment as the demand is growing steadily.
There are good schools in the areas such as Trinity House and Sharonlea Primary. There are also plenty of restaurants and golf courses like Randpark, Jackal Creek and Eagle Canyon.
The communities in these areas are also very family orientated. It’s a great place for young families as you still get decent sized properties with gardens.
You’re very close to your family. What activities do you enjoy together?
I am one of three brothers and Sundays are exclusively family days ,so I get to see my niece and nephew. My dad and I share a passion for nature and spend as much time birding and hiking as we can. We are also ardent South African rugby and cricket supporters. I have my first baby on the way so I’m monitoring the safe and kid-friendly neighbourhoods with a keen eye.
Why does the Leadhome culture suit you?
Leadhome has an entrepreneurial culture, where we’re all empowered to voice our opinion. We are given shares when we join the company so we feel like we are part of the decision-making process and have ownership. It’s a very open and welcoming environment and also a lot of fun!
Let’s get to know Jono a bit better:
Favourite watering hole? Copper Bar
Music in your car right now? The new Kings of Leon album
Favourite Movie? A Few Good Men
Favourite soccer team? Manchester United
Favourite date spot? A picnic at The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
Life before joining Leadhome? I went to High School at KES and was lucky enough to give back by teaching there. Coaching the 1st rugby team was a huge privilege and honour. Many of the boys I coached have played Craven Week and SA Schools. I’ll always support the Reds!
This post has been edited to accurately reflect our current business model.