Gqeberha-based real estate personality Jaco Rademeyer is staking his claim on the Western Cape by setting up premises in the scenic university town of Stellenbosch.
After 17 years of growing Jaco Rademeyer Estates (JRE) into one of the largest and most established property businesses in the Bay and Eastern Cape, the businessman with the big heart for the community is realising a life-long dream by opening offices in Stellenbosch’s sought-after Church Street that will service the entire Boland and Western Cape.
Rademeyer is a former Mail & Guardian Youth 200 recipient and his long list of achievements includes being named the country’s leading estate agent in 2010, when he won the Property Professional of SA title while still in his 20s.
Now, at 39, he also becomes one of the youngest ever multiple franchise owners in the SA real estate landscape.
“I’m proud that JRE will be 17 years old on Tuesday June 15, and that’s why I chose this day to open my new JRE offices in Stellenbosch,” Rademeyer said.
“The new business will serve the Boland, particularly Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Somerset-West, as well as the broader Western Cape.
“The plan is to eventually also have JRE franchises elsewhere in SA.”
Television personality Minki van der Westhuizen has been appointed as the ambassador of JRE.
Rademeyer will also be appearing weekly on the new series of Van der Westhuizen’s popular television show, MINKI, airing on DStv’s VIA channel 147, where he will be giving property and legal advice to viewers.
He is not leaving Gqeberha, however, but will commute between the two provinces, meaning JRE in the Bay will continue as normal.
“I’ve appointed an excellent right-hand person to assist me in Stellenbosch, and have a fantastic manager and team in place in Gqeberha,” Rademeyer said.
“The pandemic and lockdown have shown us it’s possible to work remotely from anywhere.
“Virtual showhouses are as commonplace as physical ones and besides, it’s only a one-hour flight between Gqeberha and the Cape.
“I’ll initially spend a bit more time in Stellenbosch to get everything properly in place, but thereafter will divide my time equally between the provinces.
“Gqeberha is my home and family base, and I will continue looking after my business interests there.”
Rademeyer fell in love with the Boland as an LLB student at Stellenbosch University.
“The plan was to become an attorney but I’d always been drawn to the aesthetic aspect of property, even as a young child eagerly riding around town on my bicycle to attend show houses.
“Because of my passion for property I stayed behind at Stellenbosch one university holiday and did my estate agents’ exam for the heck of it.
“Then, while I was an exchange student at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, my dad [Bay business icon Pieter Rademeyer] called me to say he was starting a new sectional title development and when I got back to SA I could try to sell a few of the units in between doing my articles.
“I arrived very excited at the showhouse in my white Chico, armed with a pile of pamphlets.” There were about 40 units and every one of them sold that day, much to Jaco’s bewilderment.
“I was completely overwhelmed, because booksmarts and practical experience are worlds apart. But property chose me that day and that’s how JRE started.
“My law background has remained useful and given me the edge in real estate, as I’m also able to give clients relevant legal advice.
“While doing my articles, I worked day and night to close deals and learn the ins and outs of the industry, building up my property business and eventually securing a prime location at Walmer Park, which is still the home of JRE in the Bay today.
“But I always looked up to the icons of industry and knew I wanted to grow my ‘one-man show’ into something bigger.
“The new Stellenbosch franchise is an important first step in realising that dream.
“It will be a stepping stone to the wider Western Cape and, thereafter, other provinces.”
Rademeyer comes from a prominent Eastern Cape business family. His grandfather, Pieter Rademeyer, was a former mayor of then-Port Elizabeth and his father, also named Pieter, began his business empire with Pieter Rademeyer Plumbers, eventually also branching out into numerous other businesses including plant hire and, in recent years, focussing heavily on developments, including retirement homes, business complexes and sectional title.
Rademeyer has worked closely on the development side with his father and will continue doing so.
“My dad is my biggest mentor and everything I know about business was learnt at his knee. I am so grateful for everything he and my mother taught me. He has achieved considerable success, but taught me that a good businessperson never loses his humanity, humbleness and willingness to give back to his community.”
The younger Rademeyer is known for his charity work and intends to make a similar contribution in the Boland, where he has already become involved in the local animal welfare.
Family is important to him and having one foot in the Western Cape will allow him to spend more time with his sister in Cape Town and his identical twin brother, Pieter Rademeyer jnr, the former Pearson High School deputy principal who was recently appointed head of the esteemed Jan van Riebeeck High School in Cape Town.
The Stellenbosch offices will offer the same services as JRE in the Bay, including buying, selling and letting of residential properties, as well as buying, selling and letting of commercial and industrial properties.
Rademeyer said he intended to bring a fresh approach to the local real estate market using his trademark personal touch and dynamism, and appreciated the warm welcome he had already received in the town.
The business will open on Tuesday following a social media campaign in which prizes worth hundreds of thousands of rand were given away, including a R120,000 trip for two on the Mantis group’s Zambezi Queen, with international flights included.
An official launch party for the new business is planned for August.