Maximising your property's potential
Broll Namibia is a leading and independent property services company in Namibia which was founded in 2003. It aims to maximise "your property's potential". Managing Director Marco Wenk talks to Africa Outlook.
Writer Ian Armitage
Project manager James Mitchell
Broll Namibia is a strategic partnership between South African property group Broll and the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies (O&L Group), a diversified Namibian group of companies which lists its property portfolio as among its top revenue contributors. Both have representation on the board of directors but management is entirely Namibian based and the firm manages a property portfolio in excess of N$1 billion. This includes some of the most prestigious buildings and shopping centres in the country and its capital Windhoek.
According to Managing Director Marco Wenk, the firm has earned a reputation for delivering "quality, effectiveness and value". He describes the relationship between O&L and Broll as a "strategic partnership".
"We have built up an extensive database of properties and related information, enabling us to give unique insight into the Namibian property market and thus providing our clients with valuable market information to assist in making property-related and investment decisions," Wenk, who helped to set up, bed down and then expand the Namibian operation, explains. "Broll Namibia comprises a highly focused team of property professionals with the skills to provide industry-leading service levels."
Property services group Broll is heavily invested in Africa. It was one of the first South African property businesses to look to the continent to "maintain its growth path".
Broll has been present in Namibia since 2003 and is today one of the country's leading independent property services companies. It is a market in which it is keen to expand.
"Our goal is to grow our service offering and grow our property portfolio under management," says Wenk. "We want to strengthen our position as market leader in the property segment."
Broll Namibia is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and what it has achieved in that time is nothing short of remarkable, increasing O&L's property value to over R1 billion in 2012 - O&L being its biggest client.
Namibia's property market is literally brimming full of potential. It is healthy and buyers are increasingly looking at investment opportunities, while the country's commercial property industry is in good health. It is in fact extremely active and provides "significant opportunities to grow".
There is also a retail construction boom.
However, both present challenges in terms of decentralisation and potential oversupply in retail and office space, says Wenk. "The decentralisation could be a concern as our properties are mainly located in the central business district of Windhoek," he asserts. "The commercial property sector is growing at a fast pace in Namibia at the moment with an approximate increase of 50 percent in GLA by 2015. There are big development opportunities for Broll Namibia on the horizon in the next five years."
Broll Namibia's commitment to human capital and client relationships is like nothing you've likely experienced or seen before – unless you've worked with them. You might say it defines the company: Broll Namibia comprises a highly focused team of property professionals with the skills to provide industry-leading service levels. And it always serves the customer's best interests quickly and to the highest possible standards.
"What makes us different, unique? We have specific expertise within the industry in Namibia for one and we are also committed to keeping clients happy and filling their needs," says Wenk. "With our competition growing day by day - especially in the new shopping mall development section - we strongly believe in strong tenant as well as customer relationships as this is the best sustainable competitive advantage. A good relationship is the strongest and the most efficient approach in maintaining and creating relationships with our tenants and customers. With our personal and emotional linkage to our tenants/customers, it is very easy for us to identify the actual needs and to improve and optimise our centre management operations. We also maintain a competitive edge by keeping up with market trends by way of conducting continuous market research. Our core is to understand our existing market and business, and then identifying new potential."
Serving the customer's best interests quickly and to the highest standards is what sets Broll Namibia apart. So too does its "value-add" services.
"Value-add services gives Broll Namibia's Property Portfolio the competitive edge over similar competing businesses by creating additional, meaningful services," says Wenk. "This value-add service offering positions us as being unique with a strong customer orientation. By offering these value-adding services, it differentiates us from other commercial properties with a very similar tenant mix."
With an experienced team and an unmatched database of properties, Broll Namibia has the resources to make strategic choices for any investment/asset and understand where any particular market is at any point in time. Wenk sees a bright future for the firm - its track record for coordinating and managing projects of all sizes is second to none. Significant completed projects include the N$185 million extension of Wernhil Park Shopping Centre in Windhoek.
"Although we have exited the project management side of the business and have the JV with SIP, a leading project management company in South Africa which is involved in two big projects in Windhoek, and we will still be very much involved in the overall asset and development management side of future developments," says Wenk.
Broll Namibia, not only being a very customer oriented company but also a very staff oriented company, was rated No 1 within the O&L Group as the Best Company to Work For in 2011 and No 2 in 2012, by Deloitte & Touche's annual Best Company to Work For initiative.
To learn more visit www.brollnamibia.com.na.