August is women’s month and The Inspired Africa is excited to be talking to a lady best described as elegant and humble. This is South African property businesswoman Adrienne Hersch and after meeting for the first time at her Houghton Park office in Johannesburg.
Humbleness beyond imagination that she came downstairs to collect us at the reception despite being the ever-busy Founder and Chief Executive Officer of renowned Adrienne Hersch Properties(AHP).Her name holds a lot of weight as a successful award-winning businesswoman, but Hersch attributes her success to the family.“First and foremost, I have always had an ability to manage my time well, my biggest attribute has been my ability to successfully manage my business and family,” she reckoned.
“Being a woman in business carries a whole different dimension of responsibilities that generally speaking men in business do not share. In this regard, I am obviously talking about my responsibilities towards my family.“So whilst many may describe me as a complete workaholic, to a large extent may be true, but I have always made time for my husband and children because at the end of the day, I do what I do for them” Hersch says.
The proud mother of two sons Daniel and Ari, who have joined her expanding property business, and a wife of 32 years, Adrienne, has expanded her property empire since 1991 into four offices around the country’s richest province, Gauteng. AHP prime location in the ‘City of Gold’ has been impressive, but the company has built a renowned reputation far beyond its geographic location.
In 2013, AHP scooped two international awards in the prestigious International Property Awards held in Dubai, bagging Africa Property Award for Real estate Agency South Africa and Real estate Agency Marketing South Africa.“Our value proposition hasn’t changed over the years. The environment we work on is quite sensitive as we deal with people including their emotions and their homes”.
“I have always focused on giving people extra special attention. AHP is about service and a hands-on approach that many of my clients are retained and I believe it’s because we go the extra mile together”, she says.
AHP was formed in the late 20th, now in 21st century, several inventions has happened that has resulted in technological advanced dynamics in property investments on the market but Adrienne is not fazed at all but managed to ride along the tide.“As technology evolves so the property industry has to evolve. The internet, for instance, has drastically changed the way property practitioners operate. With information now available to the general public at the click of a button, estate agents can no longer be simply estate agents, they need to be property specialists,” she suggests. “Accordingly, if you don’t have your finger on the proverbial technological “pulse”, you are going to be left behind. Therefore I have invested heavily in developing my company’s systems and operations in order to provide my agents with the tools they need to operate as a property specialist in the 21st century,” she indicates.
Some might assume that a family-run business might lack the edge to succeed in terms of growth and development, but with Adrienne Hersch it’s different.
Despite South Africa’s property industry having been quite erratic over the past few years, AHP has continued to grow with bold move to embark on an expansion strategy. Through hard work AHP’ has been nominated as exclusive sole agents for a development in Israel designed by one of the world’s most renowned architects, Richard Meier.
The company has also been working on marketing properties in London and Europe. “Since the 2008 recession ended the South African property industry have seen a gradual rise in house prices. In my opinion this was due to a combination of both the Reserve Bank’s aggressive interest rate cuts as well as the National Credit Act, which went a long way to curtailing reckless lending by institutions,” She moans.“But nevertheless I’m amazed by the development and rate of expansion north of the South African border. In the past we used to see a lot of investment coming from the rest of Africa into South Africa, however, nowadays I am seeing more and more investment going the opposite direction. Countries like Angola, Nigeria and Kenya now offer some incredible investment opportunities. In my opinion, I would rather invest my own money in Africa than I would in Europe” Hersch suggests.
She revealed a down to earth personality that might be hard to find in many established businesspeople. Besides various social responsibilities every year that involves Randburg community, this year’s International Nelson Mandela Day saw Adrienne Hersch making donations at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg. “I am South African at heart and still love a good braai with pap. Hakuna matata (easily translated no problems) is the best advice I have ever heard in Africa,” she laughs.
“On a holiday in Africa, I would love to spend time in the bush and being surrounded by wildlife. I had an opportunity to visit the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya which was an incredible experience and I recommend everyone to do so once in a lifetime.”