GQ (South Africa)
creating a sustainable future
Property magnate Rali Mampeule reveals the next big thing in real estate
GQ: How did you get started in real estate?
Rali Mampeule: I started my career selling boerewors rolls while raising money to finish my Bcom studies. I met Charles Everitt, owner of one of the biggest real estate firms in the country, and asked him if I could work in the industry. He gave me an opportunity as an assistant estate agent with one of his brokers, and the rest is history.
GQ: Today, what keeps you motivated in what must be a trying industry?
RM: We need to do something about affordable housing – it’s a bit of a crisis in the country. For that, we created the South African Housing and Infrastructure Fund, and the aim of it is to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing in South Africa.
GQ: Do you need a lot of capital to get started in real estate?
RM: You don’t. When I started, I didn’t have a lot of resources, but what helped me is mentorship. Skills development and training is very important to me, along with spending time with younger generations – and it is a passion I share with Louis XIII cognac. I created the Rali Mampeule Learnership, which we use to bring new blood into the old veins of real estate. I really believe in role models, especially in the background I come from – it’s very important [for young people] to see those who have made interesting moves, and giving back is quite powerful.
GQ: What is real estate’s next big thing?
RM: I’ve been studying out of the country, and one of the things I learned in Boston is that real estate and development has changed from the old adage of ‘location, location, location’ to ‘timing, timing, timing’. If you look at how we’re going to be building malls in the future, for example, we won’t need parking. We’ll need to build shopping centres in the same way that we build stadiums, where there’s not much parking, but there’s a racetrack-like platform, where car services can drop and go. We have to think about autonomous cars and how that will feature in building designs. Location is a different story now; it’s more about timing.
GQ: Where do you see the future of your industry in 100 years’ time?
RM: We believe the industry will certainly change in terms of certain fundamentals – technology, etc. Yet we see apartments turning into smaller form factors where you just have a bed, and you’ll see buildings with a thousand such units, and downstairs you’ll have a common area, where people just go upstairs to sleep, and they’ll work and live in the same area.
GQ: What will your legacy be?
RM: I want to solve a South African crisis in terms of housing – we want to build affordable housing in a space that can be sustainable, and also find ways to work with both the private sector and the government, to deliver sustainable and affordable housing.
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