EasyProp, BlackBrick join forces in SA property’s commercial-to-home boom

The extraordinary tale of two visionary property entrepreneurs, EasyProperty’s Rupert Finnemore and BlackBrick’s Jonathan Liebman, is covered in this interview, exploring their latest partnership and the profound impact they are having on the real estate industry. Their collaboration is now into its fifth project, the new BlackBrick Gardens development in Cape Town, which is already 65% subscribed with 15 days to go. The previous development in the Mother City delivered a net yield of 12% a year for Easy Property investors – with zero entry barriers to a market previously restricted to institutional investors.

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This interview with Rupert Finnemore, founder of Easy Properties, and Jonathan Liebman, founder of Blackbrick highlights the growing partnerhsip between the two in their focus on democratizing property assets, their unique approaches to property investment, and ability to adapt to changing market dynamics.

Highlights of the interview:

  • Easy Properties has approximately 100,000 investors with a portfolio size of close to R400m, focusing on bringing property assets that were previously the preserve of institutional investors to small players – essentially democratizing these assets for individuals.
  • Jonathan Liebman is best known for developing Maboneng, an urban neighborhood in downtown Johannesburg considered the most successful of its kind in South Africa, attracting young professionals and digital nomads.
  • Blackbrick offers a unique blend of short and long-stay rentals, providing extensive facilities through a club program, and has launched multiple successful projects, including the latest Blackbrick Gardens between the Cape Town CBD and Oranjezicht/Higgovale.
  • Easy Properties and Blackbrick collaborate on property investments, with Easy Properties having purchased multiple units in Blackbrick developments with an average of 7 500 investors in each.
  • Blackbrick investments have generated attractive yields for Easy investors, with the Cape Town market performing exceptionally well, delivering over 12% net yield.
  • Sandton, despite challenges, shows strong demand for affordable rentals and lower-priced apartments, attracting young professionals.
  • Blackbrick focuses on converting vacant office buildings into residences and apartment hotels, capitalizing on a global opportunity presented by changing office space dynamics.
  • The partnership between Easy Properties and Blackbrick is built on a long history and association between Rupert Finnemore and Jonathan Liebman which stems from the early days of Maboneng.
  • Blackbrick’s targeted product aligns well with Easy Properties’ investor base, leading to successful collaboration and investment opportunities.

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