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From the Cape Flats to running a successful property investing company

From the Cape Flats to running a successful property investing company

Growing up in the harsh environment of the Cape Flats is what helped a property investor realise the importance of education and how he could help others in his community thrive.

Darren Francis (40) is an award-winning property and social entrepreneur from Cape Town.

“Being from the Cape Flats, talk of money or the existence of it was always a bit of a myth. I have learned that you need money to do anything. However, we become extremely focused on the smallest obstacle. How could you possibly say this? You could ask: It is easy as a property investor. I quickly realised that the smartest way to become wealthy or financially stable is to create the opportunity you want, which always includes education. That was the start of my journey,” Francis told Business Report.

In November 2021, Francis was recognised at the South African Property Investors Network Investor of the Year.

“I had to endure a tremendous amount of education prior to this prestigious recognition. In order to acquire my first investment property, first investment property, I had to put in years of effort and dedication. I had a plan already, a strategy that adapts to changes in the market,” Francis said.

The budding entrepreneur first rebuilt and renovated a decimated piece of property and turned it into a multi-let property, bringing jobs and hope to the Cape Flats.

He went on to flip six properties in 18 months and acquired additional properties during this time.

After flipping his first property, he went to his mother for a visit, and she sent him to the shop.

On the way to the shops, he looked at the young people sitting on the street corners in his community, and it dawned on him that he could make a change if he tried.

Through his investments, he could employ people and hopefully change their living circumstances.

That made him realise that the property business was bigger than him and the purpose of his journey was bigger than him.

“Prior to purchasing my first property, I spent the better part of three years learning about the market. I was able to recognise trends in my market thanks to my use of a variety of tools, research, and other methods, like having a property network. As a result, I jumped at my first investment opportunity because I knew what I wanted,” Francis told Business Report.

The property investor told Business Report that early in his life, he discovered his ‘why.’

Francis said: “I had many "whys" growing up on the Cape Flat, but there are two that keep me going every day to achieve what others might consider being impossible dreams or goals.”

On offering some advice to future property investors, Francis said: “The best piece of advice I can give you is to ignore critics. Believe in yourself and your vision if you have a strategy and are aware that you possess the appropriate education or knowledge to support it. The cash will come later.”

BUSINESS REPORT

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