Executive Managing AgentZDFin News


Key to the ZDFin offering is how we tailor-make solutions to maximise the smooth running of Sectional Title Bodies Corporate, Home Owners’ Associations and Share Block companies. With one or a combination of financial or management products, such as project finance, specialist collections, levy and/or debtor finance or Executive Managing Agent (EMA) services,  ZDFin has the experience and expertise to transform the viability of under-performing residential community schemes.

“Many schemes are (for a multitude of reasons), either badly managed or do not have members experienced enough or prepared to stand as Trustees. We are looking at a trillion Rand industry run by volunteers, with no minimum level of education, run on a part-time, after-hours basis,” says ZDFin CEO Michael Schaefer.  “This can, and often does,  get a scheme into serious trouble… pretty fast. We believe that every sectional title scheme,  which is essentially a multimillion Rand asset, should be treated as a business and run responsibly and with due diligence.”

For many schemes calling in assistance is a last resort, but Schaefer emphasises the importance of appointing an EMA sooner, rather than later.  “We know that there is a limited understanding of what a difference an EMA could make to a scheme and more particularly to the Owners. We have seen that once we have the opportunity to explain the benefits of appointing an EMA and show our track-record…Owners ‘get it’.”

ZDfin works hand in hand with the scheme’s appointed Managing Agent (MA), the best practice being a third-party appointed managing agent, which Schaefer believes ‘is critical’.  “While theoretically and legally the same party could perform both the EMA and managing agent roles, we believe it is best  to have these distinctly, critical functions performed by separate parties, to ensure a healthy segregation; especially knowing that one reports to the other ie. the managing agent reports to the EMA.”

“Being an EMA is not just a job for us at ZDFin,” Schaefer continues, “it’s our passion. We’re invested in whatever scheme we take on and have the facts to show for it.  In over 60% of schemes where we act as the EMA, they are self-financing within the first three months, this ignoring the intangible arrest in erosion of value and conversely value creation in the underlying asset base. In a recent example of a new Cape Town client,  while going through the management accounts, we picked up the distinct possibility of a serious water leak, which was quickly confirmed and repaired to prevent further financial loss to the scheme.“

An audit of five of the EMA’s ZDFin has recently taken on, revealed a host of interesting and disturbing facts:

* In 80%, scheme staff appointments were not legally compliant

* In 100%, there had been zero adherence to occupational health and safety legislation

* Only 20% were SARS compliant

* 40% were ‘grossly’ overinsured (up to 50%) and valuations had not been per legal directive

* The majority had either de facto EUA’s and/ or ‘illegal extensions’ that need to be addressed

* The majority had arrears collection issues

With 50 years of cumulative levy finance and property management experience, ZDFin’s in-house team of professionals and their tried and trusted network of external service providers, have the skill set, expertise and capacity to transform a community scheme, with smart financial and practical solutions for a growing list of management problems.

* When ZDFin is appointed as your EMA it’s our job to do a housekeeping audit, including assessing your budget.  It’s during this process, that we often pick up on items which are overburdening the scheme and by making a few simple changes, save the owners money.  Where necessary or appropriate, we will reset the budget to enable the smooth and effective management of the scheme.

* We know collection of levy arrears is essential to the successful running of a scheme. Our in-house attorneys manage the collection of all outstanding levies and legal files, to ensure that the scheme collects the levy debt as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, to avoid spending extra funds for lengthy litigation.

*We do on-site weekly inspections and provide detailed monthly reports to all the owners.

Interested in talking to ZDFin about becoming your scheme’s EMA?

Visit https://zdfin.co.za



Joanne Hayes, Tumbleweed Communications

Tel:  +27 (0)83 6277249                         e-mail:  tigerjo@iafrica.com


ZDFin is a specialist finance company providing smart solutions for Sectional Title Bodies Corporate, Home Owners’ Associations and Share Block companies.  We service all residential Community Schemes affected by the Community Ombud Service Act, including non-profit companies and voluntary associations governed by a constitution. ZDFin has a wealth of practical experience in property and financial management. We understand these challenges and our range of targeted financial products can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual scheme. Schaefer was previously a director and shareholder at Trafalgar, the country’s biggest residential property administration company, started by his father over 50 years ago.

Leave a Response