Property Flash


Ask Ash, a commercial property brokerage managed to broker a top-end deal for JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit), Emira Property Fund, at the end of 2022.

Ashleigh Müller, MD and principal broker at Ask Ash told Property Flash that her team secured a 5 year lease between CCI, which is an international contact centre and Emira. The lease will see CCI rent an entire 4400 m2 office building and includes the option to renew. The building called Newlands Terraces, is located in Newlands, in the Cape Town’s southern suburbs, adjacent to Newlands Rugby Stadium.

Newlands is a mixed-use suburb situated at the foot of Table Mountain and is home to upmarket single residential homes, apartment buildings, and student accommodation for the University of Cape Town. The location is ideal for CCI, which was looking for a large standalone office building in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

“This is an important deal for us. It is one of the biggest deals that Ask Ash commercial property brokerage has closed this year and we are incredibly proud of our team for making it happen. It is quite a notable office deal for the current market as well. Lastly, it would be the biggest deal that Emira has closed in the Western Cape for 2022,” said Müller.

She said Cape Town had become a popular destination for call centres who had very specific requirements about the offices they worked from, in terms of specifications and location.

“An interesting call centre requirement that we get lately at Ask Ash commercial property brokerage is that call centres do not want to be too close to their competitors. It is very easy to poach competitors’ agents for a small salary increase and that then costs the call centre time, money and resources to recruit and train new agents all the time. There are plenty of schools and universities and colleges in the area that will provide a great talent pool for future agents. Their location is very close to public transport and retail and food outlets for the agents to make use of as CCI is a 24 hour operation,” said Müller.

More and more call centres are showing an interest in renting space in Cape Town.

Ask Ash, which is Cape-based but operates nationwide has placed call centres as small as 250m2 and call centres that run into the thousands of square metres.

“Some of these are local operators while others that we have had the pleasure of working with come from the Philippines, USA, London and India. The growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in SA over the past few years has been exceptional. Customers around the world love the voice of the South African call centre agent and it works well from a customer service perspective. Cape Town specifically is very open for business when it comes to the BPO sector and they provide numerous incentives and rebates that encourage call centre businesses to open up shop in the Western Cape. Our overseas clients rave about their world class and hands-on experience when joining the call centre community in SA. It’s easy to get started and navigate,” Müller said.

Ulana van Biljon, chief operating officer at Emira is also excited about the future of call centres in SA. There has been an increase in enquiries, demand for and take-up of office space by BPO call centres in both the Cape Town and Durban markets recently, she said.

Van Biljon said that as of March 1 2023, CCI will lease out 4,334m2 and will take over the remaining area once existing tenants’ leases expire.

CCI will use the premises as a BPO centre for an American airline and plans to provide a number of attractive workplace facilities for its employees. Emira will spend around R10m on the building for CCI, including the upgrade and adaptation of its air conditioning facilities.

“CCI is increasing its presence in the Western Cape due to the more stable economic environment in the Cape Town metropole. They are among several such businesses that have expressed growing interest in this market,” said Van Biljon.

The deal is good news for Emira, which will see increased occupancy percentages in its portfolio, and for the Newlands area, according to van Biljon.

Müller said Ask Ash is excited about deals ahead in 2023 and encouraged Property Flash readers to get in touch if they were seeking office, retail or industrial space.

The Ask Ash whatsapp line is open 24 hours a day: 

(064) 768-5098 Customers can also direct message Ask Ash on any of its social media platforms via the handle @askashbroker (Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, LinkedIn)

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