When Sir Francis Drake sailed into Table Bay he said, ‘This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.’ Little has changed. Except that a very astute entrepreneur has used his talents and a professional team to create a haven of luxury accommodation along the most prestigious real estate in South Africa, the Atlantic seaboard.’ By: The Roving Ambassador
Pieter Brundyn, CEO of In Residence appears to have property in his DNA. Many years ago, he cut his hospitality teeth at a Chateau in France and currently manages over 50 high end properties in Cape Town. From renovations, design, villa management, day to day rentals and concierge services – he has unmatched expertise and experience in this premium market.
Pieter is adamant though that his core business is short and long terms rentals at all levels. Although he could be called a ‘serial entrepreneur’ Pieter has the business acumen to focus on what he does best. He saw a niche in the market for providing a full service to owners of high end villas and homes and the guests who stay in them.
The pièce de résistance for Inresidence is the minimally invasive but personalised service. He maintains you have to exceed the expectations of the sector, dubbed, ‘LSM astronauts,’ a market already au fait with sumptuousness. ‘They live it, drive it and travel it. They fine dine, know their Chateau Palmer from their Chateau Mouton Rothschild, their Girard-Perregaux from their Franck Muller and keep Viglietti Motors afloat. Discerning doesn’t even begin to cover it’. Although his portfolio of properties are masterpieces of architecture and design, appointed by top interior decorators and epitomise sublime luxury, it’s no use simply throwing designer fixtures and fittings at them, service is the defining factor. And, of course he cannot do it all so has a savvy, handpicked team of employees, each with a particular niche. ’
We keep the chain of communication going with WhatsApp groups, each employee has a smart phone and in the managerial positions a credit card and vehicles trackers’. And although he might not do it all his is a hands on approach which is why the chain of services is well oiled: Booking agents, drivers, butlers, chefs, shoppers and, of course, the backend team of admin that would make adminphobics weep. not Pieter – he says you have to trust in your staff – to know that they are capable of both requested and anticipatory service.
He believes in the adage that you ‘don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results.’ He is not just surprised but delighted at the way his team seamlessly work together to create the perfect experience for the guest, creating a loyal clientele. It’s also who you know and Pieter has a network of thoroughly vetted service providers. Anything from a concierge to chauffeurs, butlers, chefs, caterers, baby sitters, personal shoppers, yoga instructors, masseuses, personal trainers, and VIP protection services. People who can be called upon for access to jets, helicopters, armed security, a table in a restaurant that is booked a year in advance or tickets to a sold out show. The team is equipped for any emergency whether it’s running out of milk or, even worse, the Dom Perignon P2.
Management is more than changing the sheets and cleaning the house after the guests have gone. It is a detailed, personalised, anticipatory service or intelligent coddling. The service journey begins at the airport where one of the In Residence’s fleet of cars collects guests. And because some guests are discerning about the vehicle they opt to travel in, the team ensure they have those cars available. Most clients are through word of mouth referrals, but In Residence works with a few select booking agents who he trusts. Although there is a housekeeper at each villa, in order to control the level of catering and service Pieter prefers his tenants to make use of the butler and chef service.
‘That way, we like to control the outcome of the experience for the guest’. The villa owner In Residence offers a premium service for high end owners of property in Cape Town. What the company refers to as ‘lifestyle management’. A service that not only sees to the maintenance and security of your property, but also seeks to secure short-term rental returns from discreet, high net worth visitors. It ranges from the sublime – renovations, interior decorating – to maintenance and security, maintenance of motor vehicles kept on the property, ensuring it is immaculate at all times and that all amenities and facilities are fully operational. ‘We believe our home owners should not have their lifestyle interrupted by administration and maintenance.’ Clientele, in terms of management of villas, includes those who live there and those who are transient guests.
Apart from service it is the company’s reputation for integrity and transparency that has him managing the top 50 prime properties in Cape Town. ‘It often starts with an owner approaching me to oversee their renovations. We consult with various architects, there is no one size fits all and I don’t have a favourite architect for projects. The properties are unique – they need different nuances and these can only come from a tailored approach. Each renovation is done on merit and the perfect fit found. This applies to interior design too. Trust is pivotal in all our business dealings.
We pass on any discounts and always supply documentary proof of all expenses, to accommodate owners checking the accounts. We work closely with each owner and offer advice from the quality of mattresses and linen to the range of glasses which need to be purchased. ’The BBC rated Cape Town as one of the top 50 places you should visit before you die. Judging by In Residence’s clientele, it appears that Pieter’s portfolio is likely to be voted as the top 50 properties to stay in in the Mother City. After all, the Atlantic Seaboard is the most sought after real estate in South Africa.
This stretch boasts dazzling blue flag beaches, world class restaurants, bars, bistros, coffee shops and accommodation – a playground for locals and tourists alike – with some of the most stunning views in the Western Cape. In Residence ensures that you’re able to make the most of your stay in one of the most sought after tourist destinations. After all, they believe that it’s there to be enjoyed to the full. That life should be effortless. What’s not to like?
Words by: Kathy Malherbe
TEL: +27 21 426 0991
FAX: +27 21 422 0337
SKYPE ID: tcorp_andrew