“A simple hello can lead to a million things.”
equivivere (ekwi-vee-veh-reh) offers niche, personalised content writing services, marketing, social media & brand management and talking about life over great coffee.
I’m Natalie du Preez, pleased to meet you.
Starting equivivere is the culmination of all the skills and experiences gained to date plus a few lessons I learned from many bumps, scrapes and wounds. Some roads that I thought were straight, turned out to be full of clever little twists and turns and I ended up in a place I never dreamed of: being able to do what I have an inborn and intuitive passion for. I love to create and find that words are some of most the beautiful noise.
I write, therefore I am.
I also love to engage with people, to get to know someone and to make valuable contributions to their lives and their businesses. I would love to get to know you! Let’s connect
my full resume
my career in the property industry
Over the years, I have been extremely fortunate to make connections with various people within the tapestry of real estate – from asset managers of large property funds, owners of filling stations, representatives of national tenants to sole proprietors. The foundation of business and life in general, are the connections we make, the relationships we build and how we conduct ourselves throughout.
With my real estate career starting in 2003, I have attempted a specific path, with the ultimate goal to gain as much of a holistic property knowledge of the many disciplines within property as I possibly could.
As a result, I have, over the years gained extensive retail and commercial property experience and have dealt with all dimensions within the property realm – shopping centre revamps, finding and placing tenants, analyzing statistics, compiling property owner management packs, drawing up bills of quantities, formulated and implemented service level agreements. From administrative aspects such as leasing, accounts and budgets, to interior decorating and project management from where the concept is thought out, the plans are drawn up, the specifications are chosen up to where the snags are dealt with and the cleaning is done. Filling of vacancies, assisting with growing businesses, relocations and yes, elevators!
It was in 2003 at Absa’s Real Estate Asset Management division that real estate found me and I started earnestly pursuing a career in property. I love the fact that property built a city, that good design is enjoyed for many years, the wonderful variety within the industry and most of all the people you meet, stories you become part of and businesses that are built through real estate. Giving a business a home and seeing that business thrive and grow is one the most fulfilling roles within the puzzle.
As a first step, the completion of the Advanced Certificate for the Commercial Property Practitioner through the University of Pretoria, set me on my way. After this year course, I had a much better understanding and continued working at Absa Ream, which gave me the most amazing exposure to the properties, its owners and various tenants in the Western Cape.
During this time, I property managed the buildings then owned by Absa, which included branches all the way from the V&A Waterfront to Riviersonderend. Absa, being a property owner, also had tenants which were not occupied by Absa divisions, which I managed and tenanted. I also managed the space requirements for Absa’s internal divisions such as Home Loans and International Banking.
I looked after the branches and ATMs in shopping centres, which included the liaison with landlords, finding new spots and fitting out of new branches and ATMs.
Over the years, I have connected with various people within the tapestry of real estate in Cape Town – from asset managers of large property funds, owners of filling stations, representatives of national tenants and sole proprietors. The foundation of business and life in general, are the connections we make, the relationships we build and how we conduct ourselves throughout.
What great experiences to see how shopping centres like Paarl Mall and Vanguard Mall rising from the earth and to be part of the revamps and expansions of centres such as Howard Centre and Somerset Mall.
At the end of 2006, I found it necessary to spread my wings to gain different experiences. I joined Atlas Properties as property manager of Bayside Mall in Table View. With the shopping centre being 50% owned by Old Mutual, this lent to exposure to two different property owners at once and I arrived just as the first Woolworths extension of the mall was completed.
Atlas Properties and Old Mutual Properties allowed me to understand property management from a property fund’s point of view, together with full exposure to retail which included getting to understand the various types of tenants, marketing, how to manage a new extension onto an existing and established shopping centre, and so on.
With Acucap Properties‘ acquisition of Atlas Properties in 2008, my horizons were broadened and I learned more and more about retail through its various part-ownerships in shopping centres such as N1 City Mall, Somerset Mall, Southgate Mall and the Durban centres, Hillcrest and Westville.
During this time, I also completed the Advanced Certificate in Shopping Centre Management through the University of Pretoria.
In 2010 I made the leap over to Acucap’s commercial portfolio. Sycom Property Fund just purchased the Tygerberg Park commercial property on the Tygerberg hill and we had the mammoth task of filling over 4 000m2 vacant space. We slowly but surely filled the park and continued to upgrade and improve. I eventually managed approximately 80 000m2 commercial space for Acucap and Sycom by the end of 2014, when I joined one of my clients, ENSafrica to head up in-house the property management portfolio in South Africa and Africa. This entailed all aspects, including leasing, facilities management, space planning, staff moves and project management.
ENSafrica took me back to the tenant’s side of the industry and I was fortunate enough to gain African experience, which included fitting out a new branch in Dar es Salaam – from the space planning, the fitting out the premises, sourcing furniture, to moving the staff into the new premises. In Mauritius, I was involved in the planning of a big renovation project which was executed by my local colleagues.
In South Africa, I was amongst many different and interesting aspects, involved with the negotiation and conclusion of the development lease for the new ENSafrica building in Sandton, being developed by MMI. I was also intricately involved in all details pertaining to the project, especially design and future proof planning of all facilities management aspects.
At the end of 2016, I took a step back, took my life into perspective and realized that I could harnass all my skills and experiences gained to offer a specialized, niche real estate service to both landlord and tenants. With its foundation in relationships, relationship building and underwritten with integrity and elbow grease, I believe that starting equivivere creates an avenue for landlords and tenants who require assistance on a skilled, personal level.
“equi” is derived from equilibrium: the concept of applying and aspiring to reach a place of ultimate balance and “vivere” (vee-veh-reh) means “to live” therefore, in essence, to live a balanced life
I was greatly inspired by the duet by Andrea Bocelli and Laura Pausini called “Vivere/Dare to live” and adopted this passionate message when I chose the name equivivere.
But no name stands alone! We have adopted the beautiful, interchanging shape of a vector equilibrium as part of our logo.
Discovered by Buckminster Fuller in 1940, the vector equilibrium from an energetic perspective represents the ultimate and perfect condition wherein the movement of energy comes to a state of absolute equilibrium as all the vectors have exactly the same length and angular relationship. Because of this, it is the zero-phase from which all other forms emerge as well as all dynamic energy events. In Bucky’s own words, “the vector equilibrium is the zero starting point for happenings or non-happenings: it is the empty theater and empty circus and empty universe ready to accommodate any act and any audience”.
So this is our beginning, our centre point from which all new things are born