Our head Similanian – passionate about people and property


Forever exploring different lifestyles and living conditions and finding inspiration in distant cultures (even as far as the Similan Islands off Phuket) and of course on Pinterest, our CEO Harold Spies has travelled to many places around the world.

More to the point, he has seen how one’s surroundings and the place you call home can influence happiness, self-respect and success.

Harold is a man of many abilities. And contrasts. Being the owner and operator of an adventure tour company based in London is a far cry from the civilised pursuit of construction management, a field in which he qualified in 2002 with a BSc Honours in Construction Economics from the University of Pretoria.

After a stint in South America, he joined a property development company in Johannesburg in 2006, and later in Cape Town, until August 2010.

He topped his Honours degree with an MBA (Cum Laude) from Stellenbosch, which he worked at from 2008 to 2010.

Driven by an ideal to make a difference in people’s lives through the places they call home, he started Similan in November 2010.

From the start, the Similan way was to approach things differently. To see the real estate industry through fresh lenses. To think long-term, and to even forgo short-term gains in favour of enduring values such as the company’s stated goal of “enabling new generations of proud homeowners”. Thinking outside the box in more ways than one, Harold – through Similan Consult – redefined the concept of affordable housing developments, bringing the notion of “affordable luxury” home to thousands of families.

Today, the intrepid adventurer has settled down a bit (happily married, with three children, in Stellenbosch), but he is boldly taking real estate into unchartered territory – simplifying and demystifying the way property is dealt with in South Africa.

His passion for people and places is unstoppable. He travels often, always exploring and learning.

Harold has completed a number of Two Oceans and Comrades Marathons, and has hiked up many a mountain peak in Europe.

These days you’re more likely to spot him roughing it on an early morning bike trail as he grinds his way up his mountain biking career.

Or gently cycling with his family along the oak-lined roads in Stellenbosch or the Jonkershoek Valley, the place he now calls home.