Meet the young South African businessman making his voice heard in SA's property industry
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Andries Levi Pretorius who sold his first business before the age of twenty two and has consulted and helped grow some of the largest real estate companies in the world, recently joined Leadhome.
South African businessman Andries Levi Pretorius (30) thrives on curiosity, challenging the status quo and the traditional ways of work.
Pretorius was exposed to business transactions from an early age. “My father is very entrepreneurial, and we were used to hearing words like ROI and ROCE being thrown around the dining table and new ventures being discussed on our way to school. This was my norm” he said.
After matriculating from Pretoria Boys High School in 2008 he went on to study a BCom (Hons) at the University of Pretoria. It was during this time that Pretorius started his first official business after hearing that one of his resident mates had a candy floss machine at home. This business was later known as Willmorr Candy Co and became one of South Africa’s leading suppliers of confectionary foods. “Willmorr was later sold to a private investor just before my 22nd birthday” he said.
Introduction to Real Estate
After finishing his honors degree in 2013 Pretorius started working at JSE listed Grindrod limited in 2014.
During those years, Pretorius says he always felt like an outsider under the fluorescent lights of corporate South Africa. “I read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and spent hours on YouTube researching successful entrepreneurs during this time.”. One thing he realized many of them had in common was real estate. “If this is the common denominator, I must learn everything there is to learn about the real estate industry”.
That’s what he then did. Pretorius noticed two interesting things that would later become the pillars on which he would build his next company. “I noticed that even though technology was making disruptions in every other industry, real estate was still untouched by tech; and real estate investors made their money when they buy, and not when they sell real estate”.
Making these discoveries in 2016, Pretorius started working on an idea that would later become one of South Africa’s largest tech iBuyer start-ups, webuyprop.com, that he officially launched to the market in 2018. Soon after launching, Pretorius knew he was onto something as leads were flying in organically.
The Platform Business Model
“With aggressive growth on our roadmap, we knew that we couldn’t scale with our current business model as it was very highly geared and too capital intensive,” Pretorius said. During this season digital platform companies like Uber and AirBNB took off. We realized that these services have many things in common, i.e, they all run on digital platforms and they don’t own the assets they trade. We knew that if we wanted to scale, we had to become a digital platform. And in doing so it has since given us a tremendous competitive advantage over new rivals entering the scene.
As webuyprop started gaining traction however, Pretorius realized that many seller leads were “falling on the ground”. It was during this season that Pretorius met with Keller Williams’ CEO Johan Gouws to discuss selling off leads to his company.
Real estate sales
During the introduction phase of webuyprop we would buy, redevelop, and then sell off our properties. I fell in love with the sales process back then and I knew one day that I would also like to play a role in the real estate sales industry. Pretorius later took over as CEO of Keller Williams Select and he is currently heading up growth at Leadhome Properties. Pretorius mentioned that he believes Leadhome can become South Africa’s largest end-to-end real estate platform by the end of 2025 and that the leadhome value proposition for estate agents is probably the best in the country.
Whilst Pretorius is now focused on growing Leadhome, webuyprop.com is now 100% online with a phenomenal team in place to ensure they keep on providing their customers with award winning service.
* This article was written in partnership with webuyprop.com