The young entrepreneur behind one of the biggest iBuyer de SA start-ups
Andries Levi Pretorius, who sold his first business before the age of twenty-two, consults and helps some of the world’s largest real estate companies grow their operations.
South African businessman Andries Levi Pretorius (30) thrives on curiosity, challenging the status quo and traditional ways of working.
Pretorius was exposed to commercial transactions from an early age. “My dad is very entrepreneurial, and we were used to hearing words like ROI and ROCE being thrown around the dining table and new businesses discussed on the way to school. It was my standard, ”he said.
After enrolling at Pretoria Boys High School in 2008, he continued his studies in BCom (Hons) at the University of Pretoria. It was around this time that Pretorius started his first official business after hearing that one of his fellow residents had a cotton candy machine at home. This business was later known as Willmorr Candy Co and became one of South Africa’s leading suppliers of confectionery foods. “Willmorr was then sold to a private investor just before my 22nd birthday,” he said.
Introduction to real estate
After graduating with honors in 2013, Pretorius started working at Grindrod Limited, listed by JSE, in 2014.
During those years, Pretorius says he always felt like an outsider under the fluorescent lights of South African businesses. “I read books like Rich daddy, poor daddy and spent hours on YouTube researching successful entrepreneurs during this time. “. He realized that many of them had real estate in common. “If this is the common denominator, I have to learn all about real estate.”
That’s what he did next. Pretorius noticed two interesting things that would later become the pillars on which he would build his next business. “I noticed that while technology was disrupting all other industries, real estate was still not touched by technology; and real estate investors earn their money when they buy, not when they sell real estate ”.
The iBuyer pioneer
Making these discoveries in 2016, Pretorius began working on an idea that would later become one of South Africa’s biggest iBuyer tech start-ups, webuyprop.com, which he officially launched to the market in 2018. Shortly after its launch, Pretorius knew he was on to something like the threads were organically flying.
The platform’s business model
“With aggressive growth on our roadmap, we knew we couldn’t scale with our current business model because it was very focused and too capital intensive,” said Pretorius. During this season, digital platform companies like Uber and AirBNB have taken off. We realized that these services have a lot in common, that is, they all run on digital platforms and don’t own the assets they trade. We knew that if we wanted to evolve, we had to become a digital platform. And in doing so, it has since given us a huge competitive advantage over the new rivals entering the scene.
However, as Webuyprop began to gain traction, Pretorius realized that many prospects were “falling to the ground”. It was during this season that Pretorius met with Keller Williams CEO Johan Gouws to discuss selling leads to his company.
Real estate sales
During the introductory phase of webuyprop, we would buy, remodel, and then sell our properties. I fell in love with the selling process back then and once knew that I would love to play a role in the real estate sales industry as well. Pretorius then took over as CEO of Keller Williams Select and he is currently leading the growth of Leadhome Properties while webuyprop.com is now 100% online with a phenomenal team in place to ensure they continue to deliver. award-winning service to their customers.