Webuyprop.com’s founder Andries Levi Pretorius means business
Andries Levi Pretorius (30) is an accountant-turned-proptech entrepreneur and businessman in South Africa. Born in Pretoria and an ex-Pretoria Boys High School scholar, Pretorius went on to study BCom (Hons) at the University of Pretoria and later CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). He is now on a mission to fight unemployment and to challenge the way real estate transactions take place in South Africa. From a young age Pretorius knew he wanted to build companies, help people and be in business when he started selling his own toys through the gate of his parents’ house when he was just seven years old. We sat down with him to get the full insight scoop.
Pretorius is now the founder of webuyprop.com, an online real estate start-up, based in Sandton, South Africa. “Webuyprop.com makes as-is offers to property sellers through an online process, improves and repairs the properties it purchases, and relists them for sale. Our mission is to empower everyone with the freedom to move,” explains Pretorius, adding that he is a huge fan of entrepreneurs that don’t just compete, but that disrupt and dominate industries. “There are a couple of business leaders that I really admire like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Grant Cardone.” When webuyprop.com was launched, many thought the company wouldn’t last long. After all, other ibuyer start-ups had over the years tried to shake up the industry’s old boys’ club with little success. But 4 years on, webuyprop is now ready to expand nationally.
He reckons the impact of digital development in 2020 has forced many entrepreneurs, including himself, to pivot and focus on their core value proposition. “Technology is disrupting every market in the world. It has forced many business’ to close who could not adapt quick enough, but in the same breath it has allowed business’ to scale at an incredible speed. Having the ability to adapt to the change that technology brings could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business.”
Leverage tech and artificial intellegence
That is why Webuyprop.com is now 100% online and equally why “prop tech” interests him.
“We are on a mission to change the way real estate transactions take place, leveraging technology, big data and artificial intelligence. Webuyprop.com has been around for 4 years and we have primarily been focusing on serving clients in Gauteng. We would like to expand to Cape Town over the next three years and become the real estate company of choice for sellers and savvy investors. I believe our core structures are now in place so that we can scale and serve a wider audience at a very high standard.”
Balancing family life
Married to Simoné Pretorius (nee Nortmann), South African film, television, and theatre actor, he says balancing his work and personal life is still a work in progress. “I’m still trying to figure this out. My wife is incredible. She dreams with me and encourages me to ‘change the world’, so the two are very intertwined.” The couple has their firstborn on the way, a girl who will be changing their lives come May 2021.
Work smarter, not harder
The business world, since Covid, he believes, has been impacted to think smarter. “I think many people cut fixed overheads and saw that they could actually operate without massive fixed costs.”
Being the eldest of three, with brother Thinus an engineer and sister Christine a lawyer, this millennial believes in doing what you love. “Look for a problem to solve in that space and solve the problem. It’s as simple as that. Entrepreneurs are there to solve problems.” Webuyprop.com was born because sellers were looking for more options when selling their homes, and we want to solve that problem.
“If I can get people to believe in the vision and create opportunities for my people to achieve their dreams, I believe that is success.” And with that, Pretorius plans on executing growth of his company with a team of people working hard together.”
On his bookstand, is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
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