REAL ESTATE INVESTOR MAGAZINE

Ettiene Pretorius is a successful real estate entrepreneur based in the East of Pretoria. His real estate career started in property construction, residential property development and residential investment and he recently bought into a residential estate

agency franchise in order to create that funnel of information and build pipelines of communication between buyers, sellers, developers and professional people. His rise to success in a few months has been nothing short of spectacular. His business sales turnover grew from 5 deals in the first 9 months to 76 deals in the next 6 months by implementing game changing strategies and is still growing.

While Ettiene has a solid track record of success, he admits it has been a continuous learning process. He attributes much of his success to business coaching, which opened his eyes to new ideas, and helped him implement methodologies he learnt. His definition of success is based on realising the power of his choices, understanding his ability to impact the people around him and mastering the art of rapid action when facing new opportunities or dealing with problems.
Ettiene also attributes his success to the good upbringing provided by his parents in the Lowveld, where he grew up. He says they taught him to live life to the fullest and to lead conversations by asking questions, instead of talking.

Ettiene has been an entrepreneur all his life and started his first business at the tender age of six. At age 10, he made his first investment, which taught him the principles of passive income. However, a year later, he learnt ‘there is no such thing as easy money’ after investing in a pyramid scheme offering unrealistic returns and, as a result, he lost his entire investment.

During Ettiene’s third year at university, he made his first real estate investment. In his fourth year, as an honours student at the age of 21, he made his first million. At the same time, he received an award from ABSA as a Top Entrepreneur In SA. Ettiene identified a demand for student accommodation in Potch in 2003. In his third year at University, at age 21, he bought his first property in Potchefstroom. He demolished the house on it and sold seven units of-plan to raise money to build the units. He subsequently completed three more developments, comprising of 80 units for students. He retained ownership of 28 of the 80 units in line with his model of retaining properties at break-even point for investment and renting.

At age 27, Ettiene had completed developments worth more than R35 million. He has been fortunate to travel across the world, visiting every continent. In 2009, he moved to Pretoria and built a house, commencing a restructuring phase in his career. In 2012, he bought the first Engel & Volkers Pretoria franchise in Silver Lakes, and later the Moreleta Park franchise, and recently he bought the Nelspruit franchise. He received an International Businessman Award was congratulated by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donna Karan (DKNY) and Wayne Allan Root (US Vice-Presidential candidate).

Ettiene says that the current economic times make it difficult to make game-changing decisions. That is why it is so important to continuously inform yourself about the latest trends and movements in the market. An important principle he lives by is knowing the facts, numbers and statistics in the areas you work in.
Ettiene says it is crucial to cultivate the ability to put things into context. The key to context is having multiple perceptions. To gain perspective, one needs to experience things - the more experiences you allow yourself to have, the more multiple perceptions you have access to and the easier it will be for your mind to put things in context. Ettiene also believes you can only say “yes” or “no” in life, “maybe” is not an answer. If you say “no” and there was a positive outcome, you cannot earn from it, and if there was a negative outcome, you cannot learn from it. So that leaves you with only a “yes” answer.

Ettiene suggests creating a funnel of information by surrounding yourself with people in the industry. Phone people and ask for introductions to the lawyers, town planners, architects, developers and brokers in your area. Secondly, do more research in real estate and understand what the bigger picture is about. Master the art of negotiation, networking, valuation and education. Coaching is a must! Paying for a mentor is a different game than getting free advice.

Ettiene has ambitious plans for the future. He is currently creating a model to access property listings faster. He says that if all goes well, he should have contact details of 75% of all homeowners in South Africa within the next three years, which will change the game. His 30-year plan is to lead our country with one term as president and create the future with a more capitalistic than political approach. He believes it is time South Africans take action and control of their own lives: to stop talking and start doing.

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