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SA Proptech startup gears up for growth

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Leadhome, South Africa’s leading tech-enabled real estate agency, is writing the future narrative for the industry. Their value proposition for sellers is simple: Save more money; sell faster. For top-producing agents, Leadhome is fast becoming the agency of choice.

Andries Levi Pretorius, newly recruited Head of Growth and Strategic Partnerships at Leadhome, has extensive experience in proptech, and is working to build the world’s best end-to-end real estate experience for agents. He believes that the company is the forerunner in disrupting the South African real estate landscape, and that their challenger culture, model, technology and overall long-term vision combine to bring an industry-leading value proposition to top-producing agents.

“Leadhome harnesses technology and data insights to underpin the entire buying and selling process, making our agents more efficient and able to easily run with 50 properties as an individual agent,” says Pretorius. “We either automate or outsource marketing, admin, photography, and the legal side of things, among other onerous tasks. This enables our agents to focus on bringing high value to the customer journey, which in turn underpins the fact that they are selling four times as many homes, every month, as traditional agents. 

Pretorius says that the company’s first five years focused on establishing their strategy and model and, now that this has been proven, they are ready to scale: “In the next 9 months, our aim is to grow our agent base from 65 to 200 full status agents. Our highly selective recruitment process ensures that every Leadhome agent is a leader in the industry. Looking at our 2025 roadmap, we want to achieve a residential market share of 28% in areas that we service, grow from 7 to 41 business units, and increase our annual sales volume from R410 million per business unit to R2.1 billion per business unit – with a business unit comprising of 15 agents”. 

Leadhome’s approach to achieving these goals is aggressive. “Recent changes to our value proposition to agents include increasing agents’ commission split from 50/50 to 70/30, ramping up the support & marketing per agent even more, improving the career opportunities for our agents and introducing smaller and more focused ‘farming areas’.” Pretorius explains that the company’s agents now focus on specific areas with an annual sales volume of roughly R500m. “Like everything we do at Leadhome, the defining of these farming areas is tech-driven. Our data clearly indicates where we should be focusing for maximum bottom-line impact.”

It seems that being bullish is working for Leadhome: In 2021 to date, they have welcomed 28 new top-producing agents including a competitor franchisee. 

Pretorius is one of Leadhome’s recent key appointments. The other is Stephan Bredell, a seasoned marketeer, who is applying his expertise to making Leadhome the agency of choice for sellers as well as agents. “In real estate sales, the seller is a crucial stakeholder. Growth within a real estate agency happens mainly through sellers’ listings,” says Bredell. “Listings lead to mandates, mandates to sales, and sales to profit.”

Leadhome CEO and founder Marcél du Toit built the company around the finding that the traditional value proposition for sellers from agencies is both ‘vanilla’ and difficult to understand. Leadhome’s seller value proposition brings change to the industry, with the option of either a fixed or flexible commission fee being the main differentiator, depending on the seller’s preference. Bredell’s challenge is to bring this messaging to the forefront of the real estate marketing clutter, and to entrench Leadhome as a household name and the agency of choice for sellers and agents.

“On the agent’s side, we are revolutionising the digital marketing space in the real estate sphere by utilizing first of its kind lead generating strategies to get mind-blowing results and seller leads for our agents.”

“Leadhome works better and costs less,” says Bredell. “Everyone in the value chain benefits. It’s that simple.”

Du Toit backs Bredell’s statement up with numbers: “Where traditional agents in South Africa sell an average of 0.6 properties per month, or around R1m-worth of monthly sales, Leadhome’s agents historically sell an average of 3.5 properties per month, or around R5m-worth per month.”

In 2020, Leadhome managed to double their market share nationally. “We had our best December ever and we’re confident that our new appointments, renewed focus and tech-driven approach will combine to make 2021 a record-breaking year,” ends Du Toit.

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