Zakhele Myeza’s interest in property investment began as a hobby. He has since gone on to become a well-regarded property investor and has won SA Property Investors Network’s 2019 Investor of the Year Award in the Beginner Category.
Myeza’s company, The Bus Stop Properties, invests in and converts student accommodation and multi-lets. They also provide property management services and property investment education, Myeza mentors first-time buyers.
The company has a footprint in Durban, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Bank on yourself
Myeza says he started his business with just a computer and access to the Internet.
“My biggest asset was my mouth. I convinced someone to pay me for a job and then I went and got all the material and skills required to execute that job.
“My three jobs were construction jobs – refurbishment of a house, drive-way, a retaining wall and a design project.”
He says the returns he made from these early jobs provided him with the capital he needed to set up his business.
Myeza’s passion for property started at a young age, he was inspired by his mother who was an estate agent.
He obtained a BSc (Eng) Electrical and MSc (Eng) Industrial from Wits University and went into property investing as way for him to earn extra income.
“I wanted to save money because I wanted to travel and I achieved it.”
Once he grew a serious interest in property investment, he the joined SA Property Investors Network to get information and gain access to resources. “Later on, I joined as a professional member after the Investor of the Year Awards, where I saw the value of being in that room [which was] filled with 200+ investors.
“Since then, I have built a business around the network so much so that I have teamed up with The Property Academy to create a new product called, ‘The First Time Home Buyer’. It’s an online course aimed at empowering the first time buyer [to help them] to get over their fear, doubts and emotions and to give them the tools to make informed decisions on an investment.
“My first investment had a return on investment of nearly 40%, so why can’t others have the same success? If your first deal is successful, chances of you completing another is very high,” he says.
Everybody’s first investment needs to be a Bus Stop success story
Myeza says he almost didn’t enter the Investor of the Year Awards because he had his doubts. “I thought what are the odds of me even being a contender, I had made so many mistakes…
“So I was doubtful and fearful but after a trained eye reviewed [my application], it turned out I had used four different strategies which creatively funded my first investment, The Bus Stop, a multi-cultural student accommodation.
“Zero of my own money was used for a property worth R2,8-million. I have turned this into a business with the help of other investors because you cannot do it alone. Everybody’s first investment needs to be a Bus Stop success story.”
COVID-19 lockdown challenges
Myeza says he struggled to secure new business once the lockdown went into effect. “I couldn’t attend (to) the flats I service for maintenance.”
He says he used the first two months of the lockdown to strategise plans for his business after the lockdown was lifted. “(I thought about) where does the opportunity lie… This has allowed me to make decisions on high value investments.
“I have started up a factory which I found while looking for warehouse space. (With the pandemic) warehousing seems like a good investment, we need to manufacture locally ,” says Myeza.
He says it is was challenging to find and execute deals due to not being able to view properties.
“The tech that is out there is not trusted by many.
“Personally, I like to drive out to a site myself and scope the neighbourhood, day and night. I feel you miss out on so many vital decision-making variables if you don’t inspect [it] yourself. The shutdown of certain industries made it difficult to act.”
He adds: “It would be interesting to see how people interact around show days post lockdown.”
His advice for entrepreneurs looking to go into property investment
Myeza’s 3 strategies for finding success as property investor:
1. Invest in your education and formulate a working strategy, just one strategy and learn that well.
2. Get someone to mentor/coach you on your first couple of transactions (people learn at different rates), this will ensure success.
3. Remember, there is no better time to start than now and the only way to start is with tip number one. You don’t need money to start working in the property [business], if you [research] tip number one you will understand. If you are looking for resources like information or a mentor/coach, you can use the Sapin Network (a property investors’ network).