Connect with us


Eltec: Hillel Eschur, Brian Chernotsky & Mark Mitchley

Three real estate mavericks bring a breath of fresh air to the industry

Monique Verduyn



Hillel Eschur, Brian Chernotsky & Mark Mitchley of Eltec

Hillel Eschur, Brian Chernotsky and Mark Mitchley, the founders of Eltec Properties, have created a multibillion rand property company in just seven years. Before establishing the company in 2000, the three had been in property for several years and used their combined experience to create their own business. “We were frustrated with the way the industry was being run from a professional stance,” Eschur says. “Many estate agents do not treat their jobs as careers and the clients suffer. Our goal was to create a company that offers personalised service, training and absolute back-up for our agents.”

The three combined their research, wrote a business plan and signed their lives away to secure a R1,5 million loan from the bank. “We worked according to the sales forecast in our business plan, so we were able to wipe out our overdraft in the first year of the business,” says Eschur. Today Eltec concludes deals worth a total of between R150 million and R300 million every month. In a market crowded with competitors, Eltec thrived by taking a non-conformist approach. The company nurtured a “corporate” culture from the start, in contrast to what Eschur views as the amateurish approach taken by some. Brand strategists were employed and over R25 million has been invested in marketing the company. Noting the opportunities a website presents, Eltec spent a further R1,6 million on this resource. A primary driver behind Eltec’s achievements is its training academy – all employees undergo a rigorous education programme before approaching the public. “We only employ people who have a work ethic and are open to being taught new ways of doing things.”

In 2006, Eltec went the licensing route as part of its growth plans. “We believe that owner-managed businesses are far more likely to succeed, so we went for the licensing model. It’s also less stringent than franchising for the person who buys the licence, giving them more freedom to do what they need to create the business they want.” This path means Eltec management does not have to deal with an unwieldy branch structure. A misconception is that selling property is easy. “We make sure our licensees know what they are getting into,” says Eschur. “Industry experience is important, as is a solid business plan and some financial backing.” With seven licences in place, Eschur and his partners plan to have between 120 and 150 licensees operating within five years. They are excited by the prospect of enabling many more people to earn a living through the Eltec model. “We employ 250 people. Imagine if each licensee employs a further 20 staff,” Eschur adds. “Franchises have invested millions in their brand and business model. Why go it alone when you can have access to that kind of backing?” The company has moved into property development, with a focus on affordable multi-unit residential developments. The founding partners and joint managing directors of this arm called Eltec Projects, Marc Zlotnick and Kevin Fine, are experienced in this field. “Again, we wanted professionalism, so we are working with people who know this sector well,” says Eschur.

Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



Prev1 of 26


“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

Prev1 of 26

Continue Reading


Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

Continue Reading

Company Posts

Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Continue Reading



Recent Posts

Follow Us

We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.