My name is Shane Bruwer and I would like to share my experiences with you as an entrepreneur & property investor!

This page has been designed for property owners [Landlords / Buy to let property owners / property investors etc] to help you master property investment and management skills as a property investor.

Hi my name is Shane Bruwer, I live in Durban South Africa, I am married to a wonderful wife for the past 30 years, I also have two wonderful sons who are married to two beautiful wives, the two beautiful daughters I never had. [This sounds like a confession at an AA meeting]

I have been a property investor since October 2004. I started out in property investing because as a new entrepreneur I did not have a pension fund at the time. I also had some bad experiences with insurance industry products prior to this stage in my life, you know the kind that promise you the world and five years later you ask them for an update on your investment portfolio and you find out that the investment is less than the money that you actually invested? And their normal response is, well Mr Bruwer you must understand that the market has taken a dip at the moment, if you look at the stock market there has been very little or no growth. So I decided that if the insurance industry was not going to look after my future,


And so what I did was to begin buying properties, and over years I have developed a portfolio of a number of properties. The income from these properties will, without doubt, sustain my wife and I during our retirement years.

I also attended a number of seminars on property investing and looked at a number of different perspectives. I also did a number of stock market investing courses, and even dabbled in Forex trading, and traded binary options for a time.

I also read a number of books, like “Rich Dad poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, “Fast forward your retirement through property” by Jason Lee and many others.

However you may be wondering, how did I do it? How did I become a property investor?

Here is how I did it, perhaps you have another solution, but this works for me.

I started out buying small, 2 bedroom flats, apartments, simplexes, Duplexes etc, in sectional title developments. [In South Africa this is a gated community, which offers residents security as security is a major issue in South Africa] Another very important reason why I purchased this kind of property is as follows:

Sectional title developments have Body corporate’s [BC] , or HOA [Home owners associations] who typically have trustees that look after the upkeep of these developments free of charge to the rest of the community. As a result the upkeep to the outside of the property is maintained by the [BC] and each home owner in the development will pay a levy each month to cover these expenses. As a result all I have to do is maintain the inside of my property, while the BC and Trustees maintain the outside, ie gardens, painting when necessary of the house and outside areas etc. WHAT A BARGAIN? This is typically what Robert Kiyosaki [Rich DAD Poor DAD fame] would call using “other people’s time”. [OPT]

Now because these properties are typically two bedroom units, they are generally quite small ranging from just 70m² to about 80m² which means that if my tenants did trash the place [Which has never happened in my experience so far] but if they did, it would take my painter as little as a day or two to repaint the unit inside. Kitchens are small and it costs very little to replace a few cupboards. And what can you really do to a ceramic tile floor?

So the TYPE of unit is very important to me, it must be a two bedroom unit, as these are typically the type of property that young families are looking for in life and are in demand. The second is that it must be in a security development, sectional title, preferably a free standing house in a sectional title development, or a simplex or duplex. These are generally in middle class areas where the typical middle class families will stay, and where  the rent to bond repayment ratio is almost 1:1

The next important step in the plan is getting the banks to lend you the money to buy the property. In my experience I have found that it has been best to use a bond originator to do this for you for the following reasons:

It is in the bond originators’ best interest to secure you finance, they get paid by the bank to get you a bond;

The bond originator works with all the banks and knows exactly what the banks’ lending criteria are;

When you personally approach your bank you give them too much information, and say things in that you should not.

You would want to try and get a 100% bond from the bank [Although this has become more difficult since 2008/2009] Typically I tried to put as little of my own money into the purchase of the property as possible. In 2004 the banks would finance up to a 107% bond, which included all your costs. Today you will have to pay the legal costs yourself from your savings. Once the banks have agreed to finance your investment property and the transfer process has taken place you will be the proud owner of your first Investment property and you have successfully learnt how to use “other peoples money” to fund your retirement.

What if the rent does not cover the bond and other expenses?

When I started out investing in property in 2004 with 100% bonds, the rental income did not cover my expenses on the property. This did not bother me for the following reasons:

I viewed the shortfalls on the property as part of the pension fund I was not contributing towards. So typically if you work for a company, you have a pension fund and you will be contributing about 6% of your total income each month to a pension/provident fund. I was not paying a pension each month.  So I viewed the shortfall on the property each month as my contribution to the Shane Bruwer retirement fund.

I knew that the property would not have a shortfall forever, I had calculated before hand that the property would have a shortfall of about only three years. Whereas if I worked for a company I would need to pay towards a pension / provident fund for the rest of my working life.

I came to the realisation that when I calculated what amount I should have been contributing towards a pension / provident fund from my monthly income, I could pay the shortfall on a number of properties not just one.

I followed this same recipe for a number of years until I reached a large number of properties. Saying that, I personally know investors who have less properties than I do, and I know some who own over 200 properties in the Durban area. There are many property investors who claim that you must buy property that does not have a shortfall at all. As I said what I did suited me at the time and has enabled me to own many properties.

You need to do what suits your financial needs when you retire.

If you need R20 000 [$1500] per month income when you retire, then you need to own 4x R5 000 pm rental units, if you need more money you will need to buy more units. Remember that the rental income usually keeps up with inflation.

One thing is becoming more and more apparent is that less and less people are actually in a position to retire even after paying into a Pension / provident fund or insurance product their entire life.

Think about this by Jim Rohn “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”


Now imagine using this same property investment concept when your child is born. When he or she is 18 years old, if you had purchased just one investment property when they were born, this property could be funding his or her education after leaving high school. The whole investment would cost you far less than if you bought a policy as sold by the insurance industry to fund your child’s education, because you will only need to contribute for the number of years that there is a shortfall on the property, rather than 18 years if you bought an insurance industry product.

Imagine now giving your child such a gift? After this property has educated them from the rental income each month throughout their college or university years, the property becomes their first home, paid up in full. All because you as a thoughtful parent planned ahead for them and gave your child a firm grounding for the future?

Does this sound possible, even plausible?

What makes investing in real estate one of the best investments worldwide, is its ability to yield good capital gains over a period of time. Property values have shown great positive nominal increases over the past 40 or so years, with statistics only showing 3 declines during this period.

Therefore as an investor it is important to invest in properties which have potential to increase in value over time. And by using property investment factors such as location, price, and market as guide, an investor will be able to purchase property which will give great capital gains.

As the old saying goes, property investment is not for a short term but long term investing but to see excellent outcomes an investor must invest time and attention to their properties. A point to ponder also would be using a good property management company to manage your investment.

Warren Buffett said “Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far”


In 2017 I joined a Bitcoin mining company as a Bitcoin Miner and network marketing opportunity. I must add even though it has been a short time that I have been involved this appears to be one of my best investments yet, I am not sure were this will take me but I am really enjoying the ride so far.

Have a look at my page discussing what is Bitcoin & How can you PROFIT from Bitcoin Mining?