When did your journey as a real estate broker begin?
In 2013. My father had prime land (about 20 acres) along Mende in Wakiso District and many people took an interest in it. At the time, brokers were seeking my services to put them in touch with people interested in selling land and other assets. In return, I would receive a small token. These many engagements with various brokers opened the door to the world of real estate for me and since then I have never looked back.
What have been the greatest accomplishments of your career?
In addition to meeting and networking with high-level people, this business brings in a lot of money. I saw many people profit from this business, including my late uncle.
What do you consider when choosing a property to deal with?
Location is a determining factor (how far from the main town is the land). I also look at the market value of the area, the availability of running water and electricity as well as the security of the area.
How did you position yourself as a real estate broker?
For four years, I have been targeting Ugandans in the diaspora and foreigners like Ethiopians, Sudanese Chinese and diplomats. To make this happen, I made a plan to travel to at least two major countries in Europe, South Africa and Asia each year, which had a huge impact on my market base as well as on the sales I close every three months.
What are the flaws in this kind of business?
Quack brokers. Many people present cases of false land titles, late processing of land titles, which leads to forgery and much more. Customers are also duped by brokers who claim to manually process land titles.
How do you think these issues can best be resolved?
The government should come up with high-tech automated systems that can speed up land titling and land transactions. This will reduce the rate at which titles are tampered with. They should also introduce barcoded land titles in all districts.
How can real estate brokers position themselves to take advantage of the business?
Well, it all depends on someone’s goals and ambitions. I think building your brand on trust and authenticity will go a long way in making you one of the best people in the business. The real estate market depends on these two.
What makes real estate brokerage unique?
I wouldn’t say it’s one-size-fits-all, but it all depends on the dealership and who you’re dealing with, and how you best serve your customers. The business, unlike others, makes or breaks you, depending on what you sell to the customer and how you sell it. It is a business where you can prosper in a single transaction.
What do you do to make your work speak for itself?
I try to always deal with people I fully trust to avoid fraud and tampering. I also pride myself on being genuine and open to my clients as much as possible.
Would you say that real estate is both a passion and a job for you?
It’s a business because I invest money and time in it and expect returns. On the other hand, I learned over time to love the job and that’s what I know best. Of course, you can’t fail to love what you earn.
What real estate advice can you share with a beginner in this profession?
They must be trustworthy, place themselves in strategic places and make it a point to always seek advice from people who have been in the business.
Also, it takes time for customers to trust property dealers, but once you know how to earn their trust, it’s easy to navigate.
Why choose real estate as a profession?
It all comes down to ambition and goals in life, but my advice to young people is to never fail to try because you can never know what you missed in your failure.
Who is your biggest mentor and why?
A certain gentleman, currently a manager of one of the internet service providers in Uganda. He saw potential in me in 2011 and trusted me. I went through a lot between 2012 and 2016 but he is the only one who always helped and advised me. I could write a book about him, but all I can say is he’s one in a million.
What challenges come with this job?
There are a lot of fakes, which can lead to jail time and loss of property. Gaining buyer confidence can take months or even years. The sector has also been impacted by Covid-19 which has seen a number of changes in the industry such as an increase in the cost of rentals making our transactions difficult.