What you need to know:
Brokerage: Baker Busuulwa, the CEO of Media Brothers Uganda Ltd, a real estate firm shares what it means sustaining a career in the real estate sector, the different opportunities in the sector and how to succeed in this line of business.
When did your journey as a real estate dealer begin?
In 2013. My father had prime land (about 20 acres) along Mende in Wakiso District and many people picked interest in it. At the time, brokers would seek my services to connect them to people who were interested in selling land and other property. In return, I would get a small token. Such several engagements with the different brokers opened up my door to the real estate world and since then I have never looked back.
What have been the greatest accomplishments of your career?
Apart from meeting and networking with high profile people, this business brings good money. I have seen many people reap from this business, including my late uncle.
What do you consider when choosing a property to deal?
Location is a big determinant (how far from the main town or city is the land). I also look at the market value of the area, availability of running water and electricity plus the security of the area.
How have you positioned yourself as a real estate dealer?
For the last four years, I have been targeting Ugandans in the diaspora and foreigners such as Ethiopians, Sudanese Chinese and diplomats. For this to happen, I came up with a plan to travel to at least two major countries in Europe, South Africa and Asia every year and this has greatly impacted my market base as well as the sales I close every three months.
What are the loopholes in this kind of trade?
Quack brokers. Many people present cases of forged land titles, delayed processing of land titles, which leads to forgery and so much more. Clients also are duped by brokers who claim to be processing land titles manually.
How do you think these issues can best be addressed?
The government should come up with hi-tech automated systems that can fasttrack land titles and land transactions. This will reduce the rate at which titles are forged. They should also introduce bar-coded land titles in all districts.
How can real estate dealers position themselves to reap from the business?
Well, it all depends on what someone’s targets and ambitions are. 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 is dependent on these two.
What makes real estate brokerage unique?
I would not say it is unique but it all depends on the dealer and who you deal with plus how best you serve your clients. The business, unlike others, makes you or breaks you, depending on what you sell to the client and how you sell it. It is a business where you can thrive in a single deal.
What do you do to ensure your work speaks for itself?
I try to always deal with people I fully trust to avoid fraud and forgery. I also pride myself in being real and open to my customers as much as possible.
Would you say real estate is both a passion and business for you?
It is a business because I invest money and time in it and I expect returns. On the other hand, I have over time grown to love the business and it is what I know best. Of course you cannot fail to like what you earn from.
What real estate tips can you share with a beginner in this craft?
They should 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, customers take time to trust property dealers but once you realise how to earn their trust, it is easy finding your way around.
Why would one choose real estate as a career?
It all goes back to ambition and life targets but my advice to the young people is to never fail to try because you can never know what you have missed out in your failure to try.
Who is your greatest mentor and why?
A certain gentleman, currently the director of one of the internet service providers in Uganda. He saw potential in me back 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 is one in a million.
What challenges come with this job?
There is a lot of forgery, which can lead to jail time and loss of property. Getting trust from buyers is something that can take months or even years. The sector was also affected by Covid-19 which saw a number of changes in the industry such as a rise in the cost of rentals, which makes our dealings hard.