By: Tebogo Mokwena
Property practitioner Chesley Mnisi believes that anyone who wants to work in the sector needs to increase their knowledge and focus on the sector in its entirety to be at the top of their game. He told Vutivi News this was especially important because of the extreme difficulties black property practitioners faced in entering the sector. Mnisi said practitioners also needed to keep abreast of news about the economy, construction and municipalities’ development plans, as these influenced property pricing.
Mnisi started his career as a conveyancing attorney running his own firm before opening Mnisley Properties. He said it was difficult for his law firm to get business as he learned that many property owners have their own conveyancing attorneys. This pushed him to embark on an academic journey where he obtained a master’s degree in real estate and was accredited as a property practitioner to better understand the challenges of the sector.
He furthermore interned as a property practitioner for a year before establishing his business in 2017. Mnisi said it was crucial that property practitioners invested in being educated about the sector. He said that the most common misconception up-and-coming property practitioners had was that it was easy to enter the market. “From a distance, people see advertisements put up by property practitioners and they believe that this is easy and glamorous work,” Mnisi said. “However, it requires one to work hard and to have capital especially when you’re new.”
He said practitioners needed to spend a considerable amount of money on marketing, and they had to find a unique way to stand out amongst other competitors. Mnisi told Vutivi News that he did this by not franchising his business after he learned that franchised property businesses were limited in where they operated. He also said that the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority’s (PPRA) inefficiency in awarding licensing renewals was another challenge that new property practitioners faced because they needed to deal with the delayed issuing of certificates and licences.
He did, however, laud the Property Practitioners’ Act, which was enacted in February last year, for extending licensing validity from one to three years. According to Mnisi, whose business is based in Centurion and employs six property practitioners, he wants to work towards empowering more black people to enter the property sector. “There is the drive to improve and to promote the inclusion of black property practitioners,” he said. “The board of the PPRA must engage key roleplayers like banks, property fund owners, and big developers to work with them and ensure that a portion of their profits is set aside to develop black property practitioners.” In the future, Mnisi has signed an exclusive agreement for his company to be the sole real estate agency for a new development in the province.