Hey BBN Networkers, I hope you are having a fantastic week so far and you are enjoying the weather. If you remember at the beginning of this month, we decided to appreciate the great work which men in our community are doing and today we are going to be featuring one of our best, Muiz Yusuff. A former teacher turned property developer who has come to spill the tea on his journey so far. So sit back, relax and enjoy.
Oby: Hey Muiz, thank you so much for granting us an audience, we know you're such a busy man. Lol. So quickly, let's jump right into those questions shall we? Tell me a little bit about you and how you came into Real Estate Development.
Muiz: I grew up in a socially disadvantaged area of South London in a two-bed high rise flat alongside, three younger siblings all sharing a small room. From humble beginnings, I was hungry for success as all I knew was struggle. So I told myself I needed to make it out by any means. I purchased my first property at the age of 21 after watching homes under the hammer and having the basic understanding that owning assets will produce long term wealth. I studied Graphics design BA at the university and went on to work for a fashion company for about a year. Fast forward I started teaching graphic design at a secondary school /6th form, the hours allowed me to have various side hustles like my own fashion company and a photo booth company. I was still buying properties here and there but I only saw it as side hustle not a business.
I left teaching 4 years ago and decided to take the property industry more seriously. I set up a management company which manages hmo and single lets all around south east and south west London and at the same time adding more property purchases to my personal portfolio.
Oby: Wow, your story is so inspiring and really challenging. Please tell me, how has your brand grown since you started this journey?
Muiz: Like with anything it takes time, I was really determined as I wanted to change my current situation then, very rapidly. One of my major reasons leaving teaching and going into this was time. I felt my time was not being used productively and property allows me to have the time to focus on other goals and achievements.
Oby: I guess when it's time, you just know right? Discernment is important. Thank you for that. So please tell me, what are some obstacles you faced being a black man in real estate and what keeps you going in the face of those difficulties.
Muiz: I would say not seeing a lot of people who looked like me doing it at the time. When I purchased my first property, if I had someone to look up to or a mentor who understood the culture and obstacles, I feel my journey would have been a lot quicker, however I don’t regret my journey because I have learnt some vital things on the way up. I feel social media has also changed things, there is visually a bigger pool of brothers and sisters who are doing really well in this industry as well as getting into it.
Oby: Yeah, yeah. You are absolutely right. I would like to know though, Lol. Don't shy away please, What is the most outrageous feedback you have received from a client.
Muiz: None really, Lol.
Oby: Ok, a brother who knows his onions. Lol. That's fantastic. So please, what advice can you give to start-ups or people in the community considering real estate.
Muiz: Experience is key, work for an estate agent or buddy up with a property investor and work for free. Learn a trade, plumbing, electrician etc. these are all easy hacks on getting your foot into the property industry.
Oby: That's really great advice. Thank you for that. So finally, in what ways can you encourage the community to deal with the growing unrest and racism in our society and still give their 100% in whatever spheres they find themselves.
Muiz: I feel as a community we need to understand group economics. We are strong when we collaborate. For example, if a group of four friends understand property investing, they could set up a company and buy a property for a good price and add value to that property with the mindset of flipping or refinancing. This way they can make profit and use that profit to go buy their own individual assets or hold the property and pull out their original funds and go again. A Lot of communities have been doing this for years. Things are getting better but we all still have a long way to go.
Oby: Thank you so much Muiz. This means a lot to us here at BBN and also to our network. Until next time, Bye.