MAIN IMAGE: Xoliswa Tini, owner and principal of Xoliswa Tini Property
This month we are taking the time to chat with some of the female powerhouses of the real estate industry. Xoliswa Tini, owner and principal of Xoliswa Tini Properties in East London is the definition of what they call a self-made woman.
A trained psychologist and teacher, Xoliswa made the shift to property in 2003 by launching XTP. Twenty years later, XTP not only holds the record of being the first 100% black female-owned franchisor in South Africa, but Tini also launched the first black-owned real estate academy – the Xoliswa Tini Training Academy – in 2006.
What attracted you to the industry?
We were looking to buy a house of our own, moving from Mdantsane to East London as a young bride. My husband called the suburbs the ‘land of rates and taxes’. During the house-hunting process, I was the one who was assigned by the family to do this job. I just fell in love with viewing these houses as each house felt unique. My interest grew stronger.
Secondly, I realised that agents were flexible and would fit the viewing based on their availability, they were not stuck in an 8 to 5 kind of job. Lastly, I did not see even one black estate agent. My ‘why?’ factor stimulated me to get involved and test if the industry bites us. These are the factors that attracted me.
What do you believe is necessary to succeed in real estate?
To succeed in real estate is to have empathy. Never chase money, if you chase money, it will run away but if you are honest money will follow you. Have empathy because it will bring you more referrals and sustain your business.
It’s about honesty, being open and explaining everything, and letting people make a choice, because if they like the property they will take it anyway and find a way of overcoming challenges.
Be directed by good values and ethics and be sensitive as you are dealing with people’s valuable assets which have an emotional attachment. Listen more and talk less.
Empower yourself with more knowledge in terms of selling real estate, there is a lot in Google. Most of all. Aim to get more stock, focus on getting stock. Have good time management, look for prospects daily, and talk to people all the time, even if you give that information away for free.
If you’re working for a brand, make sure you praise and make your clients have faith and trust in your brand, if they trust your brand, they will trust you. Never badmouth any agency or any agent and be respectful of others while building your business with integrity.
Which skills do you think successful agents need to cultivate?
Communication skills, prospecting skills, good inter and intra-relationships. Negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. Mostly, presentation skills as you will always have to present to get a mandate, presenting offers for acceptance etc
What has been your proudest moment?
It was when I opened my business and built it to this level. The day I registered my brand Xoliswa Tini Properties was my best moment, especially being the first black estate agency in the Eastern Cape.
What is your advice for new entrants?
Be patient, work hard, nothing comes easy, there are happy days and bad days like in any business.
If not real estate, what would you be doing?
I would still be in sales as I acquired that skill from my mother, I grew up selling fish on the streets of Burgersdorp. If not for real estate, I would probably be owning a car dealership. I still want to do that as it is different from real estate in that the product is on the floor and people come and buy want they want from your floor. Real estate you have to look for stock.