The success story of Real Muloodi Cissy Namaganda is inspiring. Cissy started her real estate sector career in sales. Today, she owns a multi-million dollar construction and property management company, building properties for clients locally and internationally. She recently shared her inspiring journey of building dreams with the Daily Monitor.
Where it All Began
After completing her university studies in 2006, Cissy landed a marketing job with a prominent construction company in Kampala. Although she holds a bachelor’s degree in IT, the unexpected opportunity launched her career into the real estate sector.
Later promoted as a head of operations, she came to interact with real estate professionals at the company; engineers, real estate dealers, other industry players, and clients.
Cissy learned what real estate buyers wanted, and about their interests, worries, and challenges. She also learned what it takes to complete a building and all the factors that go along with it. Cissy got to know both sides of the real estate transaction. She says that through these interactions she noticed gaps and opportunities in the real estate sector.
Cissy noticed young professionals with corporate jobs were not eager to build, and would pay monthly rent of Shs500,000 to Shs1m. She knew from experience that anyone who can afford that rent could afford to build a house of their own. She also noticed that low-income, blue-collar workers often owned homes of their own. This taught her that a house didn’t have to cost Shs60m, and one did not have to wait for a big break to build a home.
Cissy was determined to show people, especially young white-collar workers, that you don’t need to have vast sums of money to build a home. Nor do you have to have all the money at once. Cissy resolved to find solutions that would satisfy the needs of the underserved market segment.
Cissy’s Rise to Success in the Real Estate Sector
In 2011, while still working for the construction company, Cissy registered her company Cinam Investments.
Cinam started off managing the operations of large property companies that were building and selling condominiums. Cissy came to learn that a lot of clients in this segment had been conned as they tried to build a home in Uganda. “The only option they had left with was to buy a finished condo,” she says.
In 2013, she left the big property company to focus on her own business.
Juliet Zawedde, a Ugandan living in London, gave Cinam Investments their first construction project in 2015. Ms. Zawedde had an unfinished shell of a house in Wakiso District. She needed it finished, but had lost the trust in the team that had performed the initial work. Ms. Zawedde had met Cissy in Uganda when she was marketing condos, and contacted her from London.
“This lady had been frustrated by people she thought had her back. They had stolen most of her money and done minimal work. They had built a shell with money that could have finished the whole house. We did the remaining work on time and budget. Something she was not used to,” Cissy tells the Daily Monitor.
Ms. Zawedde then recommended them to another client. This time, Cinam built the house from the ground up. Again, Cissy completed the work on time and on budget.
On the trust she had earned from those two projects, several more contacted her to do the same for them. And they continue to do so.
“Many Ugandans in the diaspora would love to invest in the real estate sector back home. They would also like to build personal homes so that when the time comes to move back, they have a place to call home. Many rely on friends and family, but the risks are many. We have all seen people in the news that have fainted upon returning to find that all their money was blown. We want to change that,” she tells the Daily Monitor.
One of the essential requirements for someone attempting to construct a home is adequate supervision. That is what Cissy does.
Cissy says most Ugandans in the diaspora cannot afford a house that costs Shs200m, which is the average price of a condo. She adds many can’t even afford one that costs Shs80m. People have asked her ‘I have 20m, can’t you do something with it?’ And her answer is, ‘Yes’!
“If building a house was expensive, then low income earners would not be able to do it. “If you are a patient person, you can build your house slowly by using Shs500,000 a month. We have projects of this nature. That amount gets you a few bags of cement, a truck of bricks, a truck of sand and the house grows every month. Use as little money as you have. No pressure. You don’t have to take a loan if you do not want to. It feels good to open and close your own gate,” she says.
Financial and Construction Tips and Advice from Cissy
Although Cissy is not an engineer, she manages the operations and gets the job done. Her key role is to bring the right professionals, architects, quantitative surveyors, structural and mechanical engineers to make it happen.
According to the Daily Monitor, Cissy has built over 60 houses in just six years.
“At every stage, my client must know all the options so that we fit into their budget. If we are buying iron sheets, or doors, or floor tiles, the client must be shown all the price options,” she says.
One does not have to wait to have enormous sums to build. Neither does one have to have the entire sum at once.
Want to get in contact with Cissy?
Cissy can be reached at:
Ph. +256(0)782 950696
Email: [email protected]
Address: Tirupati Mazima Mall, Ggaba Rd
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