Phadima Group Holdings: Rali Mampeule

When asked what he believes led to his award as the Nedbank Property Professional of the Year for 2006/2007, RaliMampeule, CEO of Phadima Group rali-mampeule-media.phpHoldings, mentions four things:

“I have always tried to include leadership, professionalism, service ethics and a commitmentto BEE in the work that I do.”

Phadima, a black-owned and managed investment holding company with interests in financial services, property and consulting in the real estate, infrastructure, industrial and construction sectors of the market, is the first black-owned company to own a Chas Everitt International franchise and Mampeule has plans for it to become the pre-eminent black-owned player in the real estate industry.

To achieve that goal, Mampeule has focused his efforts on building a strong, skilled team. “In our industry, I think the difference between a good salesperson and a great one is training. The fact is that you can’t sell property without training but so often you find this happening. You have to understand your product before you can sell it because only then can you advise your customers properly; this understanding can only come through training,” he says. His passion for training has coincided with his desire to open up the real estate industry to previously disadvantaged individuals. To this end, he has created a learnership to help grow the skills base.“Franchising within the property market would be a good avenue for BEE.

With the high success rate of this form of business already proven in our country, and the fact that franchised businesses definitely create around 10 to 15 new jobs per franchise, all stakeholders need to push for the right conditions to be put in place to promote franchise models in the emerging market,” says Mampeule.  Phadima’s success in the real estate franchise market provides an example of how it can be done. It’s success that relies heavily on having the right people.

On this point, Mampeule handpicks the members of his team, relying on a tried-and-tested recruitment and selection process. “We want people who come into the organization to be with us for along time,” he explains, “so we go through a very lengthy process before hiring someone. We first conduct a telephonic interview to ascertain the person’s telephone skills, something that’s very important in this business. Then, we let team members meet the candidate and we get recommendations from them,especially from our senior sales team members. Following that, the candidates undergo a formal interview and are sent to an independent company who put together a personal profile on them.” This profile is then compared with one compiled from the individual profiles of Phadima’s top-performing agents.What Mampeule is looking for in potential team members is a combination of entrepreneurial skills, technical know-how and industry fit. “I choose people who think like entrepreneurs because I believe that this industry is all about entrepreneurship. I also ask myself if I would trust the person to sell my own house,” he adds. In addition to skills and aptitude, Mampeule is also aware of the important role motivation and incentives play in any successful sales team. “At Phadima we try to have a personal relationship with our sales team. Motivating them starts with understanding who they are and what is important to them as individuals –because people are not necessarily driven by the same things,” he explains,adding, “We have incentives and quarterly and annual awards that ensure we recognize when people are doing well.”

To lead the sales team, Mampeule looks for sales managers who embody a combination of good administrative, people and selling skills. True to the company’s focus on training, Mampeule points out,“All our staff and managers have gone through estate agency training and agents have to have been actively selling for at least six months before they can be considered for sales managerial positions. Apart from someone who understandings turnover and targets, I am looking for people who can go out there and do what they are asking their team of agents to do.”The formula – proper training, motivated agents and skilled sales managers – is completed with a strong emphasis on systems. “A company that doesn’t have a proper system won’t perform,” says Mampeule. “All the elements of a successful business relate back to following the processes of a good system. I believe it’s what sets a great agency apart from a good one.”