Mentoring: Judith Moisi

The temptation to sacrifice your Christian standards in the business world is very rife today. But Judith Moisi executive director of Black Diamonds Properties, has learned  that relying on the Holy Spirit keeps her on the straight and narrow. She strives daily to do business honestly, fairly, with integrity and in keeping with the law. In this mentoring feature, Judith talks about her conversion, trusting the Holy Spirit to help her, the success of her property company and how business women should conduct themselves in the market place.

Inside Woman: Tell us how you got to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?

Judith Moisi: It was on the 25 August 2007 and I was listening to SAfm.  The presenter, Nancy Richards was interviewing a woman who was suffering from epilepsy. My eyes were opened to the mercy of God in my life and my family because my 16 year old son suffered the same symptoms but he was miraculously healed.  I realised that my son was not healed because we had the best doctors in the country but because God healed him. I cried and I asked God to forgive me for being ungrateful. I decided to drive around and searched for a Church that will allow me to serve the God who healed my child. When Sunday came, I went to a Church and the pastor of that Church was spirit lead to do an altar call straight after the praise and worship before the sermon. I ran forward crying because all I wanted was to give my life to God and to do in the presence of witnesses. Since then I have grown from strength to strength in my faith in Jesus Christ. And that is how my beautiful life begun.

Inside Woman: What has this relationship taught you about life and God’s plan for our lives?

Judith Moisi: It taught me that life is good as long as you live it according to the Creator’s manual.

Inside Woman: What is it that made you want to go into business?

Judith Moisi: My last job was at De beers as a PC Technician. I was working in a good environment and I earned a good salary but I was not happy. I knew I was born to be a leader. I also wanted to be there for my boys.

Inside Woman: How does one going about becoming an agent?

Judith Moisi: Eight years ago when I started it was easy  but right now you need to go through a series of courses before you can be considered a real estate agent that is qualified to take offers and mandate without supervision. The Estate Agency Affairs Board is working so hard to making the real estate agent a professional industry which is very good for all parties involved.

Inside Woman: Tell us about Black Diamond Properties and how long have you been around?

Judith Moisi: Black Diamond Properties is my brain child. I gave birth to this baby in 2009 and its now turning 5 in August. It was an idea that I conceived while I was doing my assignment for my NQF4 in 2008. We were asked to do a business plan for a real estate business. The name just popped into my mind. After finishing the assignment I looked at it and something told me, “Judith you can do this”.

For a while I was scared because I used to see the stress that my then principal of AIDA real estate used to be under. He also used to say things like if “any of you don’t want to follow my model, the door is always open. Go and open your own company, and let’s see if you can make it”. Hearing those words, from a man who was involved in the industry, can convince anyone not to pursue this on their own. I even remember telling myself that I won’t leave AIDA as I didn’t want any stress.

As time went by I begin to feel uneasy working for AIDA. Even though I was enjoying the property business and developing a lot of ideas on how I can do things better, it was not easy for me to implement those ideas in a family run business where you are always told that you either ‘follow the model or leave’. With a help of a friend Thobile Masanabo and my former client Charles Seatthale, who has become my auditor, I managed to start Black Diamond Properties.

 Inside Woman: How do you differentiate yourself from other businesses as similar as yours?

Judith Moisi: Black Diamond Properties pride itself in excellent client care. We don’t just find you a property we find you a lifestyle. Buying a house is very emotional in a sense that for most people it is the only asset they will ever have in their lifetime therefore it is essential for the agent dealing with the transaction to handle it with care and not just look at it as another deal which will pay commission. Whether you buy a 10 million property or a R350 000 flat you are still valuable. Every client is king with us.

Inside Woman: How did you fund your company?

Judith Moisi: Black Diamond Properties started at the height of recession in 2009. Banks and other funding institutions refused to help us. But because I was determined to start the business I took a risk and used my own savings as capital. My husband has been financially supportive. He even allowed me to use our outside building as our office. For a while I didn’t earn a salary. Instead I put all my commission back to the business to sustain it.

The property business is very expensive to run. Even though I have minimised the costs by operating from home, things like marketing and systems that we use daily are quite expensive.

Judith Moisi

 Inside Woman: How do you find clients?

Judith Moisi: We have realised that our main source of leads is our website since it’s linked to other 40 websites. People who are not familiar with us will call us from IOL, Ananzi, OLX and other websites. Besides the website, word of mouth marketing has helped our business tremendously. And once we get the clients we use our excellent client service to get more work. For instance, we have helped a family of four; three brothers and a sister, to find their own dream home individually.

We also do cold calling and expos at shopping centers around Edenvale.

Inside Woman: What are some of the marketing techniques that you have proven to work for your business?

Judith Moisi: Social Networks and email marketing.

Inside Woman: Is college/university education important when running your own business?

Judith Moisi: Definitely. Real estate is governed by more than 10 South African laws. As an agent you need to be very aware of all the laws that you need to adhere to in your day to day operations. Education is key in this business.

Inside Woman: Besides passion, what else do you need to keep running a successful business?

Judith Moisi: Discipline. One thing that I have noticed in the business sector especially amongst the people of colour is a lack of discipline. The fact that you are running your own business does not mean you can arrive late at work or even keep people waiting for you. As a business owner, empowered by grace, you need to keep in mind that your conduct determine your success.

Inside Woman: How do you keep being on top of your game?

Judith Moisi: I believe in the power of knowledge. I read a lot of property magazines and books and also subscribe to a lot of property insights to have an understanding of what is happening in the industry.

Inside Woman: What motivates you to go to work at Black Diamond Properties every morning?

Judith Moisi: My boys are my inspiration. I believe children do what they see their parents doing. As they watch me following my passion and staying focused on my business I am instilling a positive behaviour in them. All that I want is to leave a legacy for generations to come.

Inside Woman:  What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

Judith Moisi: That when you run your own business you sleep less than anyone in that business. I love my beauty sleep but ever since I started my business I sleep a maximum of five hours.

Inside Woman:  Many women are intimidated by business ownership. What challenges have you faced as a female entrepreneur and how have you overcome them?

Judith Moisi: That is true because as women we have so much on our plate. There are those things that one cannot afford to outsource in life especially when you are a mother of school going children. That was my number one challenge but I thank God for my husband. He is very supportive.

The other challenge for me was penetrating the predominantly white, male sector in Edenvale. I had to work twice as hard and put more effort in everything that I do so as I can remain the business.

Inside Woman: Do you ever have times when you want to leave it all behind and do something else?

Judith Moisi: Not at all. I love what I’m doing and I believe it is my pulpit. It gives me an opportunity to minister to people in the comfort of their own home. In this business you get to know everything about your client and as God’s ambassador in the market place you need to use that opportunity to influence people. I have done a teaching on the 7 mountains, where we are taught to use our God given authority in our sphere of influence. That’s exactly what I’m doing where I am.

Inside Woman: What have been the benefits for you of being an entrepreneur?

Judith Moisi: Freedom to think out of the box and the power to make a meaningful impact in other people’s live.

Inside Woman:  What role has your faith played in those tough times of your entrepreneurial life?

Judith Moisi: My faith in God is my drug. There’s a lot of negativity in this business but my faith helps me not to focus on those negative things. I have learnt to cast all my cares on God and trust Him for solutions. I am the director of a Property Listing Network, a multi listing organisation with a membership of close to 400 agents in the East. My portfolio is compliance and ethics. That on its own has taught me a lot. When the market is not conducive for agents to close deals you find them resorting to malpractices and all sorts of illegal things and finally they end in my office where I need to decide who is wrong and who is right. I use that opportunity to minister to them as well as encourage them to always strive for integrity in all they do. In that moment I remove myself from my own challenges and before I know it all my issues are sorted.

Judy Moisi

Inside Woman: Why do you think many start ups fail?

Judith Moisi: Cash flow. People need to understand that starting a business does not mean you are going to be a millionaire in 6 months. A lack of information and commitment is also a problem. Before you start your own business you must have all the information you need about that business especially the phases that you are going to go through before the business can work for you. I believe you need to focus on branding your business before you can dream of making money. Once your business is out there in the face of the people, there is no way you can fail because it is now a brand. Your business must reach a point where it is working for you and not you working for it.

Inside Woman: Do you have a mentor(s) and what role (s) have they played in your life?

Judith Moisi: I don’t have a mentor. I have never come across a mentor who can link the spiritual world with the physical world. I rely entirely on the Holy Spirit for everything. The real estate industry is a mixture of marketing, sales, education and law. These sectors are full of lies, fraud, manipulation and misrepresentation. You need to be spiritually awake at all times so as you can be able to swim with the sharks.

Inside Woman: Following your passions instead of working the standard 9-to-5 can be risky. What advice do you have for women who want to take their career in this direction?

Judith Moisi: My take is that the industry is not for everybody. Some need to be in a 9-5 job because following your passion can be risky if you don’t have a solid support. They must first evaluate their lives, draft a personal business plan and cover all areas like having finance for the next 5 years. And most importantly they must be emotionally fit to face the changing seasons of business.

Inside Woman: What’s your top business tip?

Judith Moisi: Stick to your diary, don’t be sidetracked.

Inside Woman: If you had to do this all over again what would you change?

Judith Moisi: My age.

Conact Judith:  

Telephone Number: 0114521591
Cellphone: 0826705483