A husband and wife real estate team connects international clientele to Dallas dream homes.
Melanie Mulamba recalls her introduction to the real estate business with a twinkle of satisfaction. As a single mother raising four young children, she had a bold dream to buy a home. At the recommendation of a friend, she called a local real estate agent named Jane. “I called Jane on a Sunday evening and was surprised that she immediately picked up the phone and told me to come to her office,” says Mulamba. She met with Jane, an enterprising Chinese woman who was both a broker and the owner of the agency. “Jane suggested that instead of buying a home, I train to be an agent. Every two weeks, she would call me and ask me to join her team,” recalls Mulamba. “When I lost my job, I accepted her invitation. I signed up because she was so bossy!”
She subsequently enrolled in a real estate class where the professor asked everyone why they wanted to become Realtors. Mulamba relayed her story, and the professor mockingly announced to the class that she would never make it as a Realtor. “At that moment, as the whole class giggled, I felt hurt but challenged. I knew that I would become a successful real estate agent. Jane went back to China, and I am still here in Dallas selling houses,” says the flourishing real estate broker and agent, who has sold hundreds of homes and recently received both the eXp North Texas 2020 Top Producer and eXp ICON awards. Her team was also nominated “top producers” by D magazine in 2018.
Mulamba’s husband, Gilbert, joined her in 2010, and they created Melhouse International. Natives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the couple helps families living in the United States and around the world to buy homes in Dallas. The Mulambas speak English, French, Swahili, Tshiluba and Lingala and travel extensively (in non-COVID times). A scientist by training, Gilbert Mulamba formerly worked at prestigious organizations, including Harvard University. “When I moved to Texas, my wife convinced me to help her with administrative work, so I got my license in 2012 and never looked back,” he says.
Bridging diverse cultures with the American culture and real estate protocols has created a niche for the team, which possesses a deep understanding of the buying process and can deftly navigate the myriad details involved in transactions, including language, financing, understanding cultural differences, business etiquette and international protocols. “People from other countries often need direction to understand the American culture and real estate market, as well as the importance of things like location, school districts and taxes,” says Melanie Mulamba.
Melhouse International has a large Middle Eastern, African, Caribbean and South American clientele. “We love helping people see the importance of being part of a community,” says Mulamba.
She believes that helping people understand the importance of being settled is part of the company mission. For the Mulambas, it is not just about closing the deal, it’s their way of giving back.
Throughout the years, the couple has worked with many refugees from the Southern Sudan, and they note that many of the families running away from war need to be educated about owning a home and having a sense of community. A good example is a family who was part of the Lost Boys and fleeing war. They were looking to buy a home, and Mulamba helped them craft a letter to the listing agent telling the story of their plight. The listing agent was so moved that she chose the couple’s offer. Mulamba happily reports that the husband finished schooling and became a nurse.
“We were referred a successful business client from England who wanted to surprise his mom who was living in Dallas with his sister,” says Mulamba. The cash buyer was in Dallas for only 12 days. Melhouse International found a home in Arlington and closed the deal in 10 days. The Mulambas were invited to join the family to witness as the client handed the key to his surprised and jubilant mother.
“It’s our passion to help people. We have the skills and experience to understand the process of buying a home. I am his mouth, and he is my brain. We love working together,” says Mulamba. *
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle, luxury and travel writer. Her works have appeared in Art New England, Boston, Boston Common Magazine, Coastal Design Magazine, Charleston Style & Design, Modern Luxury Chicago, Ocean Home Magazine, Playboy.com, RD.com and many others. A lover of big words and little white dogs, Stacey’s biggest joys are found in life’s simple moments.
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