Someone You Should Know: Former refugee is up-and-comer in Sioux Falls real estate business

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Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 5:46 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Kuol Malou began the new year, with a new job with the Tony Bachman Real Estate Group with Coldwell Banker.

“I am the brand ambassador and director of training. So a lot of times, most of my tasks revolves around creating training for the agents so they can effectively use the technologies that Coldwell Banker provides,” said Kuol.

The 33-year-old has had to overcome substantial obstacles in order to get where he is today and move up in the business world. Kuol’s story began in war-torn Sudan, where he lived with his family until he was ten years old.

“Some of the tough times. I think being in Sudan, and being a war-torn country, a lot of times, there are dangers. Most of the dangers come from different religious beliefs, different ethnicity,” said Kuol.

His father was a Roman Catholic religious teacher who moved his family to South Sudan for safety. But things weren’t better.

“There was nothing, there was a lot of changes. There was not access to food or resources, as it was when we were in Khartoum. We had to shift our livelihood because you have to hunt for your food. Our school was done under a tree. We had to walk several miles to get to our school,” said Kuol.

And with tribal wars going on, it wasn’t a safe place. So Kuol’s father decided to move the family to the U.S. To Buffalo, New York at first.

“I didn’t speak English. I didn’t speak a lick of English. One of the hardest things we had a here was a culture shock. It was hard coming to a country where the weather wasn’t the same, the people weren’t the same, the language wasn’t the same. The food wasn’t the same,” said Kuol.

But Kuol persevered, eventually graduating from high school in Storm Lake, Iowa.

“Without education, I don’t think I’d be where I am today,” said Kuol.

In 2015, he moved to Sioux Falls for a job opportunity at Best Buy. Then later would work in the cell phone business. That’s where he met Tony Bachman, who offered him a job in the real estate business.

“He’s so intelligent. He’s kind of one of those people that when he talks, you listen. You know you can learn a lot from someone who came from a very different background and has had to learn how to navigate this world that we live in,” said real estate agent Rebecca Ohayon.

Kuol hopes to sell homes as a realtor eventually.

“You know coming to the states as a refugee, that was one of the things they said is the American dream, is to own a piece of something that you have ownership towards it. And I bought my first home when I was 26. And I thought that was something I wanted to share with my fellow peers, my culture.” said Kuol.

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