The real estate sector provides huge job opportunities for citizens in most economies. But in Nigeria, the sector has yet to stand on its feet let alone giving job to a reasonable percentage of the populace.
Although the real estate sector is still evolving in Nigeria, there are stringent roles it is expected to play wherever it is established. These roles come with opportunities that could be accessed and which directly or indirectly also could add to the nation’s GDP. Such opportunities include construction works that beget artisan engagement, materials’ supply, and food sellers at construction sites.
There are also opportunity for trade on building materials that range from cement, rods, woods, paints, among others, which can provide source of livelihood for many. Those who supply rods, woods and paints are sure that if construction work continues, their palm will continue to be greased. There will also be those permanently employed by construction companies and entitled to monthly salaries. These are some of the opportunities open to Nigerians in the real estate sector.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or plan on working for an established company, the real estate industry indeed offers a wide variety of career opportunities, including those in brokerage and leasing services for homes, office buildings, industrial properties and farmland, as well as property management, appraisal and counseling. And there are also other career paths in real estate, which demands acquiring relevant professional designations and certifications.
There include the residential real estate sales agents who help people throughout the process of buying and selling homes. In addition to showing homes to prospective buyers, these agents help clients with property valuation, financing, mortgages and government programmes. Agents and brokers must be licensed in the state in which they work (there is no national license). Each state has its own licensing system and requirements that include some type of pre-licensing course and a state-specific licensing examination.
There is the Commercial Real Estate. The commercial agents and brokers specialise in income-producing properties, such as retail stores, shopping centres, office buildings, industrial parks and apartment complexes. Commercial Real Estate professionals help clients evaluate a property’s income potential and offer guidance regarding local zoning and tax laws. Some states require a specialised license for commercial transactions, while others cover residential and commercial transactions under the same license.
The Property Management is part of the career in real estate that fends for the family. Property managers maintain properties that produce financial returns for the property owners and are responsible for the maintenance and management of the property, including budgeting and leasing. Residential property management involves apartment buildings, condominiums and vacation rentals. Commercial property management entails properties such as office buildings and shopping centers. Property managers often work for real estate firms. Most states require a real estate license for property managers who collect rent, list properties or negotiate leases.
There are Real Estate Appraisers who determine the value of properties to help people and businesses find the assessed value for tax purposes, investment value, present value for potential investors, book value for accounting purposes, rental value and insurable value. Appraisers must know acceptable appraisal principles, have practical experience and some knowledge of mathematics, accounting and economics. Often, appraisers work for banks or for appraiser firms. Appraisers must be licensed by the state in which they work. You must first become an Appraiser Trainee by completing state-specified coursework. With additional coursework and experience, you can go on to become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, a Certified Residential Appraiser and a Certified General Appraiser.
One can also eke a living through real estate counseling. Real estate counselors give advice about property and help investors make decisions about how to select properties that are likely to appreciate in price in the future. Rather than selling real estate, counselors focus on each client’s unique needs to offer solutions that address those needs. Counselors (also called real estate advisors) must know many facets of the real estate business. Often, real estate counselors have a background in real estate valuation, development, investing or property management. The real estate industry is robust, with numerous career opportunities. Only a few of the many career paths currently available are mentioned here. Other real estate career opportunities include construction, farm and land brokerage, investment, land development and research.
There is also the Real Estate Portfolio Management where the training and experience gained by real estate equity managers is similar to that of other fund managers. However, it is dissimilar in the manner in which they use those skills to ensure portfolio performance. Portfolio managers are often rated by their ability to ensure appropriate risk-adjusted returns and portfolio diversification through superior asset allocation and selection.
In addition, Real Estate Portfolio Managers provide value to clients by ensuring the most efficient use of investor capital, and by keeping clients informed through superior performance measurement, and even cash flow forecasting.
With the exception of real estate investment trust (REIT) and fund of fund managers (whose performance is judged by the ability to gauge other managers’ ability to design and execute strategy), the Real Estate Equity Fund Manager is in essence the CEO of his or her own company, creating and executing property-level strategies for the assets under his or her charge.
Real Estate Portfolio Managers conduct asset allocation and asset selection, not by understanding the market dynamics and companies in specific industries, but by being experts in real estate property fundamentals. They study within local regions and in the different commercial land uses: office, industrial, hotel, retail, and single and multifamily residential). To beat the market, ensure diversification and produce adequate risk-adjusted returns, Real Estate Portfolio Managers must make bets on regional or local property markets and, in the case of multiple-asset portfolios, the correct property mix.
For this reason, many fund managers focus on specific regions or property types; some larger real estate asset managers organise their senior employees and support personnel by region or land use.
The rationale for organising in this way is to ensure that market opportunities can be identified and then translated into the correct property selection and asset origination.
The manner in which properties are acquired is one of the most significant ways that real estate funds differ from more traditional investments. Like traders on the stock market floor, real estate funds use acquisition specialists to uncover and execute property transactions. These acquisition personnel usually work for a specific fund or are organised regionally or by asset type.
BY Maduka Nweke