Despite the slowdown and challenging times which the real estate sector in Nigeria is passing through at the moment, investment analysts, players in the sector including portfolio and equity investors are agreed that of all the various investment asset class, real estate remains top in consideration.
For investors, especially the patient ones who have long term view of the market, real estate is a haven while, professionally, that is, in terms of a profession to pursue, it is a destination. This is the only investment asset whose value, especially land, never goes down even in a recessing economy.
Today, this sector represents 8 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP; its market value is estimated at N59 trillion and that, in turn, represents the value of investment opportunity open to investors in the sector. Again, at the moment, 81 per cent of global wealth is held as real estate.
Many students of Estate Management, for instance, have frequently, at one point or another, stopped to ask themselves what really is in real estate for them. But professionals and sundry practitioners assure those with mindset that there is a lot for them in that sector.
“Real estate encompasses the thing you are passionate about; the thing you are good at, and the thing you can earn a living from”, explained Tayo Odunsi, CEO, Northcourt Real Estate , who spoke at a gathering of budding real estate professionals on ‘Why I love Real Estate’ in Lagos, recently.
“ real estate”, he added, “allows me to harness all my many interests into one career”. This means that even as a real estate professional, one can still do other things where one’s interest is strong such as technology, fine art, marketing, interior design and others.
This is because, back in the days, real estate was just a blend of construction, economics, law and accounting , but today, it goes beyond that. Real estate is now a blend of construction economics, law, finance, technology, design, marketing, and branding.
It is therefore, a professional destination, especially for students who have strong bias for technology. There is new technology in real estate which encompasses the Big Data; Internet of Things (IoT); Drone Technology; Articial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Visual Positioning System (VPS); Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Smart Cities.
Besides technology, real estate also incorporates art & design through which a professional can do interior design, graphics design or fine art. Marketing is also a professional aspect of real estate and so, a professional marketer can find a place in real estate market.
As a course of study, Real Estate is broad and therefore exposes a learner to vast and varied disciplines. As an investment asset, it has many value chain from which people can earn a living. “Nigerians like investing in real estate; the sector is good because it can work across many value chain. But we have to continue to innovate; Nigerians should learn to develop its own brand of real estate for themselves and for buyers”, Olayinka Ogunsulire, CEO, Orange Island, advised at the gathering in Lagos.
In real estate business, there is need to imbibe culture of excellence which, Ogunsulire explained, gives a developer more money than he could get by doing it otherwise.
“to be excellent, you have to go extra mile and in delivering your product as a developer, you must consider buyers’ lifestyle”, she advised.
Gbenga Olaniyan, CEO, Estate Links Limited, who said he found himself in real estate by default and has remained in it because it is the best profession and gives a lot of money, agreed that there was also need for professionalism.
Integrity is yet another value that professionals must not compromise on and Modupe Anjous, CEO, Rydal Mews, insisted that this must be accompanied by attention by attention to detail, especially on documentation.
Though it is not easy out there, there is every need to remain focused and this was the advice of Rogba Orimalade, Chairman , Lagos state branch of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), who also advised on commitment and patience in any chosen career, including real estate business.