I closed over 100 deals, championed 5 real estate projects in my first job- Kabiru Ajisafe

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Unlike most millennials who avoid sales jobs as much as possible, Kabiru Ajisafe, head of sales at Polymaths, is a pacesetter and game changer. With his outstanding records, he makes real estate sales seem so easy. In this interview, he shares insights about winning real estate sales strategies and his work at Polymaths.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Ajisafe Kabir Oluwaseun. I studied Economics and Development Studies at Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State. I also have a diploma in Strategic Management and Database Administration. I consider myself as strategic, crazy and creative.

In your previous sales position, what role did you play in achieving targeted revenue?

In my last sales role, I was able to close over hundred deals and champion about five real estate projects. I was the key account person for the projects. I was able to generate millions of naira in sales for the company. Interestingly, it was my first job.

My tasks started out as teamwork. Later on, it was based on personal effort. I had no break. Sometimes, I would pick up calls and negotiate at midnights. It was an unusual experience.

How were you able to achieve this?

I united three crucial factors – sales, marketing and customer success. These factors work hand-in-hand, but most sales people focus just on sales. I get multiple referrals once I achieve customer success.

How do you see sales, marketing and customer success fitting together?

Sales, marketing and customer success to an extent determine how far a business will go and how profitable it becomes in the long-run. Sales focus on the product, while marketing and customer success focus more on the client tastes and desires. To have a successful business, one must empathise, and one must put … Read More...

Commercial office developers pre-recession plans coming to life now on better FX

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The plans by real estate developers to construct office properties which were initially thrown under the carpet are beginning to see the light of day owing to stable exchange rate, and exit from recession, industry players have said.

Nigeria’s macro economy experienced significant impulses over the last few years. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Africa’s most population nation nosedived into the worst recession in 25 years.

Affected by the plunge in crude oil prices, decline in oil production, and the reduction in non-oil exports, Nigeria’s economy entered its worst phase in 2016 and as such resulted to the scarcity of foreign exchange.

The real estate sector, among others, was hit the most during the contraction period when naira-dollar exchange rate reached its peaks in the history of the country’s existence.

“Any new project that you see now is not fresh development that people are executing as a result of high demand; rather they are projects that have been on hold”, Dolapo Omidire, Founder of Estate Intel, a real estate research firm, noted.

“The new project you are seeing now is a result of past years of planning just that they are beginning to execute the projects and it is not as a result of resurgence of large commercial activities, Omidire said.

A recent survey by BusinessDay revealed that almost 80 percent of the materials used by real estate developers in constructing  properties are sourced from outside the country, which is why most developers  were  unable to carry on with their projects when the naira weakened against the dollar.

Omidire’s views were shared by Olurogba Orimalade, Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State Branch, who said that the commercial offices that are being developed now were conceptualised 3-4 years … Read More...

Why new capital seeks investment, living space in The Seattle Residences

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In a crowded, oligopolistic and slow-moving market where everybody seems to be doing virtually the same thing, what keep both the market and product suppliers going are product differentiation and efficiency of service delivery.

The Seattle Residences is one of the latest iconic products in the Nigerian property market today. It was not lost on its developers and promoters that the market into which they introduced their product in December 2018 was not only crowded, but also slow-moving, reflecting the state of the economy.

A $32million project funded by Triton Universal Global Concepts Limited, a private real estate investment company, The Seattle Residences comes as upscale luxury serviced apartments offering luxury waterfront living experience with panoramic views of the Lagoon.

It is often said that, in real estate, location is everything. But for The Seattle Residences and its developers, a piece of luxury such as this looks beyond this cliché, which is why today, every new capital in the market for investment or residential purposes seeks a space or slice of its breath-taking offerings.

Located in the heart of Lagos, in the serene enclave of Walter Carrington Street, Victoria Island, Seattle Residences offers fully furnished 3 and 4-bedroom apartments that are perfect blend of modern architecture, indulgent home comfort, state-of-the-art appliances and breath-taking vistas.

Comfort and convenience are major considerations for a luxury-loving home buyer. But a savvy investor takes it further. He considers return on his investment too. On this score, The Seattle Residences does not disappoint such investor.

“The project aims to achieve a yield of 12 percent, some 200 basis points above the average prime mixed-use development yield as at Q4 2018. In deciding the appropriate mix for the project, the developers balanced the risk between long term and short-term tenancy, and … Read More...

Possible growth initiatives for housing finance in Nigeria

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Unemployment and high level poverty are two major obstacles to getting housing finance in Nigeria. Poverty level in the country is high despite the country’s apparent wealth from petro-dollar. This is made worse by rising unemployment figures in excess of 20 million.

Africa is regarded as a poor continent and, despite its relative large population size, the continent is economically underweight with an estimated €113 billion gross asset value of real estate which represents 1 percent of the world’s total value.

A World Bank report once estimated that only 3 percent of the African population, about 15 percent of the world’s 7.3 billion population has income viable enough to qualify them for a mortgage. This explains the need for initiatives that can lead to viable income to qualify people for mortgage.

That estimate simply underscores the level of poverty in the black continent where some households live below poverty line. Home ownership in most parts of Africa remains a luxury because houses are literally unavailable and where they are, they are inaccessible and unaffordable.

In Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and one touted as its largest economy, it is estimated that 70 percent of country’s over 180 million people lives below poverty line, which is the reason for the low home ownership level in the country that is a little above 10 percent.

It is also estimated that about 90 percent of houses in Nigeria are self-built with less than 5 percent of them in possession of formal title registration. Because of this, mortgage loans and advances in the country stand at 0.5 percent to GDP in contrast to 30-40 percent in emerging economies and 60-80 percent in advanced economies.

Adigwe Arinze of Homebase Mortgage Bank attributes this to hostile business environment and lack … Read More...

Fresh challenges in housing market as landlords seek agreement, commission fees outside terms

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The lack of sufficient and pocket-friendly accommodation in most Nigerian cities has left many home-seekers at the mercy of some landlords who, according to BusinessDay checks, are taking undue advantage of the challenges in the country’s property market.

Some house owners in the busy mainland of Lagos and Port Harcourt are said to be enacting new terms of renting apartments to prospective tenants that are unfavourable to estate agents and their clients.

BusinessDay survey revealed that some landlords who have highly sought-after apartments with cheaper price ask potential tenants to pay legal (agreement) fees to them instead of a lawyer and the commission which is also supposed to be the agent’s fee for initiating the transaction is split to give a share to the house owner.

“What happened before now was that the lawyer from the landlord was entitled to the agreement fee while the agent was given the commission but now the landlords are taking half of the commission and sometimes more than half coupled with the agreement as they no longer use the services of lawyers and no written agreement is given other than a receipt,” Ade Usman, a real estate agent in Yaba, told BusinessDay.

According to the middle-aged man who gets most of his clients from an online platform, the landlords’ recent behaviour is as a result of the fact that “they feel if  one agent doesn’t collect the amount he is given, another agent will.”

He attributed this to the increase in the number of agents now scrambling for the same business. “These days, anyone can bring a tenant to a landlord and claim that he/she is an agent and is willing to take any amount, thereby stirring unhealthy competition in the market.”

Agency fees are not illegal as some … Read More...