The Managing Director of Crystal Tee Square Limited, Pastor Olatunde Oloyede In this interview with ADEWUMI OJO, says the company is focused at reducing housing gap in the country.
The ex-banker and real estate mogul in Lagos says challenges facing the practice of the business in Lagos motivated him. Excerpts.
Can you tell us what Crystal Tee Property Limited is all about?
Crystal Tee Property Limited is a real estate company. We make provision for land acquisition for the people and we are also into real estate development. We have estates in different locations including Lagos and Ogun states.
We have estates in Ibeju Lekki in Lagos. Mawejo that is called City of David that is currently at a low cost. We also have at Apaki in Lagos Island and work is also on-going in the location and is very close to Dangote refinery.
One thing about our company is that, all our lands are dry lands. We do not invest in sand-filled land. We also have another one around Eleko in Lagos Island and Badagry which is also called City of David, Hallelujah Estate Scheme 1 and 2 at Igbo-Iwaju, Shimawa Lagos, among others.
This company is a global company; we have clients all around the world and in the country. Our company is one of the best real estate companies in the country at the moment. This is as a result of the giant stride we are making in the sector. People keep calling all around the globe because our target is to provide affordable housing units for Nigerians and reduce housing deficit. We are proud to say we are making significant effort in this.
What motivated you into real estate business?
Actually, this company is into real estate management and development. The first thing that motivated me was my curiosity towards the real estate business through my former landlord and his agent. I was able to develop interest in it and got motivated through these people.
Sometimes ago, I got half plot of land around Akute through a friend who encouraged me to acquire the land. Thereafter, I met one of my brothers to informed him of the move, he rebuffed it and asked me to make it a full plot of land which initially I thought was a bad idea. Along the line, I bought into the idea and I did as advised. From that moment I began to have a change of mind about real estate. With this, I started carrying out some investigation about real estate with more emphasis in Lagos state.
Interestingly, my undergraduate project in school has to do with Housing Unit; with this I already had some facts about Nigerian housing sector. Along the line, I realized that there’s a high rate of Housing deficit in the country. It’s on this basis that we came up with Crystal Tee which is aimed towards reducing housing deficit in the country.
What are the challenges you are encountering as you focused on reduction of housing gap in the country?
One of the challenges we are facing is nonexistence of some basic resources that ought to be provided by the government. Also some clients buy land for return of investment, which after buying such land, they abandon it without immediate development.
Another issue is the problem of land grabbers, their operations in the state is really affecting the business. But thank God here in our company, we always ensure that we follow due process which makes us to be totally free.
There was a time we bought a land somewhere, not knowing that government has interest in the land and it belonged to them. We have already collected money from the people for this land, but after this, we realized involvement of government in the land. We had to relocate these people to another place that is far better than the initial place, at a cost to the company.
Initially, we felt discouraged but our priority is to deliver always for the people which we were able to sustain. Despite the fact that we relocated them at our cost, we had to apologize.
In what way do you think this menace can be defeated?
Government has really been trying in creating conducive environment for smooth operation of real estate business in the state unlike in the time past.
The issue of land grabbers has actually reduced significantly due to policies of the government. The incessant disturbance of land grabbers both in Lagos and Ogun States has drastically reduced. I will still say thanks to the government policies that have helped in curbing this. However, government still needs to do more, especially in the area of policy implementation, they really need to enforce the law more, the enforcement must be enhanced.
You are a pastor and a Real estate mogul, how do you combine and navigate the two together without interference?
In life, it’s either one belongs to the devil or God. I give God all the glory that belongs to him. Managing the two together is not by own handwork but it’s just the grace of God which has been keeping the business going without affecting one another.
Here in our company, we have a watchword which is “FIT”, F- stands for Fear of God; I- stands for Integrity while “T” stands for Transparency. I believe that if we all have the fear of God, things will be good. With Integrity, we always want to deliver the best. In this company, we don’t engage in fraudulent activities that may dent our image, we are operating with the fear of God and integrity.
Even our surveyors while measuring for us, we do tell them to do it accordingly without any cheat, this is because of our vision of fear of God, Integrity and Transparency.
What is your motivating skill in this business?
One major thing that keeps motivating us is by delivering to the client and seeing them developing such property without delay, it’s a thing that glamour our hearts. Our core target is to see that we deliver houses to the people at a very low rate.
What makes Crystal Tee Property unique from other real estate companies?
We are unique because we always want to deliver the best and by doing what our competitors are not doing. All the staff of the organization are well trained and are very professional.
We always follow our word, truthfulness is our ultimate goal and we always work with what I told you earlier “FIT”. This is what makes us to be different from others.
Additionally, we don’t take anything apart from excellence; we always work towards excellence in order to make our clients happy.