The founder of Real Estate Professional Association of Nigeria (REPAN) and the CEO of Digigidi Realty Company Limited, Mr. Kolade Akintayo in this interview with OLUWASEUN SONDE and BUKOLA OLANREWAJU said entrepreneurs must look into possible alternatives to gain survival knowledge in Nigerian Real Estate market. Excerpts
Real estate is a capital intensive sector, thus it restrains aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources. What measures are the government and the private sector putting in place to lower the financial barricade and encourage the aspiring investor?
First and foremost, real estate is capital intensive sector but that does not restrict aspiring entrepreneurs. With the right set of knowledge before venture, entrepreneurs know they must make optimal combination of resources available to them. So if finance is not available, why should an entrepreneur venture into real estate development? There are other segments of Real estate that doesn’t require finance for development.
Take for instance, the sales and letting, property management, consultancy among others. I wrote once about how easy it is for real estate entrepreneurs to start out.
The only limitation is the amount of time needed to be committed into the profession before insights for profits can be drawn. But instead many entrepreneurs want to make it big in the first year. The high figures that attach themselves to the products of Real estate attract so many diverse individuals who ultimately get burned for their lack of knowledge, understanding of the market and potential changes that need to be adapted to from time to time.
Secondly, real estate is important to the private and public sector because it implies a large amount of wealth. So the issue about what the government and private sector is doing to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs is not important as the necessary collaboration amongst them all to guarantee an equitable and cost efficient housing in all states of the Federal republic of Nigeria. However, government can’t effectively put anything in place for profit purposes. Entrepreneurs must look into possible alternatives to gain survival knowledge in the Nigerian real estate market.
Overall, real estate still remains a lucrative sector in Nigeria. How viable would you say it is?
It is viable for as long as the commitment to urban governance continues to surpass the need to profit.
Can you tell us about DigiGidi Realty Company Ltd? What are the challenges the company is facing as regard the harsh economy of Nigeria and how have you been able to survive over the years?
DRC Ltd is not a real estate development company. We are positioned as the foremost Real estate company offering a superior service in Lagos state. Apart from operating as a traditional Real estate firm, we are into the business of managing agents that operate in the coveted Real estate arena. We essentially manage Real estate agents and their transactions.
The only challenge we are facing is managing agents that do not represent their clients to the best of their knowledge and those agents that remain unscrupulous in the market.
As a founder of Real Estate Professionals Association of Nigeria (REPAN), what are your missions?
Our missions are clear and simple, to enhance the welfare and educational development of real estate agents operating in Nigeria as a fundamental aspect of the profession, to maintain the dignity and responsibility of real estate professionals (especially real estate agents) by insisting on the principles of fair dealing in the business of buying and selling, renting and caring for real estate in Nigeria and to promote and encourage ownership of real property and by doing things which may be deemed necessary or advisable to make real estate a sound and desirable investment in Nigeria.