Operators in built industry urged to leverage technology
With the capacity to contribute about nine to 12 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), players in the built industry have said that to remain relevant and achieve a viable real estate sector, operators should be technologically advanced and recreate themselves to move in line with the tide.
They argued that this was pertinent, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic that had accelerated the necessity and power of new technology, the incessant recessions, reduced purchasing power amid epileptic exchange rate regime, changed user demographics and changes in tastes and fashion of occupiers, which have all resulted in significant alterations on how and what goods and services are in demand.
Charting the course, Senior Partner, Knight Frank Nigeria, Frank Okosun, at a breakfast session organised by the firm, said it was focused on the intercepts between construction, real estate and technology, as well as how the trio would influence the future of real estate services in Nigeria.
Noting that the sector was critical to the Nigerian economy with importance that could not be over-emphasised, he said they are key employers of labour, critical factors of production and the host of businesses, living or recreational activities.
“The way forward is to adopt technology in the built industry. We have been so laid back about it. For Knight Frank as a brand in the real estate business, we need to chart the course; we need to collaborate with critical stakeholders to take the sector to enviable height,” he said.
Speaking on the theme ‘Real Estate, Construction and Tech: The Future of Real Estate Services’, Chief Executive Officer, Eximia Realty Company, Hakeem Ogunniran, said with technology that has disrupted the space and to remain relevant to continue to deliver on the job, players must consolidate on the gains and recreate the old platforms to deliver better values.
Giving the nexus between the sector and the economy, he said it drives the economy, acts as growth enabler for other economic sectors, potent lever of socio-economic transformation and key contributor to the wealth and prosperity of cultures.
Harnessing the future of real estate in Nigeria, Ogunniran said there was the need for asset creation, through regulation and compliance; technology through commoditisation and industrialisation; as well as innovative financing solutions through capital stocks flexibility.
Among other speakers, Chief Executive Officer, Broadbased Communications, Henry Iseghohi, who noted that digitisation was the way forward in the real estate ecosystem, advised the participants on how to make their businesses boom and how to leverage the digital process for the real estate business.
Also, Temilola Sonola of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) spoke on how the government should come up with initiatives to help the real estate business.
According to her, climate change is pushing more people to poverty and IFC is rising to the challenge by investing in core climate markets and disruptive technologies.