Developers take to mentoring, investment clubs over harsh economy
Faced with the stark realities of the economy and down turns in the real estate business, some property developers and players in the sector are maximizing the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria to expand their business frontiers.
Real estate businesses have been facing serious challenges due to the low purchasing power of Nigerians and the inability of developers to secure long-term finance to construct new homes. In some highbrow areas, the vacancy rate remains high.
The major players are not deterred by the scenario, but adopting new strategies to remain afloat such as engaging in mentoring the army of unemployed or under employed on the vast potentials in the sector, thereby increasing their liquidity and popularity.
Although, mentorship is not new in Nigeria, the competitive nature of the real estate industry meant that operators must think out of the box, hence the upsurge on the practice.Apart from this aspect, some developers are also exploring opportunities in investment clubs, where the mentees also known as partners or ambassadors are encouraged to invest and make money in return.
While the mentor make money through fees and sales from mentees, who market their products like lands and houses, the mentee also collect commissions from sales as well as other investments in the firm.This is coming in various ways depending on the ideas of the mentor and real estate operators.
Some of these trends come in form of enterprise development and empowerment programmes. The essence is to provide the army of unemployed, underemployed with opportunities to explore the real estate potentials and make money in the process.
For instance, Pertinence Limited, owners of ABC and VIP Gardens, in Lagos, offer enterprise development and people empowerment programmes schemes, where people are registered and mentored on the prospects in the sector.The company also offer asset development programme, which is aimed at motivating, guiding and assisting people to invest wisely. According to the company, “everyone who becomes a member has the opportunity to become a millionaire in five years by investing ₦10,000 monthly.
“You join the club with your initial deposit for investment and decide the amount you want to invest every month, but the minimum is N5,000 which can be paid weekly, quarterly or yearly.”The Guardian learnt that the firm invest the money on their behalf into real estate and others while they get a fixed and guaranteed 10 per cent , 15 per cent, or 20 per cent return on their investment per annum depending on the tenure.
Similarly, on the Asset Business Club, managed by Pertinence Limited, “membership of the club opens you up to a world of wealth creation opportunities.
The goal is to play significant role in solving the poverty and unemployment problem and also be part of the solution to the housing deficit challenge in Nigeria, by ensuring that everyone, regardless of your socio-economic status can be a land/house owner.The strategy is to help you convert the mentee’s Network into Net-worth.” Other companies offering mentorship programmes include, Realty Point Limited, where the Managing Director, Debo Adejana launched a mentorship programme (DAMP). The programme is divided into two categories. The first is the free and the second is the paying category.
The paying category is a closed forum with a cap on the number of people that can be part of it for quality interaction, effective benefit and participation.Membership renewal is annual and although annual payments will be required, non -performing members of the paying forum are disqualified from renewing their membership and new members are admitted in their stead.
Although, the programme is now being repackaged for greater output, Adejana said, it was designed to encourage people to invest in the real estate sector.
Adejana said a mentor serves as guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can help them to develop solutions to career issues. Mentors rely upon having had similar experiences to gain an empathy with the mentee and an understanding of their issues. Mentoring provides the mentee with an opportunity to think about career options and progress.
Also, the Managing Director, Tobykemsworth Investment, a property development firm, Mr. Adekunle Raphael-Monehin, said the mentoring strategy helps to expose, give a wider representation, corporate representation and grow more sales for the firm.
He stressed that mentees, who are charged affordable fees are trained to be ambassadors, who at the end of the day, go about representing the firm or products and services , thereby driving credibility for the firm.
Raphael-Monehin said the mentees are encouraged to grow through networking to know how they can market the firm’s products.For him, the real estate is competitive and there are so many competitions in the market.
“We are trying to cultivate more hands. It is a way to get more hands in marketing our products and reducing the work load in order to increase in sales.“Also the level of job opportunities in the market is somehow, it is important to engage the youths into viable things. A lot of them are talented and gifted. We are trying to see how we can help them to be useful the Nigeria economy. The impact is enormous, it has increased our stake, our sales, our exposure and credibility and brand in the society”, he said .
The Chief Executive Officer, Lifepage Group – an Investment Holding Company with devoted interest in real estate and investments, Oladipupo Clement said the firm mentored and coached people in their investment and business club.
He stressed that the mentees signed up to be part of business club, to make money.According to him, it is a win-win situation , they help to make people buy into what we are offering , by so doing they made money in return.
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