Professionals chart new frontiers for real estate practice
As the old order of practice is crumbling fast due to socio-economic factors, eggheads in the real estate profession have emphasised the need for re-strategising by policy makers, players and stakeholders in the real estate sector to maximize opportunities across Nigerian cities.
They spoke at the 5.0 summit, tagged: “Charting new frontiers in real estate practice: A recipe for sustainable growth in the new dispensation”, an event organised by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos branch to mark its week.
Leading the call, the president of NIESV, Mr. Johnbull Amayaebvo, said with new opportunities unfolding by the day, globalisation, increased external competition, new frontiers of knowledge, technology, artificial intelligence and others, have impacted the environment, bringing in both positive and negative challenges.
He said volatile and unstable markets have caused hitherto strong and vibrant economies to suddenly experience unimaginable levels of contraction, adding that the conundrum has adversely affected global economies, with increased uncertainty on property values.
Amayaebvo, who is also the chairman, NIESV council said: “Those who would thrive in our world where change is the most constant thing must be ready not just to adapt to changes, but also to adjust swiftly and appropriately. That is how to remain relevant, productive and impactful in a changing environment. We must consciously and continuously scale up the practice of the profession to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.
New perspectives and frontiers we must welcome and embrace. Importance of information technology in today’s world cannot be over emphasized. Technology offers various tools to boost real estate practice. It is time to leverage technology for best practices; time is now to embrace digital transformation and tap on technology to boost efficiency, productivity to meet the expectations of society. Online marketing tools for instance could be deployed for awareness creation in real estate practice, while Google map, Google earth, Google coordinates could be adopted to reconfirm property locations, measure land and buildings remotely.”
Nigeria’s urban growth is projected at 3.99 per cent while economic growth is estimated at 2.47 per cent but the nations’ yearly housing requirement is put at 700,000 units. This offers greater opportunities for investors and practitioners.
In a keynote address entitled: ‘Real estate market dynamics and projections today and the future’, a partner at Ubosi, Eleh & co., Mr. Chudi Ubosi, explained that with high rate of urbanization put at about 5.5 per cent in certain zones particularly, the Southwest and others, there are opportunities for professionals through provision of housing.
Ubosi said the future is bright but practitioners need to prepare for it and come up with flexible plans to adapt to changes as the practice will deepen in many respects creating more opportunities and greater awareness.
He lamented challenges in the sector especially absence of titles with about 90 per cent of total land mass of 923,000 square kilometres without titles, non-professionals out number qualified and regulated professionals, absence of mortgages, lack of strong institutions, lack of data and low internet penetration. According to him, there is huge opportunity for firms and persons in the marketplace to free up dead capital.
He said: “The future will bring increased, intense competition as firms fight each other or non-professionals for business. Currently we do everything – sales, letting, valuation and have become Jack-of-all-trades. In the real estate market of the future specialisation will be important. As the future approaches we will need to specialise in terms of location, service letting, and sale valuations. We must grow knowledge-show knowledge, be a reference point, show expertise and grow competence.
Branding and Marketing is important. In the face of the onslaught into our various professional areas, it is unfortunate that we cannot compete openly by advertising. One of the things that will differentiate us is branding and marketing. The future will be technology driven. The future will be data driven. The Internet makes everything almost available at the touch of a button. Do we have data or access to data?. It will make a world of difference in the future.”
The Chairman of Lagos branch, Mrs. Olabisi Demola-Alade, said the summit as usual is a meeting of the titans in the real estate, properties sector and captains of industries. She said the branch has come a long way adding that its leadership has worked hard to preserve the virtues, which the branch stands for.
“When we took over two years ago, we unfolded the 10-point agenda. Areas of focus include improving welfare, getting closer to our members and professional development,” Demola-Alade said.
Other speakers that include the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Estate Intel, Dolapo Omidire, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Spleet, Akintola Adesanmi, urged practitioners to embrace property technology to improve the practice and maximise profitability in the industry.