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Real estate sector must take advantage of technology, say experts

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Experts has urged professionals in the real estate industry to take advantage of existing technology and innovations to deepen practice and accelerate affordable housing in the country.

Immediate past chairman of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos branch, Mr. Adedotun Bamigbola, said the introduction of cutting-edge technologies in real estate has changed ways businesses are conducted.

Bamigbola, who spoke at a forum entitled, “Real Estate in 2021: Is it time for some caution, more innovation or opportunities,” organised by Thinkmint Nigeria, emphasised that real estate has been impacted by technology.

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According to him, technology are limitless, hence; it’s possible for the industry to do a catch up as stakeholders need to work hard as the global economy is heading towards deployment of technological innovations.

Bamigbola reinforced the need to mentor young professionals, who are grounded in technology and innovation to effectively play a role in the real estate sector.

He explained that a major challenge was that the economy is government driven unlike the western world where there are free markets.

Bamigbola, who doubles as the senior partner, Bamigbola Consulting said: “Whatever the government does impacts on the private sector. In developed countries, most mortgages are channeled through pension funds but in Nigeria, mortgage is screwed towards the financial sector.”

He added, “We need to have local content in our building material market. We can’t afford to import materials for building production, rather a lot of exports should be happening so that we could generate foreign exchange.

“There is need for competition in the building materials manufacturing market. Cement, finishing materials, sanitary wares and cables. The construction industry has not witnessed the kind of support other industries benefited from government.”

“The industry needs a seamless property registration process, provision of basic infrastructure that reduces cost of building production. Government should partner with professionals to make the sector efficient and effective.”

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A real estate marketing expert, Mrs. Imelda Usoro-Olaoye, also lent her voice to the same issue. According to Bamigbola, real estate operatives need to adopt initiatives that improves housing delivery

“Residential spaces must tend towards smaller apartment sizes to allow young middle-income earners to have access to homes. Development of council’s building at local level. There should be introduction of monthly rent to reduce pressure on the economy and tax reduction for developers among others,” he added.

One of the organisers, Oluwakemi Arewa, stated that when investors do their part in the course of investment decision, the sector will boom.

She also observed that with improved infrastructure across the country, land value would increase in every location, adding that such development would improve affordable housing.

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