Do you know the housing deficit confronting Nigeria as a country? Statistics from the United Nations puts the figure at between 18 and 20 million housing units. This problem is further compounded by the fact that the greater part of Nigeria’s population in need of housing are in the low income earning bracket.
With low incomes, the individuals in this group have other competing needs/ends that need their financial attention.
However, in the midst of the challenges lie opportunities for businesses as usual. Already government has recognized the need for the provision of affordable housing and has begun to implement policies to that effect.
Hence, you can start a lucrative business as a real estate agent in Nigeria and become successful, by playing an active part in the housing/construction value chain in Nigeria.
Becoming a successful real estate agent can be made successful by following these tips to assist you on your journey.
1. Join an Established Real Estate Company and Sign up as an Intern
You can’t just start up this path on your own without due internship from successful and experience real estate agent in Nigeria. Your journey to becoming a successful real estate agent begins with the first step, which is acquiring the necessary training and expertise.
You can garner these competencies when you intern in established real estate companies in Nigeria. These companies include big time players like Diya Fatimilehin, Jide Taiwo and Co., KPW Professional Property, 1004 Estate Limited, Arm Properties, Brand360 Homes amongst others.
These firms have set the pace in the real estate sector of the Nigeria economy and they post impressive returns in their transactions. Your internship period with any one of these companies will expose you to best national and international practices.
You will be able to witness firsthand the day-to-day activities involved in the running of a real estate firm. Such activities will include sourcing for property, land/property evaluation, client pitching/customer relationships, financial management, employee engagement amongst other matters relating to the administration of real estate in Nigeria.
At the heart of the real estate agency business is knowing how to negotiate and seal deals. You will be dealing with property owners at one end of the spectrum, and you will be pitching to potential buyers at the other end.
This internship period should equip you with the wherewithal to effectively advance the interests of all the parties involved in the transaction, in order to arrive at terms and conditions that are unanimously acceptable to all.
At the end of your internship, you would have had a thorough grasp of these processes and will be sufficiently prepared to begin your own real estate agency business.
2. Register with Relevant Real Estate Organizations in Nigeria
Another important step in your journey of becoming a successful real estate agent in Nigeria, is to belong professionally to the bodies responsible for overseeing the business in Nigeria. The relevant national body is the Association of Property Investment and Commission Agents of Nigeria(APICON). Registering with this association gives your business a formal covering.
Your membership entitles you to receiving support and resources that will aid your real estate agency business. Attending the bi-monthly meetings of this body will enable you interact with other real estate agents and to shore up your interpersonal relationship capital.
At these meetings, you can share ideas, get referrals and also form partnerships that will put your business on a good footing. If you decide to set-up your office in a state like Lagos, it is also advisable that you join the umbrella state agency for real estate agents in the state. This body is referred to as the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department, situated at in the Lagos State Secretariat
Identifying with this body will avail you of the numerous opportunities that are a hallmark of the lucrative property market in Lagos.
3. Decide what your Strategy Will Be
In order to become a successful real estate agent in Nigeria, it is imperative you define what thrust/direction your agency would follow. Central to this decision is the fact that the real estate market serves both the high net worth individuals and the low income earning bracket. You must understand how both markets work.
With the few high net worth individuals, you may be transacting a few deals a year that have the potential of giving you handsome commissions. On the hand, dealing with those at the lower rung of the economic ladder will mean that your real estate agency will have to procure and execute a sizeable number of deals on an ongoing basis to realize a return on your input/investment.
In the light of the above, you will have to choose which of these business strata will work with your long term vision and mission objectives. Your choice for the Nigerian market will be dependent on a number of factors that includes governmental policies, rate of inflation, disposable income, and location of property amongst other issues.
The tips given above are by no means exhaustive. In addition to these suggestions, the real estate agent in Nigeria must be hardworking, have an eye for spotting property with good potential, must be knowledgeable enough to offer consultancy services as well as possess excellent negotiation skills.