In this interview, the Chief Executive Officer, ElanOrris, Ayobami Alo, speaks on how to identify quacks in the real estate industry and the government’s role in advancing the sector
The housing industry challenge is enormous and traverses the building materials and mortgage services, what is your advice on how to better the sector?
The major key to increasing prices of building materials and difficulty in accessing mortgage facility is the Federal Government. No country can boast of economic advancement without the joint effort of the government and private sector.
Almost everything we use in building good houses here in the country is imported, therefore, we are at the mercy of foreign countries. We have land in abundance, we have resources in abundance and we have people. Real Estate should be easier than it is.
How can the sector put an end to quackery?
I would rather advise my audience “not be in a hurry to buy any property without building trust in the buyer first”. Also, “do not ever assume that real estate is cheap, it is getting more expensive on a daily basis. The cheap ones may be fraud”. Quackery will reduce when people are enlightened by consulting genuine real estate companies or realtors before coughing out their hard-earned monies.
What role can the FG play in encouraging real estate investment?
By making mortgage facilities more accessible to the people, [for example NHF] and by partnering with private players in the industry.
With everyone venturing into real estate, are there still available lands to be sold especially in Lagos?
There are many practices in the real estate sector. Land sales, Home sales, Estate development, Interior decorations, Homewares, Horticulture, Exterior building materials, Electricals, Land valuation and more. Others are Legal advisory, Surveying, Realty etc.
However, about lands in Lagos, there is more to sell. Also, real estate does not stop at just the acquisition of land for future purposes, old buildings are being converted into more sophisticated edifices now, especially in high-brow locations in Lagos for residential and commercial use.
How would you rate this outgoing government in terms of its contributions to the real estate industry?
This government has contributed their quota to the industry growth, however, I expect more from the next administration.
What services are you rendering that would differentiate you from other firms?
ElanOrris is different from its competitors in terms of industry advisory. We also run total real estate services; construction, documentation, interior design and more.
What is the role of insurance for investors in the real estate sector?
Due to my experience as an Insurance Advisor, I would always tell my audience to insure everything that is important to them, including their homes. It is important.
Do you think our higher institutions are churning out qualified graduates? If not how can this be salvaged?
Quality of education does not rely only on our institutions, in fact, 80 per cent rests on students. Schools are called great because students help their teachers by reading more or going the extra mile in ensuring they fly good colours. I have seen graduates of so-called poor institutions outclass graduates from the glorified ones.
Is the growth rate of land reclamation not a risk to the environment especially in Lagos?
It is, and the only way out is for the state government to do more in terms of enlightenment or industry education, especially for buyers or investors.
What are the solutions to the influx of people into Lagos and the accommodation challenge it poses?
We have to begin to develop other parts of the state, especially the outskirts. Lagos will experience more influx and shortage of shelter will persist until we divert our focus from the developed to the developing areas like Ibeju-Lekki, Epe, Sango, Eleko, Ikorodu etc.
What solution can government implement for people who live on the streets or bridges?
Government should provide affordable land for private players in the industry with the spread-of-payment window. These developers can in turn build affordable homes with affordable rent. Three or four people can jointly rent a small unit, just to have a room over their heads at night and go about their businesses during the day. The degree of public nuisance constituted will fall gradually.