In this interview, Ademosun Babatunde Abiodun, MD/CEO, Highmarkplus, a building developer, real estate consultant as well as haulage & logistics expert, stressed the need for real estate professionals in the country to avoid wasting investors’ funds by adopting innovation and sound financial management principles that would attract funds needed to meet Nigeria’s housing need. SEYI JOHN SALAU brings the excerpts:
Kindly share your story on how Highmarkplus is changing the narrative and your journey into real estate?
Highmarkplus Real Estate was founded in 2021 and the company is a testament to the power of education, hard work, and an entrepreneurial spirit. So, my journey from a humble beginning to becoming a successful entrepreneur and mentor is an inspiring story of dedication and perseverance. Through the pursuit of knowledge and commitment to empowering others, we continued to make a positive impact in Nigeria and beyond. But people must understand that if you want to be successful you must have passion for something. For me, driven by a passion for real estate and entrepreneurship with the quest of making home ownership seamless for Nigerians, led to the establishment of Highmark Plus real estate, where we continue to make a significant impact in the industry. One thing I know is that my innovative spirit has set me apart as a visionary leader in the real estate sector. Additionally, my marketing skills have played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the real estate venture I lead. Apart from connecting hundreds of Nigerians to their choice property within the last decade, Hallmark Plus real estate under my leadership now boasts of five estates across Nigeria just within two years of starting operations.
What can you attribute to the growth of Highmarkplus as a real estate firm?
At the onset, we set our minds on becoming a world-class firm in all ramifications. This helped us to begin to think globally in order to set ourselves for the goal ahead and this has made Highmarkplus one of Africa’s fastest-growing real estate companies based in Nigeria. At Highmarkplus, we are committed to redefining the real estate landscape in Africa, with a strong focus on Nigeria. Established in 2021, Highmarkplus real estate has rapidly emerged as a leading player in the industry, both domestically and internationally. Although Highmarkplus currently provides housing for Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, the goal is to take the operation beyond borders or boundaries. Our core mission is to facilitate the dream of home ownership by ensuring the accessibility and affordability of homes while adopting innovation as a key element to professional and quality delivery. At Highmarkplus, our vision is to become a global beacon of excellence in the real estate industry. We aspire to be the first choice for individuals and families seeking quality, affordable, and sustainable housing solutions not only in Nigeria but across borders with dedication to shaping vibrant, inclusive communities and contributing to the sustainable growth and prosperity of the regions we serve. Our unwavering commitment to excellence will continue to drive us towards achieving this vision, making Highmarkplus a trusted partner in the pursuit of homeownership and real estate investment opportunities worldwide. Through sustainable practices, cutting-edge technology, and unwavering commitment to our customers, we see a world where Highmarkplus is synonymous with quality, integrity, and the realization of homeownership dreams worldwide.
Over the years, you have honed expertise in logistics and management; has these influenced your business trajectory?
Yes, of course it did and that is why you observe that the way we operate in our firm is different from others in the industry which is clear from all that I have learned from small beginnings while honing my experience in entrepreneurship growing up.
Earlier, you spoke about your passion for making home ownership seamless for Nigerians; do you think you are achieving this?
We are achieving this with our already sold-out prototypes because we understand the needs of the average Nigerian mindset when it comes to housing. God’s Delight Estate located in Iraye Town, Epe, Lagos State, is a residential development that offers a unique blend of serene living and modern amenities. The estate is designed to provide residents with a comfortable and peaceful environment while being conveniently close to urban conveniences. God’s Delight Estate shares proximity with some of the finest private and government investments, facilities or landmarks like Pan Africa University, Alaro City, Dangote refinery, Novare Mall, Shoprite, the proposed Lekki- Epe International Airport all of which guarantee high Return on investment. Some of the available land sizes include 600sqm selling at 4,000,000 and 300sqm selling at 2,000,000. Another estate is God’s Delight Phase II, located in Iraye Town, Epe, Lagos State, just like God’s Delight Estate is situated in a serene and growing community, making it an ideal choice for individuals and families looking to invest in or purchase properties in Lagos. The available land size at God’s Delight Extension is 600 sqm selling at 2,500,000 with Freehold as title. Subscribers of the estate have the opportunity to access flexible payment plans while enjoying some of the finest developments in the new Lagos, Epe. One thing that is clear from our estates is that we observe trends to develop whenever we want to site our estate no matter the location in the country. This we did with the City of Grace Estate, located in Molajoye village, Epe, Lagos State. Now this is a real estate development that offers a unique and potentially attractive residential opportunity in the dynamic city of Lagos, Nigeria. Situated in Epe, a growing and evolving area of Lagos, this estate offers a range of features and benefits for residents and investors alike. The estate has C of O as land title and connects subscribers with some top developments within the economic developers such as Pan Africa University, Alaro City, Lagos State Food Security and Logistics Hub, Grace Polytechnic, Novare Mall, Shoprite, the proposed Lekki- Epe International Airport. Available land sizes include 300 sqm selling at N6,000,000 and 500 sqm selling at N10,000,000. Another thing that has set us clearly on the path of growth is that we understand where the potential of real estate lies in the state and we are deliberately positioning ourselves to ensure our clients benefit from the development that we can foresee coming. Over the years we have distinguished the firm with our unique style of estate in the market. The reason why I said this is that with the Kingscourt apartment, located in Beechwood Estate, Adiva Shapati offers a distinctive residential opportunity in a serene and well-developed environment. The estate shares proximity with some prominent landmarks and recreational facilities like the Lakowe golf course, Omu resort, Pan Africa University and La Campagne Tropicana. Residents of the estate will enjoy facilities such as a 24/7 power supply, a good road network, 24/7 security, Central sewage and so on. At Kingscourt Estate available property is the 3-bedroom terrace duplex with BQ selling at N70,000,000. Like Kingscourt Apartment, the Kingscourt Phase 2 is also located inside Beachwood, Adiva Shapati, which is a well-planned and established community. This location is a major attraction, providing residents with a peaceful and safe environment. The Kingscourt Phase 2 has a C of O title and shares proximity with Lakowe Golf Course, Omu Resort, Pan Africa University, Dangote refinery, and La Campagne Tropicana.
Why do you believe so strongly in your growth strategy?
What you must understand in the industry is that without it you have to be proactive and understand what is the mood of the market to break even in the industry. That is why I emphasised that people must be on top of their profession despite their level of success, as you have to thoroughly understand customers’ behaviours what they like and what they can afford. All these put together should help you know how to market your estates even before you start the designing and construction. Another key factor is that Highmark Plus is guided by a set of core values that define our culture, guide our decisions, and shape our interactions with customers, partners, and each other. We uphold the highest standards of honesty, ethics, and transparency in all our actions. Our commitment to integrity builds trust with our stakeholders and is the foundation of our reputation. We relentlessly pursue excellence in everything we do, from the quality of our developments to the service we provide to our customers. We continually seek to improve and innovate. Our customers are at the heart of our business. We listen to their needs, anticipate their preferences, and work tirelessly to exceed their expectations. Like I said earlier this cannot never be bought but by understanding your industry thoroughly.
Hallmarkplus under your leadership boasts of five estates across Nigeria just within two years of starting operations. What is making these possible?
The answer is simple, we embrace innovation as a means to drive positive change and enhance the value we bring to our customers. We are open to new ideas, technologies, and approaches that can revolutionise the real estate industry. However, we have a global outlook and seek opportunities beyond borders to expand our reach and impact, while respecting and adapting to the unique cultures and regulations of each region. Similarly, every member of the team believes in the power of collaboration and values the diverse talents and perspectives of our team members. Together, we achieve more and create a supportive and inclusive work environment. We recognize the dynamic nature of the real estate industry and remain flexible and adaptable in the face of change. We embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. We take ownership of our actions and decisions by holding ourselves accountable for delivering on our promises to our customers, partners, and stakeholders. So, these core values serve as our compass, guiding us as we work towards achieving our vision and fulfilling our mission at Highmarkplus.
Outside your professional endeavours, in real estate, what other new areas are you looking to explore in the Nigerian economy?
Honestly, this is the secret for anybody who wants to succeed as an entrepreneur. You must constantly seek new experiences and ways to stay on top at all times. However, with the kind of industry we operate in, it is challenging and you must understand policies and how they influence several factors that can kick you out of business. I believe that there are several opportunities untapped in real estate because the average Nigerian does not have comfortable housing to call a home and so until these basic needs are met and catered for then we still have to be in business. Currently, I am always exploring several opportunities available to me but mind you I already said we seek to understand the policies of governments and gather data that will influence our investment appetite as a firm. But, I am interested in investing across boards once the data are right.
Tell us more about the vision of the firm and how you have leveraged it to drive growth within this short period?
The vision is to put a smile on our clients’ faces because we clearly understand that the economic situation in the country does not warrant us to mismanage investors’ funds. This is why we always advise real estate firms to be proactive with the conception of the ideas and understand what kind of structures or models they want; these will not allow for wastage and give clarity once construction begins. The era of people losing money because of failed projects by some developers should be curtailed by the government and when these happen there should be sanctions. We understand that sometimes inflationary trends affect projects, but as a DNA code, we guide investors to lose money as much as possible by adopting innovation and a strict code for financial management principles. That is the way to attract and unlock funds needed to reduce the housing deficit in the country