• Monday, April 22, 2024
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ATCO Homes: Investors love to do business with us because of trust

ATCO Homes: Investors love to do business with us because of trust

As the real estate sector rebounds from the COVID-19-imposed economic lull, investors are fast prioritising trust, location and innovation as critical levers in selecting which real estate portfolios and companies to put their money in. ATCO Homes, a fast-rising real estate company which emerged as a winner of the International Property Awards (IPA) recently, has a reputation for delivering on promise. It has also adopted innovation and sustainability as parts of its construction models. Mr Bartholomew Egbochie, the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, spoke to Businessday.

Your firm is growing fast. It is currently one of the best real estate companies in Nigeria considering recent award recognitions. Tell us a little bit about this growth.

At ATCO Homes, we are unique and passionate in the way we are contributing to the lives of our clients. Our consistent growth boils down to our focus and achievements. We have successfully built a value delivery system that focuses on enhancing the commercial real estate market. Testimonials of investors who do business with us have also been impressive. We have had customers tell us through various feedback loops that our way of conducting business provides them with the utmost rest of mind. They tell us that our business engagement processes are transparent and allocation is satisfactorily conducted. We have been able to come that far because of our integrated service lines of brokerage, property management, construction and investments, and how we always ensure our team of professionals delivers start-to-finish results to our tenants, owners and investors. As one, we are TIGHT and we pride ourselves on providing best-in-class service and support to our customers, our communities and the people who power them. The acronym TIGHT stands for trust, integrity, growth, humility and teamwork; we pride ourselves on guiding principles that keep driving us to offer professional services that add value and peace of mind for clients. We keep exceeding the expectations of our clients. In sum, we are making the dream of owning property a reality.

Most of your estates are located in the fast-growing Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos. What is the rationale behind this concentrated location?

We currently have thirteen (13) estates in our portfolio. They are Blue Pentagon Estate, Angle Blue Estate, Milton Estate, Brampton Lake, Oakville Garden, Cloud View Estate, The Dove Estate, The Nation’s View Estate, Blue Beryl Estate, Blue Ocean Estate, Bliss Vale Estate Phase 1, and Bliss Vale Estate Phase 2. These estates are located across the Lekki and Ibeju-Lekki axis, which has been tagged ‘the new Lagos’. It is also Lagos State’s latest investment hub. We are still expanding our footprint in that area. Because of the attractiveness of the location, our clients often see a 60% to 65% annual return on investment. The drivers of this upscale real estate investment advantage include the Dangote refinery project that is taking off, the seaport, the Lagos state jetty, the different beaches that are scattered around the area, the proposed International Airport to be located within the hub and the planned 4th Mainland Bridge that will further widen access to the area. We prioritise our clients’ investment needs. We keep locating spaces that tie into our clients’ investment aspirations.

Interest in the Nigerian real estate sector has peaked in the past decade, especially the periods before the pandemic. What can you say is responsible for the major growth in the real estate sector?

To be candid, Nigeria’s demography, the massive movement of people from rural to urban areas, and the subsequent redistribution of land rights and properties have aided the real estate sector evolution. Currently, Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million people, out of which, 52% have settled in the urban areas. The population settling in the urban areas is expected to peak further, increasing to 85% in the year 2050. There has been an impressive expansion of cities and the development of new ones with their attendant housing, infrastructure and service needs. That should interest every curious investor. These are factors contributing to the growth of the real estate sector.

Aside from the growth in population and movement of people from rural to urban areas, the consequent rise in infrastructure, and housing demands, what other factors are responsible for the growth of the real estate sector?

The introduction of focused laws, institutions, and rejig in the policy environment have also aided the evolution of Nigeria’s real estate sector.
Take, for instance, the introduction of the Land Use Act of 1978 which harmonised the different land use policies, customary practices and rights to land for the formation of the land tenure system. The Land Use Act vested the powers to allocate and control the use of land in different tiers of the government. This gave room for the privatization. As well, the establishment of institutions such as Ministries and Agencies of Land and Physical Planning across different tiers of government has further improved access to land and real estate investments in the country.

Precisely, in recent times, the real estate market has benefited from government policies targeted at diversifying the economy, which has resulted in significant infrastructure spending.

ATCO Homes was recognised at the prestigious International Property Award in 2023 which was held in Dubai, can you expatiate more on this recognition?

The International Property Awards prioritise as part of its selection criteria, the quality of design, construction and presentation of individual properties and property developments, interiors, architecture and marketing.

ATCO Homes’ Angle Blue Estate emerged top in the residential unit category of the awards for the African region after scrutiny by the IPA panel of judges. The panel adjudged the estate the best in its category, taking into consideration its impressive location and superior sustainability, design architecture, marketing and security features. We are excited by the recognition. The award underlines our commitment to helping our growing investor base achieve their aspiration of owning a home in choice areas and building real estate investment portfolios that meet various architectural designs, quality and sustainability standards. The award has galvanized us to do more.

What does the future hold for the real estate sector in Nigeria?

The Nigeria real estate sector will, for the foreseeable future, continue to serve as a lucrative investment platform, offering incentives in the forms of rents, and profits, especially when an investor sells an appreciated property at a profit. The sector will also keep providing an assuring pathway to diversifying investment portfolios. This is because of Nigeria’s population growth, and continued movement of people from rural to urban areas, in addition to the demand for new infrastructure to meet the growth demands. However, a perfect understanding of the spatial and socioeconomic terrains, as well as trends in target locations, is crucial to making a rewarding portfolio decision in the real estate sector.