• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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How professionals can provide leadership for real estate sector growth

How professionals can provide leadership for real estate sector growth

Though the real estate sector is growing in Nigeria with significant growth to GDP, the growth does not represent the large size of the country’s market where demand and supply imbalance is huge due to challenges that include lack of good policies and coordinated leadership.

For the sector to grow optimally and close the yawning gap in the market estimated at 20 million units, there is need for a strong leadership to be provided by the professionals in the sector to develop and implement policies that promote growth.

These were the views of Adedapo Adelegan, president/CEO, PR Celtron Africa Group, who was guest speaker at the 2023 AGM/Induction ceremony hosted by the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) in Lagos recently with the theme, ‘Real Estate, Leadership and Branding’.

FIABCI is a global organization that brings together professionals and organizations from various sectors of the real estate industry, serving as a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among industry leaders, promoting best practices and innovation in real estate.

Adelegan said that professionals as leaders should engage in regulatory oversight, explaining that they should be responsible for establishing and enforcing regulations that govern real estate activities just as they should play a critical role in ensuring compliance with building codes, land use regulations, and property rights.

He believes that leaders can grow the sector by engendering investor-confidence. “Leadership that fosters trust and credibility in the real estate sector is essential for attracting domestic and foreign investments. Investors need confidence in the regulatory framework, property rights, and the overall business environment. Strong leadership can provide the necessary assurance and create an environment conducive for investment,” he explained.

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Adelegan added that leaders could facilitate collaboration and engagement among stakeholders, including government agencies, industry associations, developers, investors, and communities, pointing out that, by fostering dialogue and cooperation, they could address common challenges.

He noted that real estate in Nigeria was a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges, pointing that inadequate infrastructure, including roads, electricity, water supply, and sanitation facilities, pose a significant threat to the sector. “Insufficient infrastructure hampers development, increases construction costs, and limits the attractiveness of certain locations for investments,” he noted.

He added that limited access to affordable financing options, particularly mortgage finance, was a major challenge in Nigeria because high interest rates, stringent lending criteria, and the absence of long-term financing options made it difficult for individuals and businesses to secure funding for real estate projects.

According to Adelegan, “strong leadership is instrumental to shaping and building a real estate brand. Leaders define the values, culture, and identity of their organizations, which directly influence the brand positioning and reputation,” explaining that branding plays a critical role in the success of real estate projects and businesses, just as a strong brand helps differentiate real estate companies from competitors, builds trust, and attracts customers and investors.

Earlier in his opening speech, Adeniji Adele, President, FIABCI Africa and Near East Region, noted that in spite of its huge market, Africa was far behind the rest of the world. He called for support for the federation to enable it improve the situation in other African markets.

“The federation should be able to bring excellence into the real estate market in Africa. From Nigeria, let us showcase the best that can come out of Africa. To do this and achieve results, all hands must be on deck,” he pleaded.

Gladstone Opara, President of FIABCI Nigeria, also called for support for the federation, describing the day’s event as an avenue for members to met, interact, network and share ideas to boost their business/careers, and also to make friends.

The event also marked the induction of new members into the federation. According to Opara, the inductees have not only raised the membership profile of the federation, but also altered the composition of the membership as people from professions other than Estate Surveying and Valuation have been admitted. “We now have architects, builders, town planners, etc as members,” he said.