• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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‘We have evolved a unique model of operation to serve Nigerians better’

‘We have evolved a unique model of operation to serve Nigerians better’

A good number of private estate developers in Nigeria are contributing significantly to bridging the country’s housing demand-supply gap. Propertymart Real Estate Investment Limited is one of them. OLUWASEGUN DAMIRO, the company’s General Manager, Sales and Marketing, in this interview, speaks on the company’s strides in providing affordable housing for Nigerians. He also proffers solutions to reducing the housing deficit and how regulators and operators can work better together for the benefit of home-seeking Nigerians. He speaks with CHUKA UROKO. Excerpts:

Propertymart is a frontline real estate developer in Nigeria where there is a significant housing deficit, especially in the urban areas. How well has the company helped in reducing this deficit?

Propertymart consists of a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to advancing lives by delivering best-in-class real estate investment solutions that exceed the expectations of its stakeholders.

As an organisation established to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria, we have delivered exquisite, yet affordable estates within the metropolis of Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states. We have delivered 1,529 units of apartments, 43 units of Villa, and 1,508 plots of land (dry and wet) in Citiview Estate in Arepo, Cranbel Court in Makun, and Cranbel Edge in Lekki-ajah.

We have also delivered land at The Fairmont, Lekki-ajah; Fairmont Hilltop, Alagbado; Mitchel Mews, Magodo G.R.A; Bel Terraces, Life-camp in Abuja; Mitcheville Estate, Lokogoma in Abuja; Palms Garden in Mowe; Mainland Garden, Mowe; Edensville Estate, Simawa, and Citi Park 1& 2 in Mowe.

At Fairmont Hilltop Estate in Alagbado recently, you had a successful plot allocation and subscribers were pleased with that. Tell us about other on-going projects that land buyers can benefit from.

We are a reputable company that offers valuable and well-planned estates with global designs. We preempt consumers’ needs for innovation and evolution and, therefore, we don’t relent in ensuring timely delivery of quality and affordable housing.

Read also: Meet Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, the man with answers to your housing needs

Apart from Fairmont Hilltop Estate in Alagbado where we recently concluded plots allocation, construction and infrastructure developments are going on in Citiview Estate, Arepo and Cranbel Edge, Ajah. Sand filling of the major road and fixing of paving stones are also in progress at Fairmont Estate, Ajah (Scheme 1).

There are several regulators in Nigeria’s housing sector. How well do you take to regulatory oversight?

Propertymart is synonymous with integrity, knowledge, and due process. Its reputation speaks volumes, having delivered major housing estate projects over the years. We ensure that we build the highest quality homes in compliance with regulatory provisions and, to further ensure excellence, we partner top industry leaders for all our projects.

Some of our partners are Play in Architecture, PW Civil Engineers and Cubic Contractors. These organisations ensure strict adherence to quality assurance in compliance to ISO 9001. They follow construction standards and procedures, get certificate and technical approvals prior, within and after completion of each of the projects.

They also ensure that all estates are designed and constructed with ample allocation for green areas. We work with companies and suppliers that have sustainable environmental policy, meet or exceed all the environmental legislations relating to company, industry, local and international laws.

Lagos State recently inaugurated the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) to track fraud and scams common in the housing sector. Besides this, how else do you think the industry could be sanitised?

Unreliable agents, fake makeover to the house, false listing, foreclosure relief, and incorrect documentation, are a few of the many fraudulent acts done by unscrupulous individuals and corporate organisations before the establishment of LASRERA.

Integrity is one of the core values of Propertymart, and it has enhanced our reputation as a formidable real estate investment company upholding the best standard.

We are in total support of the Lagos State government’s move to find a lasting solution to incidences of fraudulent and unprofessional practices observed in the real estate sector. Propertymart believes that the establishment of LASRERA would promote transparency and best practice in housing business.

We suggest that a monitoring team be established to identify and capture all agents and practitioners. The unregistered agents should be advised to register with the right agencies. If there’s no compliance within a stipulated period, sanctions should be enforced on such agent or corporate organisation.

How easy has it been for Propertymart to sustain its commitment to providing quality, affordable homes in the face of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the course of our operation. Activities have been adjusted, and continue to be updated to comply with guidance provided by the government to prioritise the safety of staff, customers and others involved in construction and other related activities.

This includes targeted initiatives to support the most vulnerable members of the organisation. Propertymart is still determined to maintain its standard by delivering properties on schedule. The impact of Covid-19 has affirmed the company’s strategy to create even better value, leading increased care for colleagues, communities and suppliers.

The company has been able to evolve a new model of operation, including extended working hours, employment of additional workers to work within a rotational schedule, and partnership with reliable suppliers to ensure a prompt and adequate supply of materials.

Adequate training for young realtors is an issue in the property industry at the moment. What is your company doing to mentor younger practitioners?

Propertymart is aware that training presents a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of all employees, improve employee performance, satisfaction and morale. It is crucial to address weaknesses, ensure consistency, increase productivity and adherence to quality standards, increase innovation, reduce employee turnover, and enhance company reputation and profile.

Because of these facts, we have continued to provide extensive training for all our employees. We recently provided extensive training on project management and construction finance for staff. Some staff have also been enrolled at the Lagos Business School for Business Management.

How do your company’s distinctive architectural designs help to strengthen its competitive advantage?

Our company was established with a taste for quality and value. The organisation does not only distinguish itself with adherence to integrity and prompt delivery of properties, but has also proven its worth over the years with astonishing architectural designs which ‘wow’ prospects and clients. Our properties are not only durable, but also utilitarian and elegant. The properties are also modern and timeless structures.

What sustainable growth strategies have you deployed to ensure seamless value delivery to customers?

We build on these sustainable long-term growth strategies, knowing our market niche and competitors. We believe in driving sustainable revenue, building a scalable business, and focusing on profitability. We are not limited to Offplan and Buy-back investment plan.

We are extending our strategies on real estate market development and innovation, market penetration and expansion (for Diaspora clients), customer retention, product development (new estates and location), and diversification.

What are your plans towards ensuring you remain at the forefront of real estate sector in Nigeria?

At the core of our commitment is delivering on schedule quality properties. Maintaining this will continue to put us at the forefront of real estate investment in Nigeria. Besides, the company has a wellconceived plan for the next generation of property development.

Propertymart will stay focused on its strengths, take calculated risks, inspire a positive corporate culture and encourage a healthy work environment. We will also ensure effective use of technology, develop social awareness, and continue to provide excellent customer service.

Safety and quality often pose challenges for stakeholders in the real estate sector. What are you doing in this area?

We are working with a team of professionals in each of our estates. We are customer-conscious and ensure that each of our estates is in a non-flooded or water-logged environment. We ensure property designs meet all standards and work with reliable suppliers for quality materials. Our quality control team and other government regulatory agencies ensure, during construction, that quality is not compromised at any stage.

You have been in business in the last 12 years. How much opportunities have created along the value chain that have aided economic growth?

Within this period, we have delivered over 5,600 housing units and serviced plots to families at home and in the Diaspora. This development cuts across all value chain, from the holding (developer and Real Estate Investment Trust) to housing finance, construction (architecture and engineering firms) to real estate agents/brokers, and then to property management companies.

Each stage of property development to sales aids economic growth. I mean estate development to bridge housing deficit, taxes and duties remittance to various government agencies, employment of labour for construction and sales. There’s also corporate social responsibility to communities where the estates are located.