These days, real estate is considered to be one of the most profitable and growing businesses. In the Nigeria of today, you can make a lot of money by starting a real estate business, whether as a real estate agent or as an investor.
Starting your own real estate business is a good carrier option that comes with a lot of difficulties and challenges. The market is a well established one with tough competition from numerous new and established players. However, do not be intimidated by the competition rather focus on building a unique brand that stands out amongst the rest.
What is Real Estate?
Real estate is a property (consisting of land or buildings) or a huge collection of properties. On the other side, real estate business is the process of buying, selling or renting a property, building, home or land. Real estate agents assist homeowners, businesses and investors buy and sell all four types of properties.
The real estate business can be divided into further parts like loan servicing, residential and commercial properties etc. Examples of residential real estate include undeveloped land, houses, condominiums, and townhouses; examples of commercial real estate are office buildings, warehouses, and retail store buildings; and examples of industrial real estate include factories, mines, and farms.
Real Estate in Nigeria
Real estate in Nigeria is serious business. As a matter of fact, one of the longest-standing industry in Nigeria is the real estate industry. The industry has become a gold mine over the years, and many smart entrepreneurs have tapped into it and are making tons of profit.
Nigerians are always in need of residential apartments, office building, and commercial outlets. They look to either buy or rent buildings and structures of their choice, and they sometimes need to consult real estate agent or expert before making their choices.
This explains why the real estate industry abounds with business opportunities and has been ranked as the 5th largest contributor to the GDP of Africa’s largest economy.
How to start a Real Estate Business?
However, In order to be successful in this industry, one should have good knowledge and information in this field. This basic guide will equip you with the knowledge and information you need to acquire to start your own very successful real estate business in Nigeria.
1. Have a strategic business plan
You need to strategically plan your business to be able to conquer this market. Real estate investing is just like starting any other career in which you can’t start on a whim without having a specific business plan in mind.
A business plan is vital for any real estate investor, and one of the best advice you’ll get in the housing market is to start out small and plan, plan, plan! This step is especially important if you’re planning on becoming a real estate investor for the long term. In this case, you want to grow your real estate investment portfolio strategically.
2. Build a unique brand
Brand credibility is important in building a successful business in Nigeria especially when it has to do with the investment of millions of Naira. Branding is all about creating a perception about your business in the minds of people.
To turn your real estate business into a trustworthy brand, you need to give your customers more than enough value for their money and build a relationship by engaging with them on a personal level. Also, set your real estate business apart from the competition by investing in premium branding identities such as logo, website, adverts and more.
3. Legally register the business
If you really want to make this business to the highest level possible, then you have to legalize its existence by registering the business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Registering as a Business Name with CAC is enough at this stage if you can’t afford to register it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Also, watch out for the rules and regulations guiding professional real estate bodies in Nigeria to ensure that you are not operating against the law. Some of the popular real estate professional institutions to watch out for include; Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN), Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).
4. Raise the required capital to start
If you did your business plan research well you must have known the minimum amount of money it will require to get you started depending on the scale at which you choose to start. If your savings and financial capacity are not enough to start, you can source for alternative fundings.
Real estate business is very capital intensive and requires a huge amount of investment. If you do not have enough it is important that you seek investors. You can look for equity investors that can give you enough leverage at the start and accelerate growth.
5. Get Started & Get Working
The last step to starting a real estate holding company is execution. Execute on everything that you’ve developed in your business plan. A good number of Nigerian businesses fail due to very poor execution. Execution comprises of your day to day activities in the business. This includes the closing of deals, marketing, networking, client orientation, human resources etc.
Starting a real estate business ain’t for the faint of heart. So, to be successful in the real estate business, you must be prepared to face the challenges. At a personal level, and as a business owner, nurture your ambitions and become a goal-oriented and organized person. Keep in mind that the real estate sector is not about achieving instant success. Instead, it is a long game, which requires a lot of patience.