Written by Victor Gbonegun
Posted on 26-09-2018
Flustered by the activities of impostors and foreign competitors in estate agency practice, experts have called for the adoption of strategic and innovative ways of doing the business for prosperity of the industry.
They want Nigerian Institution of Estates Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) members to offer value rather than focusing on profit optimisation.
The participants were also urged them to develop a one-stop shop that encompass for all that are needed by clients.
Speaking at one-day seminar/interactive session on, "Prospects and challenges of international competition in the business of real estate" organised by the NIESV's Estate Agency and Marketing Business Division in Lagos, a past president, Joe Idudu expressed worries that the industry has become an all-comers affair for those who ordinarily doesn't have business in the sector because of its lucrativeness.
He posited that the incursion of foreign players in Nigerian real estate has worsened the ability of local players to survive in the country.
In a lecture on, "A well structured partnership, a case study of a flourishing firm of estate surveyors and valuers", Idudu challenged members to be innovative in structuring their firms, imbibe the culture of honesty and sincerity of purpose in dealing with clients and colleagues in the profession.
He said, "The world is a global village, we must learn to accommodate competition from others.
The only advantage that foreign firms have over local practitioners is their accessibility to capital for investment in the market.
We must embrace value and for our job, location of firm is important.
What is needed for successful partnership is honesty of purpose and importantly, we must structure our firm in such a way that there is continuity even after we must have retired."
A Partner and Head of Risk Consulting, KPMG Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Olayinka who spoke on, "Why foreign firms are preferred in the sector", emphasized that what makes clients prefer foreigner operators in the business was because of the fact that they empower clients through value, demonstrate strong understanding of the nature of the trade and are more strategic in satisfying the people.
According to him, local operators should deploy such tactics to be able to remain relevant in the industry.
Contributing, a past president of NIESV, Bode Adediji lamented that the industry is faced with so many challenges among which are recession, ignorance and complacency, poverty and marginalization/international competition.
He stressed that to survive therefore, would require practitioners to make clients have greater degree of trust, expertise and confidence in the type of services offered.
According to him, the most crucial and disruptive aspect of the international competition is particularly reflected in the premium and eyebrow segment of the real estate market.
He said, â€œLocal practitioners must as of necessity understudy the composition and 'modus-operandi' of international competition so that the required change in the conventional attitudes, practice, and emphasis can be effected pragmatically and not merely symbolically as is prevalent now.
Recapitalization, innovation, technology, among others, are sacrosanct, if the local firms hope to survive the audacity and the scourge of the foreign company operations in Nigeria."
On his part, Mr. Gboyega Fatimilehin, attributed the incursion of foreign players in the industry to the nationsâ€™ increase in Gross Domestic Product, technology disruptions and the observed investment opportunities in the country.
He advised NIESV to consolidate for growth, put in place continuous training and workshops for members to build competence as well as confidence in their operations.
He pointed out that for the Nigerian real estate industry to be competitive and attract investment, real estate practice must have higher standards.
This, he stressed will remove constraints in the market and allow local practitioners to compete with the global real estate firms that have entered our market
Earlier, the president of NIESV, Mr. Rowland Agbonta observed that the recent pronouncement by the court that lawyers have no business in property transaction has brought a new ray of hope to practitioners stressing that it is high time that quacks in the profession are fished out and punished.
He said, "Agency practice has become an important area of real estate business and so everything that needed to be done to protect that arm of the profession must be put in place.â€
In a remark, the Chairman, Faculty of Estate Agency and Marketing, NIESV, Sam Eboigbe said the seminar was to draw attention of estate agency practitioners nationwide to the professional embarrassments of surrendering the larger chunk of its cake to foreign competitors.
He said, "The battle for the soul of estate agency has been largely local in nature and the faculty some years ago championed the establishment with the approval of institution called association of estate agency of Nigeria.
"This became necessary as a result of the poor public perception and image of estate agent, which has negatively impacted on the profession and institution.
The question now on the lips of concerned colleagues is, will there be another association that would be dedicated to foreign competition."
Meanwhile, NIESV Electoral Appeal Petition Committee headed by Dosu Fatokun as declared at the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Abuja that the last national elections was credible, free and fair.
Culled from The Guardian Newspaper, September 2018