Real estate is brick and mortar – Olajide Abiola, CEO Smart Residences

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Chief Executive Officer of Smart Residences, Olajide Abiola says only the old approach of brick and mortal can solve the real estate situation in the country.

Abiola in an interview with Nairametrics, said technology, though good for the sector, can only act as an enabler and not a solution.

The real estate expert was speaking on the heels of his company’s opening of their latest venture, The Destination, a 110-unit luxury apartment located in the heart of Wuse II, Abuja.

He said: “Technology is simply an enabler and not a solution. The building of Estates, Hospitality accommodations, Office buildings e.t.c must precede the use or application of facility management software, mortgage finance software and hotel management software.

“Brick and Mortar businesses create the necessity for technology application. Of course, technology is not peculiar to software alone. Technology will simply create efficiency in service delivery. When it comes to real estate, it is the old testament approach. Brick and Mortar.”

Speaking on the factors hindering the growth of the sector in the country, Abiola said the sector needs more developers with credibility, who can deliver quality homes on schedule and focused on mass housing.

He said the governments both at federal and state levels have already created an enabling environment with the passing and domestication of housing mortgage bill and the provision for loans through the Federal Mortagage Bank.

“All the players within the sector have a role to play. The developers, Government, financial institutions and buyers. One must give credit to the Federal Government for its many mortgage policies and incentives. The Federal Government through the Federal Mortgage bank has made several commendable strides concerning making affordable housing possible for the average Nigerian.

“One or Two States have also passed bill housing mortgage bill to give mass housing a boost. Unfortunately, the majority of the developers aren’t developing affordable housing. Also, financial institutions do not have the patient and long-term capital required for the sector to optimize its inherent potential.

“The participation of more developers with credibility, who deliver quality homes on schedule and focused on mass housing is required in the industry. They can leverage the low-cost loans provided by the Federal Mortgage Bank. Prospective home buyers who also contribute to the National Housing Fund should also be well-informed and acquainted with the process of accessing the mortgage services available through the FMBN and mortgage banks,”

Abiola added that if properly harnessed, the sector has the ability to boom and become Africa’s go to.

“The prospects are huge for those who will set aside their jaded sights. Nigeria is a developing economy and frontier market requiring a lot of entrepreneurial initiatives by intrepid and disciplined entrepreneurs to create immense value. Entrepreneurs build economies and markets, not governments. Entrepreneurs set the tone for government policy-making. 

“There are still lots of underexplored, unexplored and poorly explored areas of opportunities within the real-estate sector. Financing options must also be fluid and dynamic enough to ignite and catalyze these opportunities. One of the unfortunate realities in Nigeria is that there is too much idle cash amid limitless investible opportunities,” he said.

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