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PRESENTATION BY ESV ADEMOLA LADEGA AT THE MAY, 2020 WEBINAR OF THE FACULTY OF PLANT AND EQUIPMENT THEMED SURVIVING POST COVID 19 PANDEMIC ERA AS PROFESSIONAL ESTATE SURVEYORS AND VALUERS FROM BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE

I would be speaking/focusing on three points which are

  1. Low cost real Estate Investment with good returns and short term payback period or simply put low hanging fruits
  2. Non real estate investment: Treasury Bill, Government Bond and Fix Deposit
  3. Cost saving options, taking advantage of Technology

FIRST TOPIC

LOW COST REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT WITH GOOD RETURNS AND SHORT TERM PAYBACK PERIOD OR SIMPLY PUT ‘LOW HANGING FRUITS’

Estate surveyors and valuers apart from being real estate advisors are also land economists in which we advise clients on the on real estate investments that would guarantee highest and best use for optimum returns. But how about we practicing what we preach? i.e nothing should preclude us from advising ourselves to invest in real estate rather than on cars, traveling and other ventures than would not have lasting impact as much as land and building.

Real Estate can be capital intensive and judging by the inaccessibility of mortgages in Nigeria, one may be frustrated and opt not to invest personally but delight in advising our clients to do same.

Nevertheless, there are real estate investments that are below N10million that can be taken advantage of by practicing surveyors, which guarantees not only property ownership, but also returns in terms of rent. eg buying flats in some of the low cost housing estates popularly called Jakande Estate or those built by the Federal Government that are available in different parts of Lagos state such as LSDPC low cost housing estate in Meiran, Isolo, Abesan, Mile 2, Gowon Estate, Shagari Estate etc The good side is that on some of the flats, return on investment ranges between 8% to 12% per annum and payback period is within 10 years, assuming property is purchased with external borrowing.

For those who might be interested in commercial real estate investment under N10million, LSDPC also has shops/offices in Sura and Ilupeju, Lagos. Similarly, you can get shops from Ikota Shopping Complex and from other private developers in various parts of Lagos.

Note: By saying under N10million, some of this shops /flats cost as little as N2.5m and some N8million.

In conclusion, it is not until Estate Surveyors have up to N150 million to buy a detached house in Lekki, Victoria Island, VGC, Parkview Estate etc before considering real estate investment. One can take advantage of the cheaper properties.

Another advantage of buying developed property ahead of bareland is that, bareland requires development for returns to be derived, but with developed properties, rents are received as soon as properties are tenanted.

Some of the commercial properties under N10million can also be acquired and put into use as operational offices, thereby saving rents that should have been paid to landlords. We would agree that one of the expenses apart from salaries, electricity, taxes, purchases etc is rent. And once rent is paid, the other expenses can be surmountable.

 

NON REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT: TREASURY BILL, GOVERNMENT BOND AND FIXED DEPOSIT

Apart from real estate investment, there are other investments with good returns that are not MMM or scam related or stocks and shares. Under this category are Treasury Bills, Government Bond and Fixed Deposit.

These investment options are highlighted below:

T.BILLS

What are Treasury Bills?

Treasury Bills (T-Bills) are short-term debt instruments issued by the Federal Government of any country through its Central Bank to raise short term funds from the general public (private individuals, institutional investors, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies etc.) for the purpose of financing government budget deficit. In Nigeria, T-Bills are issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it is guaranteed and backed with the full faith of the Federal Government of Nigeria. T-bills are issued at an interest rate often referred to as discount rate.

 

How do Treasury Bills work?

T-Bills are discount instruments and they are so called because the investor gets its interest upfront. This means that the interest promised on a T-bill instrument is payable on the very day the investment commences. For instance, if a T-bill promises a 10.0% rate per annum and an investor wants to put in N100,000, the investor pays only N90,000 from the day of investment but gets back N100,000 at maturity. The maturity value (N100,000) is referred to as face value while the initial investment (N90,000) is discount value.

What is a True Yield?

True Yield is your effective Return on Investment (ROI). Using the illustration above, the initial yield for the N100,000 is 10.0%. However, because interest is paid upfront, your true yield is actually the N10,000 interest received divided by the N90,000 actually paid. That is N10,000/ N90,000 translating to 11.11%. This is however higher than the 10.0% rate per annum. The True Yield is fully earned when you hold to maturity.

What is a Tenor?

T-Bills are issued for specific time period usually 91-day (3 months), 182-day (6 months) and 364-day (one year) tenors in the primary market.

FGN Savings Bond

The Debt Management Office, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria invites all Nigerians to invest in the FGN Savings Bond, a retail savings product accessible to all income groups.

  1. Benefits
  • Interest income is paid quarterly directly into bond holder’s account.
  • The Bond is acceptable as collateral for loans by banks and can be sold for cash in the secondary market before maturity.
  • Good for savings towards retirement, marriage, school fees, house projects, etc.

FIXED DEPOSIT

Also similar to TB and Bond but the difference is that it is guaranteed by Commercial banks, PMI etc and not by the government

 

COST SAVING OPTIONS, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY

All the people that have joined us live in this programme today are probably an avid user of technology. This platform became popular as a result of the lockdown in various parts of the world and the need for people to have communications and also stay in touch virtually through technology.

One of the most thriving businesses presently in Nigeria is Real Estate; this is why not only qualified estate surveyors and valuers are into real estate practice. We now have lawyers, Accountants, as well as other non professionals acting as real estate agents and successfully closing deals and getting paid. Part of improvement and progression of Real Estate has stemmed from the development of technology.

There are some statistics that are available on the internet

  • 43% of buyers start the home buying process by looking online
  • 92% of buyers use the internet
  • 50% of buyers use a mobile website or app in their home search
  • 91% of realtors use social media

So, for us Real Estate professionals, how can we take advantage of advancing technology to grow our business and also to save cost? There are few things highlighted below that can help

  1. Google maps and navigation system to plan movement and get address: Google Mapsvirtually controls two-thirds of the online navigation market – which is A LOT of traffic. This makes Google Maps the most important tool for local SEO, by far. Millions of visitors use it to search for directions to local businesses, attractions, and personal addresses.

A survey found that the main reason people use their preferred navigation app is clear directions

Google Street View was launched in 2007 and is a clear example of how Google collects enormous amounts of data for their navigation solution

  1. Use of Drones: Drones help in key areas in Real Estate Practice. It can be use for property management, for Agency (sales and Lettings, especially for verification) and valuation inspection. Flying Drone is also very legal in Nigeria, but training on usage and also registration is required with NCAA.

 

  1. Getting your signature online where you can sign letters and having your letterhead soft copy with you can aid working from anywhere without having to be present in the office to physically sign documents
4. Website sells you: It’s where potential customers, clients, and associates can find and contact you. Websites give businesses their own unique online identity. PEOPLE TRUST A BUSINESS WITH A WEBSITE
  1. Have a webmail in addition to Gmail or Yahoo mail: A companywith its domain makes an e-mail more credible and trustworthy rather than generic Google addresses

 

  1. Cloud service for valuation data collection: The cloud computing technology has revolutionized the way one works. Cloud-based tools are accessed for web-based geographic information system. Data generated as maps are helping analyze and optimize operations in real-time. Apps in the cloud are helping manage isolated silos of GIS workflows and geodatabases.
  2. Advertising online as most buyers search online first before phone contacts.

 

  1. Use of IP CCTV camera to monitor what’s going on in the office without calling on the phone or being there physically: Internet Protocol Camerasare digital camerasthat send digital data over a network or internet. … The IP cameras can be pre-programmed to commands such as motion detection, audio detection, tampering alarms, and event management

 

  1. Use of valuation software for ease of appraisal

 

  1. Sourcing for equipment via E commerce platforms. Alibaba, Ebay, Aliexpress

 

  1. Virtual Presence: Zoom, Google etc for meetings

This article expresses a personal opinion as well as the view of others  on how Estate Surveyors and Valuers practicing in Nigeria can survive post COVID-19, and does not in anyway substitute for such professional advice or services and it should not be acted on or relied upon or used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect you or your business, without consulting a qualified real estate Advisor.
Ademola Ladega  (ANIVS, RSV MNIM, FIMC) is the managing partner of AOL Consult (www.aolmanagementconsult.com.ng) He is a highly experienced real estate consultant with field/practical experience spanning over 9 years, having previously worked at Ismail and Partners, where he contributed a great deal to the success of the firm and rose to the position of the Head of Valuation and Senior Associate 
Mr Ladega has extensive experience of providing valuation services in Nigeria to large public and private companies in many sectors including utilities, banking, insurance, financial services, agro-industrial, shipping, commercial and trading sectors. As well as experience in reporting in accordance with the regulatory requirements of Nigeria, in full compliance with ESVARBON Nigeria Valuation Standards (Green Book) 2018 IPSAS, IFRS, RICS,  and IVS

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