• Real Estate Surveyors & Valuers + Facility Managers

Realtors Chart New Course

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AS governments’ unfavorable policies continue to deepen the property market, professionals in the housing sector are optimistic that the real estate industry will thrive, and therefore calling on stakeholders, especially, members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors (NIESV) to seize the emerging opportunities.

The wake up call was the fulcrum of a two-day seminar on "Real Estate Practice and the Nigerian Property Market," organised by NIESV Learning Centre (NLC), recently in Lagos, where principles and prospects of the property market were unveiled to those that attended the workshop.

In his keynote address: "Towards the Re-Engineering of the Real Estate Professional Practice for the Transformation of the Property Market," President, NIESV, Mr. Bode Adediji, said the time had come for industry players and professionals to jealously guard the market by giving closer attention to the dynamics and intricacies of the most challenging terrain of their professional practice, estate agency.

According to Adediji, the practice of estate agency and the contemporary property market had been major areas that had constituted worry to him.   He said his worry had been the overall environment of the real estate industry – the estate professional practice, the construction industry, the property market, facility management, all of which are currently engulfed in an unprecedented crisis accentuated by lack of any tangible and all-embracing response from the government, the relevant professional bodies and also by the organised private sector.

Secondly, Adediji, said, "over time, the estate surveyors and valuers have had to sacrifice other areas of their professional core competence at theater of crude estate agency practice. Thirdly, majority of the practitioners do conduct estate agency from the primordial framework of mere rent-seeking objective and perspective without endeavouring to add value – all this to the detriment of our profession and the nation’s economy."

Therefore, he said, "consequently, their failure as individuals and the professional practices to retool, to specialise, to synergise, to build capacity and to embrace international best practices have become too noticeable and cast bad shadow on our image as well as diminished our competitive advantage."

Also, he said numerous are the challenges confronting the Nigerian’s property market.   "The contemporary property market in Nigeria has become as challenged as the practitioners operating in it. Amorphous, unregulated, chaotic, unpredictable and unsupported by modern centralised information system and computerisation, the property market continues to function in an epileptic manner and without form or direction," expressing delight in the workshop, he said would serve a great deal to proffer solution to the environment of the nation’s property market.

He tasked the estate surveyors on the need to make contribution towards reformation and transformation of the real estate market for the key objective of creating job opportunities, especially for our youth and of providing affordable housing for the populace will be a laudable legacy of this workshop.

Principal Partner, C .A Chizea and Company, Ms Claire Chizea, said the market would remain elusive to many except practitioners have in-depth understanding of the intricacies.

In her prescription for change, she said it was never too late to contrive a master plan for any human settlement. "It helps with forecasting growth and providing for infrastructure and services that make the human habitat more efficient in the long run. Facilities exist now for satellite mapping of cities and the region, which it serves. The public services must learn new attitudes that improve social responsibility and commitment to prompt delivery of services to developers and users within the huge containers that cities have become. Higher levels of integrity and probity, as well as transparency and accountability are desired."

According to her, growth corridors that existing cities would support should be set out with appropriate infrastructure by government prior to allocation and development, adding that would make the environment for property development more wholesome.

Former Chairman, NIESV, Lagos chapter, Dr. Bolarinde J. Patunola, in his contribution said property investment usually attracts special attention because of its definable pattern of risks. The yield may be low, but the rental and capital growth over time instill confidence in investors.

He said if operated by professionals, it remained the most acceptable collateral for mortgage facilitates all over the world, a sure means of wealth creation, and not easily traded off, or disposed like stocks and shares.

On the steps to a successful operation in the sector, he underscored the need to understand the intricacies of property valuation, among others.

He said: "Investors always want to know the monetary worth of a property to assist in their decision making."

Senior Partner, Nelson Thorpe Alonge, Mr. Thorpe Alonge, said since public buildings could be affected by perils whose impact could cause financial losses to either the owners or occupiers of such buildings, the owners and occupiers of public buildings should insure such buildings against loss to third parties in accordance with section 65 of Insurance Act, 2003.

He said that the owners and occupiers of public buildings while insuring the risks of fire and special perils should insist that their insurers include the risk of collapse.

"The owner of any building under construction should ensure that the building is insured adequately through the purchase of Contractors’ All Risk Insurance with an extension of cover in line with the risks anticipated by Section 64 of Insurance Act, 2003. The owners of buildings that are let, rent or sub-let should personally insure such buildings so as to avoid the lack of cover through the negligence of the tenant. For big estate managers, it is advisable they handle their insurance protections through the appointment of an insurance broker, which will cost them nothing."

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