The rising number of quack real estate agents in the country, especially in Lagos state resulted in the creation of the Estate, Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) the Lagos state chapter chairman, Mr. Alenkhe Godwin has said.
At the Annual General Meeting tagged ‘Partnering Stakeholders in Regulating Real Estate’ held in Isolo recently, Alenkhe expressed displeasure on the rise of quack estate agents, who dupe people of huge sums of money daily. “In spite of this, Lagosians have not learnt their lessons; they just see anyone on the streets, who calls himself an agent and give their money to such an individual.”
He said that reasons brought stakeholders in the industry together to discuss the issue of redefining the real estate sector.
Alenkhe explained that so many people had been duped and that some were still being duped and that those so-called estate agents were not members of the ERCAAN.
“There are so many people, who just introduce themselves to people as housing agents; they dupe people of their money. We hear of this report almost daily and I am sure they are not members of this association.”
He said, however, that Nigerians were careless in all their dealings, especially in giving money to strangers. “They meet with people that have no office and just pay them money to help them look for a house.
Before anyone can be a real estate agent he ought to be a registered member with ERCAAN, own an office and have the certificate hung in his office, where every visitor can see.”
He, however, pleaded that a national newspaper (not THISDAY) had misquoted what they meant completely. “The public should know that what the newspaper published is completely wrong and I want us to balance the information. The president sounded as though whoever had interest to become a real estate agent should become a member.”
“The Lagos state government should not say anybody, who wants to become one should come and register. It is those who belong to an association that can register. They should not look at the money issue; that is not what we are talking about,” he explained.
He said, “Although registration does not say you are a member it is for the practitioners, showing that these are the real practicing agents.
Therefore, give them your estate to manage, so that those people can be safeguarded.”
Alenkhe explained that ERCAAN is an agency to practice and not an institute to train people, adding that “the reason the tenancy law failed in the first place was because the stakeholders were not fully carried along. The government did not carry us along. But let them tell me how many people they have punished. We don’t want the real estate organisation to fail.
One must be a member of the association before one can practice it.”
He, however, explained that for ERCAAN to attain professional glory, they must be able to address some of the fundamental issues of the members. “Our administration has drawn a master plan of progress that involves professionals within and outside the association in taking ERCAAN to a greater height. Our partnership with professionals like Deji Juba is taking another dimension with the registration of every member to his stable for professional legal consultation.”
He, therefore, urged the government to tell them the law governing the profession