The nation’s real estate sector is resilient in the face of a fast declining economy because money is not being spent on frivolities but on solid investments such as land and houses, says Tonye Solomon who runs Serashelle Limited in this interview with Bennett Oghifo
Tell us about your concept of real estate business.
Real estate business, like any other business, has its unique role in meeting the basic needs of humanity which includes shelter amongst other things. This is one business that is as old as time itself and cannot be separated from human existence because wherever there are people they will most definitely need shelter. This is where we come in as a business to cater to this need.
What is been like for you personally?
It’s been a learning curve because I have been allowed to grow as an individual and an entrepreneur in this business. I have been exposed to a wide spectrum of people cutting across different cultures, class, educational and financial backgrounds. I’ve come to understand that we all want the same thing which is to be treated with dignity and have the opportunity to provide for our families in the best way possible.
What inspired your foray into real estate?
I was inspired by the real estate market. The voraciousness of the demand certainly outweighs the supply and my experience in marketing opened my eyes so that when the opportunity presented itself, I was ready for it.
How tough has it been like for the real estate sector especially in this time of economic recession?
I can honestly say that real estate is one sector that continues to thrive in this economy. Why? Money is not being spent on frivolities but on solid investments such as land and houses that will earn residual income in rent or an increased profit at future sales.
People are looking to grow their investments however little and now make smart spending decisions by focusing on real estate.
So is the economic situation in the country not impacting much on the real estate sector?
The economy is impacting positively on the real estate sector because everyone who is able to earn now has the opportunity to invest into the sector. People are now mindful of where their money goes, how it’s being nurtured and what it can yield for them in the space of time.
There are many payment options available now that allow a low income earner to invest that was not available years ago. It’s like when our ancestors buried money in the ground for safe keeping. Today, real estate is the next best thing in keeping your money safe from the vagaries of the economy.
These are challenging times for the real sector. What advice do you have for potential investors and for existing ones that are struggling with low returns?
In real estate, patience is key. Time matures your investments always; but patience will help you get the right buyer at the right price. Most importantly, you must start today as an investor. Don’t get stuck on yesterday’s regrets. Simply start today.
What do you expect to see in the years ahead?
I expect to see affordable housing for the low income earners. I believe this is a huge market that is relatively untapped still. Eventually, I intend to go in that direction but that is still in the future.
What segment of the market do you operate in?
I’m a real estate consultant focused on sales and marketing. I connect the investor to the real estate developer. I make the connection for the investments to happen. If you need to buy or sell a piece of property or more, I’m your go to person!
What was the feeling like when you sealed your first deal?
Aaaaahhh! It was exhilarating! This is what I do and it’s a beautiful feeling.