NIESV Discusses Prospects, Challenges of International Competition in Real Estate Business

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By Fadekemi Ajakaiye

Estate Agency and Marketing Business Division of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) recently brainstormed on the prospects and challenges of international competition in the business of real estate.

The Chairman, ESV. Sam Eboigbe stated that the professional practice has been hijacked and the Faculty (NIESV) is to rise to this challenge and proffer immediate solutions.

He stated that Estate Agency practiced is seen as everybody’s business but it is of good note that even lawyers have no business in it.

The first speaker, Engr. Olumide Olayinka, Partner KPMG, talked on why foreign firms are preferred to the local or indigenous ones.

Olayinka stated that foreign companies are mostly preferred because they provide valuable services without putting money first.

For indigenous company to do very well, they must understand the business; be strategic; and, be empowered, he said.

ESV Bode Adediji discussed the DNA of International Competition, where he stated that Nigeria’s real estate business and the Professional Practitioners are currently challenged by: Recession; Retrogression; Marginalization; Image.

Others include, Poverty; Ignorance & Complacency; Institutional Deficiency; Local & International Competition, he said.

International Competition is a real issue of concern and challenge in many countries of the world and cut across many sectors and disciplines. We therefore need to define “why are we here for this seminar? he said.

“To sensitize, educate and equip our members on the emerging war of international competition as affecting some selected aspects of Nigeria’s real estate business for the purposes of developing, harnessing and deploying the local practitioners’ intellectual, capital and professional resources not only to be able to effectively compete but also to grow and develop the sub-sector for the good of all despite the challenges being posed by the emerging and formidable international competitions.” he stated.

He stated that crucial to our understanding of the “DNA” of international competition is the fact that majority of the international firms have been brought into Nigeria through the direct invitation, funding, collaboration and protection of some of the registered member firms of the NIESV!

The third speaker, ESV Gboyega Fatimilehin, spoke on the Need to raise the Bar in Line with Best Practice. We are all aware of the “Africa Rising” narrative that dominated before the recession; as well as the emergence of a growing middle class within the country. This has led to increasing inflows of foreign investment into Nigeria and this has included the real estate sector, he said.

He stated that as investment has poured into real estate assets and growth has been recorded, there has been a corresponding need for the growth of the ecosystem of real estate services.

He said these services include valuation& appraisal, agency, brokerage, property & asset management, consulting, financing and capital-raising. In addition to this, on the development side, we also have the professions including planning, quantity surveying, design (architects) and project management.

He stated that these services need to keep pace with developments in the real estate sector such as a changing investment landscape and regulatory forces from professional bodies, such as the NIESV, the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as well as other outside agencies such as the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

There is an absolute need to ensure that participants in the sector are working to the very highest standards. This is the basis of the trust that is required by market participants to ensure continued growth and investment in the sector, he said.

Other panelists like ESV Joe Idudu, a past president; ESV Emeka Eleh, a past president; and also ESV Victor Alonge also contributed to grace the Seminar.