Real Estate Business in Nigeria: How to Start

Real Estate Business in Nigeria

“Wish I could take it back to the beginnin’,
I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo/ For like two million
That same building today is worth twenty-five million, Guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo”
– Jay-Z

The above lines from a Jay-Z song (Story of O.J) best explain the concept of Real Estate business. It is among the most lucrative business ventures along with IT, Oil & Gas and of course Politics (the Nigerian version). Before I continue, read some other lines from the same song below.

“I bought some artwork for one million,
Two years later, it’s worth two million,
Few years later, it’s worth eight million,
I can’t wait to give it to my children”

Although he was talking about an artwork here, this, women and gentlemen is the miracle of Real Estate. For formality sake, I’ll quickly give a rundown of what Real Estate is.

Real Estate is officially defined as property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water (Wikipedia). In simple terms, Real Estate is property such as buildings or housing in general. Real Estate Business however, is the selling, buying, leasing, renting of property.

Going by the definition, you would think it is an easy business to venture into. But I want to tell you, that Yes, it really is simple to venture into provided you are well equipped with what it takes to thrive in the industry. And as usual, I’m the plug for the tips and steps you need to take before calling yourself a Real Estate Businessman or Businesswoman. Walk with me.

  • Research:

This is the first and most important step, carry out an intensive and extensive research. You have to know everything about the sector: how it works, who knows who and what, who needs what, the Dos and Don’ts, target market, your to-be competitors, what they do and who their clients are. You can call it a reconnaissance survey. Knowing all these will give you a picture, albeit mental of the waters you are about to step into.

  • Write a Business Plan:

For everything in life, there is a procedure. If you want to be literate, you go to school. If you want to get married, you start dating. And if you want to start a business, you must have a written plan, this can never be overemphasized. In it should be your source of funds, business goals (mission and vision statements), the units and every other information needed to kick off your business. It is advisable that you hire a professional to help draft it for you.
Pro-Tip: Did you know that you can attract investors and/or partners just by having a well-written plan? Now you know how important it is.

  • Go Legal:

This is a no brained for a business, I believe. You have to be known and approved by the appropriate bodies of the government in order to start any business, Real Estate is not an exemption. You register with the CAC – Corporate Affairs Commission, and get certified to operate as a business. There are also associations and agencies that regulate real estate operations in Nigeria. For example, REDAN – Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria. Imagine getting shut down because your documents and permits are Fake, in a Real Estate business… the irony.

  • Get an Office Space:

While some businesses can thrive by having a virtual office, this one can’t, it can’t. You can’t run a Real Estate business without having a real Estate, you will not be taken serious. Your office space must portray what your business is about: location, class, spaciousness, and beauty. This will give your prospective customers a sense of security and trust in you and your company.

  • Have a strong team around you:

No man is an island and a group is only as strong as its weakest link. This emphasizes why you need a strong team around you. From Administration to the HR, Marketing, and field staff, they all have to buy into your dream and vision and they must be well seasoned in their fields to effectively run a well-oiled machine. Who you hire will determine if you will go higher (excuse the cheeriness).

  • Buy some Real Estate!:

After completing the above-listed steps, it’s time to get busy. Start small if you will, or go big (or go home).
You can start by “Land Flipping” – where you buy land and resell quickly to make profit. You can also buy a property and lease it out, while you get paid monthly or annually while the property still appreciates, this is called Leasing.
Then the most lucrative is Property Development. You just acquire properties in good locations, develop it into exquisite apartments, structures etc and sell at way higher price than you got the property for. People make as high as 500% gain in this type of business. Imagine this in millions or billions.

  • Don’t hide from the world:

What is a delicious meal if it isn’t eaten?, fine cloth if not worn?, good business if it is not seen?. In this social media era, everyone around the world should be able to access you and your business by the click of a button, four clicks at most. Funds should go into advertisement, social media, website development, and networking. After all, money begets money.


P.S: This is also an article to self. I have started taking the steps listed out, and I know soon, you are going to know me. Just you wait… just you wait.


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Author: BF

light sleeper, heavy dreamer.

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