Estate agents tasked on research, innovation

Members of the Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN) have brushed aside political and economic challenges that have plagued the Nigerian nation, agreed to embrace new innovation and imbibe the culture of research.

Stakeholders in the real estate sector, expressed some of these views at the second yearly conference of The Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN) held in Lagos.

The conference themed; “ Estate Agency Practice and National Development”, was aimed at revealing the correlation between the practice and national development and was attended by practitioners across the country.

Expounding the theme, a fellow of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Gbenga Olaniyan, stressed the need for estate agents to embark on research in order to update themselves on real estate trends.

Describing real estate in Nigeria as a hedge against currency devaluation, he said, with right information, estate agents can properly advise their clients to invest even in the midst of the current economic challenges with huge profits.

Expressing confidence that Nigeria is about to exit recession, Olaniyan urged estate agents to be innovative by giving incentives to sitting tenants rather then driving down contractual rents in order to remain relevant in the face of economic challenges.

Lamenting that many agents do not know more than their clients, he re-emphasised that agents’ fees must be earned not given on a platter of gold.

Also speaking on the “ Impact of Estate Agents in Property Development and Management, the Managing Director of UACN Property Development Company PLC, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran tasked estate agents to advise their clients rightly on the importance of investing during recession.

According to him, despite the challenges posed by the economic downturns, there are still several opportunities for estate agents who can do some things differently.

He lamented that multiple agencies, which often leads to disputes and litigation have posed a great challenge for estate agents.

Ogunniran urged them to seek for collaboration and build a reputation since integrity is key to the industry.

Speaking also, the Chairman of the Association, Chudi Ubosi, who is a fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and valuers, lamented that until now, the understanding of real estate composition and growth has been somewhat limited to its required use in Nigerian national accounts.

Development, he said is a general word that encompasses all aspects of human life, segments and disciplines, which give direction to the state of an economy.

According to him, despite the economic recession and the contraction of the real estate sector in the last few quarters, no one will doubt that the fundamentals for growth in the country remain strong.

“According to a 2014 forecast by the international Monetary Find (IMF), strong developments in the construction, real estates and technology sectors in developing countries such as Nigeria has supported the world economy through tough financial periods in recent years”, he said.

IMF, he said, also predicts that these developing nations will account for about 70 per cent of world growth over the next decade.

Nigeria is touted at the moment as one of the developing countries with great potentials in real estate and one of the competitive players in the global real estate market that has fast becoming increasingly attractive to investors.

Ubosi stressed that the association has continued to fulfill one of her core aims, which is the training and re training members through organised continuous professional development workshops and seminars to improve the professional practice of her members.

“With this ongoing process, we want to ensure that we maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills our members need to deliver a professional service to their customers, clients ands the community which will invariably lead to increase public confidence in individual professional and their profession as a whole”, he noted,

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