In this edition, our special Cover Girl is a Nigerian and an award-winning realtor, Ngozi Nwuanyanwu. Ngozi has seen her fair share of ups and downs in the real estate market. In this interview, we go over how she got started in the real estate industry and what agents need to know to be top-producing agents. I found Ngozi a lovely, warm, beautiful, conscientious, professional, and gracious interviewee.
A-CHOICES: You are one of the youngest Real Estate entrepreneurs in Nigeria,a role model worth emulating. Please tell us what inspired you to get into this Real Estate field.
NGOZI: My dad inspired me as I watched him make good and bad decisions in real estate while growing up. His love for real estate rubbed off on me.
A-CHOICES: For some reason, real estate remains a haven investment asset class at a time in Nigeria when inflation is sweeping across economies like a whirlwind. When inflation rises, owners of real estate assets are protected would you say that real estate is a good hedge against inflation?
NGOZI: It certainly is, with inflation at 28.9%, investing in money market instruments or fixed deposits cannot give yields above inflation. The only asset class that can achieve that is real estate. There is always value appreciation in real estate which helps to hedge against inflation.
A-CHOICES: Many members of the Diaspora Nigerian community are drawn to investing in Nigerian real estate. For them, it represents a means of establishing a connection with their ancestral land, contributing to local development, and potentially achieving financial security. However, managing real estate investments from abroad can present challenges. What do you have to say?
NGOZI: It has its peculiar challenges because they are far from home and cannot monitor the transactions if purchasing, and managing the asset when already purchased. The best way is to engage a facility management company charged with the responsibility of maintaining the property and or collecting rent on behalf of their clients where necessary.
A-CHOICES: How Nigerians In Diaspora Can Invest In Real Estate In Nigeria Without Getting Scammed?
NGOZI: Using reputable real estate firms. Some Nigerian real estate companies have branches abroad which makes transacting easier and more convenient
A-CHOICES: Factors to Consider Before Investing in Nigerian Real Estate?
NGOZI: Your budget: how much is the property and how much can you afford? Do you have access to finance? Location: where is the property located? Is it accessible, is there water, or electricity? Security and crime rates also have to be considered. Value is also affected by location.
Use: what you require the house for will determine the type of property you invest in. If it is for rent, the location and size of the property need to be considered. If it’s for dwelling, the number of people who would stay there needs to be taken into account. If it is commercial, it should be located close to the city centre.
A-CHOICES: Being an Entrepreneur, How do you manage your work-life balance?
NGOZI: I try to create time to relax and take a break from work from time to time. It’s necessary to balance the 2 to avoid burnout.
A-CHOICES: In your work, what is an average day like?
NGOZI: I plan my day the night before, draw up a schedule or a to-do list, and pick out the Clothes to wear based on the activities for the day. If I’m going on a site inspection, I wake up early to prepare. I try to get to the site before my clients because I know how important being on time is. My day usually ends around 6 pm and I might go to the cinema or do something exciting to ease the pressure of the day.
A-CHOICES: During the pandemic-savaged year, when home sales plunged and commercial realty was facing a tough time, how did you manage to do business during this most trying phase?
NGOZI: Due to the pandemic, we all had to stay at home as directed by the government. Staying at home 24/7 got a lot of people reassessing their living conditions making many people demand more comfortable and functional accommodation. So despite the pandemic, the demand for housing did not decline and a lot of sales were made during the period.
A-CHOICES: Which people or books have been pivotal in your real estate journey?
NGOZI:Good to great by Jim Collins
A-CHOICES: What marketing materials are considered to be a first point of contact?
NGOZI: Complimentary card
A-CHOICES: Economic Freedom’ means making your money work for you. It focuses on investing in assets rather than liabilities. Globally, Real estate is the greatest driver of asset accumulation. Real estate appreciates and is relatively immune to inflation. Can you expatiate on the concept of economic freedom through real estate?
NGOZI: As I had mentioned earlier, real estate is an asset that appreciates, only in rare occasions do you have a depreciation such as it was during the global financial crises of 2008, however, the impact was not greatly felt in Nigeria. A property bought at N100MM today could be worth 250MM in 5 years. No other asset class gives that level of return.
A-CHOICES: What or who empowers you to be yourself and work hard every day?
NGOZI: My drive to be better than I was yesterday
A-CHOICES: If you could inspire a movement, what would it be?
NGOZI: Kick corruption out of Nigeria
A-CHOICES: 12What would you ask for if you were granted three wishes right now?
NGOZI: Have a nursing degree,Be an authority in the real estate sector and have my own projects.Be the first female minister of housing
A-CHOICES: How do you stay in shape?
NGOZI: i exercise like twice a week and the running around project sites keeps you inshape whether you want it or not.No
A-CHOICES: Your favourite designer and perfumes?
NGOZI: Gucci Bamboo
A-CHOICES: What words would you use to describe a typical Beraproperties customer?
NGOZI: Discerning and smart
A-CHOICES: Any final words for those who are reading this?
NGOZI:Be yourself at all times. You are unique and worthy. Be consistent in all you do and learn from your mistakes
Author: Gbenga Teejay Okunlola