If there is one real estate company everyone is talking about right now, it is Adron Homes & Properties Ltd, with offices all over Lagos Abuja, Ibadan and in the US. Lately, you must have noticed that everywhere you go, everywhere you turn to, the name of the company hits you, via billboards or its numerous marketers who wear its Lemon corporate colour. The billboards have been strategically placed all over Lagos.
In less than 6 years, the GMD of the company. Akile Oba Adetola Emmanuel-King has been able to build Adron Properties into a big brand. It has also been holding showbiz events to further promote its estates and it has an unbeatable package which enables you pay instalmentally over a period of time. To make the dream of many to own a house a reality, the company has designed a flexible plan that can enable you to first acquire the land with a flexible payment plan and pay for your building with easy payment plan within a period of 5 years.
How did Adron come in from nowhere to shake the industry? What is Adron’s magic ward and strategy? In this interview with City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, the GMD of the company reveals the secrets of this fast growing property company.
Please share with us the remarkable growth of Adron Homes & Properties. I hear Adron has opened in Ibadan now and in Abuja. How does all these expansions fit into the larger picture?
Well, from the beginning, from the onset, we had a Vision Statement which we have been implementing. We have our Vision Statement and Mission Statement. Our vision is to be the biggest real estate development company that will have the largest number of houses all over Nigeria and Africa. So we are just keeping to our Vision.
What are the new areas that you have just opened up?
We just opened up in Abuja. That is the Central Park & Gardens. We have also opened up Ibadan. That is West Park & Gardens in Asipa, Ayegun, Oleyo and Asejire, Ibadan. In Abuja, we are in Kuje. We are starting with the first 200 acres and it will go on in phases. We have ample land. We buy as much as possible. In all our estates we normally target nothing less than 20,000 acres, in all our project location. We keep buying in Oleyo, in Asejire.
You seem to have a new corporate office why did you acquire this new property inside Omole Phase 1? It looks like a residential apartment…
We acquired that property almost a year and a half ago. Its just based on our expansion. We didn’t build. We bought it and converted it to office use. It is a 6 terrace building made up of 4 bedrooms terrace or Town houses, if you want to call it that. It has a big boardroom. That is where our boardroom is now. We have a Restaurant, a cuisine for all our staff.
How has the recession affected the industry? And how did Adron protect itself from the recession?
I have a different view. What we have in Nigeria is not a recession but an opportunity for people to look at how they can do things different. Its just that at a time the government became broke. But a lot of private companies were still doing their business. Its government that is broke, I still believe that any individual that is hardworking will get bye. We are just working. We are delivering on our promises, we are acquiring properties on a daily basis. We are building houses everyday. And people are patronising us. People should see challenges as opportunities. That is our mindset.
As a matter of policy, I don’t look into other peoples business, I face my own. I focus on what I am doing. I am too busy to start asking what are the others do. People play in different strata of Real Estate. We service the middle class, they are asking for properties on a daily basis.
What has helped us is that we have a flexible plan payment which is helping us. We are not asking somebody to go and bring N1 million or N2 million. I am asking people to go and bring N500 daily. To the end-market of real estate, I guess there may be problem there. The reason is that people who use to patronise them are no longer getting the money the way they use to get it. But many people are still looking for Affordable Housing, Decent Housing. There is housing shortage everywhere. People are still demanding for houses. Its just the way we go about it that makes us different. We offer flexible payment. Even for the high-end market, if you are to buy property in Banana Island and you are given 20 years to pay, a lot of people will pay.
But if you are asking for people to come and pay for a house in Akute, for N20 million, one-off payment, there may be a lot of difficulty in paying that.
How can government help the Real Estate sector?
Affordability Concept is a total concept, an holistic system, it involves a lot of agencies. Number one, is the Government. In terms of land acquisition, mos times what we see is that government will acquire land, and sell at the price that is not affordable, that ordinary Nigerian can not even purchase. So if government is the owner of the land, if they acquire land, let them make it even cheaper than what the Omo Onile sells it. This is because we with the government and government is dealing with the people. There are things that make land or properties to be very expensive. Land owners have a major role to play too. There is no regulation. People sell land at different prices. Anybody can wake up and say my land in Gbagada is selling for N200 million for no just reason. There should be a peg to the price of property.
The cost of land is key, because land is the wealth of a nation. Government should play major role in land wealth. They should bring down the cost of land.
The manufacturers of building materials should also not allow the prices of goods to skyrocket. Government should help develop our industry that produces building materials.
Lets have government-sponsored industry, government owned. If government chooses to acquire land and sells people will prefer to go and buy land from government. If property developer is selling land for N50 million, government will just say bring N5 million. That is the essence of government.
How many estates does Adron have now?
Holistically, we have over 15 estates and all going on simultaneously.
Amongst all the property companies, you pay a lot of attention to marketing. Why is this so? You have agressive marketers..at bus-stops, motor parks, markets, everywhere.
Oh yes. That is our penetration strategy just to reach out to the unreached. Some people will not leave their office, some people will not even read newspapers. The opening of our offices across the state is been driven by calls. If people are calling us in Surulere, we would go to Surulere and open an office close to them there or if 40 to 50 people call us from Akowonjo area, we would go there and open an office. So, the expansion growth is based on where we have calls. We do advert on radio and in newspaper and TV and we would begin to have calls and we would ask ourselves: how can we serve our clients better. We have an office in Lekki Phase 1. We take our company down to meet people where they are. We have 17 offices inclusive of the head office.
You now have a new title, Akile of Makun. Is that a new title?
Yes. The title of Akile of Makun kingdom, remoland, was bestowed upon me by His Royal Highness, Oba Timothy Akinsanya the Esusi of Makun in Sagamu. That took place in February. Its the first of its kind. We only have Akile in Ijebu-Ode as an age-group thing. For the first time in Remoland, we are having that given to an individual.
We noticed that you are quite close to Simawa, Sagamu axis. What explains this?
My mum is from Sagamu. We have a lineage in Sagamu. We have our roots in Sagamu. My father is from Ilishan and also part of Ogere. So my mother shares Ogere and Sagamu. She was also raised up in Shimawa. I went to Remo Secondary School for my seconday school education. For years I was in Sagamu. Sagamu people are the owners of Simawa. Thats why I am quite close to the people in Sagamu and Remo.
What has been happening to your business in the US and the UK?
We have liaison offices in the UK, US, Dubai. We are servicing our clients through these our country representatives. We are billed to be in the UK in the next two months for a show for Housing Seminar.
Why did Adron decide on servicing the middle class? Why not the upper end?
Because that is where the demand is. The demand for affordable and decent housing is within the middle cadre. For the kind of product that we have they demand such.
Why did you come up with flexible payments?
Looking at the economy generally and in other nations Housing is not supposed to be paid for at once. It could be the most expensive purchase of the family.
If you look at it critically, property anywhere in the world could be the most expensive purchase in a family.
In other worlds, they make mortgage available. So we have made a mortgage system whereby you don’t need any interest rate. We are not asking for your fathers certificate or whatever. Just come in, sign an agreement that you will pay this thing for 5 years on zero percentage.
Some people have insinuated that going by the high visibility that you enjoy, you may be planning to contest elections come 2019. Is this true?
No, no, no. With what I am doing I am already serving my father land. Right from my NYSC days I have been serving the people. During my NYSC days, I was the best corper. I served in Bayelsa State. I was in Yenogoa, the state capital. I was The Best Corper in 2001 for Yenogoa Local Government based on what I did. I gave them a Canoe. I gave scholarship to about 10 children. I was involved in Community Development. Right from my youths, I have been serving my father land. Even with Adron Homes, I am still serving Nigeria. I don’t have to be a Senator or House of Reps Member or Governor to serve. I am not inclined to be a politician I am already doing my own little effort.