Mrs Elizabeth Bola Akinrele is the MD/CEO of Bolkineliz Homes. She is a big player in the Real Estate sector. And she is one of the few professionals who are passionate about what they do. She is passionate about Real Estate and it is that passion that has made her succeed in that highly competitive industry. She spoke to City People Magazine Publisher SEYE KEHINDE about Real Estate and why she has always wanted to be her own boss. Below are excerpts of the interview.
Tell us a bit about how you found yourself in the Real Estate business. For how long have you been in it?
Yes, I have always loved to be my own boss for a long time, since my NYSC days, when you find pleasure in making homeownership a reality. And that can be done with a good understanding of the business. So I partnered with some known real estate companies. I had some related courses and got started. Before then, there’s a good friend of mine that finds calculation and computing so easy he decided to go into banking work. But for me calculating at every point in time is a challenge, so I tend to play safe and choose my real estate business jejely. Smiles. Because In real estate Magic happens, in terms of amazing ROIs so that overtake the calculation thing.
What are these Magic?
MAGIC such as successful investment, like buying a plot of land in a good location for a low price and reselling at high prices, same plot, no improvement just as it was bought. Such a stunning investment analysis. So it’s easier and good for me being a Realtor. Now I can safely predict property trends and forecast on Real Estate Investment especially along Lekki area. Right now, there are more locations where you enjoy amazing ROIs. Such as Ibeju-Lekki and more.
I dare to invite anyone to buy into this location and enjoy a high return on investment. Being the boss means you can make all the decisions and you reap the reward afterwards. It can also mean that your business can be more agile and you do things quicker, smarter or better than others in a similar line. Time control, more or less finding a better work life balance is often a reason for going into business and being your own boss. So, basically, being my own boss attracted me to owning my own business. There are several other reasons that make owning my own business very attractive though. Such as going into business for yourself means increased independence and having more flexibility to carry out other important issues and to do things you want to do.
Starting my business is worth it, honestly. There are several times, you sit back and feel good about your efforts in certain activity or transactions in your business and that means a lot. That gives room to doing better next time. And in more ways than one, it allows you more independence. Even in taking decisions, and planning on other things. I have been in the real estate business for years and still counting.
Tell us what you do now?
Basically, I do real estate business, Developing and Consulting, Land Sales and Housing.
Do you run your own real estate company? What does it do?
Yes, I do. And also in partnership with some other known real estate companies, and doing well @ it. Our services are Sales of Land and housing, property investment opportunities, we have been guiding individuals, those in the diaspora and high profile organizations in Nigeria, for a while with our property investment services. We also help clients to acquire dream property, with good Titles, at a very fair price with a flexible payment plan.
What effect do you think the Covid-19 Lockdown has had on real estate business?
Honestly, that’s a good question. At this period we are in, Covid-19’s effect on real estate business to me slowed down the real estate business sales and has such effect on other businesses, because people feel it’s safer to hold on to the money you have. But I believe it’s a phase that can be managed, as an individual and as a company. I preach safety first by using your face mask, washing of hands and sanitize afterwards. I use this opportunity to wish victims of the virus a quick recovery. And I wish the government should do more in enlightening the masses on how to stop or prevent the virus from spreading. By educating them on it.
How have you coped as a lady in a predominantly male-dominated industry?
Well, God’s grace has been there to enjoy. And when you have some people you look up to for directions and advice, it all becomes so easy to understand and cope. To me, it’s an idea of the past to think that there is certain work meant for men majorly. Honestly, women are doing beautifully well, especially in real estate business. I have a lot of male colleagues in the business ready to give helping hand when needed, that makes it easier for me.
Tell us your story. Where were you born? Where did you grow up & schools attended?
I’m Elizabeth Bola Akinrele. I was born in Kwara State, where my dad worked, as health survivor at the Ministry of Health. I grew up with my Mum’s uncle in Ibadan. Professor Ayoola Olatunde. He’s a private person with a beautiful family.
I did an entrance examination in Ibadan @ New-Eden Schools. I got admitted into the closest school to my house at Bashorun, which is Bashorun High School. I am a graduate of Computer Science from The Polytechnic Ibadan, in Ibadan, I was posted to Lagos State for my youth service with the Nigerian Academy of Science, in the University of Lagos, after which I observed a brief internship in a popular Real Estate company and worked in Computer/sales department, where I gained more insight into the Real Estate business. I have had several professional courses and training relating to Real Estate and here we are. To God be the glory we are in business.
Tell us about your love for fashion. How did it start?
Yeah, Fashion to me is what I grew up with within my family. I have older sisters that have remarkable dress sense, unlike my mum who is so into the born-again way of dressing. No Makeup and no trousers. While growing up as a child, I found pleasure in good looks, be it in a man or woman. The way you dress sometimes is the way you will be addressed. But I like it simple and beautifully detailed. I mingle in the midst of fashionistas. I love an individual with a sense of dressing. Some times it helps bring good vibes and happiness to your business. I am at a level where my friends can trust my judgment on dressing up beautifully. They believe I can put colours together in dressing and it will make sense. So Fashion to me means being simple, beautiful, decent and lovely in appearance.
You have just resumed work. How is the market now?
COVID-19 lockdown has affected real estate business in Lagos, due to the fact that the economy has not been the same since the lockdown. Since the lockdown started there’s fear and trepidation in the air, affecting the real estate community, especially as travel and other economic activity have slowed or stopped. Our apprehension also arose from the fact that several sectors have taken a heavy beating, except Real estate. And with social distancing, house showings have slowed down while pullback by buyers has taken momentum out of the market, which is not favourable to the prices and seeing price falls. Inspection of properties has really slowed down. Due to the poor turn out of clients, thanks to the social distancing itself.
With the stock market crashing and layoffs ramping up, real estate sales will take a hit over the coming weeks and months. There might be declining interest from home buyers as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, due to lockdown and time frame for close of business hour. But I believe it’s not going to be for long. Everything will improve.
Also Sincerely passionate about REls and ROIs,
Elizabeth Bola Akinrele