• Reveals The Many Factors That Have Worked For Him As A Real Estate Player
Mr Oloyede Opeyemi is one of the youngest property players in Lagos. He’s the founder and Managing Director of Omek Properties & Investment. He’s one of the brilliant young players in the real estate sector who knows his onions. He’s had a lot of experiences working with many real estate firms before he floated Omek properties two years ago. Today, the company has grown to be reckoned with in the sector. A few weeks back, City People duo, ISAAC ABIMBADE and BIODUN ALAO, visited him in his head office and during the interview. He spoke to us about his progress as a real estate player and what Omek Properties is doing differently from other property firms and many others. Below are the excerpts.
Can you tell us about OMEK properties?
I’m Oloyede Opeoluwa, MD, OMEK Property & Investment Limited.There is nothing much about OMEK. Initially you asked how big we are, anyways, God is big enough to contain us. I’m not trying to be religious but you know we should always ascribe self reference to God. OMEK was actually initiated in the year 2019 and I can proudly say that even if we have a child of two years you should know that when it is one,the child will begin to walk and when the child is two years like this, maybe he’s starting to run but the fact is this, we all know real estate is a sector that is not 100 percent acceptable because some people go to ‘Omo onile’ to get land whenever they want to build house. And many people have actually bastardized real estate business.
The name OMEK, how did you come about it?
OMEK was coined from my name: I’m Oloyede Opeoluwa. So, O stands for my name Opeoluwa, M for Mary, my first child is Emmanuella and the second child is Korede, so that’s how OMEK was coined even from the four names.
Before OMEK what were you doing?
That is a good question. I’ve been in real estate for the past 13 years. Yoruba will say “A dead body of 3days is not strange to the graveyard”. I’ve worked with different real estate companies that are still functioning, but one of them is no longer in business. I served them in different levels: I was a Marketing Manager, General Manager before I decided to initiate OMEK properties and lnvestment limited. In 2019, I decided to take the bold step. We started OMEK with Kobape project in Abeokuta, a site located in Abeokuta. That’s our first estate. After that we moved to Atan Ajegunle. It’s about 15minutes drive from the Covenant University.
Can you tell us some of the challenges you faced when you started Omek properties?
One of the major challenges is capital (money). Though, you have to be trusted and have integrity, and the database you have created since you’ve been working would also work for you.
Money was a major issue I won’t lie to you. When I started Omek and I used to borrow vehicle from a friend to take my clients to the site. I’m proud to say this today. I used to tell a friend please help with your car and I used to give about 4 days notice.
Can we say that’s your success story?
If I really want to dig deep, there are many success stories, but it’s part of what actually worked for me. It truly worked for me because at the end of the day I was able to deduce many things from that. Because having the skills, having the knowledge in real estate and knowing the step to take at the right time is far better, even when the money is available.
What are the major challenges you’re facing in the sector and how can government to help out?
We have many real estate companies and there’s no how you’ll meet 10 people and one of them won’t tell you I’ve been a victim of real estate fraud. So there should be a form of certification where someone will not just wake up in the morning and say I’ve gone for training in real estate and I can deal with sales of land, buildings and all. There should be a well protected certification in the area of real estate which will curb people from misbehaving. Some people actually collect money from clients and they won’t deliver.These are some of the challenges that government needs to look into. Also in the area of documentation: this is an environment where you hear people saying, for the past 8 years government hasn’t given restitution letters.
What makes OMEK different from every other real estate companies?
One of the attractions at Omek properties is to make sure we allocate to people on time because when that is done you don’t need to get numerous marketers. You’ll automatically turn clients to marketers at the end of the day without giving them a penny because you’ve made them happy. As at last year we gave people who paid 60% of their land.
What are the skills one must possess to be a successful real estate agent?
Integrity matters, I mean loyalty. And you don’t have to spend lavishly. To travel to the USA now it’s a lot of money. You have to book six hundred thousand naira/seven hundred thousand naira flight and some might go like four times in a month. And this doesn’t help at all.
Also, your integrity matters. When you promise people you must try to deliver. And It’s even better you grow gradually in real estate. I can say it emphatically. Don’t go and borrow big money especially with interests you’ll be working under pressure and you won’t get your desired result, so move little by little.
Are you fulfilled or have you reached where you proposed to be when you started two years back?
To be sincere when we started I have structured 1, 2, 5 to 10 years plans but, I won’t lie to you I got very close to my 5 years plan in less than a year. I thought we’ll struggle more but in less than a year I changed from location to another, from one office to another. The company is restructuring. This is just the second year.
Let’s talk about where you have properties around the country and also payment plan.
Presently we have 7 estates in 4 locations. We have land in Ibeji Lekki, Ajegunle Atan(about 5 minutes drive from Atan bus-stop), Sokoto road, Atan. We have allocated the Ajegunle Atan own and it’s fully sold out, so we don’t really advertise it anymore.
The Sokoto road project at Atan, the perimeter fencing is presently ongoing. I told you that our company has 3 different estates in that area. We have farmland, Ruby Parks and Gardens Phase 1, Ruby Parks and Gardens Phase 2. We have in Mowe, behind the old auditorium. We share the same boundary with Redeem camp. Those are the locations. Presently, we are working on Ikorodu project.
How flexible is your payment plan?
It’s flexible enough because we have a 3months payment plan, 6 months. You can do 9 months or a year. I won’t lie to you, with the experience in real estate, anybody who tells you that he/she will do more than a year is a red flag.
If you want to grow better in the business, some of us like to do something that we cannot handle. you don’t need to do 100 acres, 50 acres at once. You can start with 10 acres, 5 acres even 2 acres because this is a period that for you to fence 50 acres of land that means you must have close to a 200 million in your bank account because if you do not fence your land, Omo Onile will be troubling you despite they’re not the owner of the land and they would disrupt any activity going on the land and this gives every estate owners headache.
Another major issue about government is the judicial part (delay in judgement). For example, I’ve bought this place, fenced and after 2 years the head of the family member comes and claims it again. I’ve experienced it like twice in the business. When I’ve paid to the rightful owner, yet when you check the judgement you find it there that it was recently won at a court.