What GMD, Aare EMMANUEL KING Told City Poeple
Many people often wonder how Adron Homes & Properties, which started from scratch 10 years ago phenomenally grew to become the leading real estate brand it is today. The phenomenal growth of ADRON has, in fact, become a subject of study by real estate enthusiasts.
The fascinating part of the story is the way the management of Adron has kept faith with its lemon brand colour of the company, which pops out at you at every nook and cranny of the South-West and beyond. Many have been shocked to see Adron staff, marketing customers at major markets, malls and bus stop all around Lagos, Ibadan, and Abuja. Year in, year out, the company has been launching new estates one after the other in Lagos and all over the country.
Not too long ago, Adron boss, Aare EmmanuelKing who won the Lagos Man of The Year award a few years back spoke to City People about his success secrets. He told City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, LEKAN ODUNOWO & SEUN JOSEPH what catapulted Adron Homes to the enviable height it is today.
Congratulations on your landmark achievements. How has it been?
We are very excited and deeply grateful to God Almighty on the celebration of our 10th year anniversary on Monday, 7th February 2022. This 10th year has been our best year yet, as it symbolizes the completion of a divinely perfected cycle. We are basking in the euphoria of God’s grace and faithfulness in great celebration.
The vision of Adron Homes & Properties to become the leading real estate management and development company in West Africa has not been entirely smooth, but it has been definitely worthwhile. In the last decade, the company has successfully engaged in the acquisition, development and management of housing sectors across Nigeria with its properties highly diversified with respect to design and styles.
In retrospect, in the past decade, the success recorded by the company has been influenced by some major factors and activities.
In recent times, we have expanded our business activities to other parts of the country, including, but not limited to Niger State, Ekiti State, Akwa Ibom and the Republic of Benin. This decision was borne out of the rising demand of prospective clients domiciled and interested in owning and acquiring properties in these geographical area. We would be spreading to other parts in the corning years.
As part of our Vision in ensuring that we provide the highest number of decent, accessible, comfortable and affordable housing to all, we have equally introduced the video series and smart houses to our packages such as: 3 bedroom duplex Video series with home office, 2 bedroom terrace bungalow in locations like Abuja, Sagamu, Shimawa, while achieving global housing standard.
Also, as a part of our housing products is the magnificent ADRON COURT 2, The Hexagon located in Jericho GRA, Ibadan, with amazing children recreational centre and swimming pool.
Our 10th Year Anniversary falls within the celebration of Love, season – Valentine and as such we celebrate with a matching product with promotional offers of a whopping 30% off all land purchase to spread balance across 24 months in all our estates with attached gift items of a love gift hamper after the payment of the initial deposit of #200,000, a buffet for 2, a special treat and hamper if you pay an initial deposit of #500,000 and finally a couple of night at Radisson Hotel, Buffet for 2, special treat and love hamper, if you pay an initial deposit of #1,000.000. This current promo last until the end of February.
One of our media partners came to me not too long ago, and told me his brand used to mock us when we first started. He said they used to wonder how Adron Homes would survive with the 500 naira daily payment plan to own a land. He said maybe we think we are selling bread or biscuit.
But the man admitted that he was dazzled and now wanted to come and learn the intricacies of the real estate business from us.
He noticed we were consistent. We put up all our updates and how far we have gone with all our housing projects. Two years after, we had acquired so much. And when he started seeing our gigantic houses, he said: “hold on!”. Let me come and check you out. During Christmas, he sent a ram to me, he also sent a gigantic hamper to me. This man admitted they used to make jest of Adron Homes that we will soon go off the real estate market.
He said even those people collecting millions do not have such facilities in their estates and we that are collecting merely 500 naira, 1,000 naira, have a basketball court, playing ground for children and first-class facilities in our estates. So, I don’t believe in the follow-follow idea of running a business. You don’t just copy an idea without understanding the inspiration and the depth of brainstorming that birthed such an idea. You will only fail.
Every year, we allocate nothing less than millions for adverts. It is because we have Landlords and other people who are already living in our estates. We have concrete things to show. If you are into real estate and you have not grown to the extent of having landlords, already habiting your estate, it will be suicidal for you to copy the same concept and allocating the same budget for adverts.
You see, life is in phases. You should grow. If we, at our own level are allocating 250 million, those who are just growing shouldn’t do more than 50 million naira.
We open virgin land. We open new towns. So you have to understand why we are doing this. So it’s no use copying us without understanding the concept behind it. You’ll miss the mark entirely.
How do you take Competition?
We are not bothered. It has always been like that in the Corporate world. It is called Corporate Warfare. It happens everywhere. It’s normal. But it has helped us to be on top of our game. If we use 2 hours in our Monthly performance report, now we use 4 hours. It has compelled me to buy more books. It has inspired me to research more on what next because eni ta n’wo ki’ wo ran (The one who is being watched must be focused). Now that I know that they are watching me, I know I have to be on top of my game. It’s really helping us. But I tell you if there is no competitor, we might just be doing our regular thing. We are happy, we are groundbreakers. So I feel happy when I notice others are copying us. I can tell you that. It’s a thing of joy because if you are not doing well, nobody will copy you. They don’t just copy anybody.
So, it’s a pride to us that when we do things, in 2,3 weeks we see the same thing adopted by other companies.
Do you feel fulfilled? Do you think you have reached the peak of your projected achievement?
No. I don’t. Take, for example. We tagged this year a year of Total Dominion. We live each year by its name. 2019 was a year of Total Dominion, as a company. And we began to dominate everywhere. We expanded our businesses, increased our workforce, increased our products. We have entered into West African countries and all of that.
I was nominated as Lagos State Man of the Year. And I won. And you know without Lagos State, there is no Nigeria. The Governor of Lagos State is more like the Vice President of Nigeria. Whoever rules Lagos is like the next in command. I didn’t win Lagos State Man of the year just as a person, I won because I am the MD/CEO of Adron Homes.
That means, truly, we took Dominion. 2020 was our year of Adron Everywhere, we have milestones; 2021,2022 and so on. We also have 5 years of milestones and vision. Now, if you ask me what is the zenith of your vision? To answer that question, when I obtained my Master’s degree in 2008, when I was leaving the Master’s school in the University of Ibadan, all these ideas were infused in me and I said to myself, “I want to rebuild Nigeria’s housing system. Housing is the identity of any nation. Housing is the identity of any community. If we close our eyes as we are here now, and once we open our eyes and we are in the north when we step out, you will know that you are no longer in Lagos. By the virtue of the housing structures, we will know we have left Lagos.
If we all close our eyes and we find ourselves in England, we will know that we are no longer in Lagos, even if we have not seen any white man, but buildings around will speak loudly enough. If you are in China, you will know by the housing structures, the same for India and so on. What I am saying is simple; Housing defines a continent, a country, a state, and a community.
If you get to the North, the atmosphere is different, the houses are different. They have their own shape of their own houses. So, I want to make it in such a way that when you think about Nigeria, you think of great structure, look at our gatehouses, no real estate company has ever built that massive estate gatehouses like ours, not one.
We begin to redefine the country’s outlook. When you get to Dubai, nobody will tell you this is Dubai. In fact when we were on the airplane the last time I took my family on Vacation. As we were descending in the air, I called my wife’s attention to the night sky and the beautiful scene. “Look at the Dubai,” I told her. The scene is beautiful. But when we got back to Lagos (laughs), we came back in the night. There was darkness everywhere. I said ‘Oh, Nigeria’.
So our Vision is to give a new identity to the Nigerian housing sectors, so when you think about Nigeria, you will remember tall buildings, estates, beautiful gatehouses, recreation parks..that is the Zenith. That was what came to me as a vision when I had my master’s Degree in 2008. And I resigned from where I was working. I was working with PHCN, and I resigned. People said something was wrong with quitting my job at the time when I was supposed to wait for 10 years to get Gratuity. I made them realize PHCN was dying and I prayed for them to get their so-called gratuity.
From the very day you decided to take this journey, has there been any time you felt challenged and wanted to reconsider your area of career?
No, not at all. I have chosen this career and decided this is what I will do forever and leave to generation unborn. But in terms of the challenges, they are enormous. It’s like flying against the wind; government policies, the housing sector policies. The state government policies, the Omo-Onile (landowners) policies, even payment of tax, and the rest; multiple taxations! They are not encouraging for business owners at all. When we were to establish an office in the U.K, I started enumerating the expenses that I perceived would be incurred, especially all the taxes as we do in Nigeria.
They were looking at me when I started mentioning those things that I thought that I will have to pay taxes on. They said No! we don’t do that here. They made me realize that it’s free to put the signage of my company or brand my car in the U.K. I was surprised.
The analysis was simple. All the marketing strategies that I feel I can use to promote my business will increase my income, so I am paying income tax on the gross income of 10,000 pounds, and my strategy increases my personal income to 50,000 pounds, the government will gain from my increased income tax. It’s that simple!
I was impressed!
Back here in Nigeria, we pay every tax payable, like; car branding, signages, billboards, local government, state government, everything. And it’s not encouraging thriving businesses at all. How are we going to break even, even from the little profits, you still pay the income tax. Also, our land system is another big challenge. Our land system must change. Look at the United Arab Emirates, for instance, if I was born in that part of the world, I will be a very happy man today. I am a successful man now and I am very happy, but I am stressed here in Nigeria. We do not sleep. I am not sleeping, not because of hard work. I just can’t sleep because a lot of things will pass by. You’ll even employ somebody who’s qualified and very sound, but he’ll be planning on how to divert the company’s money. Many employees have become a curse to companies. You employ a job seeker and the next thing on his mind is how to defraud the company. I have employed Pastors, Bishops as accountants. You know in those days when you hear “deeper life”, it comes with a degree of moral confidence. I gave my life to Christ in the era of Deeper Life, so I can relate with the measure of moral and spiritual purity that is expected of a godly person. No matter the system you put in place in an organization, it still comes down to the human being who operates the system. If the operator is not sincere or faithful, it will still crash. You are just wasting your money to get the best of guys, it will still fail.
So the challenges are enormous, but we are fulfilled when we see our clients, our landlords coming to the site and feeling fulfilled, getting our lands and houses. Some of them don’t even believe the mighty structures they see when they get to our various sites. There has never been a case of a prospect getting to any of our sites and losing interest. Instead, they invest ahead of what they initially planned. They will end up buying 10, 15, 20 plots and recommending to their colleagues, families and friends. Those have been our driving force. Let me share an experience I had with my friend, when I invited him to witness the groundbreaking of our Buckingham Palace when he saw the gigantic gatehouses, he exclaimed, oh’, Dangote lives here too? And the driver said, “Noo, that’s our estate”. He didn’t believe his eyes! So, those testimonials make us happy and gave us the fuel and push to go on, despite the cumbersome challenges. So, we encourage ourselves, no matter what’s happening, let’s continue to do what we are called to do.
How do you see Adron Homes at 10 Years?
Adron Homes as a company, it can only get better.
In January, we usually have our retreats. All the concerned personnel, that is the group heads will come with their presentation, they’ve all been given their statements of purpose. They will come with their slides to present to the board.
God has really helped us. Honestly, it has been God. We have never borrowed one dime to achieve these projects. And these are projects that run into billions of naira, and yet we have never borrowed a dime. I will always thank my father in the Lord, who’s my mentor, Bishop David Oyedepo. He has been my mentor since 1997 when I have joined the Winner’s Chapel. He has taught us some hard principles of success in life, like the Law of Purpose. Law of intent. So many things that I have learnt from him. Just like our church usually has a Vision for every year, Adron also has a purpose for every year. Every month, we have something to achieve. If we agree that we are buying an estate, we rush into the place, and buy, and start building, just as if we’re just starting. So, it’s been God all the way.
What has been the strategy that has made Adron Homes dominate the real estate sector in the last 10 years?
I will say it is Focus. 100% focus. We don’t divert into other businesses. We don’t look at what others are doing. We just focus. We have our Vision Statement and our Mission Statement. One of the major statements in our vision is that we are daily-driven. So we set our targets every day, every week, every month. We start a new month as if we are just starting all over again as if we didn’t achieve anything last month. So our Focus on Housing Provision is the key strategy. We keep asking ourselves: how do we improve better, every week, every month, every year?
How can we provide housing to meet up the gap and demand? That is just it. I think Focus is the key factor. The scripture says when your eyes are single, your whole body will be full of light. It is not as if there are no challenges. There are challenges but because we are focused, we tend to overcome these challenges. I see some of my colleagues after 2 to 3 years of doing real estate, divert into farming. You get to their office you will see farming on one side, car sales on one side, real estate on one side. But in our own case, when people ask us what we have been doing over the years we will tell you it’s Housing. Where are you now? We would tell them we are now in Osun. We are now in Akure. We are now in Abuja, doing only one business. We have not done any other thing than real estate for the past 10 years.
You have an inspiring way you greet people on social media. You always tell them to have an Action-Packed Day. How did you come up with that unique greeting?
Oh yes. This is how we greet ourselves at Adron Homes. We usually say Action Morning, Action Afternoon and Action Evening. That word is enough. It’s just to let you know that you must be on top of your game. While the whole world says Good morning, we say Action Morning. When others say Good Afternoon, we say Action Afternoon and we respond by saying fast and furious. This is a constant reminder of what we should do. So, when someone greets you in Adron, saying Action Morning, you are expected to say Fast & Furious. That means be fast & furious about today’s job. That injects into us the spirit of the ability to deliver
Adron Homes has a large team of Managers, Marketers and other professionals yet everybody is on the same page. How do you run this team cohesively to deliver what you have promised your clients?
It’s part of our strategy. At Adron Homes, we have Culture & Values. That is why you will hear people say: this is how they do it at Adron Homes.
What we do at Adron Homes is to, first of all, make our people understand our Culture & Values. Every organisation has its own Spirit. That is why when you get to an organisation you begin to behave as they do there. You will start thinking about how they think and that is enshrined in Value & Culture. Of an organisation. We train our people about our core values and the culture of the organisation. For instance, what I do as GMD, is what everybody is doing I work hard. They work hard too. We have a culture of hard work at Adron Homes. We are all good at meeting our set goals. That is it. That is just it. All our staff have imbibed the values and culture of our organisation.