She is one of the few babes doing well in the Property and Real Estate business. She is pretty. She is young. She is also very brilliant. And she is streetwise. Shakirat Ayobami Kareem-Lawal is a big player in the real estate business in Nigeria. She is one of the property developers currently making waves right now.
She once shared her impressive story with City People. In it she shared how she dabbled into Interior decoration and Property business when she was in her early 20s, at a time other babes still depended on their parents for sustenance.
How did she succeed? ”When I finished from LASU, I went to the Island in Lagos to live with my friend. Then, I met some guys who introduced me to real estate. That was in 2007. I set up my own company in 2009. I called it Whiterose Properties & Interiors Limited. I was into Interiors on the Mainland before I went to the Island. When I got to the Island I was looking for jobs and some guys introduced me to Real Estate. Being an Interior Decoration person they told me that I could combine the 2. They said if I meet people who want to take a house I can still decorate it for them. I can still do the interiors.” Then, I worked with Legacy Properties in Victoria Island. He is my mentor. He was the one that gave me, put me through on what to do. I worked with him for like 2 years, then I started my own company.
How has the journey been? The journey has been a tough one. But I thank God. We have grown. Now, we develop properties. We Buy and Sell. Real Estate is a very good business, but it has a lot to do with your Integrity. You have to be loyal. You have to be patient; you have to learn how to manage people because you will meet different kinds of people. Sometimes some clients will come and they will insult you, they will be rude. You have to take it because you are going to get business from them. Aside from that, we get clients through referrals. So you have to be nice to your clients so that you can get them to introduce other people to you.
Where does she operate from?
”From Lekki Phase I. Our office is in Lekki Phase I. We’ve been doing fine. God has been so kind to me.
What course did she study at school?
“I studied Business Administration in LASU, but right now I am studying Law in UNILAG because I plan to go into Politics. I want to come out in my state. I am from Osun State.”
What is her family background like?
”I am from a polygamous family. I am from a family of 21. I came to Lagos in 2002. I ran away from home to Lagos. I left my father to come to Lagos to pursue a career. Right from when I was very young I had been saving up. All the money they used to give me to eat in school, I was saving it. Because we are many in my house I knew I had to be saving and provide for my brothers.” “Right from that early days, I already knew I had to have my own money. So, I ran from my house to Lagos. When I came to Lagos, I was squatting with people. I sold Pure water to survive at some point. Then, I sent myself to school. My friends abandoned me then when things were rough. My father will send messages to me to come back home. He will say Please come back, did I pursue you from home, come back home.” “When I finished school, I worked with one interior decoration company. That was where I got the idea of how to furnish a house. When I started doing my own interior furnishing business, I then moved to the Island and some guys now introduced me to real estate. I now decided to go and work with somebody. I was not working with him because of the salary. No. I wanted to learn, out of interest.”
Why did she name her company Whiterose? ”Because of what the name depicts,” she says. “The interior decoration company I worked with is called Rosemary in Omole Estate. They are in Lekki now. Rosemary is all about flowers, so I was looking for a simple name like that, that has to do with Rose. So, I thought of Whiterose, it is for special people.”
She is a very stylish lady. How did that aspect of her develop?” I love fashion. I am a fashionista. I love to look good. Anytime I go out I want to stand out. And for the kind of job I do, you have to always look good. Being in Real Estate you have to always look good. You have to look the part. I always tell my colleagues if you want to make money in real estate you have to look good – your dressing is part of it.”
“You have to wear a nice perfume. You have to be attractive. When I started off real estate I didn’t have a car then, so I used to dress well then, put on nice perfume to smell nice because if your friend carries you and sees that you don’t smell nice it would count against you and they won’t want to call you again. So you have to always look nice”.
City People can reveal to you that Whiterose Nigeria Limited, is an urban real estate development, sales and management firm with an office in Lagos. It was formed in 2010 by property experts in Lagos and Abuja. It has as a prominent partner, Miss Kareem Ayobami, a pretty Lagos businesswoman with a massive pool of property network and expertise. Whiterose acquires properties based upon its profit-making potential. At the present time, the company’s portfolio includes small apartment buildings, duplex buildings and terrace homes. Whiterose Nigeria Limited takes pride in its ability to locate and acquire economically sound, high-yield sales and development properties.
Typically, Whiterose seeks situations where it can apply its entrepreneurial expertise and value-added approach. The company relies upon its principals to identify new markets and undervalued assets. It also leverages it’s public and private sector relationships to enrich the communities in which it invests. Whiterose combines creative, intelligent and award-winning marketing to display your property in its best light.
“We offer a refreshing approach to selling exclusive properties, delivering an award-winning method of showcasing your home to the right people, in the right way, at the right time” explains Ayobami. “We don’t just list your home, we use all of our unique tools and routes to market to expose your property to the widest possible audience, drawing attention and captivating potential purchasers”.
“Our bespoke process takes a lifestyle approach to the promotion of property focusing on vendors’ comments to highlight personal characteristics that show a home, rather than simply a house. With Whiterose your home is presented at its best to the widest possible audience, enticing potential buyers and accelerating the sale of your property”.
“At Whiterose, we are committed fervently to ensuring a flexible and successful business experience to suit your unique needs efficiently,” says Ayobami. “We have delivered a number of satisfied customers over the years, still, each new job remains special on our table.”
“We offer an agile, flexible, and high-quality experience and service delivery; suitable and reliable properties in a sublime environment; state-of-the-art property, product, design and decoration with a guarantee of satisfaction; effective and total brilliance at work… All for you!”
Ayobami Kareem is a prominent partner of the prestigious property sales and consultancy company in Lagos. She has years of combined real estate sales and management experience and has completed more than 500 million naira worth of urban property transactions. She started to pursue an Urban sales strategy along the Lekki corridor that seeks to add value by leveraging local economic anchors to further stimulate and rejuvenate areas with upside potential. Whiterose will align its private ability to aggressively pursue urban property opportunities in excess of millions of naira.