•Founder, Dr. OPEOLUWA OLOYEDE Tells CityPeople
Dr. Opeoluwa Oloyede is a big player in the real estate sector in Lagos. He is the MD/CEO of OMEK Properties, a 3 year old real estate company that is doing well. He recently held a big party to mark the 3rd anniversary of his company based at Adeoti Street, off Akowonjo-Egbeda road at Akonwonjo area of Lagos.
A few weeks back, City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, spent some quality time with this successful real estate player and he revealed how he has grown his Omek Properties brand into what it is today. Below are excerpts of the interview.
Tell us about Omek Properties…
Omek Properties & Investment Limited was initiated on 30th of September, 2019 and to God be the glory everything is moving well. Recently, we had our 3rd year anniversary at Senator Hotel, in Lagos. I am talking about a few days ago, last week.
During the anniversary I told my guests about the historic developments of Omek Properties, the achievements, so far, in the course of the 3 years. I was not shy to talk about my brand because within this 3 years we have achieved a lot, even more than some people have been doing this business for more than 3 years.
How easy or tough was it when you started off?
I can tell you that though when I started, there were a lot of challenges here and there.
It was tough in the city of Lagos. You have to have money. But some times, it goes beyond money. You can have money and everything will dwindle away. Yes, money can play a vital role, but believe me it’s the Grace of God. Secondly, I cannot underestimate over a decade experience that I have in real estate.
Let me tell you about some of the challenges I faced during this period, trying to come up, I started in a cubicle at Akowonjo there, and then I got a shop. My intention is to get an office, a well packaged office, not a shop.
I went along with my dream. Things were moving well, till we got this apartment.
So, personally, I faced many challenges but thank God, under a few months, 6 to 7 to 8 months, I was able to overcome some to the level that I brought in my 1st Ambassador, Temitayo Adeniyi, she is an actress. With her and my doggedness, we became unstoppable marketers in the city of Lagos.
Tell us about the growth of Omek Properties?
In the course of my career, I have worked in 3 sectors which is Real Estate, Oil & Gas and Pharmaceuticals. So, I decided to go for Real Estate, because it is my area of strength. I stayed there for over a decade, so, I see real estate as an area of strength where I will be able to use all the necessary resources. That long paid cannot just go without me manifesting them. So, I have chosen real estate and real estate has been working pretty well.
In the 1st year, we were able to record great result. The same year we started, we started giving land to people.
We started from Kobape in Abeokuta and Ajegunle Atan, with just 30 plots each. That is 5 acres of land each. But God be the Glory, now we have estates everywhere.
Even in Kobape alone, we have 7 different estates there, farm lands, and about 8 residential estates there and 4 different locations for farm land. That is for people that are going into Agriculture.
We started from Kobape and Atan. After Atan, we are able to get another location. We have 3 different estates at Atan, on Sokoto Road and 2 different estates at Ajegunle. After that we were able to acquire some acres of land, about 10 acres at Ibeju-Lekki.
It was moving. And business there was good, it was actually enhancing the Income and Inflow of the company. From Ibeju-Lekki, we moved to Mowe. Mowe is a good location. We have acres of land at Mowe. We have 2 different estates at Mowe that people are buying. As for Ibeju-Lekki, we are working on government allocation on the land.
The acquisition is not a committed one. It is a Global one, which we are working on.
And we don’t want to give out any land that is still under either committed or Global to any client. Anywhere I am giving to any of my client you should be able to start work on it immediately. We always have a duration of 3 months to start.
That is how we keep acquiring land all over Lagos and Ogun State and we hope to move to Oyo State before the end of this year and by next year to Osun and Abuja by His Grace. So the journey has tough. When we started it looked like a Roller Coaster but along the line, we got used to it because I see challenges as real. It is not something that you play with. I must tell you, Real Estate is not a joke truly. Many people have come in and left because things were not really working well for them. To the glory of God, Omek Properties is doing well.
On our staff strength, I have a set of dedicated staff that are doing well. In the course of 3 years, 40 people have been able to work with me. So, I still believe that in terms of staff retention we are still doing well because 3 years in some companies may be they would have recruited about 100 people. We have a lot of our staff who are stable and committed to the Growth & Development of Omek Properties & Investment Limited.
I am looking at the next 2 years when I will be marking my 5th anniversary. I am going to mark 7th and 10th anniversary.
Omek Properties is waxing stronger by the Grace of God”.
How did you cope during Covid-Lockdown?
One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Something that is not favourable to you can be favourable to me. I want to tell you that Omek Properties in March, did strongly during Covid. During that Covid, I thought it was all over. I though I had lost it.
But I re-strategised. As at that period I talked to a few investors. Since they didn’t know when we were going to resume, they wanted to do investment. So, during that period I was able to do some business in the area of farm-crowding. It is a system whereby you monitor their farm for them and all that, so that the proceeds that is coming out of it will be divided into 3 parts. During Covid-19, we did a lot of business, because they allowed those doing Agriculture activities to move I was doing my business. And during that period, I changed strategy. I was not marketing land to anybody then. I was able to use Agriculture to penetrate people. Believe me, during that period I made so much money. During that period I made close to N50m to N60 million naira during the period of 2 to 3 months that we stayed at home permanently. And from that period, the financial strength of Omek Properties became stronger.
What is the situation of Real Estate business right now? How has the down turn in the Economy affected the business? Has the political situation affected the Real Estate business?
The economy has drastically affected real estate. Believe me. Few years back, the clients will be chasing us now, we are the ones chasing clients. The Dollar/Naira value of exchange rate has interfered. It has affected real estate because prices are going up. It is only affordable to those living and working abroad.
We keep changing strategies. At periods like this we are trying to attract people who are outside the country.
It is not really palatable for people here because prices are going up which is making it difficult for our own people, Nigerian generally. I am speaking for ordinary people The poor. I am not speaking for the rich. The economy has affected a large number of people that are buying land from us on a monthly basis.
Before now we used to have 20 people, to 30, 40 people buying from us but now, we don’t have up to 12. You have to be okay with that. The economy has affected us, negatively.