•Real Estate Marketer, Mrs. IFEOMA EKWENYE
Mrs Ifeoma Ekwenye is a top female real estate marketer. Although her name may not quickly ring a bell when it’s mentioned, she has paid her dues in real estate marketing. She left her Insurance job a few years ago to establish herself in real estate. She is currently one of the marketers who have sold lots of landed/house properties in the last few years.
Recently, City People ISAAC ABIMBADE (08155107955) interviewed her on her journey into the sector and how women can follow her step in real estate marketing. She’s currently with Bashmoh Homes to guide and nurture young marketers who want to make cool money in the business.
Below are some of the things she says on how to make money in real estate.
What is your work as a marketer in this company?
I am the head of marketing. I oversee the whole marketing aspect of Bashmoh Homes. And I also liaise with organisations, so that we can do business together. I visit our other offices to supervise and see what is happening there and I bring back the report to analyse so that we can better improve on it.
How long have you been doing this?
I have been doing it with this company for almost 2 years now. I can say it has been challenging.
What is marketing for you? A passion or what?
Marketing for me is in-built. It is a passion. I haven’t done any other job apart from marketing.
What were you doing before real estate?
I was in the insurance sector. I spent over 15 years in the insurance sector before I left there.
How do you now see the real estate sector?
Real estate is more challenging. In real estate, people want to see you everyday and every now and then. Most times, my work takes me through the weekend. At times, I will wake up at 1 am to send messages. I do work after office hours to be able to meet up.
Why real estate?
Because I realise that real estate is one of the fastest-growing ventures anyone can go into.
Was that why you left insurance?
That wasn’t just the reason but there’s this passion to get houses for people. I used to be a tenant before I became a landlord. I have a house but the location is far from here. What I do is to use the money I get there to service what we have here. At Bashmoh Homes, we help low-income earners get their property at very affordable prices. So when you see all this go on, you will move to be part of this. And some people are also going into farming and currently, Agriculture has become the heartbeat of the nation. There is food scarcity and we have been telling people how to go about it. They can get land in large quantities. You can give it out for people to farm on it and you can also farm on it yourself. Basically, those are some of the things I saw that made me come into real estate.
How can you teach an average woman like yourself, who is new to real estate, how to go about it? What will you tell the person?
I will, first of all, make sure she has a passion for real estate. That’s what I do here. I help them to build-up passion for real estate because without passion, you can’t do it. Just like myself, I like to meet new people everyday. If you don’t have the habit of talking to people everyday, at least 10 in a day, you won’t be able to do this job.
How do you sell to people. How do you convince an average man out there to buy real estate?
What we actually do is to let them know that they can buy through instalment plan. We tell them that they don’t have to wait until they have bulk money to buy. Waiting to acquire bulk money may be an hindrance to acquiring the property. We encourage them to weigh the options; if they can’t go for the full plot, they can go for half a plot of land. And as regards title, I always tell my client to use an illustration of a person who went to buy cloth in the market. The person, after buying the cloth, will take them to his tailor for sewing. That means, when you buy a land from us, you will take it to the government to duly register for you because it’s necessary to get the red copy of your survey, deed of assignment, which is the change of ownership. Some of these things come with a cost and because it comes with a cost, we tell them it can actually get them through our company.
How do you convince some of your marketers to market your products?
I tell them that they can actually be their own boss. Here, we don’t look at the basics; we look at the commission. That the more people you bring, the more you talk to people every day, the more your chances of making money through real estate. We also encourage them with the experience we have garnered over the years. Sometimes, we go out together to speak to their clients. Some of these marketers have complex issues. They don’t like to talk. So, we go out together to speak to many of their clients.
If I can excel in this business, anyone can also do. I faced a lot of challenges when I started. I faced a lot of discouragement.
Tell us the story of your first sale or breakthrough.
It’s always good to start with people around you. I started with my family, church members, my old colleagues and neighbours. I told them that I now work in a real estate company and I told them it’s real, that they can be paying small money and in no time, they will become land owners. They weren’t convinced initially but I persisted. I convinced them that if they can’t pay all the money within a year that I can talk to my boss for an extension.
Let me tell you this. People are more relaxed when they are buying from the people they know. They will tell me that, if they don’t give me my land, I will come to your house and I will also assure them to come. I tell them that they know where I live. I also tell them that if they don’t get their land, they should hold me responsible and that motivates them and before I knew it, they started paying. From one person, I got two persons and from two person I got many…before I knew it, I lost count.
Tell us the project you have at hand.
We have the middle-level housing scheme. We have in Simawa, Atan, Mowe, Sagamu, Akinyele-Ibadan. And all these estates is to motivate the middle class that they can actually own a property of their own.
It’s a scheme where we let people pay over a period of time. Some started with initial 20 percent deposit. We even have some that will tell us that the 20 percent is a bit heavy to carry at the first payment but we still have a way to give them the opportunity of owning their own property.