Hot on its heels of operation, Nigeria’s digital-compliant real estate company, ShelterPro is setting the stage for 21st-century housing plan in Nigeria. With properties developed both in the suburb and highbrow areas in Nigeria, ShelterPro is dictating the pace in the Smart Homes projects, that is taking the space globally.
Over the past few years, home automation and smart home devices have become more popular across the world. Many Nigerians who barked at the earlier exorbitant costs are beginning to embrace them.
One peculiar value of ShelterPro is the fact that its direction of operation in the real estate industry is more on digital property development in a plan that will encourage prospective landowners, transform to landlords more conveniently than the process of just buying the land. So, while other real estates are turning tenants to landowners, ShelterPro focuses on turning landowners to Landlords with an affordable and convenient payment plan.
ShelterPro considered all the mitigating factors and economic hurdles that usually stagnate people who buy lands but do not have the financial strength to build on them for long period of years.
City People’s Online Editor, Seun Joseph, had a brief chat with the MD of ShelterPro, John Ehinome, and he spoke about the boundless opportunities in signing up with the company and living the life that one, not only dreams of but can achieve.
May we meet you?
My name is John Ehinome. I’m from Edo State. A graduate of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma and I have been in the real estate sector since 2008 till date and I’ve been involved in several projects across the country, I work with ShelterPro.
We embark on affordable housing and we are also masters in housing, where payments on installments, can guarantee you a home and also make you understand you don’t need a surplus budget to start up your housing project, so your housing dreams can be a reality with what you have.
We also give you the opportunity to personalize your house to choose your designs, your colour, your space, and we don’t confine you to what we want to build for you, but we work with your own plan.
And we believe that everybody that wants to build a house already has the picture of what they want their house to be in their heads and we bring that to reality. That’s what shelterPro is all about. That’s why we say it’s a smarter way to housing.
You were saying something about smart homes, what do you mean?
Smart Homes are home you can interact with. Smart homes comprise of the usage of gadgets, to regulate some of the items in your house. It can be your electrical components. Your switch, your sound system, your TV, it can even be the tap in your kitchen. It can be your AC switch: it can be any gadget you want to connect with. We believe it will take a while to come to a full knowledge because once you say smart home, people will believe it will be expensive. And of which we know that it’s not expensive, though we know it comes from outside the shores of the country and the exchange rate might be on the high side but we know that it is affordable.
Our new project is on houses you can interact with; that anywhere you are you can open the door to the entrance of your house. As far as you have a phone, you can open your door. And you can also relate to anybody standing by your door. Like the ring-me doorbell that once it is being pressed your phone rings and you pick like a normal call and you can see the person standing by your door, and you can interact with the person at that point.
So, it gives you the idea of being far away and communicating with somebody at your door step, opening the door from anywhere you might be at that point. There is also an option of sending a digital key to whoever is at your doorstep. lights in the house can be programmed to come on or off at any point from where you are, through your phone or any gadget you have that the element is programmed to work with.
I believe its high time Nigerians migrated from the conventional housing to say they now have a home they can interact with, and 21st-century housing is a smart home. I always make reference to SUJIMOTO. Sijubomi Ogundele has been pushing smart housing to Nigerians. But we have the conception that only the high-earners can afford these smart homes.
But smart homes are very affordable to those even in the middle-class and the mainstream. All you have to do is now personalize areas you can operate your house with smart devices. It can just be your entrance door or a few electrical gadgets, so there are several ways you can cut down the cost in terms of your house apart from the smart homes.
Now we have a fabricated metal staircase instead of a normal casted staircase. One can have them with woods and have you put a rug on it. So, it reduces so much as per cost and makes the home affordable. So, we are taking the minds of Nigerians from the difference of building a house and how a house should be built, such that when someone comes outside the shores of the country to your house, he will feel more comfortable to stay back than to stay at a hotel, because your house is operating a 21-century housing system. That’s how we view housing in ShelterPro.
What inspires your decision to deviate from the conventional housing system to the smart housing system?
I have been in the conventional real estate, and I can tell you the system is getting too clumsy and having challenges. From 2000 to 2010, the era of Mowe Ofada land purchase was booming. We had several real estate companies investing on lands in those areas. In 2011 and 2012, the property acquisition business was still booming. But now that market is so populated with so many real estate players and developers. Real estate players give options of land acquisition schemes and are migrating people from tenants to landowners. After purchasing the land, these prospects get stuck at that point and find it difficult to progress unto landlords since they will spend more to build a house than just buying the land.
In the end, we found out that there are lots of landowners today but there are still few landlords.
That’s why we are now bringing a self- mortgage plan, which you help pay installments. A hundred and fifty thousand naira is enough for you to start a foundation. We have a joint business venture with Lafarge for supplies of blocks of cement for instance. we have platforms to get materials at a discounted rate to make your project easier than you ever think, to help you develop your house while you pay On installments, because in this time, we know Nigeria is just getting out of recession and real estate actually suffered severely last year and now its gradually picking up. So, if you own a land, now is the time for you to migrate to owning a home. And there is still something we call quality control. While we are moving to the site, we always require that our clients provide a family member or trusted friend to inspect and check the quality of the work done and the daily report to know if its equivalent to what we are offering to you. So, integrity is also what we are trying to build. We also educate you about what your house should do for you.
Currently, we have a project in Atlantic view estate. It’s called Florence court. It’s a 5 bedroom duplex with an underground parking lot and it’s a smart home. But the truth of the matter is that the phase one is sold out. So, anybody who is interested in buying will have to buy from the phase two. The phase two is going to be 6 units.
We have three projects there in Atlantic view in 2018. The first one is the one we are wrapping up. It’s a 6 months duration project. The second one kick starts after we have done 80 percent of work on the first one, which is already a sold-out project. The third one is an ocean view; still at Atlantic View estate and they are all smart homes. I’m sure during the launch; you will see a video of how people can interact with their homes. Once you get to a certain yard to your door, it opens itself. It helps you to relate to your house. That’s what we are trying to push into the consciousness of Nigerians.
At ShelterPro, your payment is being broken down in terms of your housing into smaller units. Like I was saying that with N80,000.00 monthly, your house can be constructed, and you can complete payment within a period of one to five, Right now we are trying to work out one to five years in terms of default. We check your payment consistency in the first six months, to have the idea if we should take it further or just hold for a while until you upgrade your payment before we go further.
We believe that owning a land does not make you a landlord, but it is the first step of you owning a house. So now that you have owned a land, let’s help you further to owning a home.
And we have a very wonderful scheme that will come up much later but we don’t want to let the cat out of the bag now until (laughs) when that is fully actualized. It will come up much later in the middle of the year
At what point will the landowner be accessible to his house?
As soon as it is completed; at the end of the construction. The thing is, at the very beginning of the project, your ability to consistently meet your monthly payment will determine the speed of your project. Because indirectly we will be about 5 to 8 months ahead of your payment schedule in terms of the project. In a month we can reach up to like a four-month project plan, and in another month, we can reach up to another four-month project plan. We don’t have to wait for you to meet up with foundation payment plan, we can go as far as the lintel level before we get to that point where your ability to consistently make your monthly payment will determine the speed we go with your project.
It’s just about working with your budget, You tell us how much you can afford for your project and we give you a quotation that can go with it.