The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Buxstone Properties Ltd, Olumide Bamgbelu, tells our reporter about his journey as an entrepreneur and the challenges in the real estate sector.
What are your responsibilities as the CEO of Buxstone Properties Ltd?
I have been an active entrepreneur for almost a decade, by virtue of other businesses I have started in the past. As the CEO of the company, I am the chief executioner of the brand, making sure I am able to steer it to achieve its aims and objectives, bringing the vision to life and making sure we are able to live up to our commitments vision to our clients.
What made you establish the company?
Buxstone Properties Ltd was created out of my problem solving passion. I noticed that there is a property ownership challenge in Nigeria, Many aspire to be land owners but they face challenges like access to genuine properties, convenient payment plans and many more.
A lot of people in the diaspora are still going through Real Estate Ownership issues. They have the money, and they want to invest back home, but they have no one to trust. If no one is doing anything about it, we will be discouraging investors from investing in the country.
Buying a property in Nigeria should not be a tug of war. If one wants to invest one’s hard earned money, one should not be defrauded. We are here to simplify the process and encourage investors to invest in the country.
That would contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.
What are the problems the Nigerian real estate industry is facing?
There are a lot of challenges besetting real estate practice in Nigeria, for both buyers and sellers. One of the challenges is the unstable state of the economy.
The devaluation of the naira is also not helping matters. These have adverse effects on real estate. It makes (some) developers cut corners and compromise on the quality of materials they use in building, in a bid to maximise profit.
Before starting a building project, they (developers) would already have an estimate of the cost of materials they want to use. It then affects their budgets when they find out that the prices of those materials have increased. It also affects the prices of properties. That is one of the reasons the prices of properties are constantly increasing.
Second, a lot of developers do nothing about the documents of their properties; perhaps, they are trying to avoid the cost of perfecting a land title in Nigeria. When one buys a land without the title, one would have issues down the line. One could discover that the same land had already been sold to another person.
One could lose a property if one does not carry out due diligence (on it). The buyers end up facing the consequences. However, for every property my company sells, we make sure they are genuine and clean.
In what ways is technology changing the operations of the real estate sector?
Today, technology is everything. There is practically no sector that has not integrated technology into its operations. Technology has come to stay and it is the future.
These days, everyone wants to be able to buy and sell, and do a lot of other things (online). Without the aid of technology, things like working from home would not be possible.
What were the challenges you encountered when you started the business?
We faced numerous challenges when starting out, and we try as much as possible to solve them. One major challenge is that a lot of land grabbers don’t have proper documents. A lot of lands are just being built on without them having the right titles. For us, due diligence is key. If a property’s titles are not clean, we cannot get involved with it.
What impact do you see your company making in the real estate sector?
Well starting out, I told myself and the team that it’s important we think Long term and never forget why we started, we see ourself as a major real estate solution provider helping many become landlords and property owners.
How do you make sure you render excellent customer service?
We are very particular about customer service delivery. We will give 100 per cent when it comes to rendering first class customer service. Without customers, there is no company. We would embrace every avenue in terms of response to queries and how we address those concerns. We have a 24-hours rule which means from when anybody makes an inquiry about any of our services, they would get a response within 24 hours.
Every customer that comes on board will have a dedicated account manager that will oversee their transaction..