Naira Diary: Good day, The Mayor of Housing. What is the motivation behind what you are doing?
The Mayor of Housing: We are doing this to make sure people can access real estate. With social funding, 70% of Nigerians can access homeownership. I have popular quotes:
“if a solution is not affordable, it’s not a solution’’.The Mayor Of Housing
Naira Diary: There are other real estate companies in Port Harcourt, what makes your own unique and different?
The Mayor Of Housing: We are so unique and different in multiple ways.
No 1. We are not selling houses or lands, we are selling solution. For our 150 million naira house, the first solution is 89 million which is the big league plan solution or direct funding solution where you save 55 million.
The second solution is funding where you get a 150 million naira house for 2 million.
Secondly, we are selling education. Like today did you hear me give 2 million Naira? We are here for education and understanding because it’s only what you understand that will benefit you. We are educating people on collaboration and cooperation because the actual Nigerian spirit is the spirit of cooperation and we want to return that back.
We are also encouraging aspirations and dreams. For most people, to play in the real estate industry as an owner is a tall dream you don’t even know where to start. I started my dream three years ago with 1.5 million Naira, this year alone I’m getting eight houses worth 1 billion Naira with just 1.5 million Naira and three years of hard work. So what social funding does, it allows you to bring in sweat equity and make up in cash. So we are bringing the reality of peoples dreams close to their table and we are turning your rent into a home or the money you would have used to buy land outside the city centre into a home. That is what makes us different.
Naira Diary: So what unique features do you have in your houses?
The Mayor Of Housing: Our houses are very unique because we came up with two innovations and the third is value. The two innovations are:
1. we are the first in Nigeria to commercially render residential houses with rooftop a private swimming pool. There are lots of building with rooftop swimming pool but they are not commercially sold. We are the first to build and sell.
2. We are the first to introduce what we call a link terrace. In the world all over terraces are joined shoulder to shoulder but we created a unique inter terrace space for ventilation.
3. The houses also come fully automated with fibre to the house and Google smart automation. Full fire and burglary insurance. Our houses come with diminishing that you won’t find anywhere.
Naira Diary: For those interested, how can they learn more aside from calling you?
Mayor Of Housing: You can go www.realestatesocialfunding.com You will get all the information’s on how to subscribe.
Naira Diary: Does your estate has recreational facilities and option for emergency treatment before people are taken to the hospital?
The Mayor Of Housing: Thank you so much for this question. One of the things we do is because we are not building gigantic estates, we leverage on gigantic estates. We are not the owners of Reef Courts Estate but we are leveraging and building inside of Reef Courts Estate because when we did our analysis we realized that this is not the biggest privately reclaimed land in the South-South but it is being built by a team of people that their designs and prototype master plan meet our taste and luxury. There are schools here, there are hospitals, emergency centres. They are several recreational centres. But the heartbeat of this is the island over there. The island is a green packed island that will have building surrounding it. It has a park and a garden where children and adults can go and play with water around it and a bridge across.
This estate also offers something we find very attractive – a residence only creche. That means when you are rushing to work, you don’t drop your kids with people you don’t know nor trust but you drop them where you know it’s only you and your neighbours’ kids that will be there and they handle the place professionally observing international standards.
Also, all our houses are eco-friendly. These are what attracted us to partner with Reef Courts Estate and we are building homes, not houses.
Naira Diary: What do you think the government can do to help people own houses?
How can the government come in to help people own houses?
The Mayor Of Housing
Beautiful! This ground we are standing on is PPP arrangement. It’s a public-private partnership between the government and Reef Courts Estate. The government should partner with a company with a good track record to help people get a house. For example, the Rivers State government can partner with Reef Courts Estate and give workers a 2 million naira loan to subscribe to our plan and the workers will pay back from their salary. The government should be more proactive and diligent in partnering with real companies that offer value like ours.
Naira Diary: Why are you targeting high-class areas?
The Mayor Of Housing
It’s this is our premium package. It’s a four-bedroom smart duplex with a rooftop swimming pool and a BQ and suite for the middle and upper working class. Towards the end of the year, we will launch our low-cost package which will be a block of flats, two bedrooms, one bedroom, even self-contained and we will be the first company in Nigeria to commercially render self-contained. That one will be in other areas that are low-class areas.
What are your final words?
The Mayor Of Housing: My final word is that everyone deserves a home. And Nigerians are smarter than we have been made to believe. With social funding, everyone can get a home in Nigeria. The tallest houses building in Nigeria in 1965 was the Coco House in Ibadan. This was built on the back of cooperation. Collaboration is the new competition and we have that spirit.
”Social funding is the solution to housing problems in Nigeria and Africa.”– The Mayor Of Housing