In our second instalment of the five aside series, we decided to interview one of Nigeria’s most charismatic experts and real estate mogul.
From his roots in banking and engineering, Debo Adejana has dominated Nigerian real estate for 15 years. We at Waka Post wanted to know more about him and what has driven his longevity.
Question 1 (Who is Debo Adejana?)
Debo Adejana is a real estate entrepreneur because I do a number of things under the real estate umbrella. You can say, I’m a developer, investor, trainer and a number of things beyond those. But majorly, I’ve made the real estate my forte, that is where I play with regards to business so I call myself a real estate entrepreneur.
I also hold an official position as the CEO of Realty Point Ltd. Reality Point Ltd is a group of companies with diverse real estate interest. When I was young, I trained as an engineer, I practiced as a real estate entrepreneur and I would say I’m professionalising myself in that field.
Debo is a Nigerian in terms of nationality and happily married with kids.
That is Debo Adejana, for you.
Question 2 (How did you get into real estate?)
I got into it while I was in my other life, I mean in my earlier professional career. I was a banker once I finished engineering school and during my banking days, I also did my MBA specializing in marketing. So I got interested while I was in the bank. My last three years in the bank, I happened to manage a portfolio that included real estate companies. And in attending to their needs, doing credit for them and all of that, that is how I got into real estate and then started getting interested in it, studying it to be able to serve my client well. I happened to have someone who piqued interest in me also because of the way I serviced his company as his banker then.
Wapos was one of my clients and customers in real estate, someone I could bounce ideas off and ask questions and that was it. I pulled out of the bank, resigned from them to set up the real estate company, Reality Point Ltd almost fifteen years ago now.
6. A lack of openness or empathy
Real estate is all about building and maintaining relationships; personality counts for everything and sometimes, for whatever reason, people simply don’t click.
— Debo Adejana (@DeboAdejana) June 13, 2019
Question 3 (What is one odd or qwerky thing you believe in?)
Well, maybe it’s odd I don’t know but I believe that every human being is selfish. Fundamentally selfish and that is not bad at all. However, there is a limit to it and limit is also as a result of a commandment. I also believe, ‘Do to others what you want them to do to you’. I believe that that commandment is very very good and holds the world in balance and in check and it is also proof of the fact that every human being is selfish. So the reason you wouldn’t do something bad to your neighbour is that you don’t want it done to yourself; It’s because of your selfishness. When you observe that the world is held in balance, selfishness is not really bad.
It is greed and going overboard that is bad but being selfish, maybe the word they use is, be self-concerned wanting to preserve yourself is not really bad. That is one thing I believe guided by the limit of making sure you are not doing something that you don`t want someone to do to you or to others.
If being a “people person” doesn’t come naturally, it will take patience and practice to learn how to relate to people and make a genuine connection with them.
— Debo Adejana (@DeboAdejana) June 13, 2019
Question 4 (Do you think it is important that Africans learn about real estate? If so, why?
Of course, I think so. Yes! Yes! Yes!
Because real estate is the basis for life. I mean, if we don’t learn about real estate what else are we going to learn about?.
Life itself is a result of real estate being in existence. Without real estate, there wouldn’t be life so if Africans must live and enjoy this life, we must understand real estate, we must learn about it in every ramification.
The basis of our world, the basis of everything in life, the basis of life itself is real estate so that’s what I believe. I believe it very strongly, I believe it very passionately. And I believe that every human being should know, learn and know about real estate.
Question 5 (What drives you to keep killing it in real estate as you do?)
What drives me is the desire to impact, impact lives, impact people. I get satisfaction and joy in seeing that my life counts because others are impacted. That is what makes it count. That I am impacting other lives is what makes it count for me. And the desire to leave a legacy that when I’m no longer here, there will be things that the world can point to, that would show that somebody called Debo Adejana once walked the surface of this earth. That’s what drives me, that’s what makes me go over and above—you know—to try and stretch myself and break records and do new things and think creatively, explore things. I mean, limitlessness of possibilities. I have the desire to impact lives and leave a legacy, thank you.
Knowing that you have the vision to create value in a home is a source of great personal pride, along with the ability to achieve financial returns that are far superior to most other investments available to the average person
— Debo Adejana (@DeboAdejana) June 18, 2019
After gaining the privilege of interviewing Mr. Adejana, I came away from the experience of learning one thing. Selfishness in moderation is necessary. Part of success is about protecting your greatest asset, YOU. It is important to give, but you must preserve yourself, of long-term success.
Credit: Waka Post