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How to be a Landlord


One of the major reasons why many people lack information on how to be a landlord is because they lack proven strategy to go about it.

One of the ways we intend to crack this code is by sharing with you chats with house owners.

I will be sharing with you today, our interview with Mr. Ajibola Ademola on how to be a landlord, a former banker turned real estate professional.

He is a man whose experiences can be catalogued from various fields of endeavour yet fairly a rookie in the real estate world.

A rookie indeed but understands the mathematics of real estate so much so that he is already a reference point in the field.

Mr. Ajibola understands real estate lexicon in the deep sense of it that he has been able to identify the myriad reasons why many people are alien to housing development much less investing in that direction. Below is his story.


One of such reasons why people are still alien to real estate is the “rat-race” syndrome in most developing parts of the world today especially in Nigerian context.

This is related to lack of information on how to be a landlord in Nigeria. They have the “I-don’t-earn-enough” mind-set of the common man at his place of work.

There is usually this budget conflict at the end of the month where basic human needs take preference and investment instincts take backstage.

The real picture here is that what is earned at the end of the month is not enough for the essentials of daily living and transportation and so capital investment is out of the way.

The regular cliché is “let me live first before investing for the future”.

Another reason is lack of information on how to be a landlord and the liberal packages available to prospecting clients and end-users.

There are countless spread out payment plans at the disposal of whoever is interested depending on the real estate firm.

Like at Realty Point Limited, there is a payment plan that allows you make fifty thousand naira as initial deposit and spread out the remaining balance over a period of twenty months for plot of land at any of their development site, just to say the least.

Some people today still lack information on how to be a landlord, they think that they need to save to eternity to be able to acquire land in any part of Lagos and environ to develop.

This is at the expanse of the handbills everywhere advertising so many locations up for acquisition with accompanying soft payment packages.

Similarly, it is noted that most people remain as tenants today because of some form of foolish sentiments of maintaining the status quo.

Why will someone prefer to live in Omole or Ajao estate for example, paying depending on the type of house more than seven hundred and fifty thousand naira a year than being a home owner a few kilometers down town in some upcoming neighbourhood at a comparable lower cost.

I know there are challenges along the line of infrastructure provision and what have you, but what I do not know is if that should be enough to justify such mind-set.

Another issue is that of the Omo Oniles who are known to be every new property owner’s nightmare and of course a menace to development in real estate.

In the same vein, some people are yet to come to terms with the fact that, through real estate firms that this threat on how to be a landlord can be by-passed.

This is one particular reason why real estate firms are in business and sort after today especially in the avoidance the bottle-necks in housing development and ownership.

The challenges are not limited to the above but they are significant.

I am one of those people that can proudly say that I did not need to sack any landlord in its absolute term because I was privileged to move from my father’s house to my own house.

It may sound like am not with the whole facts about tenant cum landlord trauma, and the pressure to own a house. But the truth is that I knows it all and prevented that in good time.

I acknowledge having my peculiar challenges and not forgetting efforts I made to ensure good planning to get to where I am today.

Because I was of the banking sector entry level, I knew the importance of saving and planning especially in the direction of real estate (this is the reason why it was easy for me to get into mainstream real estate without much difficulties) and was able to acquire my first two plots of land in highbrow areas of Lagos island in the late 1990s.

Precisely, one land in Ajah and another in a close hinterland to Ajah. Even though I applied for loan to be able to do this but the loan came quite late yet I made costly sacrifices in order not to miss the opportunity.

I want to emphasis here that real estate requires commitment and focus.

I started developing the plot of land in Ajah as my financial strength could carry up to a level when Omo Oniles became a stub and the project stopped for a while, and then was later abandoned for years.

However, this did not douse my spirit for house ownership because I was to get luckier in another venture – how to be a landlord, this time with the Lagos state government housing development projects in Amuwo Odufin in 2005.

Following the advert for sale of houses by Lagos state ministry of Housing, I went and applied. It did not take a pound of flesh, and because I had the money, it just took going to the ministry and getting the application papers with a token fee which was non-refundable.

The documentation involved filling the application forms by supplying the necessary biometric details. However, I was required to fill in a referee form which was a very important part of the process and mandatory then I submitted the forms.

The tail of the process was the regular bureaucracy which involved duplicating papers, submitting them for subsequent processing; to and fro the ministry and I became a house owner in few weeks.

It is a 3-bedroom apartment that the current asking price is nothing less than 12million naira.

This is a house I acquired for N5million back in 2005. I presently go to work from the house and have since heaved a sigh of relief from living anywhere outside my own house.

I categorically insist that there is reward in investing in real estate.

I want to shade more light on – how to be a landlord – the intrigues of acquiring land which I will better put like so “just manage to acquire a plot of land for the first time and watch how the fever of subsequent acquisition will spur you to spin out of control buying land and properties.”

The likes of Rasak Okoya were provoked property freaks, I may add. I am also one of the lucky ones to buy a plot of land in the Realty Point Limited Roseberry estate in Agbara/Alapoti, off Lagos-Badagry expressway and enjoyed the robust and pocket friendly payment plan.

Similarly, as a real estate practitioner, I reiterate that even though I have not been in the trade for too long, that one sure way to put intending clients on the right footing in real estate is by educating them properly on how to be a landlord.

You have to awaken the drive and interest in them making them see the future from where they are.

Another way is sharing testimonies of people who have succeeded in this venture, and possibly taking them to see real estate realities around town.

There are immense advantages of real estate investment. One is investing in real estate following prevailing, improved payment plans and packages available.

It is an opportunity to convert money that would have been misused into immovable (fixed) capital.

Even money in the bank that you have unhindered access to is still unsafe.

Top on the list of things that draws clients to a given real estate development area are in the following order:

1. Amenities-good road network, steady electricity supply, water supply, security etc.
2. Nearness to main areas like market, offices, good schools for children etc
3. Access to major roads
4. Surrounding development.

The above is an interesting story and testament on how to be a landlord – of a dint of hard work by an ebullient and young entrepreneur whose interest includes travelling and reading.

He encourages people especially middle class earners who can afford some level of extra sacrifice on their paycheck to turn to real estate and invest hugely.


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