On today’s episode of Agent Diary, an agent by the name Mr. Aliyu Kehinde shares with Nigeria Real Estate hub’s correspondent what being an agent is and has been to him. He shares the challenges he and his professional colleagues face and gives advice on how to be careful while surfing for properties online
NREH – Good afternoon, kindly introduce yourself.
My name is Aliyu Muyideen Kehinde. I deal on properties. we deal on agency, management of properties. Agency involves the sales of property and management of properties.
NREH – What’s your typical day like as an agent?
As an agent, we deal with the client. If a client comes to us in need of certain property we check around to make sure we get the exact thing that was requested even if it’s not in our portfolio. We usually focus on the client taste as far as the discipline is concerned. If a client comes to us requesting for a certain property, we ask the client how much he/she has budgeted for such property. It is what the client has that would determine what he/she will get. Secondly we request for the location of the preferred property. The person may say Ikeja for example and Ikeja is a very wide environment, if we can’t get such property at Ikeja at that moment we try to find out what other location he/she would prefer. After we must have gotten the budget and location then we move to the type of house. If the client say he/she wants a mini flat for example and the client say he/she wants it at Allen with a budget of two hundred thousand Naira, we will educate such client and let such client know that such amount would not be able to secure an apartment or that kind of apartment in such location. You can easily get that at Ojodu or Ogba environment if the location isn’t too far for such person to navigate through his or her daily movement and working environment.
The challenges we face is that after we must have worked a lot, make series of enquiries, make series of calls, make series of effort, we might have even gone for inspections, and the person might not turn up again. It has been a serious challenge so far.
NREH – Are there any measurement put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen or to reduce its frequency?
Actually, we have series of challenges as regards that. We have a board, we as a board might have been discussing on what and what to do, then we have some people outside, amongst those people the landlords are involved and also the quack ones are involved. They don’t know much about these things and they want to over do. You go to a landlord atimes and he tells you he wants you to let his property, fine. At what range? Usually landlord gives outrageous amounts for their property and we try to educate the landlord as time goes on, those landlord regard themselves as an agent when it comes to payment. They will tell you to pay a particular amount for rent, a particular amount for agent fee, a particular amount for agreement, a particular amount for caution deposit. After they might have gathered all the money, they tell the agent that they are the ones to give the agent a certain percent from that agency fee which is not supposed to be so. It has been the constraint so far which I don’t know the penalty to that. Although we are trying our possible best to educate such landlords and we provide forms to them to formalize it.
NREH – Talking about the form, when a client approaches agents to help get a house, I understand that the clients are made to pay a particular amount of fee for form and I understand that it is made to cover the agent stress even if at the end of the day, the client doesn’t take the house from that particular agent?
Professionally, we don’t work like that.
NREH – We?
NREH – Because I know most of the agents you meet by the road side, they ask clients to pay 2000 naira or thereabout?
Thank you, I like as you put ‘by the roadside’. By the time you go into them with time you will know you are in the wrong hands. I went to someone yesterday, I was directed by someone. I got there to ask for a kind of apartment in the area and I found out the man is a lotto man playing baba ijebu and the likes. I had to ask him again if he is an agent and he said yes. Then I went on to tell him I needed a mini flat. He was telling me something contrary to miniflat. He doesn’t even understand what ‘miniflat’ means. We have various people like that. In every discipline, its very hard not to find quack but when it comes to a certain situation that the quacks have dominated almost everywhere, then it is a very serious constraint. If you need an apartment today, you go to this so called quacks. They usually don’t have office, they either setup a kiosk or manage with a barbing saloon or someone selling something. So by the time you go to them, they will have access too because they have access to various landlords. So they will know what properties are available within that vicinity. When you go to them they will tell you to pay a particular amount for the form. Sometimes you won’t even be provided with any form. For us the form is meant for the details of the clients, we use the form in our management properties. If we provide a form to you, you fill all the necessary information, including your contact number, previous or present address, your occupation and office, your guarantor/referee. Thereby if such client eventually mess up, then we know what to do. It’s not about the present money, we are less concerned about that. Some of these roadside agents don’t have any property they are directly in charge of. They continue taking clients around until the client get tired. That has also been another issue for us, because since we all operate on properties, it is difficult for the populace to differentiate the real agents from the quack one
NREH – And finally, still on the agency thing, what do you think about people going online to search for an apartment? How safe do you think it is? Do you agree that is the way to go?
Actually we are in modern era now. We are getting more civilized every day. Not only on properties, every sector now, if you still operate manually then most people will think you are not modernized. It has been our mentality in Nigeria. Concerning the safety aspect of it, if one enquire for property online, what one has to focus on is the contact number and the address of the property. When the property is being posted online, you need to search for the number, call the number and fix a meeting with the agent for a meet up and once the agent’s words are contradictory and isn’t specific then you know it’s time to pull off. Let’s just avoid making certain commitment without further enquiry and inspection.
Thank you very much Mr. Aliyu.