We need to stop waiting for buildings to collapse before we start paying attention. Attention should be paid from the very start of foundation.
The above statement was made by Gladys Okoro, who is the CEO of BrookHouse International Limited which specializes on Real Estate Finishing. She has been in the Real Estate business since 2009 and ventured fully into Interior Designs in the year 2012.
Speaking to Elsie Godwin of Nigeria Real Estate Hub, she shared her personal challenge as a woman in the male based industry, also noting that strategic collaborations between Real Estate developers and Interior designers can help in the area of cutting cost as regards tackling the housing deficit in the country.
“I personally have challenge with people that come up to say they can do things they can actually not do. When you are building a house and you do not have the license or expertise to build, at the end of the day the house comes out crappy. It’s not until a house collapse that we need to pay attention to houses. It’s from the get go, the foundation, the walls, the finishing…you need to pay attention to details.”
“A lot of foreigners come to Nigeria to say Nigerians don’t pay attention to details in building and this is true. Because we are in a country where anybody can just stand up to say, I am into interior designs. Where did you learn it? You need to learn for a period of time before saying you have acquired the skill to be able to renovate or turn the house to something else.”
She also stated that getting the job done doesn’t always have to be about millions. “Luxury involves money and one major role we can play is doing it well. It doesn’t have to be millions, if we can give details to a job of 1m then we can also give details to a job of N50, 000. It is very important. So if you say you want to develop 500 houses, the amount of details you have to put in one house is the same amount of details for 500 houses. If you do copy and paste, then quality control will reduce.”
“Interior designers can help in the area of cutting cost if they are involved at the early stage. Collaboration with real estate developer is very paramount. We understand you want to build 2000 houses, but we also want you to take quality into consideration and when we ask you for 5bags of cement please make it 5bags and not 3”, she said.
On being a woman in a male dominated filed, she has this to say: “It has been very interesting. It’s being able to manage people and know your onions so nobody can press you down. You need to know your job more than you know your name.”
“It has been very interesting to know that I can actually make a difference in a sector and people can relate to you based on that.”
BrookHouse International Limited aims at being the Nigerian company that will make a difference in the interior designs and real estate sector in the country. There is no way you will talk about real estate without talking about design and finishing.