Lot of people want to learn how to start a real estate business in Nigeria and make money as a company, an agent and investor, even without experience and with little or no capital.
Are you one of them?
Do you need available business and investment opportunities in the real estate industry?
If YES, then this article is only what you need to read today.
Starting a real estate business as an investor or becoming an agent in Nigeria is a proven way to make lots of money.
Real estate business is very profitable in Nigeria aside from Oil and Gas and remains one of the longest-standing and competitive industry with many new and established players.
Most of the richest people in Nigeria and in the world have one form of real estate investment or the other in their portfolio.
The rapid population growth rate in Nigeria made the real estate sector remain very lucrative as people are looking for commercial outlets daily, office building, houses to rent or build a home of their own, and they sometimes need to consult real estate agent or experts before making their choices.
Although profitable, starting a real estate business in Abuja, Lagos, Oyo, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Owerri, Enugu and other cities comes with challenges and hurdles.
That’s why this post was specially written for you.
Today in this article, you’ll learn actionable tips, guidelines and answers on:
- How to start a real estate business in Nigeria from scratch with no money and zero capital
- Real estate business startup cost and how it works
- How to become a real estate agent in Enugu, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja
- How to make money as a real estate agent or investor in Nigeria
- Real estate agent training course
Before we get into the core of this post, I’d like to tell you to grab some coffee or tea.
This is quite a long post and if you’re really interested in getting the best tips, right guidelines that will enable you to avoid making costly mistakes and make millions in your real estate business this year, you’ll definitely read this article to the end.
What is Real Estate?
Real estate is property comprising land and any structure(s) or natural resource on it, including water bodies and mineral deposits, as well as any flora or fauna.
A real estate business is a business entity that deals with the buying, selling, management, or investment of real estate properties.
Based on its use, we can group real estate into three (3) broad categories:
- Commercial Properties, e.g., Office Building, Retail Store, Buildings, and Warehouses.
- Industrial Properties, e.g., Farms, Factories and Mines.
- Residential Properties, e.g., Undeveloped Land, Houses, Townhouses, Condominiums, and Private Residences.
Benefits of Starting a Real Estate Business in Nigeria
The benefits that come with investing in real estate are nearly endless.
Some advantages that are guaranteed to come with starting a real estate business include but are not limited to:
1. Passive Income
The best part about rental property cash flow is that the extra money is considered a passive income after all of your bills are paid.
You get to collect a monthly paycheck, all the while managing the rest of your investing business.
When you buy a piece of land in a wonderful location or developing area and flip it after two or three years, the rate at which the price will have been doubled wouldn’t be overemphasized.
While things like recessions and market fluctuations are bound to occur, the value of real estate will increase over an extended period.
Arguably, the greatest benefit of starting a real estate business is the control and pride you feel due to owning something you created.
With control, however, investors also need to learn how to manage their appetite for unfamiliar situations.
5. Financial Security
Unfortunately, too many individuals today have no specific plan for how they will secure their retirement.
Real estate investing puts you alone in the driver’s seat of your financial future.
Steadily building a real estate portfolio over time means that you are securing your own future.
6. No Definite Startup Capital
One interesting thing about the business is that the investment capital varies, and it gives room for everyone to venture into it.
You can start a real estate business without a dime by becoming a real estate agent, and if you are very good at the art, you stand the chance of raking home millions.
Are you surprised? Don’t be! Continue reading.
Steps to Starting a Real Estate Business in Nigeria
Follow these steps to start a profitable real estate business in Nigeria.
1. Research and Choose the Right Niche
There are several real estate careers you can pursue in the real estate industry.
To pick a niche of operation in the real estate business, you’ll need to do some research to discover exactly what is best suited for your preferred lifestyle and your professional goals.
You can own a real estate company that focuses on real estate investing or property management, or you can become a real estate broker or real estate agent.
The type of business you choose to pursue will determine whether you need a real estate license to operate or you can simply create a real estate limited liability company (LLC) and start working.
Learn what’s involved in each real estate career before developing a plan of action.
With proper research about the market, one can make informed decisions and close better deals.
Think about who you are as an individual, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what business suits those traits best.
- If you’re a great salesperson and enjoy talking with people, being a real estate agent or broker might be a good fit.
- If you have strong managerial skills, are highly organized, or are detail-oriented, being a property manager might be a nice match. If you enjoy crunching numbers or negotiating or have a good eye for improvements, becoming a real estate investor may be the way to go.
Before settling on a niche, you must know the answers to these questions:
- How does the sector work?
- What does a job well-done looks like?
- Who are some of the big players?
- How do they operate and serve their clients?
- What are the laws and licensing regulating the real estate business in my state/city of choice?
2. Create a Detailed and Realistic Business Plan
Real estate, just like any other industry, can’t make progress unless you have a specific business plan in mind.
Once you’ve decided the best niche for you, and looking to start off the business on a much bigger scale, you should strategically plan your business to conquer this market.
A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them.
A business plan for any real estate investor can be seen as both an entrepreneur’s business ‘resume’ and its growth strategy.
Learn about the competition, consumer trends, demand and supply patterns, prevailing prices, and what target audience to focus on.
Goals not only help investors stay focused, but they also help them take action.
Consider where funding for your business is coming from and how much money you will need to get started to reach your business goals.
Determine your business costs, which may include:
- Business equipment
- Licenses to legally operate your business in Nigeria
- Office space
- Phone service
- Software or online programs
- Website design or hosting
Writing out a formal business plan helps ensure you’ve thought through all the details, and as a bonus, it can present to potential lenders or partners if you are seeking financing.
3. Organize Your Finances
There are several methods to get involved in real estate with no money down; however, that doesn’t mean you should avoid taking stock of your current financial standing.
When researching about the real estate business, you should know the minimum amount of capital required for you to get started, depending on a small or large scale.
Starting real estate business on a big scale, especially in places like Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt, involves a huge amount of capital and investment.
It’s okay to source for alternative funding to start and speed up the growth of your business if your financial capabilities won’t be enough.
Chances are, when you approach a lender, they will want information on your financial history.
It is important to look before you are ever approached with questions.
Request a copy of your credit report and review any existing accounts or investments you have.
Depending on what niche you decide to go into in the real estate business, start-up capital can range from little money to billions of Naira.
These are a few financing options that may be right for you.
Real estate investors can:
- Fund the business from personal savings.
- Seek investors or venture capitalists with your business plan, marketing strategy, and growth proposal. These venture capitalists might be interested in sponsoring your business for a percentage of the profit or company equity.
- Start somewhere traditional, like a mortgage from a financial institution or government loan. The mortgaging method is a pretty useful option. However, high-interest rates can make this method unattractive to developers.
- Opt-in for nontraditional financing options like private money lenders, business partnerships, and even crowdfunding.
- Partake in Joint Ventures. Here, a landowner provides her/his land as equity and a developer brings in funding from her/his own pocket or from a third-party sponsor.
Note: It isn’t advisable for you to get a loan to start a real estate business in Nigeria because of the uncertainties that may arise when starting this business.
4. Real Estate Business Registration
The next step in establishing a real estate business is by creating your company.
Business registration is very important, as you will open a corporate account into which customers can make payments.
Also, it will make you appear more reputable to both buyers and sellers alike.
Choose a unique business name and register with Corporate Affairs Commission and get a certificate to operate as a functional business in Nigeria.
Run a name search on CAC’s portal to begin the process. This is to make sure that your chosen company name has not been registered by another person. Afterward, you can begin the registration process.
With requirements like a valid ID card, passport photographs, personal documentation, and a signature, you are all set.
Alternatively, you could hire a lawyer to help you register your business.
You’ll need to know:
- The business address, which can be a P.O. Box, home address, or office space.
- The name of your company.
- The managing members or managing managers (titles will vary based on your entity structure).
Choose a business name that clearly tells clients what your company does while presenting your company professionally.
Registering as a Business Name with CAC is enough at this stage if you can’t afford to register it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
There are also associations and agencies that regulate real estate operations in Nigeria that you can choose to belong.
Some of the well-known real estate professional institutions to watch out for include: Association of Estate Agents in Nigeria (AEAN), Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).
Finally, watch out for the regulations and rules guiding professional real estate bodies in Nigeria to ensure that you are not operating against the law.
5. Build a Unique Brand
A unique brand is necessary for having any successful business in Nigeria and real estate is not an exception.
Branding is all about putting your business in the minds of people.
To transform your real estate business into a trustable brand, your customers should receive the value of their money.
This will make them loyal to your services.
Also, set your real estate business apart from the competition by investing in premium branding identities such as website, logo, adverts and social media channels.
6. Build a Responsive User-friendly Website
In today’s digital age, having a proper web presence in the real estate industry is critical.
It may cost a little money at the beginning, but a user-friendly and SEO optimized website that lets you usher those traffic and prospective clients’ right to you is a crucial foundation of every successful real estate business.
Most property buyers report starting their search online before they’ll reach out to an agent.
This means that having a solid website will increase your chances of attracting new customers.
Consider using WordPress and BlueHost which offer beginner-friendly experiences at relatively affordable prices.
Your website will often be your first point of contact with a potential client, so be sure to provide your contact information and include pages that help relay who you are as a real estate professional, the values you stand for, and the value you can provide to them.
The website should be functional and interactive, enabling prospective clients to make enquiries, see photos and videos of options of property when you have them or likely ones that would come up later.
Don’t forget to add your website URL to all of your marketing materials and social media pages, which will refer clients back to your site.
Last but not least, you can help drive more traffic to your website by running targeted paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google and publishing relevant, timely, and valuable articles and content.
How can I Build my Real Estate Website Today?
Get Domain Name
First on your list should get a domain for yourself.
Your domain name is going to be the name of your website.
A good example is mine (siwesbeginner.com)
Try to look for a unique name and mind you, the first name on your mind might have been taken already, so make sure you have several alternatives.
There are various places you can get a suitable domain name like BlueHost.
I’ll suggest you go with BlueHost because it comes with FREE Domain Name and SSL certificate for site security.
Just in case you have a domain name in mind, check if it’s available below and secure it today before other investors do!
Buy and Set Up Hosting for Your Website
Just like a domain name is the address of your website, hosting is like the actual house your website is living.
If you don’t already have one, the best I can recommend is BlueHost.
A good hosting determines how your website is going to respond on the internet and they are also responsible for how fast your website loads.
If you must get anything right, it should be your hosting company because a bad hosting can cause downtime for your website at any moment.
After you’ve set up your web hosting with your domain name, the next thing in line is to install WordPress on your website.
The good thing is, if you’re using BlueHost, WordPress is pre-installed.
So, you won’t have to bother yourself with the installations.
7. Get Business Phone Number and Email Address
Once you have your website created, you’ll want to get a business phone number and a professional email address.
Google offers email services if you own a domain name, enabling you to create a personalized email address like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also purchase email services directly from BlueHost.
Having a dedicated business number and email address adds to your credibility and will make potential clients feel like they’re working with a professional company.
If you need multiple lines, there are other phone services you can use for your phone number that will add to your monthly operating costs.
It’s also a good idea to register your business on Google, especially if you offer professional real estate services for a specific market – although this isn’t required if you plan to invest nationwide or if being found on Google Maps won’t help you bring in new clients.
8. Open a Business Bank Account
If you’ll be earning income as a company, not as an individual, you’ll need to open a business bank account.
You can do this at your local branch where you bank or choose a separate bank that specializes in business banking.
Research well, as each bank charges different fees and offers different services.
The bank will require your business name, documents, and all registered managers or members of the company.
Having an established marketing plan in place from the start is key.
You’ll never get a potential sale if you don’t market your services to potential clients the right way.
It’s a good idea to have multiple marketing ideas and campaigns prepared so that you can find innovative ways to reach new customers or clients.
Common marketing materials to use include:
- Email Campaigns: Email is a highly cost-effective method to reach both buyers and sellers, as long as you can gather enough contact information. You just have to remain consistent. More often than not, your response rates will increase on the second or third attempt. Be sure to schedule out follow-ups to each of the campaigns that you deliver.
- Social Media: This is great for beginners because it is an entirely free way to spread the word about your business. Create personal or official business accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and LinkedIn, and post educative updates when you can. In time, you may find paid social media advertising to be helpful as well.
- Networking: Real estate thrives on networking; most times it really is about who you know. Whether your network comprises clients, colleagues, mentors, or even competitors, invest ample time in cultivating these key relationships. Start by attending real estate events in your area, and branch out from there. Once you build connections, you can even start organizing networking opportunities yourself.
- Bill Boards: Bill Boards are those posters that sit at popular intersections with messages like, “We Buy Houses!” or “We Sell Affordable Houses!”. This works well and can be a great way to spread the word about your real estate business, especially if you use a convincing influencer. Just make sure they are legal in your area.
10. Organize and Nurture Leads
Once you set your real estate marketing plan into play, get client leads: people who are potentially interested in selling their property or possibly hiring you to list or manage their property for them.
One of the worst things you can do for your business is to use a poor email marketing software or launch marketing campaigns without a plan to track and follow up with your leads.
Have a system in place for organizing their contact information and other pertinent information relating to them as a potential deal.
A great way to manage your marketing campaigns and keep track of your leads is with the help of a software like GetResponse.
GetResponse empowers businesses to do what they do better, because solutions are made for customers whose needs are as diverse and multifaceted.
GetResponse makes all your emails and newsletters look great on all devices, automatically.
Responsive email design works its magic behind the scenes to get you 42% more results, more leads and sales.
It’s very important to note that it’s unlikely you’ll convert your client on the first touch or interaction.
Most sales take multiple interactions to become a sale.
Don’t give up on a lead if it doesn’t convert right away.
Continue to follow up, send more marketing emails and make more calls.
11. Make and Close Deals
Your next step is to continue to make deals happen.
This is where the bulk of the work takes place, especially after your company has been established.
It’s a rinse-and-repeat cycle of marketing, capturing and nurturing leads, and doing deals.
Your business only earns income when you convert potential clients into actual deals.
Nigeria Real Estate Mistakes and Problems
According to Mrs. Chioma Ifeanyi Eze, Nigeria’s brilliant accountant and Founder Accountinghub, the real estate industry in Nigeria is not listening to the needs of Nigerians. They are listening to their own cashing out.
With the influx of young people into Lagos, there’s a need for realtors to invest in smart homes/workspace for young people who don’t really have need of some big condos.
Lagosians need offices for small businesses. You are building shops everywhere.
Lagosians need smaller houses they can buy or rent, and you are building 3 bedrooms and duplexes to sell.
The number of vacant houses in Lekki-Ajah axis of Lagos and also Abuja is alarming; yet people are building more.
Major investors in real estate need to pull back and listen to the market; then build to meet our needs and watch how your property becomes the hottest cake available.
As a real estate developer or company, if you build one-bedroom apartments (40 – 100 units) in most places in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, it will sell off like magic in a few days.
Married and working young decent-earning people will rush it.
In other climes, when you earn, you buy a small studio house (one room), then as your earnings increase, you can buy bigger space.
In Nigeria, you wait until you make enough money to buy either a 3bedroom house or a duplex- typically, in your 40s or much older.
If you are younger with lower earnings, your only option is to buy land in a place that you have to wait 20 years for development to reach there.
Dear all of you in real estate, why are you all doing the same thing?
Can you please spare a few moments and listen to the actual needs of Nigerians?
Small businesses need offices.
Young people need small homes to buy or rent.
If you build a block of 30 one-room offices in Lekki or Yaba or Ikeja, and offer it to SMEs for say ₦1M rent a year (or whatever price is competitive enough), like magic, it will all be taken up.
Can the young lady who earns ₦400k a month find a one room home she can buy for say ₦5M?
If you sign up a mortgage plan and she can spare 100k a month, she can pay off in 6 years.
The good news is, she owns a property in Lagos.
Yes, I know land and building is super expensive; not everyone will still get in.
However, if you listen a bit more, we will have more young people owning homes and property.
Right Way to Start a Real Estate Business in Nigeria with No Money or Zero Capital
The best way to start a real estate business in Nigeria with no experience, no money, or little capital is by becoming a top real estate agent.
Who is a Real Estate Agent?
A Real Estate Agent also called Real Estate Broker or Realtor is a licensed professional or individual who may acts for, or on behalf of the owner of a property (the principal), or one entrusted with house and properties to act in place of the owner.
A real estate agent helps people who want to buy a house to find their desired home by showing them a series of houses and properties that are for sale and handle all other aspects of the property transaction till the deal is completed.
A real estate agent typically receives a payment called a commission for successfully matching a seller’s real estate with a buyer such that a sale is made.
If you live in Abuja or Lagos, you can earn tremendously as a buyer’s agent because of the influx of people coming to settle down in the city for one reason or the other, so in order for them to make the right and best property choice, your service as an agent will definitely be needed.
Even if you can’t afford to rent an apartment to serve as your office, you can still make it big in this business.
Lot of top real estate agents started small using a kiosk as their office and working from home.
Today, the finest estates in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan and other cities in Nigeria are under their care.
Therefore, you don’t have to wait till you raise startup capital.
With few connections with house owners, you can become your own true boss in this real estate business. As simple as that!
Operating as a Real Estate Agent in Nigeria
To help carry out the goal of finding buyers, a real estate agent or agency commonly does:
- Lists the property for sale to the public using fliers, banners, public notices, and internet marketing.
- Places a “For Sale” or “For Lease” sign on the property and showing how interested buyers can contact the real estate office and agent.
- Advertises the property, which may include social media and digital marketing, besides paper advertising.
- Be available to answer questions the buyers have about the property and to show them around during a visit or inspection.
- Negotiate the highest and most reasonable price on behalf of the seller.
- Carry out background checks on the buyers and make sure that they are financially qualified to buy the property.
- Close the deal.
How Much Do Real Estate Agents Make in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, real estate agents are paid via a commission-based structure.
Real estate commission, in layman term, simply means the percentage paid to an agent or realtor on every sale made.
Basically, the real estate commission structure in Nigeria is mostly 10%.
As an agent, if you successfully sell a property worth ₦50 million, you are entitled to ₦5 million from the sale value.
Steps to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent in Nigeria
- Maintain connections with past clients
- Be transparent with your buyer
- Cultivate an online presence
- Networking is the key
- Respond to leads in good time
- Leverage on technology
- Put videos online
- Advertise online
- Know your neighborhoods
- Don’t ignore social media
- Listen to your client
How much Capital Do You Need to Start a Real Estate Business in Nigeria?
Depending on your investment strategy and operation, to successfully start a real estate business in Nigeria, it’s a good idea to have from ₦2M to ₦500M set aside to help with establishing the company, getting the training, speaking with the right professionals, building, filing or creating the proper paperwork, and getting your marketing plan going.
Is Real Estate Profitable in Nigeria?
Irrespective of the economic downturn, the real estate sector is currently booming in Nigeria and people are making millions in it, it can be seen as a real money-spinner.
Properties are a source of ongoing income, not just capital growth.
Properties acquired can generate a healthy fortnightly income.
Can you run a Real Estate Business from home?
Yes, most real estate investors work either out of a home office or invest while still working full time.
Now, it is easier than ever to start and maintain a business, all from the comforts of your own home.
The way technology has improved and the real estate business has changed, it is very easy to work from home.
What should I invest in Nigeria?
The most lucrative investment opportunities in Nigeria today are:
- Real Estate
- Oil and Gas
- Manufacturing Industry
- FGN Savings Bond
- Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
- Fixed deposit
How can I make money from landed property in Nigeria?
Here are some areas you can invest in and make your own money from landed properties in Nigeria.
- Land Flipping
- Open Space Leasing
- Real Estate Agency
- Property Development
- House/Office Rent
Can a Company Buy Real Estate?
There are many types of business entities, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC.
An LLC is a business entity with its own assets and income. It can purchase real estate, including a house or business premises, for any reason outlined in its articles of organization.
How do I become a Real Estate Agent with no experience?
Real estate schools, companies, coaches and mentors offer free and paid courses that will allow you to add the skills that you will need to become a successful agent, even without experience.
Do I need a license to be a Real Estate Agent in Nigeria?
Getting a property license or real estate license in Nigeria is required to practice real estate if you want to be taken seriously.
Finally, you need to hone your skills and gain experience under an established real estate firm or coach.
Can a Lawyer Be a Real Estate Agent in Nigeria?
In Nigeria today, real estate is a viable area of legal practice.
A lawyer can therefore be an agent in a land purchase transaction as there is no special formality, provided he fulfils the fiduciary obligations of his position as an agent.
Can Real Estate be a Side Job?
Real estate offers many opportunities to pick up a side gig. Some only require an investment of your time, while others provide an opportunity to make an extra income for those who have little time.
Because of that, real estate is an excellent industry for those looking to supplement their salary.
I don’t want to start my business now; can I still secure my Website Domain Name and Hosting from Bluehost?
In case you’re not yet prepared to launch your business soon; you can still secure your unique website domain name plus hosting before other investors and developers will use the web name you have in mind and took time to come up with.
For example, if you want to use YAGAZIEM ESTATES (i.e., yagaziemestates.com) as your domain name for your online website, when you don’t purchase the domain name today for future use when you’re ready, another person can go ahead to first you purchase the exact name and tomorrow you’ll only lament and regret.
Get your FREE Domain Name Today!
Steps to Start a Real Estate Website in Nigeria
It comes with a FREE Domain Name!
After that, create an account and checkout with your credit card details.
Then log in to your BlueHost account and from there log in to your WordPress dashboard and start blogging.
Customize your blog and integrate all the plugins needed for your blog.
Post helpful contents yourself or hire qualified real estate content writers to get your articles written for you.
Also, look for a means to get your site visitors’ email address and email newsletter to them whenever you publish another content.
GetResponse is designed for businesses ready to get online easily.
You can use GetResponse FREE Plan to get started today.
And when you’re ready to take your real estate business and marketing to a new level, upgrade to one of the premium plans.
I equally use them, and their service is outstanding.
Remember, no amount of money is too small in this business.
Starting a real estate business can sound overwhelming, but by following the steps already discussed as well as getting proper training and guidance, becoming a professional and making millions as an agent or an investor in Nigeria will be easier than you’d think.
The real estate sector is not about achieving immediate success.
Instead, it is a long game, which requires a good deal of patience.
Investments are essential for wealth creation.
It’s not enough to leave your cash in the bank, where you will get negligible monthly interests.
With the right tools, training, and mentorship, your business has the potential to help you achieve your goals and become financially free.
I wish you success.