TIME FOR INTELLECTUAL PROFESSIONALISM IN REAL ESTATE PRACTICE

Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The entire concept of intellectualism in professional practice speaks of the deep appreciation of ideas and principles governing the profession in focus. It will involve a continuous, keen and focused participation in a rounded form within the entire spectrum of that profession through attainment of both academic and professional qualifications within that profession. Intellectualism enhances the ability of the professional to wrap his mind around critical issues in the profession to enable him identify where the problems reside, how they develop and other practical solutions to resolving them for clients and society in a timely, cost effective and practical manner, since the sacred mandate of a professional is effective and quality service. For clarity an intellectual should be concerned essentially with the notion of “ideas” i.e. the mental ability to comprehend ideas and reason or think them through. An intellectual must be a person engaged in creative and rational thinking about his profession, the world, about the governance of human society, about human relationship and the study and ideas that govern the state or nation.

Nothing combines the entire spread and spectrum of this concept than Real Estate. Jesus Christ brought salvation to man while the earth (Real Estate) provided the potential solution to man’s need. Human development and sustained progress has always happened when a keen intellectual mind engaged with Real Estate -Real Estate in the broad sense of land and all that is within and on it- to provide solution to mankind ranging from growing economic capacity, to medicine and pharmacy, administration and maintenance of social cultures and development of law and society. Law by the way developed out of Real Estate and agitation for rights.

Locked within Real Estate are the intricate potential capacity to help solve much of the issues facing our world and our country today. A popular Ibo adage says “nku di na mba na eghere mba nni”, meaning the firewood found in each people’s forest will be enough wood to cook their food. Real Estate holds the wealth and the potential for wealth for any people or nations. It came with all the intricate items of value man has ever known, involved with it are all the various rights, privileges belonging both to nations, its people and other  entities like companies and associations.

The easiest visible estimation of any people or government the world over are judged from the status of their Real Estate. A nation is almost adjudged developed or under developed depending on how their Real Estate is perceived, this is because a progressive society impacts positively on its Real Estate. Consequently, Real Estate presents an irreplaceable platform for the advancement of human society, in shaping and structuring the economic framework of wealth creation for documenting and preserving history and civilization, for enhancing living conditions and standard and for posterity, as Lord Maynard Keynes posited in one of his classic works that “The ultimate hope of a people in their leaders is to grow and retain their wealth”. Real Estate is the veritable vehicle to measure and grow wealth and transfer same from generation to generation.

The challenge therefore is engaging intellectually within the body of this profession towards unlocking the beneficial potentials in our Real Estate in such a way that it is accessible to our people and nation as a spring board to catalyse economic progress, social wellbeing and quality of life for our people.

Dutifully, we will broaden this discourse gradually to display its impact on individuals and families, entities like companies and associations and ultimately, the state and our nation.

To an individual or family, Real Estate forms the basis of all of life’s activities. You live, work, school, recreate and ultimately lie in death in one. It is one of the primary needs of man. It is also shown through research that investment and ownership of Real Estate is the most expensive venture about 96% of the world population commit to in their lifetime. The journey towards this acquisition and achievement of one of life’s greatest need has eluded so many and at best not benefited a lot more because of the poverty of intellectualism in the approach to resolving incidental vital issues that occur in Real Estate matters on behalf of the various clients and people. Having Real Estate serve only one purpose for you as a farm, office or home for an owner is akin to having a wife only for the purpose of procreation. A wife should have more value like a support and help mate, a friend and company amongst others. So to make your ownership and investment in Real Estate deliver optimum returns and yield full potentials, it will require  an intellectual analysis and audit of the situation and subject interest, your entire projections or expectations known as Estate Plan and the required input and forms and scale of that input to achieve the desired result. No two Real Estate are the same, just like no two need in Real Estate are the same. Even among twins, their Real Estate need and ability differs, their taste, style and appetite for risk differ.

Facing a lot of investors, inheritors and owners of Real Estate today are the vital issues of how to make the most of the opportunity, create or retain value in their investment or even how to attract or put them to more effective or beneficial use. So many people are stranded in the middle of opportunities that they can access. Our cities, our towns and villages bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the conduct, administration and execution of our Real Estate practise has been less than desirable and unbeneficial to our people.

Resolving these challenges and many more goes beyond the capacity and expectation of just a “caretaker” role, it requires engagement to design and translate a projected value delivery matrix through a carefully thought out professional service to empower owners to earn more, to create viable and practical avenue for people to invest and own Real Estate and ultimately to utilize it as a tool for further wealth creation. As they say, you don’t wait to buy Real Estate, you buy Real Estate and wait. Again, in the words of Napoleon Bonaparte “In looking within, we may find what we sought outside”. It may well be that now, if we really look within you do have all to start this journey.

We have always found it extremely embarrassing when people reel out their horrible experience in something as simple and straightforward as looking for a suitable home to buy or live in. While you might be subjected to making a career of looking and checking homes and sites, if you approach a practise with requisite intellectual capacity, such process should not take more than one visit and a period of not more than one week.

In a recent experience, someone came by us after looking around with various people for over 3 months and it took us one meeting and one visit to satisfy his need. Upon enquiry, we explained to him that we took time to view 25 properties to choose 3 options for him to decide upon, having understood his need other than dragging him along to view 25 properties and get muddled up in the process.

The Real Estate demand for organizations, companies and other entities has assumed new and complex dimensions through the ages. Today, company location premises and buildings have become the symbols of strength, politics and power of any nation.

In the past, the king’s palaces were the obvious display of the power and social sophistication of a nation, this changed to the period of religious influences where cathedrals and mosques took over to now that the economic progress of companies has become the strongest display of the strength of any nation. That is why most downtowns in major cities house amazing and iconic buildings to the pride of the city, state or nation.

The demand for any business or organization for Real Estate can vary through a wide range of competing considerations. However, a good choice will enhance staff satisfaction and drive brand imaging as well as present an aspirational and evocation environment to enhance productivity. Research shows that productivity is high and staff attrition is the lowest in places where staff feel a sense of pride and self-fulfilment in the organization, location and image of their offices. A lesson or two here for our government offices where higher productivity is so badly needed at this point. The value of intellectual contribution to corporate need can be the entire fulcrum to turn up amazing potentials.

Once we worked with a company struggling against a stiff competition, after critical engagement and analysis we discovered that their strongest tool will be to fight competition by cutting down travel time by the demographic that burst from them by half. We flagged off their company with 10 branches and sales jumped up. At the third year, this company bought over that competition. Other companies have achieved a near equal value in annual profit just by investing where capital growth is optimum. As they declare profits, asset value rises opening incredible options for expansion and mergers. Time will fail to enumerate how to sustain staff loyalty through cleverly well thought out housing schemes and support loan alliances. The unassessed capacity of companies can spiral so high in an environment permeated with the identification of the usefulness of the use of helpful capacity.

Wilson Churchill said that “The most fearful things about government is its ability to inflict massive good or evil on the society”. Government is powerful, society is at risk when people who wield that power do not realize that every action they take will ultimately affect Real Estate.

Land (again used in its broad sense as above) belongs to the dead, the living and the yet unborn, However, at each point in time its affairs are administered by the living. A clever and intellectual approach will achieve progress, a reckless and pedestrian approach will lead to stunted progress and in some cases destruction as in Syria today where age long civilization has been destroyed.

Without basic and protected access to land and its resources, a people cannot achieve their full potentials. A wise government can use the intellectual capacity available in this area to drive amazing development and deliver better life to its people. Real Estate is the most reliable route to help drag people up to the middle class through multiple programs that help create secured credit that ultimately deepen the economic threshold of cities, states and country. Terrorism, aggression to state and protection of communal infrastructure can be secured through empowering more people to aspire and build their own houses and investments especially entry level housing program. Psychologists have established that the greatest security is achieved in a collective common wealth; when the deprived have nothing to live for they destroy and die for what they cannot get.

A lot of our urban cities are aged and blighted, the urban renewal programs have only at best been aimed at infrastructural upgrade. An ideal situation in any Real Estate intervention at the level of governance is to identify clearly what the individual in the state or city stand to gain, in other terms what is the social impact benefit.

These cities were conceived by intent and plan, a lot of what we see beg the issue whether we imagine that we also have responsibility for the next generation to build, live and work in. Roads are tarred and most home values and use types remain the same that is a clear picture of lack of intellectual content in planning. Before our eyes our neighbourhoods are developing without plan in such disorderly manner that one wonders where adult supervision in governance has gone. Our villages suffer the same fate.

It is time to elevate our expectations, operations and indeed quality of our lives through Real Estate. In the words of Demean Green “there is no better time to do the right thing than now”. The resource competence abound, the need is glaring, the will must exist, we demand for no less.

The writer Emeka Okoronkwo is the Head of Service and Valuation at Emeka Okoronkwo Associates (A sister company of Kings Court Realtors). A development consultant/Valuer and Realtor. He has consulted for companies, governments and agencies across Africa and other continents.

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