Real Estate Business in Nigeria: A Guide to Getting Started

by Counseal Team

Updated November 26, 2023

The real estate business is one of the most lucrative ventures in Nigeria, and for good reason. With a population estimated at over 200 million, there is always a high demand for quality housing across the country. Over the years, Nigeria’s real estate sector has witnessed significant growth as foreign investors pour in to explore the potential of this booming industry.

In this guide, we will examine how the real estate business in Nigeria operates, its challenges, and the opportunities that exist within it. Whether you’re considering to start the business or simply looking to learn more about this thriving market, read on to discover everything you need to know about the real estate business in Nigeria.


What is Real Estate?

Real estate refers to the ownership or use of land and buildings as assets for commercial or residential purposes. It includes activities such as buying, selling, renting, leasing, and managing properties. Real estate can also refer to the industry that deals with these activities, which involves various players, including home builders, property managers, real estate agents, and brokers. 

In Nigeria, real estate is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. The demand for housing continues to rise with population growth in urban areas, leading to an increase in real estate developments. As more foreign investors enter the Nigerian market, there are opportunities for growth and development within the sector.

Despite this positive outlook on the industry’s potential in Nigeria, there are still challenges, like issues around land title verification and uncertain government policies, that have hindered its growth over the past few years.

Overall, the real estate business plays a crucial role in shaping modern society’s way of life both locally and globally; it provides shelter and income generation avenues. 

6 Reasons You Should Start a Real Estate Business in Nigeria

Starting a real estate business is not without its challenges, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding venture. 

  1. Landed properties appreciate: The constant demand and market for landed properties makes for a steady appreciation of the price. This guarantees consistent profits and a stable cash flow for you. 
  2. It can be leveraged: As a business owner, there is the constant need for a stream of cash. In the circumstance where a need for a loan arises, landed properties are very good collaterals acceptable by all lenders.
  3. It can be used multi purposely: A landed property is easily convertible where the law permits. You can choose to switch between residential or commercial purposes for your real estate to suit the economic needs.
  4. Investing in real estate gives passive income: The guaranteed stable cash flow that comes with real estate investments ensures you get your expected income as at when due. If you have engaged property managers or real estate agents who will act as your agent to oversee the affairs of the real estate (landed properties), all you get is just your periodic returns. This also makes real estate a great retirement investment.
  5. Cash flow can be easily increased:  Depending on the general economic situation or the value you have added to your property, you can easily review and increase the rates of your properties.
  6. It has become easier with technology: Technology has taken the hassle out of a lot of business transactions in the present day. You can even organize a virtual tour of a property and conclude the business deal without stepping foot on the property. There are various ways that technology can help your real estate business and the more you harness it, the more ease you achieve in doing business.

The success of any real estate business depends on the trust earned by building solid client relationships as you start out. Develop open communication channels that ensure transparency throughout transactions while maintaining professionalism at all times. Finally, keep up-to-date with regulatory changes both locally and globally to remain competitive within Nigeria’s ever-developing regulatory environment.

Put Your Business Plan in Motion

Having a strategic business plan is essential for any real estate business starting out in Nigeria—or any other country. A well-crafted business plan can help guide your decision-making process and keep you on track towards achieving your goals. It’s important to take the time to research the market and assess the competition before diving headfirst into the industry. 

A key component of a successful real estate business plan in Nigeria should be an understanding of local laws and regulations. This includes property ownership rights, land use policies, zoning laws, taxes, and more. Failure to comply with these legal requirements can cause penalties or even the loss of assets. You can start by creating a free business plan in minutes.

Developing strong relationships with stakeholders such as contractors, suppliers, real estate agents and government agencies will boost your success within the Nigerian real estate sector. All these factors considered together form part of having an excellent business strategy, which, if implemented diligently, puts one on par with global standard players in this niche property sector.

One of the biggest challenges to starting a real estate business in Nigeria is raising the required capital. The first step to launching any successful venture is planning and determining how much funding you need to get started. In Nigeria, the cost of land and construction materials can be high, so it’s essential to start with a solid financial plan that includes sufficient capital for land acquisition, development costs, staffing, marketing, and other overhead expenses. 

There are several ways to raise funds for your real estate business. These include:

  • Seeking investors or partners who will invest in your idea;
  • Applying for loans or grants from banks or government agencies with favorable terms;
  • crowdfunding through online platforms;
  • Bootstrapping by tapping into personal savings or selling assets such as vehicles or property.

Whichever option you choose, it’s important to have a well-crafted pitch that outlines your vision and potential returns on investment, as this will help attract interest from prospective funders, especially start-up funders. 

With sound financial backing, you’ll be better able to navigate the many opportunities and challenges inherent in developing promising real estate projects across Nigeria’s vibrant landscape.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the real estate business in Nigeria, now is the time to get started. While there are certainly challenges that come with operating in this industry, there are also countless opportunities for those who will put in the work.

One of the first steps towards success is doing your research and learning as much as possible about how real estate works in Nigeria. 

Once you have a solid foundation of knowledge, it’s time to work towards your goals. Depending on what your specific ambitions within the world of real estate might be, this could mean anything from purchasing properties to developing relationships with potential clients or partners.

No matter what tactics you use, however, one thing is certain: if you want to thrive within this industry, you need to be dedicated and hardworking every day.

Set your Business Apart from Competition

Building a unique brand is crucial in the real estate business in Nigeria. With so much competition, it’s essential to differentiate yourself from other agents and agencies.

Creating a powerful brand involves developing a unique image and message that resonates with your target audience. This could mean focusing on luxury properties or specialising in affordable housing for the masses. 

A unique brand also helps establish trust with potential clients, as they are more likely to choose an agency that stands out from the crowd. Branding can help build long-term relationships with clients, increasing their loyalty to your agency.

It’s important to remember, for a start, that building a brand takes time, but investing in this process will pay off in spades down the line.

Overall, creating a distinct identity is vital for success in Nigeria’s booming real estate market.

By carving out your niche and staying true to your values consistently, you’ll be able to grow and expand over time with confidence knowing you have established credibility within the industry at large – especially if you want foreign investors’ interests ignited!

Ensure your business is statutorily compliant

Once you have started a real estate business in Nigeria, the next step is to register your company legally.

This involves getting all the licences and permits required by local authorities. Failure to take this step can result in hefty fines or even the closure of your business by regulatory bodies. 

The process for registering a real estate business in Nigeria may vary according to the state where you plan to operate. The common denominator for all states is for you to be validly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a corporate identity.

By registering your real estate business with the appropriate regulatory agency, you will operate within legal boundaries while protecting yourself from undue litigation arising from clients or competitors. 

In addition, registration also opens up access to funding opportunities for start-ups that may not be available otherwise.

Overall, it’s important to always seek professional guidance when navigating these legal processes, as they can be quite detailed and complex.

Find the best business structure for your business in Nigeria with this free quiz.

Get Funding for the Real Estate Business

With starting or expanding a real estate business in Nigeria, one of the primary challenges is getting funding. However, there are various options available for entrepreneurs who need financial help. 

One way of acquiring funds is through credit facilities provided by banks and lending institutions.

It’s important to research different lenders and their interest rates before finalising any agreements. 

Another option for obtaining financing is seeking venture capitalists, angel investors, start-up investors who may be interested in investing in your business idea.

This requires creating a convincing pitch that presents your company’s unique selling points and potential return on investment (ROI). 

With adequate preparation, hard work, and building connections, getting funds from investors can be very helpful for business owners who want to succeed in the competitive Nigerian real estate industry.

Build A Website for your Business

Building a website for your real estate business is an essential tool that can help you reach potential clients and grow your brand, either as a start-up company or an already existing one.

With the advancement of technology, more people are looking to the internet as a primary source of information for buying or renting properties. Therefore, having an online presence sets you apart from competitors who do not have websites. 

A well-designed website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. It should also provide up-to-date information on properties alongside their features, prices, and location on Google Maps.

Integrating social media links helps in engaging with customers by providing them with different options, like leaving feedback or contacting you through various channels. 

To build an effective website for your real estate business in Nigeria, you would require expertise in web design (you can outsource this) coupled with knowledge of the Nigerian market dynamics related to property acquisition and ownership laws. 

However sophisticated this may sound at first glance, building and maintaining a functional website could prove crucial to expanding your customer base while keeping existing ones engaged exactly where they look for solutions- online!

Launch Campaigns and Advertisements

To ensure success in Nigeria’s competitive real estate industry, launch campaigns and advertisements play a crucial role.

These strategies aim to establish the brand or project as a premier solution for buyers, spread awareness about recent developments, and create an effective sales funnel. 

Launch campaigns often focus on pre-sales activities, such as providing teasers to generate interest, offering discounts or incentives during the selling stage, and leveraging social media channels to connect with potential customers. 

Advertisements also help target specific audiences by highlighting features unique to each development. They can showcase design elements like green spaces or smart home technology that appeal to environmentally conscious individuals or tech-savvy clients.

For example, advertising properties located close to transport hubs may resonate better with young professionals who prioritize easy access when choosing their residence locations. 

Effective launch campaigns and advertisements heavily contribute to making projects memorable in today’s globally connected world of marketing.

Creating lasting impressions required for potential clients’ consideration when scanning through portfolios amidst stiff competition within the Nigerian Real Estate Business market sector helps set ventures ahead of others. 

Free Real Estate Planning Template

As a real estate investor or entrepreneur in Nigeria, it pays to have a solid plan for your business activities.

Free real estate planning templates are valuable tools that can help you streamline your operations and achieve your goals more efficiently.

With such templates, you can create detailed action plans that outline the steps you need to take to gain properties, develop them, sell or rent them out, and generate profits. 

A good free real estate planning template should contain sections that cover various aspects of property investment in Nigeria.

These may include market analysis, financing options, risk management strategies, legal considerations, and marketing tactics.

By taking advantage of these templates, you can give yourself an edge over competitors who lack coherent plans for their business activities. 

Whether you’re just starting out in the industry or looking to expand your portfolio of assets in Nigeria’s vibrant housing sector, using a proven planner is one smart way to increase your chances of success with minimal stress or hassle involved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the real estate business easy in Nigeria?

There is no straightforward business, real estate included.

All business needs dedication and diligence to be carried out. It has, however, been shown that if you can start and put in the work, the real estate business is quite profitable.

How much does a real estate agent make in Nigeria?

This depends on whether you are working as a freelance real estate agent or with a real estate company.

As a freelancer, your earnings will only come from agreed commissions from successful transactions. As an employee, you can earn commissions with your agreed monthly salary or not, depending on your agreement with your employer.

Can real estate be done online?

Yes. This does not, however, take away the due diligence that is required in following through with transactions.

Transactions completed online cannot be easily reversed, like any other product bought or sold online.

How can I be an online real estate agent in Nigeria?

This is recently referred to as a “real estate affiliate.” It’s quite easy to be an online real estate agent.

Most property websites will ask you to fill out a form online, and they will follow through with a call to set up an appointment with you. Real estate companies like Bilaad.com offer an affiliate program.

What is online real estate marketing?

It is basically just harnessing the internet to sell your properties.

There are various options open to you, such as:

  • Email campaigns
  • Build a website
  • Content marketing
  • Internet advertisements

How much is it to register a real estate company in Nigeria?

The cost of registering a real estate company is peculiar to your specific needs.

Check here to speak to a legal expert. 

What are the types of real estate?

  • Industrial real estate
  • Residential real estate
  • Land
  • Land or property used for special purposes
  • Commercial real estate

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