General - Nigeria Property Centre

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Technology and the internet in particular have revolutionized the way we do things. It’s a digital world we live in and there are software applications for just about anything. Lately I scanned and emailed a tranche of my personal documents right from my phone. It is amazing how a phone now does everything a typical 'business centre' can boast of. No wonder this is not the best of time for cyber cafes and business centres.

Herein, we are going to chronicle some software applications that will enhance your real estate or property management business. If you are still analogue, running your Real Estate Agency or Property Management business manually, then it is high time you embraced innovation.  This is not necessarily an endorsement but an attempt to make your work easier and more efficient. Now here is a rundown of Real Estate, Property Management software and companies selling them:

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    There seem to be some misunderstanding as to what precisely a "self-contained" apartment and a "mini flat" is. The purpose of this essay is to clarify the ambiguity surrounding the aforementioned notions.

    A self contained apartment or room is a single room that has all the facilities such as toilet, bathroom and most probably a kitchen en- suite. On the other hand, a mini-flat is an apartment that consists of 1 bedroom a sitting room, kitchen, bathroom and toilet. A mini-flat is akin to a typical "room and parlour".

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      A bit of Psychology and good negotiating skill is a sine qua non for getting a good deal not just from a real estate agent but in every endeavour in life. It is normal for a business person to want to sell his product at the best price possible. This should not be an excuse for greediness. On the other hand, a buyer will also like to buy a product at the best price possible, of course not at the expense of quality. Negotiation, or more aptly, bargaining is an art and we need to learn the rudiments. This is secret behind one person getting a deal probably 20% less than what another person may have paid for the same thing.

      1. Put up a 'poker face'. By this I mean not letting the other party (estate agent, landlord) predict how desperate you are.
      2. Don't show how excited you are. This is why I talked about a poker face in the preceding paragraph. If you make it apparent that the property in question ticks all the right buttons for you, meets all your requirements, then you are putting yourself in a disadvantaged position. Look for shortcomings no matter how impressive the property, apartment is.
      3. It is also very important that you don't go about flaunting your wealth the first time you approach an estate agent, a property developer or a landlord with a view to buying or renting a property from them. I know a multi-millionaire that went with a rickety car to inspect a property he was interested in. The estate agent underestimated his client and felt there was no point scaring him away with very high price. He reluctantly told the client the precise asking price for the property. Of course he could have inflated the amount if the client all appeared flamboyant the first day he came to make enquiries. It was after the client finalized the transaction that it dawned on the estate agent that his client was 'well loaded'.

      The foregoing underscores the need to imbibe the subtle art required in negotiations and bargaining without haggling a great deal. So when next you want to engage in a business transaction, not necessarily buying or renting a property, don't inadvertently let the other party size you up. This is important because a lot of folks like to rub it in in this part of the world. If you want to buy, rent a property and you give a first impression of someone that has a lot of money to throw around, chances are that the price will be inflated.

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        In my article - "Making the Process of Buying  Property in Nigeria Less Cumbersome", I posited that by virtue of the Land Use Act of 1978, all lands in the respective States of Nigeria, belongs to the State government. In the light of this, it is the prerogative of the State governor/government to determine what a piece of land can be used for. It beggars belief that via a fiat, a State government will displace an entire community that have lived in a particular place for hundreds of years, in some cases, with little or no compensation or alternative arrangement for the displaced people. When there is compensation, corruption makes it impossible for the money to trickle down to the rightful beneficiaries.

        The latest casualties of the controversial land use decree are members of Oku-Idasho village, a Lagos suburb around Ibeju-Lekki. Report from saharareporters.com says the Lagos State government has told members of this community that the State government has appropriated the expance of land belonging to this community for its Free Trade Zone project.

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        Prevention they say is better than cure. In the light of this, this essay is an attempt to tack together, some salient and not so salient points to note and where possible to avoid while shopping for a real estate. It takes an old hand to swiftly decipher loopholes or issues that may rear their ugly head after a prospective buyer of a property may have taken the plunge.

        1. You may have heard this old maxim, it still holds true - if a deal looks too good to be true, it damn is! Imagine you been asked to pay five hundred thousand naira for a plot of land that you know is worth at least two million naira even when the seller claims s/he has some financial challenge challenges. probe further, there may be more than meets the eye.
        2. Installment payment plans and promos - This concept is becoming popular by the day in Nigeria. Prospective property bjyers are are promised they are pay in installments over some specified number of years. In reality, this arrangement seldom pans ouy as envisaged. There is always a tendency that the goal post may be shifted at the middle of the match. For one, we lack institutional frameworks or checks and balances that will guard against such sharp practices. Untill proper checks and balances, and an avantgarde mortgage regime, regulation is in place across the country, some experts are of the view that it is adviceable for one to pay for a property at a go and obtain the relevant receipts, documents immediately to forestall cock and bull stories. An Igbo adage goes thus: 'it is not what people say while going to the farm that they say while returning'. For instance, there could be gobbledygook clauses in the terms of sale that the prospective buyer may have overlooked but which will come haunting him later. In other cases, You risk losing your down payment if another person dangles a higher bid to the seller. If you have no choice or the prospects of installment pay plans appear attractive to you, please by all means, look before you leap.
        3. Awaiting government gazette/government acquisition lands - Some of the trick fraudulent land dealers deploy in scamming prospective property buyers in Nigeria is by narrating how the said property is still "awaiting govetnment gazette". Please take care to ascertain this claim.
        4. Buying an uncompleted building or a property under legal contention: As I said ealier, try to find out why the seller is poised to dispose of the property. Is it that he needs money to invest in his business or to cater for some domestic issues? If the property belongs to a family i.e more than one person, are they all in agreement that the property be sold? Should the seller bandy a court order to you as proof of ownership of the property, ensure there is no appellate judgement that invalidates that of the lower court.

        You can see why due diligence is extremely important before investing not just in real estate but also in other businesses.

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        Log into Nigeria Property Centre and click on the "My Subscription" link as shown in the image below.

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        Here's a quick side by side comparison of the features Nigeria Property Centre offers property seekers in Nigeria against those offered by Google Trader Housing.

        Features

        Advanced property search by location, category, type, price and no. of bedrooms.
        Property search result sorting by listed date, price, category and type.
        Email alerts when new properties become available.
        Detailed property details pages with property pictures, maps, and full agent contact information.
        Quick agent contact for property using pre-typed contact message which makes the search experience friendly.
        List of estate agents in Nigeria.
        Structured property request.
        Optimized for mobile phones (Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone, Android, etc).

        Start searching for property in Nigeria for sale and for rent on Nigeria Property Centre.

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        Here's a quick side by side comparison of the features Nigeria Property Centre offers property seekers in Nigeria against those offered by Nairaland Properties.

        Features

        Advanced property search by location, category, type, price and no. of bedrooms.
        Property search result sorting by listed date, price, category and type.
        Email alerts when new properties become available.
        Detailed property details pages with property pictures, maps, and full agent contact information.
        Quick agent contact for property using pre-typed contact message which makes the search experience friendly.
        List of estate agents in Nigeria.
        Structured property request.
        Discussions on property pages.
        Optimized for mobile phones (Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone, Android, etc).

        Start searching for property in Nigeria for sale and for rent on Nigeria Property Centre.

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        As a foreigner living in Nigeria or a potential buyer wishing to build a new house, you will often find things are not done quite the way you are used to, and buying land is no exception. The first hurdle is understanding the system of land measurements in Nigeria.

        In Nigeria, land is measured in Hectares, Acres, Meters and Feet. These measurements are affected by factors which includes but not limited to, economic investment and development patterns, human and environmental factors which could lead to mass migration and artificial scarcity of lands suitable for development.

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