Despite economic recession, there’s boom in real estate industry — Eno Ehiemere, Bargate Homes
By Florence Amagiya
Eno Ehiemere had her first degree in Business Administration from the Sikkim Manipal University in India and Master degrees from Harvardx. She thought she had seen it all in business, as she was already marketing her brand. However, she suddenly stumbled into the real estate business. Today, as a real estate consultant, Ehiemere is currently working in Bargate Homes Nigeria Limited as the General Manager of Operational and Project Management. She has over eight years of experience in business management and specializes in real estate investments and project management. In this interview, she narrates how the journey all began, the challenges, as well as combining her businesses and running the home front, among others.
With your pedigree, you could have landed a job anywhere, including the bank, so how did you become a real estate consultant?
Honestly, I didn’t set out to be a realtor. I was marketing my product, as I was an entrepreneur at the time, to a friend some years back.
She then mentioned there was an opening in her company for a marketer, and seeing that I was a good marketer, she asked that I take the offer.
Meanwhile, I have always admired realtors so I took the chance. Helping people create wealth through asset investments is quite fulfilling. The rest, they say, is history.
Was there any time you wanted to change your career; what has kept you on this path?
Yes! Do you know how marketing works with all the targets? The first month was tough because I was asking people to trust me with their investments, and it wasn’t easy.
I couldn’t meet my target but I had a conversation with myself and I reminded myself why I couldn’t fail. So I read up on marketing strategies, implemented them and it became better.
What else would you have loved to do, knowing full well that perhaps as a young lady, you dreamt of becoming something different?
I love being a realtor, I think maybe I should have started earlier.
What have the challenges been like?
Getting wealthy people to trust you enough to invest with you, especially those who before now, have had terrible experiences with some other real estate companies. We also have a problem with the incessant hike in market prices of building materials. It’s really difficult keeping up with the constant economic uncertainties because we don’t compromise on the quality at Bargate Homes. I must say it’s a very difficult time for investors. The current economic trend is not very easy to cope with.
In your real estate consultancy and as a technical guru, do you also build for your clients?
Yes, we have our construction company and we are open to joint ventures.
What has been your biggest challenge in this career and how did you manage it?
I guess it was pitching to a client who made wrong investment decisions, it was quite tough because I had to prove our company wasn’t like the rest. It took me longer than it should have but I gave her a steady flow of accurate information, and assurances she needed about our company and she is currently one of my best clients, with the result that she keeps referring us to friends and families.
Would you say that the Nigerian economy at the moment is slowing the business; how has the business been post-Covid?
The economy has taken a toll on so many businesses and one can only pray that it gets better. However, despite this, we all can see that there is still a boom in the real estate market as people are becoming more aware of the advantages of investments in this area.
This has helped and encouraged us to be optimistic and persistent in giving our clients the very best despite the ongoing challenges, another reason why we implore our clients to trust us as we do our best to create a steady environment for their investments to thrive over time.
Is it possible for a minimum wage earner in Nigeria to get his or her own home on your platform?
Our current projects are premium luxury and I doubt a minimum wage earner can afford our current projects, but we shall soon work on projects that workers with good mortgage facilities will be able to access.
At the moment in Nigeria especially Lagos, the cost of properties is prohibitive; where do you see Nigerians in another 10 years if it goes on this way?
Inflation is affecting everything in Nigeria and even globally.
Not just rental prices but just about everything in Nigeria is almost double the price. Even the cost of food is at an all-time high right now. Bargate Homes are coming up with some projects that will aid Nigerians’ access to affordable homes.
What is the way out for them?
Investing in real estate is the best way out.
What can’t you travel without?