What are Hall7's main operations since its establishment?
Hall7 was established in 2013 and started business in January 2014. Our vision is to create diversified real estate developments that deliver value to stakeholders. Our stakeholders here are our clients and the vendors, and we design and develop projects that deliver value to these stakeholders. We mainly service the medium to high-end real estate segments. Among our projects is the Brookshore Residence with about 230 units. This project commenced in January 2014 and will be commissioned by December 2017. There are basketball courts, a mini golf course, a swimming pool, and a skate park. We also have another residential development, The Bridge, which we launched in May 2016. Our projects are designed to satisfy critical areas of value addition.
How is your housing project in partnership with NNPC developing?
Imperial Vista is a 216-unit development in the Kafe district and will feature unique architecture. We signed the project with NNPC to develop part of the project for its staff while the other half will be open to investors. There we will be a mini waterpark, and it will be designed like a mini smart city. It will feature controls for all housing appliances, with automation and access, as well as smart TVs and more. We will light up the streets in a way that makes everyday look like it is a celebration.
What is your strategy to stay ahead of the competition?
Our focus is never on our competition; our focus is our customers. For all our developments, we look at dominating the market and becoming a market leader to dictate the pace and direction of development. We focus on what creates the most value for our customers. The strategy is quite simple; we must use our vision to dictate the market and not succumb to the market, thereby creating the demand within the market. One of the key things about our developments is that they are smart; we are integrating several smart developments.
Do you have any expansion plans, and where do you want to be in two years' time?
We have begun planning to enter the Lagos market. This is after the commissioning of the Abuja projects. In two years, we want to have completed all our current projects. This includes Brookshore Residence, The Bridge Peridot, The Bridge Garnet, and Imperial Vista. Once we deliver those projects, we can focus on the Lagos market. The market is fairly huge and still open.
How would you assess the real estate market today in Nigeria, and what trends do you observe?
Lagos is about 37% of the market, Abuja is 22%, Port Harcourt 6%, and the rest of Nigeria is the last 35%. Abuja is the size that it is because it is the capital, and there are many people willing to invest in the federal capital city. However, in Lagos there is a high level of private sector activity. There are many foreign companies coming in and a high level of developments going on, as well as businesses that are not dependent on the government.
What trends do you observe in terms of activity in the sector, and how would you define doing business in real estate?
It is an interesting sector, and risk can be high at times. For example, in the last 10 years there were times when prices went up over 100% because of inflation. In the last 18 months, we have seen the price of cement increase over 100%. The price of reinforcement has also increased over 100%. All these have negatively affected the business. However, somehow we are able to find our way and forge ahead. What drives us is our vision, which sustains us in the midst of challenges that are meant to be overcome. The market is promising and growing.