Apr. 8, 2020


Tommy Odama

Nigeria

Tommy Odama

Managing Director, Luxury Villas Group

“We are putting together a business plan for the presence we want to have in Dubai.”

BIO

Tommy Odama is a real estate consultant with a robust grounding in property management, facility and project management, lease administration, property acquisition investment appraisal, and business development.


Would you give us some background to the origins of Luxury Villas Group?

Luxury Villas Group is a premier real estate agency and marketing company. I started the company as a luxury brand that markets upscale properties with choice addresses. We started in Lagos on the mainland, then moved to the islands, where you tend to have a higher concentration of the high-end brands.

Who are Luxury Villas Group's clients, and what projects have you been involved in recently?

We are presently selling properties in Azuri Towers on Azuri Peninsula and at Eko Atlantic. We are also the agents marketing 4 Bourdillon, a new 25-story development in Ikoyi, and we have had a high degree of interest in that. We work with top construction companies that build luxury projects. For example, we recently finished an apartment project on Banana Island with properties ranging from USD1.2 million-1.5 million. We have also worked with the family of Premier Loto on some amazing houses. There are hardly any luxury real estate developers that we do not work with. We are marketing a unique 500,000-sqm project at Beach Front Estate, which is purely a residential community. Because they are more expensive, the return on beach front investments is way better than one has with traditional developments.

In terms of percentage, how many of Luxury Villas Group's clients are individuals versus corporations?

We work more with individuals. The split is probably about 70% individual to 30% corporate clients.

What competitive advantages differentiate Luxury Villas Group from its competitors in Nigeria?

We are professional and honest about how we do business. We do not cut corners because integrity is part of our creed. As a realtor, your clients should be able to trust you; our clients have confidence in how we handle their funds, no matter the amounts involved. We do research as well; we are not just agents in the market. Our advisory work goes a long way. We can advise clients about which locations and zones to buy into, not based on hype, but on where you should put your money to get the best return on your investment.

Regarding your facilities management arm, how successful has the security company been for the group?

Our facilities and property management services and our agency services are currently most in demand. Some 80% of our business centers around agency; the next biggest area is property and facilities management. Corporate guards are an integral aspect of facilities management. You cannot manage a facility without having security in mind. This is not to say there are no good corporate security guards out there, but we believe in the uniqueness of how we conduct our business. The corporate guards we see at properties do not meet our standards. Therefore, we decided to create our own corporate guard service strictly for the properties we manage.

How has the real estate market changed since 2016?

Real estate is dynamic. For quite some time, the Nigerian economy was booming because of oil. That is the economic mainstay of the government. However, lately, the oil industry has not been doing quite so well for obvious reasons. Still, the situation has really improved with the peace in the Niger Delta, and there are foreign investors investing around Lagos in places such as Eko Atlantic City, Alaro City, and Banana Island. Most projects are actually for investors. There is a lot taking place in the real estate and development sector. There has been a huge improvement because of property development company Rendeavour coming into the market. The company started participating in developments in Kenya, then the DRC, before moving to Nigeria. The satellite city development project Rendeavour is doing in Lekki covers 1,000ha. Plus, there are foreign investors from the UAE involved in the Centenary City Abuja project. Real estate in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, is more profitable than in most countries in the world.

Do you think satellite cities will be the future landscape for Nigeria?

Yes, definitely. Alaro City, for example, is a city designed for work, play, and rest. Luxury Villas Group was the first company to buy into Alaro City. That corridor is the future Lagos. There are major petrochemical industry projects, along with a refinery, there. There is also a major road—the Coastal Road—that Lagos state government is going to extend from Eko Atlantic to the Lagos Free Trade Zone, possibly in partnership with the federal government. Whether ones likes it or not, we are going to be gradually migrating toward that axis. We also have the airport coming there and seaports too. Lagos state in particular is trying to reduce congestion in the old central business district. Victoria Island is becoming a new business district. The city has expanded with the continued influx of people from other cities into Lagos because Lagos is the economic and commercial hub of Nigeria. So, these satellite cities will be the future.

What are your key priorities at Luxury Villas Group for 2020?

We have made our mark in Lagos' luxury market. As such, we are putting together a business plan for the presence we want to have in Dubai. Locally, we are concentrating on sales for Azuri Towers, which has 10 floors of apartments, and we are one of the lead agents. I love that project because it is right on the marina and you can use the canals to connect with any part of the island. There are also helipads. Eko Atlantic is a city within a city and is the most upscale project so far—it is the Manhattan of Nigeria. My focus for 2020 is to sell as many properties as possible at Eko Atlantic; we have sold quite a few already.

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