Sustainable Construction II: What Does It Really Mean?

Sustainable Construction II: What Does It Really Mean?

CEO’s MESSAGE

Since time immemorial, homes have provided that sense of belonging, making them subjects of many a famous creative endeavor around the world. Given that it evokes such deep emotion in us, it is easy to forgo pragmatism while buying a new home.

As more businesses are starting to realize the weight of customer satisfaction, its impact has become a widely discussed topic, yet reports on poor construction quality in the real estate sector are frequently talked about. This may be attributed to several reasons such as unskilled construction workers, inexperienced site supervisors, substandard materials, disorganized and labor-intensive construction works.

We see clients increasingly becoming aware of the cost associated with purchasing poorly built structures. Apart from the consequences of potential collapse, rework is always more expensive than implementing it the right way, the first time. Therefore, as real estate developers, we must hold ourselves accountable through sustainable partnerships in the provision of optimum value across installations to the benefits of clients.

Delivering quality and designing a satisfactory home buying experience for clients is at the core of everything we do. For us at Bilaad Realty, relationship with the buyer does not end after sales but begins the very moment the client makes the purchase and thus becomes part of its growing family.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

One of the factors one looks for while purchasing a home today, is quality construction. A home buyer wants to ensure that the home will:

Be safe and sound for its inhabitants.

 Usable for a maximum possible number of years.

 Will not develop problems over time.

 Have good resale value if one decides to sell it.

These aspects are next to impossible to judge when a residential project is new or only a couple of years old. Naturally, most property developers will ensure that everything looks ship-shape on the surface even if they do not necessarily follow quality construction norms.

It has become a common marketing practice for developers to claim that their projects are of high-grade construction, with the current owners of resale flats undertaking cosmetic touch-ups to make their properties look as new and unflawed as possible.

Those who do so without justification are aware that most home buyers are not equipped to make valuable judgement on such claims, because home buyers often select properties on the basis of location advantages such as access to public transportation, shopping malls and hospitals.

However, buyers must do more to educate themselves on the market, as a lot of regrets can be avoided by approaching a property purchase decision with sufficient personal research and pre-meditation. In that respect, the concept of due diligence must necessarily transcend the usual sense of ‘legal health check-up’.

There are various ways in which a home buyer can check on the general quality of construction:

Foundation

Patched cracks in a building’s exterior can be an indicator that the project has a faulty foundation. Other signs to look for are small cracks in walls, creaking or sticking doors and windows and improperly aligned or uneven floor, bathroom and kitchen tiles.

Design

A quality construction project is designed in such a way that the weight of the overall structure is evenly and scientifically distributed. Also, a developer focused on quality will not spare costs when it comes to providing detailed finishing and intricate detailing, both in the building’s common areas and within the residential units themselves.

Fixtures

Developers who pride themselves on the use of quality construction materials do not allow cheap, low quality fittings by their contractors. Likewise, common facilities such as elevators will be by established manufacturing brands and will be under a maintenance contract by a reputable facilities management agency. Any evidence of obscure, unfamiliar brands should be viewed with suspicion.

“Fresh” Paint

Fresh paint looks great when you’re moving into a new home. Unfortunately, it’s also really good at covering up watermarks, wood rot, stains or mold. Ask what areas received a coat of fresh paint and be extra vigilant when inspecting for signs of water or mold damage.

Concrete Quality

The quality of the concrete used in a building depends on what grade of concrete has been used, what the concrete/sand ratio is and whether the concrete was allowed to cure for a sufficient amount of time. One rule of thumb is that it should not be too easy to drive a nail into the walls.

Look up

No matter how thoroughly you ogle the kitchen and closet, don’t forget to also look up. Inspect the ceiling for water stains, which are signs of a leaky roof.

With the excitement of buying a new home, it’s easy to overlook important factors that can make or break the experience. Our adoption of sustainable construction methods are deliberate; we are conscious of advancements made in developed countries where alternative building materials are utilized in construction; however, we understand the current state of awareness and cultural acceptability of our market. The concept remains the same, but its integration across different locations will be specific to our needs in a progressive manner. We are certain that sustainable construction is here to stay.

SUSTAINABLE VALUES

SUSTAINABLE VALUES

CEO’s MESSAGE

Business and society, in the past year have been faced with multiple challenges: the coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a wider economic crisis; and a deeper, longer-term sustainability crisis caused by pollution, resource depletion, burgeoning global population, and unsustainable production and consumption. These crises intensify what was already an emerging debate about the purpose and benefits of sustainable value in business.

Values are increasingly becoming the focus of public discussion, yet their role in our lives and their importance for our wellbeing are not always fully understood. Values are what we consider excellent, useful, or desirable, they are what we praise and hold in high esteem. They are a fundamental part of how we define ourselves, our culture and our society. They are generally enshrined in our conception of the world, our definition of a human being, our ideology. As a result, they are often unconscious and unquestioned.

With 2021 finally here, now is the time to lay the foundation for a successful year –– sustainable values. If there’s anything we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that there’s no predicting what might unfold with a new year. We can, however, set ourselves up to be more equipped, adaptable and resilient. The path forward into the new year for any individual, group, or organization should be prioritized around nurturing and sustaining a vibrant and strong internal culture to fuel the health, well-being, and productivity of your people. This investment will pay even more dividends in 2021 and years beyond.

Happy New Year.

ALIYU ALIYU, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

The success of economic growth is dependent on a healthy and stable society. In an age when information is shared almost instantly, corporate supply chains and their effect on the local populous, no matter where in the world, is constantly being assessed for social license. Within an organization, the social side includes contributing to employee health and well-being, value flowing back through improved productivity.

The current placing of sustainability is supported by the strategic shift in the way organizations’ performance is evaluated. Profit with purpose is set to become the new norm as leaders, today are giving a new, more profound meaning to the word ‘Sustainable Value’, regarding it not just as the profitable or right thing to do, but an essential component of growth.

After a year of uncertainty, chaos, and social unrest, how companies function internally not only has a profound impact on employees and corporate reputations, but it directly affects organizational growth, society, and influences every aspect of business. Despite the great unknowns, there’s one critical action that should guide every leader’s vision in the new year: prioritizing internal culture.

While many businesses have designed and implemented all kinds of operational efficiency measures and have saved money doing it, the pathway to capturing more sustainable value from sustainability is still not widely understood or pursued. The opportunity cost of stopping at operational efficiency can be significant because diving more deeply into Sustainable Value opportunities almost always translates to higher beneficial impact on business performance.

Fostering innovation 

in sustainability often leads to redesigning more socially and environmentally responsible products and services. This focus inevitably brings new business opportunities. Nike, for instance, embedded sustainable values into its product design process and created the Flyknit line, a specialized yarn system which requires minimal labor and brings large profit margins. Launched in 2012, this system is reported to reduce footwear waste by 80% (3.5 million pounds). 

Building loyalty from customers. 

Many of today’s customers expect transparency and tangible local and global impact from companies they support. Several studies have showed that nearly two-thirds of consumers across six international markets think they have a “responsibility to purchase products and services that are good for the environment and society” (82% in emerging markets and 42% in developed markets).

 

Companies who embed sustainable values in their core business are more likely to treat employees as critical stakeholders. These organizations tend to create desirable organizational cultures that are sought by talented recruits, as they exhibit a deeper focus on purpose, making employees feel they are part of a broader set of objectives and actions. One study found that morale was 55% higher in companies with more robust sustainability programs, compared to those with much less apparent ones, and employee loyalty was rated 38% higher as well. These conditions translate into improved productivity and reduced absenteeism.

 

We need to restructure the economic and social institutions of our society to reflect a similar set of values enhancing sustainability. Just as an individual should see work as a form of service, so should businesses and governmental bodies be reoriented to be of service to the whole society, and not just a favored part. A business enterprise should be legally responsible for providing a good or service in the best way possible. Profit should be one measure of the efficiency with which the service is performed, rather than an end in itself.

At Bilaad Realty, our four corporate values of Integrity, Efficiency, Excellence, and Ethics drive every business decision, helping us to better tailor our services for a productive year.

2021: OUTLOOK AND PERSPECTIVES

2021: OUTLOOK AND PERSPECTIVES

CEO’s MESSAGE

The year 2020 emerged with unforeseen turn of events that have initiated unprecedented trends in the Nigerian market, and the world at large, with severe impacts on supply chains, economic activities, and international trade.

Economies are trying to manage unemployment by reductions in interest rates, and other governmental action that impacts industries – mainly travel, tourism, and hospitality. Currently, global markets are trying to recover, the IMF warns of a slower 2021, and individuals and businesses are left to wonder, “how long will this trend continue?”

This pandemic will forever change all that we know, and have taken for granted as being ‘normal’, and it would be naive of us, almost catastrophic in fact, to think that things will simply just go back to normal as they were earlier this year.

This new reality has changed us as consumers, and the organizations we lead must change too, if we are to survive and thrive in the coming era of work. While every country is at a different stage of the pandemic, and many businesses are struggling to tackle the ‘here and now’ situation, it’s important that we also start to focus our attention on the future sooner, rather than later.

In this edition, we discussed with some industry experts on what we can expect in the coming months and how best to navigate the new year. As the year draws to a close, let us put in more collective efforts, play our parts as individuals, and hope for a whole new era of economic prosperity.

Happy Holidays.

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

The Year 2020, although filled with many hurdles, was a year packed with lessons. But, how best can business owners and investors plan for 2021, help rebuild the economy, invest wisely and get value for their money? This is what a few industry experts have to say:

ON NAVIGATING 2021

“For businesses and individuals to thrive come 2021, amidst increasing prices of commodities in the country, there is need to prioritize our expenses. We must carefully think through all business decisions as regards spending and come up with cost-cutting measures to stem the tide of increased cost of living.

In 2021, businesses should do more; be flexible in carrying out their business and Increase focus on online sales – proven over time to help grow businesses organically.”

––Eze Nwogu

Head, SME Asokoro 

“We are projecting recession in the second quarter or at the end of the first quarter of 2021. So, it is important that we keep an eye on certain sectors like the real estate market, to ensure that expending continues in that sector in order to stay on top of the economic recession and mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

–– Alfred Friday Okoh

Consultant

“Real Estate still remains the Asset of choice when it comes to Investment and this has proven more than ever before to be so, in 2020. Buyers should be careful where they put their money in 2021. Extensive research should be carried out before making any investments, to ensure they work with companies with proven track record of delivering value.

–– Abdulmalik S. Mahdi

Managing Partner, Modern Shelter

The Nigerian economy has been hit with both the Covid 19 pandemic outbreak, dip in oil price and Foreign Exchange (FX) volatility. The society at large have become less interested in investments, with capital savings yielding negative returns in the wake of rising double-digit inflation currently at 13.7%. It is important for organizations to prioritize spending and postpone expenses that will not add value in the current situation.

–– Mrs Amina Lawal

Banker

 

ON COLLABORATION

“In 2021, we should look out for more meaningful and life-changing collaborations between Government (Public) and Private Sector. The private sector will come to the rescue of the deficit budgets being experienced by the Government, and will channel their investments to providing infrastructure and capital projects that will create an enabling environment for Small and Medium Scale businesses to thrive and on the other hand, increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nation.”

–– Victor Asogwa

Chairman, Pentfield

“This is a fantastic time to collaborate, and every business should jump on it as we enter the new year. By joining forces with other businesses or organizations, new expertise and ideas will emerge, helping to either rebuild the economy or to deal with business challenges.”

––Alfred Friday Okoh

Consultant

“More than ever, developers should implement strategies based on needs, and consider collaboration within the industry through cooperative development in order to minimize investment risks.”

–– Mrs Amina Lawal

Banker

“Collaboration is the best way to face uncertain times and the ever-volatile business environment. The Government should look for ways to ease business for players in the real estate sector; tax reduction and duties on building materials, providing access to land for credible developers and ease multiple regulatory requirements, of course without compromising on standards. 

The private sector players on their part need to work together in coming up with out-of-the-box solutions that would help the entire industry not just one player. There needs to be increased advocacy in engaging with the Public Sector and better coordination among industry players.”

–– Abdulmalik S. Mahdi

Managing Partner, Modern Shelter

The growth of a nation’s economy is not dependent on the abilities of one individual but on the combined efforts of various business ventures, institutions, public and private bodies.

Big on collaborations, Bilaad Realty is building sustainable solutions, and ensuring that every investor, partner and customer gets value for every Naira spent.

Oldest buildings in Nigeria

ARCHITECTURAL EVOLUTION IN NIGERIA

Buildings are the major domino in the puzzle of cities and bring an entire city together. From the very first building in Badagry in 1985 to current infrastructures around the country, real estate has come a long way and building styles have evolved. The evolution of buildings has been an interesting one in Nigeria so here’s a list of some of the oldest buildings in Nigeria.

 Jaekel House, Lagos.

Located inside the Ebute-Metta premises of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Jaekel House is a restored colonial mansion. It now serves as a railway museum and photo gallery of the NRC’s colonial era. Smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Lagos, it can be quite a surprise to go into the premises and suddenly become far removed from the noise and people – such as the sheer size of the grounds.

Named after Francis Jaekel, a former Superintendent of the NRC, it was originally built in 1898. This makes it 119 years old and therefore is certainly one of the oldest buildings in Nigeria still standing! Its age does not show on it though, due to the recent restoration carried out on it. Fancy a visit to this beautiful building to take a rail journey into Nigeria’s past?Located at the Railway Compound, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, and opens throughout the week.

 The first European storey building in Nigeria

Yes, that one. This famous white one-storey building in Badagry was constructed by the Rev. Henry Townsend of the Anglican Church Mission Society (CMS) in 1845. Located on the Badagry Marina, this historic structure served as a Vicarage for Saint Thomas Anglican Church, Badagry. Later on, the Anglican Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther famously lived here while translating the Bible from English to Yoruba. Still standing completely intact after 171 years, this building has huge historical significance in the history of the slave trade and colonialism. It is also very close to the excellent recreational amenities of Badagry. These include several water resorts, hotels, beaches and hangout spots. If you are brave enough, you can even venture into the house, which generates hundreds of ghost stories from tourists and visitors every year.

The cenotaph of Taiwo Olowo, Lagos.

Daniel Conrad Taiwo arrived in Lagos as an indentured servant in 1848. By the time he died in 1901 at the age of 120, he had amassed so much wealth that he earned the nickname Taiwo Olowo (Taiwo the Rich Man).

In the course of a successful (if somewhat amoral) career trading in everything from slaves to weapons, Taiwo Olowo also became very powerful in the political landscape of Lagos. He single-handedly controlled all trade routes and markets in Isheri. He married 16 wives and his descendants currently number in the hundreds.

In 1905, the Brazilian-returnee master builder Senhor Jorge DaCosta constructed the impressive monument commemorating his life. It features plaques forged from hundreds of melted copper pennies in line with Taiwo Olowo’s status.

Just across the street from the cenotaph is his family house,  Iga Taiwo Olowo (Palace of Taiwo the Rich Man). It is still owned and inhabited by his descendants. If you are lucky, you may even get to meet one of them and enjoy a nice chat about the Legend of Taiwo Olowo.

Mapo Hall, Ibadan

It may not look like it, but this too is one of the oldest buildings in Nigeria. Built in 1929, Mapo Hall has witnessed 87 years of Nigerian history from its vantage point at Mapo Hill summit, the highest point in the city of Ibadan. Designed by the British Engineer Robert Taffy Jones, this sprawling edifice is one of the most impressive structures in Ibadan, towering over the metropolis with its huge stone pillars and Victorian architecture.

Mapo Hall was originally constructed for administrative purposes and public hearings. Nowadays, especially since its renovation in 2006, it is as a conference location and tourist destination, with its own in-house mini-museum and an impressive hallway portrait display of all past and present Olubadan of Ibadan.

 

St. George’s Hall, Lagos

This charming building located on Broad Street was constructed in 1907. It houses St. George’s Lodge No. 3065 of the global Freemason Order. Prior to its construction, Sir Walter Egerton, then Governor of the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria granted a 99-year lease for the plot of land, free from taxes and rates.

Over the years, some of the most famous names in Nigeria’s history have been frequent visitors to this building. These include Sir Adeyemo Alakija, Nat Sowande Cole, Chief Oludare Holloway and Willoughby Osbourne. The building features typically elaborate and ornate Victorian design and finishing.If you would like to take a tour of this historic building, it is open on Sundays between 11:00 and 17:00.

Lugard Footbridge, Kaduna

The Lugard Footbridge a 113-year-old pedestrian bridge currently located in the General Hassan Park, Kaduna. Originally built in Zungeru, present-day Niger State by Frederick Lugard in 1904. At the time, Zungeru was the capital of the Northern Protectorate of Nigeria.

Following the 1914 amalgamation, the bridge moved to Gamji Gate, Kaduna and reconstructed. Since 1956, the bridge has been classified as a historic national monument.

Kajuru Castle, Kaduna

While the other buildings on this list are very old, Kajuru Castle is not since It was built by an unnamed German expatriate in 1978 and is only 39 years old. Yet It makes this list by virtue of its unusual German-style architecture and backstory because it’s not every day you see a full-sized German castle in Kaduna! If you would like to explore Kajuru Castle, you have to rent out the entire building. This reportedly costs between N240,000 and N350,000 a day.

Oba of Benin Royal Palace, Benin

Visitors to the Oba’s palace are forbidden from taking pictures. Because of this, it is notoriously difficult to get a picture of this historic building. While originally built by Oba Ewedo (1255AD – 1280AD) as the symbol of the mighty Bini Empire for 6 centuries, Oba Eweka II (1914 – 1932) rebuilt it following its destruction due to the British punitive expedition of 1897. It still stands as one of the oldest buildings in Nigeria and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Kings College, Lagos.

Kings College, built in 1909 by the British colonial administration in Lagos. Built at the cost of £10,001 and is one of the oldest buildings in Nigeria.  The building was originally created due to the need to prepare male students for the Matriculation exams of the University of London. Today, almost 120 years later, Kings college still stands at its original location on Catholic Mission Street, Lagos Island.

Lugard Hall, Kaduna

 Lugard Hall, the seat of the Kaduna State House of Assembly was built in 1914. Therefore, it is 103 years old. Named after Frederick Lugard and originally served as the seat of legislative power of the Northern Protectorate. The building style is an imitation of the British House of Commons and House of Lords in Westminster, London.

It’s interesting to see how far Nigeria has come both infrastructure and development wise, and thats why we at Bilaad Realty are aimed at developing quality structures that are not only in line with current times, but also the future.

Fajuyitan, D., 2020. David, Author At Hotels.Ng Guides. [online] Hotels.ng Guides. Available at: <https://hotels.ng/guides/author/david/> [Accessed 24 November 2020].

THE QUEST FOR STRENGTH II

THE QUEST FOR STRENGTH II

CEO’s MESSAGE

Technology has never been more advanced than it is today. From wearables to rugged tech, the digital world has infiltrated every aspect of business, and everyone is drooling over the latest gadgets. Although technology is front-and-center in today’s corporate world, we cannot underestimate the most important element of business success: the human element.

According to popular opinion, organizational success is when an organization can achieve certain milestones that allows it to be competitive within the industry it exists. The manner to which these outcomes are determined depends on the internal efficiency of the organization. Furthermore, the ability to properly manage people, resources and time, can result in improvement of quality standards, creativity and innovation.

We’ve seen one too many enterprises fail because the focal point was merely producing results. While this is a given to any business that wants to achieve long-term goals, the saying “the end justifies the means” is just not the right way to conduct business. Achieving results at the expense of employees is a quick shortcut down the path to failure, and enterprises need to come to a realization that their employees are their greatest asset.

Thus, the road to being successful as a corporate entity cannot be solely journeyed by good products. By understanding the human element, business can be more profitable, lead more effectively, and create brand loyalty. Now more than ever, we must adopt the right strategies to improve internal efficiencies within the industry.

 

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

If there is one thing most organizations have in common, it’s the never-ending requirement to improve the performance of their business.  It’s all about long-run sustainability, remaining relevant, winning and being the frontrunner in the marketplace. The pressure is constant and the expectations are high. But how do you get there and how do you stay there?

 It’s been said that the primary responsibility of every leadership team is to create a culture that allows the organization to achieve its objectives.  But where does one turn when it comes to building a winning culture that delivers extraordinary results?  Perhaps an organization is customer-centric, technology-centric, or service-centric in its value proposition –– in essence, the business’ core competency has very little to do with what it takes to be a leader in their industry.

The common denominator in all cases is found in the quality of the workforce, and can be reduced to a single factor — the human factor. More specifically, it is the attributes of an organization’s workforce that separates them from the pack. People are the primary determinant of success, and the common denominator in every function of every business and people are the key point of differentiation.

This has all kinds of implications on every business. Is your compensation and benefits program attracting the model employee? Is your performance management system enabling your leadership team to coach and mentor for continuous improvement? Is your culture a positive, compelling and infectious culture that extracts the very best out of your labor pool day in and day out? Growing companies must have a people strategy too, and that is why we agree that the following factors are important:

–– Nurture a learning environment

Henry Ford once said, “The only thing worse than investing in your employees and having them leave is not investing in them and having them stay.” Constant learning not only elevates an individual as a worker and as a person, it opens opportunities for the establishment to transform continuously for the better.

–– Treat Your People Like Family

What is the difference between a good company and a great one? It’s people. Prioritizing happy customers and happy employees seems like a no brainer; however, it’s hard for employees to deliver a great customer experience if the company does not promote a good experience for them. Treating employees with respect and kindness, contributes to the longevity of any business.

In resonating with the unique characteristics of the horse, we believe that our strength lies in our team who continuously thrive in setting the pace for positive change within our communities and beyond.

Our passion is people. What is yours?

BUILT TO LAST

BUILt TO LAST

CEO’S MESSAGE

Every year typically has a few defining moments, but the last nine months of the year 2020 has contained so many world-changing, paradigm-shifting developments that many still struggle to come to terms with. The year has tested how we work together to address critical challenges at home and as a nation. As Nigeria marks this huge milestone, it is important for us to reflect on the past, but more importantly, to focus on the future – to build a Nigeria that will last.

The construction industry occupies a focal position in a nation’s economy, an essential contribution to the process of development. As a business, we continuously work towards impacting on the entire system, changing the landscape to reflect a better future for Nigeria. In the last three years, Bilaad Realty’s strong value system has been the foundation of our success. From our earliest beginnings, we have remained committed to working in line with our enduring core principles, collaborating to reliably deliver high quality value-driven project planning and execution, carrying out works with technical excellence, innovation capacity and leading sustainability standards.

As we commemorate our 3rd Anniversary, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to these ideals. We recognize the incredibly talented staff that has contributed to our numerous accomplishments and sustained leadership in Nigeria’s real estate sector. We also recognize the partners to our success – our subcontractors, communities and of course, our customers, who have continued to trust in Bilaad Realty and rely on us as a partner to their success, as we continue to stay committed to the principles that have brought us this far.

Happy 60th Independence celebration Nigeria and Congratulations to us at Bilaad.

 

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

In this era of the new normal, we are hit from all sides with lopsided perspectives that urge us to hold nothing sacred, to fight chaos with chaos, to battle a crazy world with total, unfettered craziness. The real question is, what is the proper response to change? We certainly need new and improved business practices and organizational forms, but in a turbulent era like ours, attention to timeless fundamentals is even more important than it is in stable times.

“Having a great idea or being a charismatic visionary leader is “time telling”; building an entity that can prosper far beyond the tenure of any single leader and through multiple life cycles is “clock building.”” (Built to last).

As we celebrate Nigeria at 60 and our 3rd year as Bilaad, there is still a lot to be done, and history left to be made. Our primary accomplishment is not the implementation of a great idea, the expression of a charismatic personality, or the accumulation of wealth. It is the resilience of the nation itself and what it stands for, and we must continue to seek alternative revenue forces outside crude oil by participating in activities that foster growth and capacity building through collaborations and partnerships.

 

It may be perceived that one of the biggest factors that have contributed thus far to us as a nation is the ability to leverage collaborations such as public-private partnerships, NGO support initiatives, development partner involvement, in our day to day activities whilst working to achieve set goals and objectives. The ultimate desire of every nation is to first create a stilt reputation on which they would be built. With patriotism, honesty and commitment, we can collectively change the narrative of Nigeria, gradually touching the various facets in providing sustainable lifestyles.

The future holds many new and exciting developments. At Bilaad Realty, we pick the values that drive towards Nigeria’s improvement and greatness as we adapt them to our day to day activities in achieving sustainable real estate solutions. We will continue to build from our past, while also keeping a keen eye on industry developments, optimizing our tools, systems and methodologies, in line with relevant new technologies to ensure we reach our fullest potential in meeting the progressing needs of the nation we serve.

UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COLLABORATION

UNIVERSITY INDUSTRY COLLABORATION

CEO’S MESSAGE

In this present age, knowledge is argued as the raw material that drives innovation, competitiveness, and economic development. In a similar vein, tertiary institutions are viewed as the economic engines that can positively contribute to a country’s growth in addition to its primary role as a center for knowledge. However, underdeveloped institutions, stifled competition, declining quality of education, underdeveloped financial markets, and low levels of business sophistication are key competitive challenges in Nigeria.

As shown by countries such as the United States, innovation and business competitiveness are greatly enhanced through the activities of research universities. In 1950, Silicon Valley did not exist, but Stanford University was planting the seeds from which it would grow and develop. In 2007, emerging from recovery mode, it has the technical, social, and educational infrastructure; capital sources; and intellectual pool of talent to surge forward in the coming years. It is now widely viewed as the international standard for hi-tech regional growth and wealth creation.

We are dealing with a volatile and highly competitive global environment, and such environment requires organizations to innovate at a fast pace. The development of Nigeria will require universities and industries to act outside their comfort zone and formulate relationships that will encourage curricula and economic growth. Where industries are open to such collaborations, it will accelerate the drive for developments which will provide short, medium, and long-term benefits for every partner.

WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PERSPECTIVE

Many of the world’s most ground-breaking inventions have been developed within the confines of academia, but the current state of industries, the real estate industry in Nigeria for instance, forces us to endure bad infrastructure as a result of the output of schools. Students graduate with inadequate skills, have little or no practical knowledge on how to build quality products, and society is forced to accept inferior goods and suffer losses due to unprofessional service providers.

 

This current landscape suggests that there is potential value in University–Industry Collaboration that is not being realized, which begs the question, what is possible? What value can be created through utilizing the wealth of resources we have in the academic–business sector, for the benefit of the business community and society more broadly?

To answer these questions, we must first understand the true value of collaboration. Collaboration makes connections between things that already exist. This is at the heart of the value creation that comes from collaboration –– being able to pull together the seemingly disconnected.

Going far beyond just a good business decision, some collaborations save lives, preserve our environment, and change our very understanding of how the world works.

 

Benefits For Industry

Universities provide the earliest look at where the next big idea will come from. As students build their real-world experience, industry gains insight through effective research. Companies who are aligned with early stage research see early signals of what’s going to be the next big opportunity, giving them a head start on competition. The benefits for companies continue to stack up, including access to a network of faculty, key opinion leaders, lead researchers, and the opportunity to hire top performing graduates.

Benefits For Universities

Industry partnerships give students and faculty additional funding. By striking up corporate partnerships, universities have more resources to undertake research, and they’re able to diversify their research areas. But it’s not all about the funding. If we break up the university benefits into a pie chart, one big slice would be industry feedback and guidance.

Benefits For Society

While universities and industry enjoy a symbiotic relationship, society also benefits from a trained workforce answering today’s most pressing challenges by creating innovative products and technology to improve lives. Industry-sponsored university research is often developed into practical applications that benefit society. These applications include highly improved architectural models, smart and innovative electronic technologies, efficient energy development and many more.

In furtherance of the company’s commitment to boost University-Industry relationship, Bilaad Realty signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State. The brief signing ceremony took place on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at the Senate Chamber, Main Campus of the University

We are preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems, we don’t even know are problems yet.

BILAAD Realty signs MOU with FUT Minna

BILAAD REALTY SIGNS MOU WITH FUT MINNA

In furtherance of the company’s commitment to boost University-Industry relationship, Bilaad Realty has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal University of Technology, Minna.

The brief signing ceremony took place on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at the Senate Chamber, Main Campus.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Bala expressed delight to Bilaad Realty for finding the University worthy of the partnership, adding that the partnership is more gratifying based on the fact that the founders of the company are alumni of the Federal University of Technology, Minna.

“Usually, it is the University that goes out seeking for partnership with the industry but this time around, we are lucky that we are getting this partnership on a platter of gold. It is only possible because they are alumni of the University; and there cannot be anybody more passionate about the university than the alumni.

“I have had cause to interact with the leadership and membership of the FUTMinna Alumni. I have always reiterated the fact that I am not an alumnus of the University, though I have spent 30 years working for the University but the reality is that I do not have a single certificate bearing FUTMinna. So, I see myself as caretaker rather than anything else because sooner or later, many of us will gradually retire and leave the system. The alumni who have an unbroken umbilical cord with the University should think of giving back to their Alma Mater. That Bilaad Realty is giving back today is worthy of emulation. We have to thank you and appreciate you for this gesture,” Prof.  Bala disclosed.

The Vice-Chancellor stated that he is always filled with pride whenever he sees Bilaad Estates and other business investments in Abuja because the company is owned by products of FUTMinna and they are good ambassadors of the University.

The University of Reading Alumnus further stated that the partnership with Bilaad Realty is a demonstration of the University Management’s efforts towards the actualization of the institution’s planned academic immersion programme under the Students Support Service, adding that the partnership would enable the University to foster closer relationship with the industries for the benefits of its students.

In addition, the VC said the core areas of the MoU are of utmost interest to the University in line with its core mandates of teaching, research and community service, while noting that effective community service cannot be achieved without reaching out to the community.

He reiterated his administration’s commitment towards ensuring that students continue to enjoy quality education and service in order to prepare them well for the highly competitive labour industry. He expressed joy that part of the MoU which has to do with SIWES would further address the problem of students not getting a better place for industrial attachment, adding that the University would be happy to know that when students are sent to Bilaad Realty for SIWES; they are in a serious place of business and would acquire more skills.

 

Equally important, the consummate scholar assured them that the University is highly committed to the tenets of the MoU and disclosed that the head of the Directorate of Collaborations, Affiliation and Linkages (DCAL) and the newly appointed Coordinator of the Students’ Support Service would work closely with Bilaad Realty.

Speaking earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Bilaad Realty, Mal. Aliyu Aliyu commended the University for believing in Bilaad Realty, which necessitated the opportunity to partner with the University. He expressed optimism that the MoU would enable them to give back to the University for making them who they are today.

The CEO disclosed that the partnership with FUTMinna would change the narrative of university-industry relations in Nigeria and serve as a model for other institutions to emulate. Further, he emphasized that the company would adhere to all the tenets of the MoU.

In his address at the event, the Chief Business and Strategy Officer of Bilaad Realty, Mal. Abdullahi Umar said the MoU is well packaged in view of the need to bridge the gap between the university and the industry, “For us, the university-industry collaborations goes beyond mere rhetoric; it stems from the fact that we want to give back to our Alma Mater.

The operationalization of the MoU would enable us prepare the students for industry needs before graduation through work-place exposure and industrial attachment placement so that they would learn contemporary skills needed to get jobs and survive in the highly competitive industry.”

He revealed that through the MoU, students in their final year can pick up a problem in the industry and research on it towards proffering solutions to the problem and that such research would be sponsored by the industry.

The Chief Business & Strategy Officer also stated that the MoU would enable them organize tailor-made programmes for professionals in order to provide a platform for continuous learning as well as inviting experts from the industry to take up some courses in the University.

The MoU covers the following areas; Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES), internship, employment, holiday work placement and summer schools. Others include curriculum development, knowledge transfer and training opportunities, promotion of entrepreneurship (starts-up and spin-offs) and joint research collaboration.

Giving the vote of thanks, the Director of DCAL, Prof. Oyero thanked the Vice-Chancellor for his support and Bilaad Realty for choosing to partner with the University.

CUSTOMER IS KING

FROM THE CEO

In today’s marketing world, customers are no longer settling for a ‘‘one-size-fits-all’’ service experience. A shrinking economy, improved technology, and increase in competition have given customers the power to expect more from their service providers. As such, the simple availability of products and services is no longer sufficient and customer expectations have shifted to the desire for individualized customization.

It is now widely acknowledged that companies that prioritize the experience for their customers, can deliver better benefits for everyone. So why isn’t every company hyper-focused on delivering great customer experience? And if businesses have a dedicated program in place, how can they ensure it’s having the right impact?

Businesses today put a significant amount of effort into planning their ventures such as writing business plans that include detailed descriptions of the company’s mission, the products and services it plans to offer, and how it plans to achieve profitability. They sometimes become too focused on their own inner workings and ignore the wants and needs of customers.

There is an increasing need for business leaders to champion engagement at the top, and develop a people-centric culture throughout the organization. Customer centricity and the approach that drives it is not accomplished with a catchy slogan or tagline. The purpose of customer-centricity is to anticipate the needs of customers, and to tailor products and services to better fulfill those needs and eliminate sources of dissatisfaction – ensuring that the customer remains king.

 

EMPHASIS

There is no known business that can thrive without customers. Any activity in an organization is done with an aim of impressing the customers. Paying attention to what customers have to say is very important as they have new information that will lead to a positive impact on any business.

Gone are the days when auto-companies sold cars in black color with the tagline “any color so long as it is black”. Today, the whole idea of selling a car in one color seems absurd. There are different types of cars available in many different colors and still customers’ needs are ever increasing.  What has changed is the fact that today the situation is reversed –– customers are now in the driver’s seat and are able to say what they like or dislike about a product, marketing system, business and brand.

In the property sector, prioritizing the customer experience is a key differentiator to success. Buying, selling or even renting a house can be a stressful time, and customers will have questions, concerns, suggestions and requests for updates that they want answers to immediately. A day’s delay in getting back to a client may not have been an issue a few years ago, but in a tough market like real estate, a seamless customer experience and ease of engagement with an estate agent is critical.

We have put together a few pointers that other businesses can inculcate in order to ensure customer satisfaction in today’s consumer-centric landscape.

  • KEEPING PRODUCTS RELEVANT

Every customer wants the same thing—the best value for their money. Having an appetency for innovative solutions will help redefine functionality and expertise in providing clients with top notch products and services. By anticipating the needs of customers and tailoring your products to better fulfill those needs, customers will be assured of getting the best services available with guaranteed satisfaction.

  • BUILDING TRUE PARTNERSHIP

For all businesses, the relationship with the buyer does not end after sales but begins the very moment the client makes the purchase and thus becomes part of its growing family. It takes a dedicated amount of time and energy to build good, strong, lasting business relationships today, which is why companies must continuously work to build customer trust through genuine communication.

  • MEETING AND EXCEEDING EXPECTATION

By building a trusted relationship with clients, you get to understand them, are able to place yourself in their shoes and work towards meeting their needs well before they realize it themselves. Constantly working towards exceeding customer expectations and adopting customer-first organizational values not only builds customer loyalty, but provides complete customer satisfaction.

  • CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

In a world that is heavily dependent on the internet, consumers are quick to hop online and share how they feel about a product or service. There are always more customers who have valuable insights waiting to be shared, so it is important to go fishing, not for compliments, but for criticisms. Insights from the perspective of customers help every business tailor their products to fit consumer needs.

At Bilaad Realty, our customers are at the core of everything we do. We listen first, keep our products relevant, build true partnership and place customers at the top of our priority list. With us, the customer is always king.

BEFORE BUYING A HOME

BEFORE BUYING A HOME: QUESTIONS TO ASK REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS

Building a home is a huge financial investment. So, to make that big decision, it is highly advisable to choose a reliable real estate developer. Hence, there are many issues that you need to look into before deciding to put your life’s savings in a developer’s project:

What’s the land use?

Check the land use of the property on which the project is being developed. The license states what the land use is: whether it is for developing residential or commercial property, floors or plots, and so on.

Has land acquisition been completed?

Often developers begin to sell apartments before land acquisition is over. Some unforeseeable problem may arise due to which acquisition may not be completed. The developer may manage to buy 80% of the land they need but get embroiled in a dispute over the balance 20%. Now, if that one tower in which your apartment was planned was to be developed on the disputed 20%, you would experience many challenges.

Does the developer have legal title?

Ask the developer to show you the papers demonstrating his ownership of the land. Every plot has a unique number. Ask the builder for that number and check in whose name the plot is registered. You could hire a lawyer to conduct the title search. He can also find out if there is a legal dispute over the land.

Are all the approvals in place?

Ask the developer for the license, which is proof that they have obtained permission from the area’s town planning authority to develop the project. Every license has a unique number. Developers who have obtained the license often print the license number in their ads. Also ask whether the developer has received the following approvals: building plan, water, environment and pollution, and height clearance (if the building is situated near an airport).

What if the plan changes?

Often, developers show you one building and layout plan at the time of sale, but alter it midway through construction. The flat’s area could increase. The original plan may have shown a swimming pool and club opposite your apartment. Instead, another block of apartments may come up in that space. Read the builder-buyer agreement closely to find out if any redress is available to you if the plan changes.

Is an early exit permitted?

Sometimes you may change your mind and decide not to keep an apartment. Enquire whether an early exit is permitted. When some developer’s own inventory doesn’t sell, they impose curbs so that people are not able to buy from the secondary market. Has the developer blocked sales in the past? And what transfer fee will be charged for an early exit?

What if you don’t pay on time?

If by chance there is delay on your part in paying an installment, how much extra time will the developer grant you to pay up? What will be your interest liability? Will your allotment be cancelled? What are the provisions of the forfeiture clause? How much money will be returned to you?

How good is his track record?

Find out how many projects the developer has delivered in the past. Avoid novices as they usually lack the financial strength to weather a downturn. Visit an established developer’s past projects and speak to the residents (if possible). Did the developer hand over possession on time? Did he provide all the on-campus facilities and the specifications promised within apartments? How well has he maintained the project after its completion? In case of an under-construction property, visit it with a civil engineer and have him evaluate its construction quality.

Choose a credible real estate developer, and you won’t just be buying a unit or a piece of real estate, you’ll be stepping into a new lifestyle.

We are your sustainable partners in real estate.

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Plot 111 &112 Wing A Jahi, Abuja.
 
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Email : info@bilaadnigeria.com

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