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Tommy Odama

NIGERIA - Real Estate & Construction

Home Sweet Home

CEO and Managing Director, Luxury Villas Group (LVG)

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.

"I have not seen a better country to invest in than Nigeria."

The LVG is a diversified real estate broker involved in many different activities. What is the history of the company?

LVG was registered in 2004. This June will mark the 11th anniversary of our operation as a professional realty company. The company was started from my live-in office on the mainland, and within the first three months of my practice LVG had generated a turnover of roughly $50,000 thanks to a few excellent clients. My modest room then became a full-time office.

Facilities management is a line of LVG that has become lucrative. How do you leverage this in Nigeria?

LVG oversees the cleaning of our properties using our own cleaning company called Tommy Clean Enterprise. We are property managers, and our buildings have character and look attractive to appeal to the public. When one tenant moves out, another should be able to come in with no complaints. That is where Maintenance Plus comes in; it is the Facilities Management arm of the group. Maintenance Plus is the second highest earning subsidiary of the group today and is now running independently under its own professional management. We are also in the process of starting a security company, because all luxury properties in Nigeria have security, and we provide total service and protection to our customers. We currently have over 120 guards, but will have employed additional staff by the time we launch new properties. LVG wants to be the company that people associate first with property in Nigeria.

There have been huge developments in the luxury property market over the past five years. What are some of the notable growth trends to have occurred since 2010?

The trend has been quite phenomenal. Luxury property especially bloomed in Lagos between 2005 and 2008. The main oil producers in the south, including Port Harcourt and Warri, and most of the international oil companies, are concentrated in this region. When foreign nationals began moving to Lagos, they required quality accommodation. The few places available, while developed by visionary developers, were insufficeint. People quickly saw the gap. Tenants were leasing property for as much as $130,000 per annum, or more than $10,000 per month. This is a good income anywhere in the world, and people began to see the importance of the luxury property world. LVG used a reputable architect who has contributed to the real estate market, specifically in Lagos. In Abuja, the capital city, most of the wealthier people conduct business with the government and need good offices, so people have begun to build good properties there as well. The real estate market is also affected by infrastructure. When there are well-maintained roads, quality amenities, and beautiful golf clubs, people begin to see the need for better homes. The market has improved tremendously over the past five years, and it can only get better.

“I have not seen a better country to invest in than Nigeria.”

What do you see in terms of demand for real estate in Nigeria from international investors?

From my personal experience in real estate returns on investment, I have not seen a better country to invest in than Nigeria. Some of our clients look for properties in Dubai, South Africa, and London, despite the fact that economic stablity is lacking. This is not to devalue real estate in Dubai, but we are speaking frankly: the real estate in Nigeria provides far stronger returns, as high as 15%. We have companies investing regularly, especially the promoters of Eko Atlantic, Eko Pearl, YF, UPDC, and so on. We routinely give developers in advanced economies a run for their money.

What are your expectations through 2015 and 2016?

The future of LVG in 2015 is looking bright. As long as we remain professional with our integrity intact, and as long as we invest in the right people, we are confident. Real estate in Nigeria, especially Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt is looking as good, if not better, than most other countries in the world. We are proud to be working in this industry, and I am doing what I do passionately—selling properties to people, leasing properties, and networking.

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