Obinna Azonobi, is the Managing Director/Chief Executive officer of Realtypros Investment Global Limited.
His extensive real estate experience and career has attributed to his success in founding Realtypros, one of the fastest-growing real estate development companies in Nigeria.
His success didn’t come overnight, as he shares insights on his experiences and journey into entrepreneurship and how he dominated the Nigerian real estate industry with our Correspondent. Excerpts.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Obinna Azonobi. I was born on the 18th of October 1985, I had my primary & secondary education at Surulere, Lagos and studied Mechanical Engineering at Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo state. I began my career as a Salesman in the retail industry, then moved up the ranks to Sales Manager, General Manager and now CEO while transitioning four industries.
Tell us a bit more about your Professional Background
My experiences span across the retail, logistics, manufacturing, information technology and Real estate industries. I have a professional certification in Advanced Supply Chain Management from London Academy Business School, UK. I have consulted for multiple Real Estate companies helping them build their Sales structures and Processes most especially in the area of Network Marketing.
Why your chosen career, why real estate?
I chose Real estate because it one of the easiest means of becoming successful legally. By easiest I mean without any startup capital. By selling and closing one big deal in real estate, one can fetch a huge commission to cover the cost of starting his own Real estate Agency. All that is required is keeping oneself informed and understanding the operational basics of buying and selling real estate.
In my study of wealth creation, I found out that there is no wealth without property and since I wanted to become wealthy, I knew I couldn’t do without real estate. I used to ask myself a rhetorical question of how to set up a company without so much financial investment, Real Estate was the answer. So, I equipped myself went for a professional degree, built my repertoire and afterward set up my company. As an newbie in the industry, I started from the lowest level as a freelance marketer and rose to the top as a CEO.
Did you have Mentors on your journey to Success?
Of course, I did. Mr. Debo Adejanni the MD/CEO of Realtypoint property limited has being my mentor and coach since 2013, Others I consider mentors are Leaders and motivational speakers that impacted positively on me through inspiring and motivational books are the likes of Brian Tracy, T.D Jakes and Bill gates, and I read the most book written by these writers. Spiritually, I am inspired by Kenneth Copland and Kenneth Hogan.
Tell us about your company and how you run it. Is it in line with your vision?
Realtypros is a one-stop real estate solution company with the vision of providing real estate solution in all fast-growing cities in the world, we have extended our borders to Cairo Egypt, London, America and Canada with representatives and partners in these locations working remotely with the hope to set up offices in the future. Our core services range from land, building, and construction.
We also have an Academy where people are trained on several skills like leadership, real estate marketing, network marketing, etc. Our head office is located at Sangotedo Ibeju Lekki with branches at Festac Town, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Owerri.
What is the company structure in terms of Culture, Competitive Advantage, Marketing Strategy, and Branding?
We are guided by our core value which is REAL and it means Reliability, Excellent, Accountability, and Loyalty. We presently have 24 staff working in the various department and our competitive advantage over other companies is that we provide in house training to all our staffs whereby everyone starts to reason like an entrepreneur. Our marketing strategy runs from network marketing which are the freelancers who work remotely and earn commission once a deal is closed. Our clients constitute the middles class, high-income earners, working-class and low-income earners who buy into our estate. We are also into facility management and we sell luxury properties to specific clients
How have you leveraged technology in building a successful Real Estate Development Company?
We use the various digital medium to reach out to all our customers, consultants and clients. We also have an online management portal that allows us interact and keep track of databases and reports of over 20,000 Real Estate consultants nationwide. Our business model is technology-friendly and we are adopting new technology every day in optimizing our business processes.
What have been your biggest challenge in running your business?
One of our biggest challenges is in the recruitment of experienced and capable hands to work with us. Most graduates are unemployable because they are simply unwilling to start from the low level which helps them gain experience on the job but wants to begin at the top without any form of understanding as to how to succeed on that level or even sustain their position. The have absolutely nothing to offer but want to be paid heavily for doing nothing.
How have you been able to sustain your business in terms of financing?
Our model which allows freelancers work remotely takes away the huge salary payment of overheads staff working from the office. The cost of running fuels on cars and generators at the offices cut down on our cash flow and our affordable scheme also allows customers to buy our properties and there is constant revenue generated through this model.
In the course of your business venture are there decision you would have made differently
I would say that wrong decisions have been made while running my company but interestingly it has been a learning process that has taught me to make decisions differently.
How do you give back to the society?
We give back by making donations at Orphanages, sponsor specific foundation, empower unemployed women and partnered with Visible Voice Foundation. We have tackled diversity on all levels by employing passionate and talents from different ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Tell us about your business interest apart from what you are doing presently
Am interested in venturing in the agricultural sector and owning the biggest farm in Lagos that will cater for fishing, poultry, etc. through the hectare of lands we have we also looking to set up a recruiting agency and empowering/ Vocational Centre where youths will be trained and become skilful in their area of specialty.
What advice would give to someone who is about to start up a business in your field
I would advise anyone looking to start up a Real estate company to go and serve in any organization of their choice because there is a reward in service. There are roadblocks one will encounter in the course of running your business that only experience can help you overcome them. Most challenges that startup face is that they cannot manage multiple offices, with the experience I gained during my employee days of managing various branches that have help checkmate every activity at all Realtypros branches.
What advice to you have for aspiring young Entrepreneurs
My advice will be to give value and money will come. If you have to work for free give back value, do not be bothered about the immediate stipends. Be passionate, focus, not money-driven but result-driven.