By Nnamdi Ojiego
With the success recorded so far by his company, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Cruxstone, Dr Adetoro Bank-Omotoye, has no regrets about venturing into real estate.
While growing up, the prayer point of his family was for him to become a doctor. The dream was no doubt, pursued and backed with prayers but it never happened.
This may be a reflection of Proverbs 16:9 which stated that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
This explains that whatever man proposes as his objective, some supernatural powers determine the shape of things and their end.
The sign that his parent’s big dream of him becoming a medical doctor would not be actualised, manifested when he applied for Medicine and Surgery at the University of Lagos and was given Zoology.
According to him, “my dad had wanted me to study Medicine. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the cut-off mark for Medicine. I tried a couple of times. Maybe because I didn’t put in my best, it didn’t work. I studied Zoology because it was difficult to change from Zoology to Medicine.”
As a young man who is focused and believes that everything happens for a reason, he never allowed the disappointment to affect his future. Bank-Omotoye ended up studying Zoology after which he was employed by the Lagos State government in the Ministry of Agriculture.
On how he ended up as a real estate guru, he said, “I grew up in an area where we have exciting structures and real estates. One day, my uncle and I went to Victoria Island, for the first time in my life, I saw high-rise buildings. That is 1004 flats. I was so happy and fascinated seeing beautiful and tall buildings, and I told my uncle that one day I want to be building houses.
“Eventually, I nurtured that dream, when I moved to the Island. It is something I have kept inside of me. I worked with the Lagos State government for 10 years in the Ministry of Agriculture. While working at the Ministry of Agriculture, I still had my eyes on real estate but where to start from was what I did not know until after my marriage.
I went to pick up my wife’s belongings at her house because she was living in VI to move to our house at Sangotedo. While I was moving her things a lady worked up to me and asked, are you guys moving out? I said yes, and she asked if the place was vacant. I said I was not the owner. I said I will talk to my wife so that she will talk to the landlord. We spoke with the landlord, and he was not ready to give it out.
“And the lady was begging that even if I can get her that house, I should get her a place. To cut the story short, that was how I started to look for a house for her and her husband. Eventually, I was able to get them a place and in three days. I was paid a reasonable fee. A friend of mine, who also helped in getting the place, was already a big player in real estate.
I told him he needed to bring me into real estate. He said I should focus on the expatriate part of it instead of running up and down to look for houses.
“I had some friends working with multinational companies, I told them about it and they were like we have some expatriates that need accommodation, some of them were working with Chevron and Mobil.”
I recently told one of my friends that my decision to go into real estate became the biggest and best decision. And it is profitable.”
Bank-Omotoye is the only developer who sounded different when it comes to challenges facing the real estate sector.
Most people in the industry always blame the government for high-interest loans, Omonile or high cost of building materials and high importation cost among others.
For Bank-Omotoye, real estate is like every other business with challenges. “I have set out my mindset on doing real estate the way people don’t do it. Integrity, quality, credibility, and accountability are key because there are a lot of real estate companies. I have lost money in real estate not because I had to, but because of my integrity,” he explained.
According to him, “a lot of people don’t have integrity in this part of the world, they promise so much and they deliver little. Some people buy from you because you made certain promises. You promised them you are going to do this or do that, at the end of the day, nothing happens. All these things don’t just work. These are some of the issues damaging the industry.”
Bank-Omotoye has no regret of any sort for not becoming a doctor as his company Cruxstone Development & Investment Limited, a Metropolitan Real Estate Development and Management firm, located at Lekki Phase 1, is among the leading real estate companies in Nigeria and Africa.
The firm was established in 2016 after Bank-Omotoye quit his white-collar job with the Ministry of Agriculture to pursue his dream.
The company takes pride in its ability to identify and acquire cost-effective, high-yield luxury real estate investments. Cruxstone seeks opportunities where it can apply its entrepreneurial expertise and strategic approach to create value for clients.
The company was recently honoured as ‘The Most Outstanding Real Estate Company” by the Nigerian Real Estate & Property Awards.
According to the Executive Director of Emagez Solutions, Mr. Uwabor Joshua, Cruxstone Development & Investment Limited made excellent impacts in Nigeria’s real estate sector.