August 5

25 Best Real Estate Investing Tips in Nigeria


  1. Just start: The reason why I’m saying this is because many people are so scared of making mistakes that they never start. Some even allow the belief of not having any money to stop them from investing in properties. This is very wrong. I didn’t have much money when I started. I subscribed for a payment plan, then I started thinking of how to meet up with my payment, and miraculously, I was able to pay.
  2. Start small: You’ve got to start small either by first buying a cheap plot of land or a cheap apartment depending on which one you can afford. When you complete such payment, it boosts your morale and motivates you to buy more properties. Nevertheless, this is where you need to be more careful. You need to invest more in knowledge at this stage.
  3. Invest in knowledge: You can do this by seeking mentors either through online or physical training. You can also buy books and join a real estate investing club/community around you. This will guide you to investing in bigger deals that can fetch you more returns.
  4. Learn how to work with people: Real estate investing will require you to meet, connect and work with a lot of people. As a result, you will need to improve your people’s skills. You must know how to talk politely, negotiate, tip, or pay people well. All in all, you must have good manners. This will make people trust you and want to work with you for a long period.
  5. Don’t always look for cheap deals: Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish. A lot of people will bring deals when they know you’re out there shopping for properties: the cheapest is not usually the best, and the most expensive is also not the best deal. Your evaluation process coupled with a good/experienced broker will help you choose the best deal.
  6. Watch out for lies and turnoff in deals: All I need is a lie from the agent or seller and I call the deal off. I know it’s very hard for most sellers to be 100% honest however, 1 or 2 lies is still a turn-off for me. Below are scenarios I had to cut off some deals:
    1. I met a bike man while going to one of my properties. He told me he was aware of a piece of land available for sale and I told him to take me there. When we got there, he told the person in charge that I’m his brother that just came from Lagos. Deep down I knew I have come to the end of the deal.
    2. On another occasion, a Nigerian based in Canada said he was going to provide his driver’s license to complete a deal. At the point of closing that deal, he changed his mind citing cyber security risks. Although he had a legitimate concern, I had to cancel the deal as well. If you’re not based in Nigeria, and you can’t provide evidence of where you’re based, I don’t think it is worth the risk.
  7. Be proficient in IT(smartphones, computers, and the internet): You need to be able to use computers, the internet, and smartphones very well if you want to scale your real estate business. You see, as you build your connection in the industry, you will have contacts of families that want to sell land, surveyors, lawyers, agents, government officials in the ministry of lands, etc and you will need to be able to communicate with them online for prompt and seamless transactions. You cannot be everywhere at any time. So you need IT skills in other to be more efficient and focus on important things like raising capital to finance deals and marketing your properties.For instance, right now if I want to verify a property is well documented with the State Ministry of Land, I just call the person in charge and make payment via Whatsapp. That saves me time and stress. Another scenario of using IT to save time, money, and stress was when I wanted to confirm the size of a piece of land. I hired a land surveyor, paid him, and directed him to the land via a Whatsapp video call. If you’re also good at digital marketing, it will make your business very profitable.
  8. Don’t buy land, houses, or any property based on a survey plan or paperwork only: Make sure that you visit the place and see the distance, location, and topography with your own two eyes. You may send a trusted colleague but you have to be careful enough to trust the person’s judgment. For instance, I can remember visiting a site and telling the estate developer I don’t like the area that was covered with water and I want a place much closer to the gate(entrance). He told me I will get a place closer and he showed me on the survey map. After payment and I proceeded for allocation, I was stunned when I realized the place he showed me on the survey was exactly the place I didn’t want. I was immediately upset. So guys, forget papers and go see the exact plot or place you’re going to be allocated.
  9. When buying residential plots from estate developers, make sure you buy a few plots(1 or 2): This is because they’re usually selling at a premium price and you’re paying a lot of fees. It doesnt make sense to buy 6 plots and pay all the exorbitant documentation fees. In most cases, the total package/fees can get you a piece of land/property much closer to town, or a better deal if you take your time to search for it.
  10. Real estate development in Nigeria is like Cryptocurrency:  It’s in the early days. The teams who build the project and those who buy in the early stage make most of the money.
  11. Don’t think the estate developers are the ones that will bring development to the area: It’s a blatant lie. If you’re lucky, the fellow rich men who bought the area and like it may decide to come and live there and thus start development. However, most times they will wait for the government to tile the road or bring major facilities, amenities, and infrastructure to the area.
  12. If you will end up creating your own real estate development company, ensure you give people an issue-free experience. This will put you among the top 1% of the industry.
  13. Negotiate! Don’t just pay the exact amount quoted by the estate development company, it is usually bloated and overpriced. Instead, negotiate the land or properties. Also, negotiate the documentation fees. Make a competitive bargain by telling them to reduce if you buy an additional plot. They need money and you need land. And if you’ve got the money, use that to your advantage.
  14. Try to buy from lawyers or agents who have motivated sellers: These types of sellers are genuine and usually need money to cover urgent issues.
  15. If possible, buy directly from the seller and pay the agent a 5% commission fee: Most times, when you remove middlemen completely, you usually buy at buying at an affordable price. Also, you may not necessarily buy from estate developers because they charge a lot of unnecessary fees and the majority of them offer poor services. They won’t even allocate the best portion to you even after paying millions. Some will also give you trouble. For instance,
    1. I once paid the ₦100,000+ allocation fee to be allocated my plots, and their surveyors won’t even show me the corner piece. They even said if I call them again they would charge me additional money. What a poor experience from a company that needs me to recommend them to other people.
    2. I also saw a piece of land from an estate very far from the railway terminal in Ibadan selling at 1.8 times the price of another estate that’s even closer to the railway terminal. They charge ₦900,000 for land and ₦900,000 for documentation. Mind you, what are they documenting. I’m sure they may still throw me somewhere at the back when I complete my payment, something I always detest and negotiate about.
  16. The location is the most important thing: Don’t buy where is too far because it’s cheap. The cost of erecting a building is very expensive and the farther your site the more expensive it gets. For example, you may get cheap land in a far place but if you calculate the cost of construction, it would be better you buy somewhere nearer that you will easily see tenants that would rent it and pay you well.
  17. Again don’t pay for land on citing the survey plan: Visit the site and see where you’re going to be allocated. This is worth repeating. To be before warned is to be before harmed.
  18. When you’re allocated land, see all the pillars, if possible mark it by inserting an iron pole and then erect a corners piece as soon as possible. Also, create a lot of signboards if you will be acquiring many lands. You just erect them on each land you buy.
  19. If possible buy a corner piece or side angle land: This type of land is strategically at the corner of the layout. Most times two roads pass beside them. They are not land that is allocated in the middle of the layout where the road only passes the front. This will ensure your site is accessible and also get a lot of fresh air(something that I cherish.
  20. Hire experts like the ones listed below to save you time, stress, and money:
    1. Surveyor to measure the actual size of the land
    2. Lawyer to prepare contract documents when needed
    3. Agents to help you find trusted and hassle-free deals.
    4. Marketers to help you promote your land/properties
    5. Ministry of land officials to confirm survey and title ownership
  21. Again, if you’re buying from an estate, make sure you get allocated immediately after making payment, and you erect a corner piece immediately.
  22. Never send someone, a friend, or a member of the company to help you with the allocation. Only do this when you trust the company and it’s not your first purchase.
  23. If you’re an estate developer, be honest with your clients. Give them good services and experience. Also, do first come first serve. Don’t punish the first set of people who believed enough in you(to pay first), by taking them to the very back of the estate.
  24. Get a car to move around. When I started I used to climb bikes here and there. That’s a bit risky and I won’t suggest you all do the same. Get a car if you can afford one and be careful where you follow real estate marketers too so they don’t kidnap or steal your car. A friend of mine suggests you have pepper sprays.
  25. Know how to raise money and how to sell your offers and brand.

These are the best tips I have for now as regards buying a piece of land or property in Nigeria. I hope you have learned something new. If you have any questions, kindly put them in the comment section below👇.

Thank you for taking the time to read through it.

God bless!


real estate investing tips

About the author 

Kehinde Lawal

I'm a digital entrepreneur passionate about farming, smart homes, and sustainable living.

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