Nigeria’s Top 10 Real Estate Disruptors 2022 -Ibukun Adedayo

Dr. (Mrs.) Ibukun Adedayo is chief executive officer, Rock Realty Limited, a real estate development and advisory company headquartered in Abuja. She leads a team of professionals skilled in utilizing the company’s extensive network and knowledge in real estate development to build affordable housing estates for individuals and corporate organisations.

The company’s target market is middle income group where it employs the institutional support of National Housing Fund and other mortgage options to boost the ability of this category of people to own their own houses. All the company’s projects are structured along mortgage lines, tailoring payment options to suit earning patterns. The flexible design enables home buyers to structure their mortgages to fit into the company’s products.

The company specialises in providing real estate solutions for people earning N3 million and above annually. “We focus on building and providing purchase structures that are tailored to the cash flows of middle income real estate”, Adedayo said.

Rock Realty is one of the few real estate development companies in Nigeria that play actively in the world of mortgages where the biggest capacity for mass housing development resides. The company strives to stand out by tapping this capacity to respond to the housing needs of Nigerians. Its services include mortgage brokerage and advisory, real estate development, consultancy and property sales. 

Adedayo launched the company in 2016 out of her passion to drive that real estate market niche where developers offer products designed for middle income earners  to own their own homes. It sprang from her passion to feel in the gap of building affordably homes for middle income earners. The drive, she said, was to push for improvements in mortgage offerings that make room for the target group of people to benefit. It provides a veritable platform for her to educate middle income earners on ways to structure their cash flows to take advantage of home ownership and real estate investing opportunities.  

Her passion was borne out of painful experience of seeing middle income earners in other countries getting homes while in Nigeria they are confined to rental cycle without hope of breaking free. Beyond that, Adedayo was concerned that even within the rental cycle, people still failed to develop the requisite savings culture to be able to pay their rents at the right time. “So we set out to provide solutions that would address some of these and other similar bottlenecks in the middle income real estate in Nigeria”, she said.

Some of the company’s major housing projects include Bold Living Apartments located at Alpha Beach Road in Lekki, which is planned in two phases. Subscribers to the apartments can make use of the National Housing Fund loan, which is available at 6 percent interest rate per annum in structuring their payment plans.

Another of the company housing project is Bronze Living Estate, which is located at Arapaja, Odona Kekere area of Ibadan. It consists of 290 units of affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom bungalows.The company offers flexible equity contribution options based on mutual agreement, which is spread over the construction period. The project is also planned to avail subscribers the benefit of using National Housing Fund mortgage, which the company helps to process. In addition to functional infrastructures, central location and significant capital appreciation potential, it offers adequate security.

Adedayo plans to attain new milestones in expanding investment in the real estate market using mortgages as the driving vehicle. “Over the next five to seven years, we intend to construct over 1,500 affordable homes in Nigeria”, she stated.  [Pursuant of the big dream, she is working on a Diaspora Real Estate Platform in conjunction with Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, an initiative which would work hand in hand with the newly approved Diaspora Mortgages by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria]*. This provides a platform where Nigerians in Diaspora can invest in credible housing delivery without the fear of theft or other abnormalities that may have happened in the past, Adedayo explained.

The platform is designed to fill the trust gap and boost the confidence of Nigerians in Diaspora in the real estate industry back home and therefore boost investments. Diaspora mortgages can be accessed on the platform at single digit interest rates to give it a further boost.“It would be the go-to platform for Nigerians in Diaspora to invest in the Nigerian real estate markets”, according to Adedayo.  

The medical doctor, serial entrepreneur and home builder, who drives the vision at Rock Realty, qualified in medicine & surgery and practiced as a medical doctor for a few years. She later branched off into the world of investment banking, development finance and advisory services.

Her last place of paid employment before she launched her company is Infrastructure Bank, where she played an active role in major infrastructure development finance projects, culminating in her leading the real estate department for many years. From there, she developed the passion for spearheading major game-changing initiatives within the real estate industry, focusing on the middle income real estate investing.

To Adedayo, her company’s major accomplishment so far isn’t the estates it has built but the minds of people it has changed. Her focus on the middle income market segment brought her face to face with an unyielding mindset of many middle income earners – that they cannot afford their own homes yet, ruling out also the option of exploring any initiatives her company was offering for home ownership. Also, many people were skeptical about off-plan purchases on which most of her company’s offerings are hinged due to breakdown of trust within the real estate industry. 

Through a lot of advocacy and mind re-orientation ,the Rock Realty’s CEO has changed the story. “We have seen many young upcoming professionals now suddenly realising ‘oh, I really can own my home now, if I look for the right payment plans and initiatives that are tailored towards my cash flow pattern; even though I realise that it may require some cash flow sacrifice from me’”, she said. 

Rock Realty picks up the slightest buyer interest and works from purchase advisory, cash flow assessment to structuring payment plans that are fit for the client in consideration. This is the company’s distinguishing feature in the marketplace. “It is what endears us to our clients, especially those who just never thought home ownership was possible for them anytime soon”, Adedayo said.

This she does in pursuit of a mission to change the mindset that home ownership and real estate investing is only for the very rich.