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Why Does the World Need Surveyors?

Surveyors keep traffic flowing, water running and people moving. They shape our roads, bridges and tunnels, our skyscrapers, stations and stadiums. You will also find them at work in mines and in fields, on cliffs and on beaches. They value the houses we live in and the places we work in. They create safer homes and happier communities.

And they’re busy shaping our future too: helping to regenerate deprived areas and planning smart cities connected by the Internet of Things, while pioneering safer, more sustainable and more environmentally friendly building methods.

Surveyors work closely with a wide range of people: architects and engineers, bankers and ecologists, town planners and of course, property developers. And they use the latest technologies: flying drones to map land and measure buildings, creating virtual reality models of buildings, and using Big Data to tackle global issues like climate change, migration and urbanisation.

There are more than 100 varied career roles across the surveying profession in three main sectors: construction and infrastructure; property; and land.

national theatre estate surveyors

Construction and infrastructure careers

Making crucial decisions of what goes where and why surveyors are involved in planning the construction of everything from skyscrapers to shopping centres and festivals to football stadiums. And the infrastructure that connects us relies on surveyors too: from our roads, bridges, and railways also to our energy supplies and communication networks.

Surveying roles in construction and infrastructure

  • Building surveyors help create and supervise everything from towering skyscrapers to simple home extensions.
  • Project management surveyors run teams to deliver projects on time and on budget.
  • Quantity surveyors assess the financial impact and profitability of construction projects.
  • Building control surveyors design and manage the use of buildings to make sure they comply with laws and regulations.
  • Infrastructure surveyors ensure the effective running and connecting of cities, including rail, road, broadband as well as electricity.

Read also: Don’t patronise quack estate agents, Patunola-Ajayi warns Nigerians

Property careers

Property surveyors work in housing, business property and even personal property, such as antiques and fine art. They buy and rent homes and offices, acquire land for property development and value everything from possessions to skyscrapers.

Surveying roles in property 

  • Property surveyors value, sell, rent and manage all types of housing and businesses, from offices to shops and restaurants.
  • Valuation surveyors analyse and measure the value of buildings or businesses: for example, how much is Google actually worth?
  • Management consultancy surveyors maximise business performance by running operations, strategies and structures.
  • Facilities management surveyors add value to businesses by creating vibrant, productive workplaces.

Land careers

From coastal erosion and flood defences to town and environmental planning, land surveyors play a huge role in how we live. And, with climate change and resource scarcity becoming ever-more important issues, land surveyors will have an even greater role in shaping the future.

Surveying roles in land 

  • Geomatics surveyors map, analyse and interpret spatial data and information about the land, sea and buildings.
  • Environmental surveyors manage the development and use of land to minimise the impact on the environment.
  • Minerals and waste surveyors extract, mine, use and manage natural resources and then plan the disposal of related waste.
  • Rural surveyors value and manage the use of land and buildings in the countryside.
  • Planning and development surveyors help create the towns and cities of the future, ensuring happier, healthier communities.

J Ajayi Patunola & Co. has been at the forefront of surveying in Nigeria for thirty years and also is a member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and other international surveying organizations.

Source: RICS UK
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Investment Opportunities in the Real Estate Industry 1

lagos building

The dwindling oil revenues, economic recession coupled with the recovering nature of the economy amongst other factors affecting the economic growth and development of Nigeria has called for a more subtle approach in diversifying and investing in a worthwhile investment opportunity. Thus, real estate has been described as a major source of investment with great return on investment and hedge against inflation as enshrined in its characteristics.

Real estate majorly refers to any landed property investments. However, it must be emphasized that the great potentials of real estate still remain largely untapped.
The Nigerian real estate market with its potentials, like similar markets in several emerging economies in Africa and the world, has not benefitted from varied property investment opportunities and still remains poorly tapped and harnessed. With surging rents, significant housing deficits and increased demand for a wide range of real estate investment opportunities, the Nigerian real estate market is a matrix of opportunity and unique challenges, which only optimistic, rational and good investors would be able to successfully convert into viable, long-term profits.

glass house

According to Akeju (2007), the status of the Nigerian housing market which remains highly untapped and undeveloped despite lot of opportunities that abound in the sector is attributed to many reasons amongst which include: lack of finance; government policy; lack of infrastructural development and high level of poverty, information generation and transmission as well as the responsiveness to changes in the real estate market. Real estate has become an asset class for individual and institutional investors seeking to diversify their investment portfolios.

A clear understanding of these situations is key to the effective development of the real estate market, generation of significant investment opportunities and high return on investment for prudent investors.

What Are the Real Estate Investment Opportunities?

Land Holdings

With a rapidly urbanizing population, city borders are rapidly appreciating creating an opportunity for land investments. However, venturing into this area requires deep insights into government plans in terms of infrastructure distribution and land allocations. This is because of the lapse in infrastructure spread across the country, especially in city outskirts.

Commercial Buildings

The first major opportunity in commercial real estate today is in retails, shops, stalls and office retail settings. Recently there has been a rush development of malls all over the country. In general, there is a lot of room for world-class retail spaces, even shopping centres, strips and mini markets. For years, Nigeria has operated a large and segmented market system where pricing on products are set according to your haggling ability but today as the majority of the population move into the city and a mass majority gain incredible global exposure there is a newfound push and acceptance of organized retail centres.

Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate offers an incredible array of investment opportunities, some with reasonable participation from current investors, others left idly still. Estates development is one of the areas with high opportunities and while there are a lot of participants in that arena scaled estates covering 100’s of acres is not the norm.

Land Flipping / Land Speculation

This means buying land and quickly reselling it for profit. This is one of the smartest investments in the industry and requires no effort whatsoever.

Open Space Leasing

This refers to letting out open space for the use of events.

This post is an extract of a paper delivered by ESV. (Dr.) Bolarinde J. Patunola-Ajayi, PPNIVS, FNIVS, FRICS on Opportunities in the Real Estate Industry