Olumide Christopher Onitiri-Coker, the CEO of The Buyer’sBuyers in London, in this interview with RUTH OLUROUNBI, chronicles his eight years an entrepreneur in real estate market, while giving insights into what budding entrepreneurs need to know about the market.
How has your real estate business fared in the last eight years?
Good. Yet challenging, because the market is so dynamic, therefore, the unexpected is always around the corner. One day you could be looking at your phone wondering, why, no calls and half hour before the office is about to shut, a customer can just ring, ready to buy, which may force you to work for an additional five hours.
How did you get into the business?
It took me a while before I found a job in the market, as people kept refusing me. Every agency wouldn’t give me the chance, with no professional experience. Luckily, through being at a friend’s house one evening, a chap who’s best friend owned an agency, just around the corner from where we were, said ‘dress like that, go and see him, he will give you the job’.
So I went and started on the most basic pay. I had deal closed in the first two months, but, suddenly I popped my cherry.
I sold a two-bedroom flat in Marylebone to a prominent Australian guy, who, after a while, realised I was guessing what to do at every step.
I must note, my boss at the time warned me I will have to swim in the deep end and cover a lot of things on my own.
But how did you figure real estate business is what you should do?
Well, I believe it’s in my DNA, because even my forefathers, Onitiri, they were land owners. My Uncle Sumbo has a real estate business in Abuja and Lagos for over 20 years and for me, real estate makes sense. It’s such an easy business to understand and anybody regardless of age or gender can participate.