Hello Nigerian Property Internet Startups, Can We Pay Rent Monthly?
Why should someone wake in the morning and put up a property listing for a self-contained room in Yaba and request for a tenant willing to pay 240,000 for a year? It just doesn’t make sense.
I got an email a few days ago from ToLet.com.ng. They’re basically a Nigerian website that allows you look through listed properties and book an inspection so you can decide to rent or buy or whatever you do with property. Ignoring the fact that they sent me an email and I’ve never heard about them, they pretty much do the same thing as other Nigerian property websites (seriously guys, there’s such a thing as sending an email with a paragraph and saying “Hi, we sell/rent out property online”).
Back to the matter. Open. I’ve always wondered why Nigerians pay rent annually. Not just annually, I’ve also wondered why people have to pay rent for two years and forever more. If I die within two years, the landlord will just rent it to someone else. Tufia.
We pay for DSTV monthly, postpaid telco subscribers pay monthly, we pay for our desktop and mobile internet plans monthly. Most importantly, we get paid/pay salaries monthly. So why should someone wake in the morning and put up a property listing for a self-contained room in Yaba and request for a tenant willing to pay 240,000 for a year? It just doesn’t make sense.
If you’ve done this or you’re doing this, not only are you quite the greedy fellow, you’re also encouraging stealing. Yes, you’re part of the reason Lagos is such an expensive city to live in. Ah.
Now let’s look at the average Yaba demographic. I lived there for seven years. There’s an awfully large number of UNILAG students. Why should a student pay for what-isn’t-a-flat for an entire year? There are holidays within the school year, no?
So for all those Nigerian startups out there that are trying so hard to ‘disrupt’ the Real Estate industry, how about you allow me pay rent monthly via your website. As far as I’ve seen, all the websites basically do what a real estate agent does, they just seem to be larger aggregates of property. Like the old way of doing things, the user still has to visit the location physically, inspect, and most of all, the user has to pay an annual fee. Please, how is that different?
No, you’re not allowed to blame the estate agents. They’re not set in stone. They can be bypassed.