How Dolapo Omidire’s Estate Intel is influencing conversations about prop-tech in Nigeria

Omoleye Omoruyi

Estate Intel started as a blog, reporting real estate activities in the country. Now, with the largest cloud-based collection of commercial property data points, Estate Intel can claim to be ‘Africa’s Bloomberg terminal for real estate.

To make the story bigger, the company, Estate Intel also announced a new partnership arrangement with another prop-tech company, Seso Global to launch an exciting monthly newsletter about the African property space. Seso Global’s Marketplace offers a unique one-stop-shop for digital real estate transactions.

The partnership will provide exclusive information on the best real estate deals and insights on emerging African real estate markets.

Seso will be able to identify the best property deals in terms of price and quality. On the other hand, Estate Intel will provide detailed analysis on developers, property yields and real estate areas to enable investors to make informed decisions.

What is Prop-tech?

Like other tech fields, prop-tech brings innovation to real estate, giving room for technology to optimise the way people research, rent, buy, sell, and manage a property. In simple terms, Proptech is simply the acronym used to describe any technology for the real estate space. It is the application of information technology and platform economics to real estate markets.

The cross-industry technology benefits all parties involved – developers, investors, and property management companies.

Prop Tech real estate startups, like Estate Intel and Seso Global, are all those attempting to make the real estate industry (especially in highly dense cities) better, more efficient, and easier to navigate for all parties involved.

Prop-tech in Africa

A research published in The Africa Report observed that “what started as a trickle through the introduction of online search platforms has become a wave of disruptive and cutting-edge technologies that continue to improve both transparency and efficiency”. 

In a 2020 report, Kfir Rusin said that “Africa’s prop-tech ecosystem is growing with fundraising reaching an estimated +$18 million in 2019. According to the latest estimates, there are more than 200 prop-tech companies in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya alone.

“Other countries such as Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana are also witnessing significant growth and we expect the overall number of companies within the sector to increase substantially in the next two years.”

According to the Startup list platform, there are about 50 prop-tech startups in Africa, as at November 2021. They have raised a total of $47.9 million in funding.

As for experience in the real estate market, considering the constant growth, Dolapo Omidire, the founder and CEO of Estate Intel, says the companies’ experience “has been a difficult but largely positive one. We are working in a space with an under-supply of information. So, we are excited to be putting that information out there to help people understand the real estate market.”

Early 2022, Seso Global launched regional offices in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK), having started in Nigeria and launching its first pilot in South Africa in November 2019, and entering Ghana in May 2020.

Seso Global

The rapid development of real estate industries in major African countries has seen a concurrent rise in demand for property across the continent.

Seso Global

Of reception, Dolapo says, “it (Estate Intel) was a positive and warm welcome. There is a lot of interest and appreciation for the work that we do. The rise of prop-tech was a lot of excitement.”

Kfir Rusin says, “Despite the significant and obvious benefits that prop-tech can provide, it will need the African real estate community to push for its adoption and invest in its development. Only then will we be able to fully utilise it to help the sector leapfrog over its historical and most pressing issues which continue to impede overall industry growth and deter large scale FDI and institutional investment.”

On profit and sustainability

Anything besides transactions and investment is looked on as blurry sections of the real estate sector. In fact, many times, when real estate is the conversation, it is mostly investment; and the how. But, Estate Intel took a larger step and now works with data to help people make informed decisions.

There are multiple spaces in the real estate sector you can play in.

Dolapo Omidire

“There is a lot of money to be made in that space (real estate), where we are currently playing is similarly lucrative, but in a different way. It is just important to note that there are other streams of income within the industry, not just agency,” Dolapo says.

“We have been bootstrapped, and received our first investor funding. So, definitely, things are good.”

Dolapo says the major challenge is gathering but, “we have good systems in place to solve that.” So, they are trying to solve the problems of data lack.

About the partnership

Daniel Bloch of Seso Global says the partnership, which will deliver enlightening real estate newsletters, “will make it easier for property investors in Nigeria and Ghana to get data. What we see is a growing interest in investment, especially from the diaspora.”

He adds that the newsletter will be a true game-changer for property investment.

It will a one-stop solution for finding properties, and getting full analysis on the investment opportunities.

Daniel Bloch

Dolapo says the newsletter will help investors understand the market, as more people keep losing money as the investment interests rise.

Seso Global X Estate Intel newsletter

“We are excited to be kick-starting this partnership with Seso. Seeing the utility of our data is something that is very important to our business, and we are confident that buyers on the Seso Platform will now be able to make more informed investment decisions when buying property and navigating Africa’s opaque property market,” Dolapo says.

What to expect from the newsletter: regular deals and analysis, properties in Ghana and Nigeria.

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