Expert predicts 75% growth in short-let occupancy rate

Lagos-based real estate firm, Shortlethomes has predicted over 75 per cent growth in short-lets occupancy rates this year.

The firm observed that the hospitality and travel industry has taken an unprecedented hit in bookings, with monthly decline in sales.

According to him, majority of property owners experienced zero per cent occupancy rates globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the firm maintained a 75 per cent occupancy rate.

Speaking in Lagos, the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Mr. Keji Giwa, said the market dynamics suggest a less competitive, untapped market and more attractive investments in locations such as Lekki, Victoria Island, Osapa London, Oniru, Ikoyi and Ikate.

Findings revealed that short-term rental landlords could make upwards of 20 per cent more than they would on a rented property.

Giwa, who also oversees Digital Landlords Nigeria, noted that there has been an accelerated surge in bookings and increased demand for luxury homes.

“In that short space of time, the company has taken bookings from 500 guests out of it’s 25,200 booking requests in a year due to a limited number of properties, accounting for 1.98 per cent of total booking enquiries in a year.”

He said that by “acquiring 100 more short-let apartments in Lagos, especially around the Lekki Phase one and Victoria Island / Ikoyi axis, not leaving out potential opportunities in Abuja, this drive should help meet the ever-increasing demands for our homes, giving investors a healthy return on their investments for the next five years.”

According to him, in 2020, all existing landlords received a 17 per cent short let rental net income on all properties and are set to experience the same in 2021.

He said: “Compare this to local rental income rates of around 3-4 per cent in Nigeria, that’s a whopping 425 to 566 per cent difference in margins. Landlords can expect to get back their return on investment between five to eight years compared to 20-years for rental income each year.

“This is the reason why Digital Landlords Nigeria limited will be investing heavily in improving the customer experience on all Shortlethomes digital platforms, taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence Chatbots to automate responses, creating a virtual agent to take bookings and deal with customer service issues 24-7.”

For him, opportunities are rife for the real estate boom that will continue for years to come, stressing that customer-centricity, operational efficiency, and technological advancement are the three core ways for industry to be at the front row of growth trajectory.

He said: “The ability to understand how digital technology can enhance every area of your business is key to performance. That is why if any company right now hasn’t gone through a digital transformation or initiated a digital transformation initiative, they’re basically becoming a dinosaur.”

Source : The Guardian