Monthly housing rent payments is a myth in Nigeria that Fibre has been unraveling. Now the company is looking to help Nigerians to not only be able to easily rent apartments but also find opportunities for them to own residential properties, with its new service secure.
Finding a place to live can be very tedious in Nigeria, especially Lagos, despite tenancy laws that have been passed to ease the issue. The real estate industry in the country has been riddled with the same problems too long. From overpriced houses to annual or biennial rental plans, and poor city planning, these are some of the housing problems pervading the country.
Nigerian workers usually are monthly salary earners but have to pay rent annually or even up to two years sometimes. This occurrence has lead to younger people staying for extended periods at their parent’s residence. With limited access to cash flow, these young people have to start their independent life later than they should. Consequently, young families whose earning power are low majorly feel the strain from having to accumulate enough money to cover for yearly rent, hospital bills, and children’s school fees usually within a short period of time. With limited access to loans, these families require extra financial planning just to stay above water.
Having a good job might not totally remediate the problem as you might not have the required upfront money to secure a house of your liking. You would have to save the upfront money for some months. This is the harsh reality for most Nigerians, a tough life powered by a rigid real estate market.
Fibre was founded in 2016 for the purpose of allowing people who live in Lagos to pay monthly for their homes. Fibre partnered with landlords, by providing guaranteed quarterly income on their properties. This has enabled young people to live a better and more convenient life as they don’t need to take out loans for paying rent and can live more closely to work. Fibre charges tenants a 15 percent commission, compared to the standard 20-25 percent fees that real estate agents charge.
Currently, Fibre has more than 120 members (tenants) whom they’ve found homes for. The company has a growing waiting list of about 4000 people. While those numbers are impressive, the most mind-blowing fact is their occupancy of 99.4%. Fibre doesn’t just provide monthly rent payment but also affords flexibility; the option to stay for a flexible period of time i.e. anywhere between 3–12 months.
Usually, people spend a lot of time, at times up to 100 days, looking for a suitable home. A gruesome task that involves tipping real estate agents, being shown overprice properties, or being taking from one unsuitable apartment to another. With Fibre, people can find and move into their home within three days. The company has made home searching a lot easier by being able to run a quick verification on the person applying, note their home preferences and find suitable options for them to choose from. They are also allowed to pay monthly, a very rare concept in the Nigerian real estate market. Tenants can also stay for a flexible period of time i.e. anywhere between 3–12 months. This is the flexibility Fibre offers.
The company also allows people to share an apartment as some people wouldn’t be able to take up the entire house on their own, nor would they want to. Because everyone is vetted by Fibre, a lot of bottlenecks are removed. This doesn’t only make living more affordable for people but also allows them to share their journeys with like-minded people.
One of the company’s belief is that people should not be forced to sign mandatory 12-month leases and part with 12 months worth of rent when they get paid a monthly income and are not sure if they will actually like living in their home. People shouldn’t have long-term fixed commitments to a home when they don’t even know what their life will look like a few months from now.
Fibre presently has 120+ other people (living in both shared homes and in entire apartments). Although the bulk of the houses that Fibre has gotten for people are on the Island, it’s just a matter of time before they spread to the Mainland and other parts of Lagos and the country.
In the future, Fibre wants to make it easier for anyone in Nigeria to rent a property or own a property, allowing the flexibility of paying monthly and or owning a fraction or entire properties.
Fibre has put in a lot of work into understanding their customers’ needs by speaking and getting feedback from them. This has led the company to understand that it’s more than just monthly payments. Young people and absolutely any Nigerian should be able to rent a home easily as well as own one seamlessly.
Though, Nigeria has a myriad of real estate problems, Fibre is currently solving some of these problems by enabling people to easily rent and own homes.