Investing in real estate properties is one of the best investments that you can ever make. There are many options for making money, and the real estate property will continue to appreciate.
But the problem is that investing in real estate can be capital intensive. To invest in real estate out of your pocket in Nigeria, you must have capital that is running in multiples of millions. That is why real estate investments are usually reserved for a few rich people.
But there is always a way around any investment. If you are really passionate about investing, and you want to try your hands on real estate, you will find that there are more than one ways to invest in it.
Moreover, as a savvy investor, your job is to create as many options when making an investment. You don’t want to strain your finances or get stuck in a situation where you cannot close a sweet deal.
That is why I’m writing this article to explore other ways to invest in real estate properties, other than your personal funds. Even more importantly, how to invest in real estate when you have no money.
Let’s take a look at these options
An overdraft is the first point of call for any savvy real estate investor looking to invest in real estate without their own money. This is done by withdrawing more than you have in your bank account. Most business accounts have this capability, and there is usually an overdraft limit that you can withdraw up to.
Overdrafts are mostly utilized for low-cost and short-term real estate investing due to their short tenure.You don’t want a bank lien on your account that lasts over a year.
The right way to use an overdraft when investing in a real estate property is to utilize it as a way to complete your investment fund. So, let’s say you want to invest 5 Million Naira in a particular real estate project, and you have an available capital of 4 Million Naira, an overdraft of 1 Million will help you invest in the property, and you will have a lien of 1 Million Naira on your account.
Most real estate developers in Nigeria use this option to make quick bucks while investing in real estate properties. Imagine if you used that 5 Million Naira to purchase a distressed real estate property and renovate it to a mini-hotel or guest house. If you then sell it for 10 Million Naira and pay back your 1 Million Naira overdraft with an interest of 200k Naira, that will leave you with a handsome profit of 8.8 Million Naira.
Even though an overdraft is a form of debt financing, it is quite different. While you can use an overdraft to supplement your property investment fund and still have full control over your investment, debt financing is quite different.
Debt financing for real estate may require that the lender has some form of control in the investment. Most real estate lenders will ask to hold the documents of the property pending when you repay the debt. If you don’t repay the debt as stipulated, the property will be foreclosed.
Debt financing can be obtained from either commercial banks, mortgage banks, other financial institutions, and community organizations. You will need to prove your reputation either through your transaction history, shortees, or your organization membership.
However, debt financing for real estate properties is the easiest to obtain due to the proof of collateral. If you demonstrate your knowledge and experience in these types of investments, you will likely convince most lenders to fund your real estate project.
Equity financing is a great way to fund your real estate investments. It is a very low-risk type of capital where a group of people pool their funds together towards investing in real estate properties.
The good thing about this kind of financing is that all the partners share the risk of the investment. If the investment succeeds, the share the proceeds according to the agreed formula. If the investment tanks, everyone accepts the outcome and the partnership is dismissed.
There are many ways to do equity financing. Many are institutional while others are non-institutional. If you are looking towards equity financing as an individual investor, then you may want to look at non-institutional equity financing.
Let me give a scenario of how equity financing has helped tenants become landlords in Nigeria.
There was a certain apartment somewhere in Nigeria with 12 blocks of flats. So, there were 12 tenants living in the house. One day, the landlord who has not been in talking terms with many of the tenants served a quit notice to all the tenants to vacate the property.
The tenants wouldn’t budge, and they took the case to court. After several weeks of court processions, the tenants won the case and were granted an 18-month quit notice.
The tenants quickly summoned a meeting and agreed to buy land and start building a house of 12 flats. Each flat would be owned by each family and they could do whatever they wanted with their own flat.
After the initial contributions and months of additional contributions, the tenants were able to raise 800K Naira each, making it 9.6 million Naira. They were able to finally build a single storey apartment with 12 flats and moved in directly.
This proves the potency of equity financing for real estate investment.
In the last few years, crowdfunding has really become big in Nigeria. It has been used as a very efficient way to raise capital towards many kinds of projects. Sadly, only few of these crowdfunded projects are real estate inclined.
But the truth is that crowdfunding is a great way to fund real estate investments. You get to raise higher capital and pay lower interest than many banks are willing to offer you.
Most crowdfunds pay back a fixed interest, which allows the owners of the investment to reap higher profits. Although crowdfunding is not regulated in Nigeria, it is important that you thread carefully because many crowdfund projects in Nigeria are perceived as scams.
To solve this problem, you can issue insurance to people who are participating in your crowdfunding. The insurance will give contributors rest of mind and will ensure that the project is executed in the best way possible.
I’m really interested to see someone invest in real estate in Nigeria through the power of crowdfunding. It’s a very interesting space and one I’ll love to participate in.
Government Housing Scheme
Another great way to invest in real estate properties without money is to utilize a government-backed housing scheme. There are numerous housing schemes in Nigeria sponsored by several state governments where you only have to put a down payment of between 10% and 20%.
The only downside is that many of these housing schemes are tailored to state employees and civil servants. Since the identity management in Nigeria is skewed, business owners and entrepreneurs who don’t have close ties with the government are sidelined.
Also, the application process is very competitive. It should not surprise you that applicants of these government housing schemes sometimes need to pay bribes to get access. The heavy competition for placement ensures that only those willing to go the extra mile would have access to these government-back real estates.
Cooperative financing is a hybrid of equity financing and crowdfunding. The difference however, is that you have to be a member of a cooperative society that provides capital for its members. These types of cooperatives come in different forms, such as investment clubs.
To invest in real estate through cooperative financing, you could either get capital directly from the account of the cooperative or from contributions made by members of the cooperative.
The big deal is that most cooperatives would not require you to pay an interest on the capital since you are a member. You must however pay back the loan before the stipulated expiration date.
If you are a business person, you can join any of the many business forums and entrepreneur-focused cooperative societies in Nigeria. You must also be willing to provide financial support to other members as much as you want them to support you.
There are so many ways to invest in real estate properties without money, so this list is not exhaustive. You can explore more avenues for raising capital such as your community, your network, your religious organization, etc.
The plan is for you to keep an open mind and be ready to pursue any funding opportunity you find. Investing in real estate properties should be fun when you understand that every stage of investing is a chance to educate yourself better on the rudiments of the business.
Keep your options open and keep exploring. Who knows, you may just be the next big real estate mogul in Nigeria.