1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Having realized that the real estate and real estate marketing industry also plays a crucial role towards the country’s Economic growth, this researcher found it necessary to take a keener look into this neglected, almost invisible, but very significant sector in the community of Bori, Rivers State.
The topic of this area of study, `Challenges and prospects of the Real Marketing in Bori, Rivers State, Nigeria has not been seriously explored at national level in general, and at local (provincial level) in particular. As a matter of fact this specific area of study, that is both marketing and policy formulation in nature, is altogether a relatively new territory for the rest of the country. There are a few disjointed articles and journals though such as “Land market in Urban zones, Maputo”(Baia, 2002:4); Municipal Council of Maputo (CMCM, 1999:5); “Regularizing ‘informality’-Land reform and emerging urban land markets in post-socialist Bori, Rivers State”(Jenkins, 2001:8), and “Dynamic implications of Land Market in Bori, Rivers State” (Malauene, 2004:8). All these journals seek to deal with the issue of urban land distribution and the need for land reform, redistribution of all nationalized urban accommodation properties. The available literature has not done much to address the challenges in the real estate and properties marketing sector in any of the Nigerian cities.
The research in the area of real estate marketing is long awaited for step towards understanding the complexities in this sector. Whenever anyone wants to buy or rent a house, to buy or rent an office, it is inevitable in the city of Bori, Rivers State to come across these highly popular informal real estate and real estate marketing intermediates. In all honesty, it is rational that this kind of research takes off in an effort to bring deeper and clearer insights in the real estate and real estate marketing activities, related challenges and possible solutions to the phenomena.
1.2 THE STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Rivers State society in general is well known locally for a deep rooted culture of using the unregistered informal real estate and real estate marketing agents for all their real estate and business real estate needs. This study focuses on the community of Bori in particular; endeavoring to establish the underlying challenges affecting the real estate and real estate marketing sector in Bori land. Investigation is also done on the possible and feasible related long term solutions to the challenges in this particular sector.
There have been frequent reports of robberies and serious fights among real estate owners, prospective buyers, and the individual real estate agencies, commissionistas. This research explores the challenges facing the real estate and properties marketing sector, in the city of Bori land which can be said to be one of the biggest community in Rivers state. In the recent past two years, there has been a growing interest on this subject particularly at provincial level through the provincial radio stations. What puzzles this researcher is that a greater percentage of real estate rentals and sales are handled by these individual illegal agencies. Interestingly, these informal real estate agencies now seem to be well networked, and this form of business is increasingly becoming accepted in the society. The public continues to utilize the agencies whenever there is need for their services. This study seeks to get to the core of these issues and bring them to the public for the necessary strategic decision making to be taken from an informed basis. Thus, the problem statement for this study is stated, ´ “The real estate and real estate marketing systems for Bori land are facing major marketing challenges because of lack of inefficient marketing strategies”.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to establish the real underlying challenges affecting the real estate and real estate marketing services in the city of Bori land, Rivers state. This study seeks to achieve the following specific three objectives:
- To examine the problems of real estate properties marketing in Bori community of Rivers state.
- To analyze the prospects of real estate properties marketing in Bori community of Rivers State
- To identify the solution to the problems of real estate properties marketing in Bori community of Rivers State
- To identify the different activities being done by the commissionistas, that is the informal real estate and real estate marketing agencies in Bori land;
- To identify the challenges being faced by real estate owners, real estate seekers and commisionistas during the course of their business activities in the city of Bori land;
- To determine the causes of proliferation of the commissionistas in Bori land.
- To examine the possible prospects of real estate marketing in Bori land
This study shall serve to be reference document for the decision making of both the policy makers, and the real estate industry principals and agents better marketing practices. The study shall add new and well documented knowledge to the public about the diverse challenges being faced by the real estate owners, policy makers, real estate seekers and real estate agents in Bori land. New knowledge will also be added to the public on the possible lasting solutions to the haphazardly managed real estate and real estate marketing sector in Rivers state, and in Bori land in particular.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the problems of real estate marketing in Bori land of Rivers State?
- What are the prospects of real estate marketing in Bori land of Rivers State?
- What is the solution to the problems of real estate marketing in Bori land of Rivers State?
- What are the activities of commissionistas in the real estate and real estate marketing sector in Bori land?
- What are the causes of proliferation of the commissionistas in Bori land?
- What are the possible prospects of real estate marketing in Bori Land?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypothesis derives logically from the problem posed in the research questions.
Hi: There is an effective real estate marketing in Bori land of Rivers state
Ho: There is no effective real estate marketing in Bori land of Rivers state
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is crucial to all the inhabitants of Rivers state and the populace of Bori land in particular, and even all states in Nigeria. Through the study, all the real estate owners, real estate seekers, government authorities (policy makers) and all the existing legal real estate and real estate marketing institutions shall have a well documented and better understanding of the challenges facing the real estate and properties marketing sector. Not only that, but also the factors that are contributing towards the proliferation of the activities of the commissionistas, the informal real estate agencies. The findings in this study could also help the stakeholders in the real estate and real estate industry to make sound decisions towards sustainable development in this crucial sector. The study shall be very useful to the research community in the real estate and real estate marketing industries of different countries.
The study will help to design real estate marketing courses and marketing courses in the Country. The study shall not serve only Nigeria, but also other developing countries and economies around the world whose real estate industries are still under developed.
A detailed study of this nature is really imperative for sustainable development in this one of the Rivers state economy’s crucial sectors. This researcher believes that this piece of research work will strongly contribute and publicly persuade the government and interested stake holders in realizing the level of importance of this real estate and real estate marketing sector.
The study seeks to provide the present and future basis for marketing and policy formulation in this sector. The peace of work will also help the public to see this sector as critical among other service sectors such as Banking and Tourism. In fact the real estate marketing and real estate activities are a way of investment that is not being managed properly to reduce poverty in this one of the top ten of the world’s poorest nations (USAID:2012). A better marketing of this sector will surely help in improving the public life in the state, Bori land to be precise. More people will be formally employed; more revenue will be generated by the government out of these investments. These revenues will be eventually used by the local governments to improve public life, thus greatly contributing towards poverty reduction and improvement of the generally poor Rivers state people’s lifestyles.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is restricted to the Bori community of Rivers state. Limitations beyond this researcher´s control were exaggerated views and responses from some participants just in an effort to impress and due to inherent fear of victimization particularly in the areas where some real estate marketing activities were being done illegally, particularly by some of commissionistas. However, assurance of no evil intentions in the research was repeatedly expressed to the participants.
Although the researcher strongly believes the similarity of real estate marketing activities in the community, a particular limitation exists to this study in terms of location of the case study; that is the fact that the sample was taken from only one particular community of Bori.
Other limitations are:
- Network interconnectivity to enhance elaborate research
- High level of illiteracy
- Organization operational huddles.
- Time and cost constraints due to cause of scarcity in gasoline to go about the research.