Spotlight on Her: Freke Emmanuel

Freke Emmanuel is a Nigerian Based Realtor that founded the real estate company loft and height whose main goal is to provide exceptional services that include leasing, selling, and management of properties.

Born and raised in Lagos Nigeria, Freke’s passion for real estate is fueled by her desire to guide buyers to obtain the best value for their dream home and assist sellers to a smooth stress-free sale.

In addition to her professional skill in communication and sales and over 3 years of experience in the Real Estate market, one of Freke’s assets is her knowledge of the market, you can definitely say that she has her fingers on the pulse of the local real estate market. When you think of a luxury agent, think Freke.

When Freke isn’t helping buyers and sellers achieve their dreams, she partners with NGOs to fight poverty by investing in the younger generation.

Tell us about yourself and the backstory that brought you into the Real Estate Industry?

My name is Freke Emmanuel, founder of Loft and Height Realty based in Lagos Nigeria. Our sole purpose is to provide excellent and exceptional Real Estate services to our clients which include leasing, sales, investment, and property management. I kicked off my real estate career in 2018 shortly after my youth service. I have always had a flair for communications and real estate has given an expression to my skills. 

What in your opinion, do you think makes your company stand out?

I would say personal touch. At loft and heights, we’re not just about selling properties to our client but we stick around for the whole process till and after it becomes a home to our client. We’re all about building a healthy client relationship, going the extra mile for our clients, creating value and empowering our clients financially. This explains why most of our sales transactions are mostly from referrals. Our main goal is to provide optimum and excellent services to our clients.

Can you share the most interesting or amusing story that has occurred to you in your career journey thus far? What are some of the key lessons/takeaways?

This story actually kickstarted my career. I was first mentored by Mr Akin Opatola while I worked with a Development Company and during that period he invited me to help usher at a real estate event organized by FIABCI, which I did. I however positioned myself in such a way that I was able to network and connect with the guests. From my outfit to where I decided to stay during the program, It was all strategic and that got me two Real Estate employment offers from two of the biggest firms in Lagos and that really helped kickstart my real estate career.

Are you working on any new projects? (If yes) How do you think that would help people?

Well right now, we have clients who are investing in shortlet apartments and we’re working on putting the properties on the market as well as coming up with efficient marketing strategies to ensure a high ROI for our clients.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person or group of people who have helped in getting you to where you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Yes, I have had and met great people, colleagues that have become family as well as amazing mentors who have helped and are still helping me in my career. My first real estate mentor was Mr. Akin Opatola who first showed me the ropes of real estate. I’ll always be grateful to Delani Adewuyi who trained me in the field, helped me improve my knowledge on the market as well as pushed me to achieve the strength and tenacity to make it in the real estate industry. I certainly can’t leave out Mr. Akintola who has always been a great pillar of wisdom. I’m also grateful to colleagues who turned family and are still supporting and cheering me on. Thank you, Bisi, Daniel, Olabode, Adeyemi, my family, and friends for all the prayers and Love. Most importantly, I thank God for his grace, strength, and love that sees me through. 

The real estate industry, like a couple of other industries, is women-dominated. Yet, less than 20% of senior positions in Real Estate companies are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what do you think is the cause of this imbalance?

I’d like to first appreciate every female Real Estate agent out there, working hard and doing their best, Well done! Yes, there is an imbalance and we will not stop pushing and working harder till we get an equilibrium. In the Real Estate industry currently, it isn’t out of place to say that men are more trusted with the major million-dollar investments while women are mostly trusted with client relationship management and Branding/marketing which are also great jobs too, but we shouldn’t just be limited to these roles because we have smart, intelligent, knowledgeable, brave, powerful and hardworking women in the industry capable of sealing multi-million dollar deals.

What are the biggest challenges faced by women executives in this field?

I would go out on a limb speaking from experience and for a lot of women in the Real Estate industry to say that “women are more prone to sexual harassment and advances”. This is not right and therefore should not be underemphasized. 

If you had the ability to implement three ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

I would suggest that a registered body for agents should be created. This would help mitigate the issues of being scammed by agents or even the misrepresentation of properties as well.

Secondly, there is a need for public/private partnerships for affordable housing. Having the government and the developers partner more to provide more affordable houses for the people would help increase the affordability of homes in the country.

Lastly, in the past 10 years, we have noticed a significant change in the quality of homes being built and this growth is good. However, I believe that there is always a need for more improvements in terms of “quality control” in new developments, keeping in mind the climate, drainage system, and some other factors that could help improve the building quality of properties in the market. 

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would go with Improving mental health. We live in a city and country that tends to have a lot always going on and the majority of its citizens are stressed mentally, physically, and emotionally. I would create a movement for improving mental health by creating a structure that’ll help people cope with stress and issues from providing more information to providing free therapy sessions. 

If you could give your younger self a piece of valuable advice, what would it be?

If I could talk to my younger self, I would say “Freke, worry less about things you cannot control and focus more on things you can control”. I’ll also put myself out there more, working on personal building and branding.

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