Entrepreneurship is an interesting journey, filled with challenges, bitter-sweet moments, and great times for everyone.
Meet The CEO; Lagos Finest Realty Solutions Ltd, Miss Precious Mceshiet, a young determined, dedicated female entrepreneur whose focus has always been channeled to making waves by satisfying clients in all spheres of her business.
Her drive to gain meaning in the entrepreneurial world has made her juggle various businesses. She is quite industrious and enjoys the versatility of different business ventures such as Real Estate, Ushering, and an errand store. Topping it all, she is pursuing a career in the IT world.
In her interview with GABI MAGAZINE, Miss Precious shares her experience in the beginning years and finding her feet in the business world.
Focusing on your real estate start–up, has this been your childhood dream or you came by it when you came of age?
I wanted to be a doctor for the larger part of my life, growing up as a child. I always wanted to read medicine. Real estate came up along the way.
For me, my mum used to invest a lot in developing areas. Out of fear of being kidnapped, because most of those developing areas were filled with bushes and all of that, she always wanted me to go with her like she wanted someone else to give her some form of peace as it were and I was that brave as a child. So I was always following my mom on property.
I developed a love for seeing bare ground become a financial success. It was more of me seeing something start from scratch, going through the building process and all; from foundation to roof level, and solving the problem of housing as it were as a shelter for people.
It was not something that was a plan for me especially because I read Computer Science. I was already working in an Info-Tech company dealing with access controls and surveillance systems. In fact, there was a time where we had a major job with a real estate firm and I was the supervisor for the engineers working on the access control on this project. Every time I went there to supervise and see the engineers, I paid attention to the staff of the real estate. I love everything about real estate basically.
Considering the influx into the reality space; how was it like for you to climb up the ladder?
I got into real estate with the mindset of, ‘I’m not going to bargain to quit’. So, it is either I win or I win. I am nocturnal, I don’t sleep most times. I am always researching and studying the market. I do a lot of market evaluation, solving, focusing on people’s problems, and then thinking of how I can proffer solutions to the real estate space.
So I do not just sell properties, I solve people’s problems. When you see me and my clients, your first reaction will be, ‘oh my god, have you known them for a long time?’ It is more of a consultation for me and then the deal is closed. Because, at the end of the day, I am not just posting property because it is beautiful or good; I am actually meeting everybody’s needs. Like I always say, I have properties for every income-earning Nigerian. I mean every income-earning person; let me not say Nigerian because I sell for outsiders as well.
It is basically about me knowing my market and a lot of research. That is how I have been able to scale up and I know that I have my expectations and I meet them in every phase of my life because it never really ends. I know that yes, this is what I bargained for. So it does not come as a surprise. Every time I get something big, or myself doing so well, I tell myself, ‘there can be more. I appreciate where I am right now but I know that there can be more. So going up the ladder for me is amazing. It is good and even on days when it is bad, I know I have plan B in this space so it is always a win-win for me because I come back stronger.
From your “25 random facts about me” you put up on your IG handle some time ago, you are on a 9-5 yet with three other businesses. How is this possible? How do you ensure all businesses are up and running?
This is the breakdown. I do a 9-5, like a proper job Mondays to Fridays. I also own a realty firm where I am also the lead consultant but the way it is, I have a team and in my team, I have people that have been trained. My team can function without me. And yes, I am in the picture because I do virtual calls, I handle physical meetings once in a while.
I do training. My other business is an ushering agency. Here, I do not need to be there. I run a female Ushering Agency and I have about fifty girls. I have built a network of people: basically, I’ve told people, ‘I do this and I do that so once a wedding or a birthday event comes up, most of my friends call me up, ‘okay so I need twenty girls, I need ten girls’ ushering, naming ceremony or as the case may be. All I basically do is talk to my girls on our platform and send them there, let them know what they are wearing, either send a dispatch system to give it to them or send one of them to pick it up or whatever and then they go.
They know their jobs, they know what to do. I orientate and pay them. At times I breeze in and out. I just drive down or stroll down, depending on how far it is or if I must go, just see what they are doing, say one or two things, and leave.
Then the online store is really easy. I have a supplier in a local market in Lagos, and he supplies me with shoes. I get the shoes and post pictures online. People order and I send it to them. I will not say it is easy because there is a lot of work and discipline involved. But I thank God for the fellowship I attended while I was on campus. So I attended CLF, OAU, and I had meetings at six-thirty am in the morning.
I mean people will say, ‘it is a church, there is no payment or salary, why are you doing this?’ It was a learning ground for me and I am happy I committed to it. I am sure they had no idea what they were doing for me. It disciplined me and taught me a lot. You do not find me sleeping unnecessarily. I always say this, you cannot sleep eight hours. I try to get enough rest, do some checkups, have fun and relax but I do not believe in sleeping eight hours in 2021: there is a need for research and a need to be awake.
You cannot sleep eight hours and expect the same result as a person who sleeps four hours and is intentional about it. This is my take. I stand corrected though.
With your age, how do you cope with other big guns in the industry? Has age been a challenge?
Age has not been a barrier. Real estate is a field where your importance is based on how much you can deliver. So nobody has it all. I don’t think anybody knows my age; maybe my siblings. I tell them the age bracket but they do not know the exact age. In regards to age, I have only had issues once. One time a client thought I was too young and he was wondering if he could trust me enough to pledge his money.
And one funny thing in this field is that experience is not necessarily about age but more about performance and what you know. So in plain words, I have not had any age barrier or anything like that.
What investment lessons can you give our audience who are interested in real estate?
People tend to say, ‘okay I want to invest in property. I know that it is key to invest in property; I mean it is something that will appreciate. Your return will be huge in the future whether short-term or long-term. But you see someone who earns a hundred and fifty thousand in a month saying I want to buy a property but I do not want to go to Lekki-Epe axis; I do not want to go to the refinery area, I do not like IbejuLekki.
I want somewhere in Lekki or Ajah’ and I am like no. These places, a smart investor bought this place you are really dreaming of years ago; this is why you like it enough to want to buy from it now. Buy what you can afford and it will grow over time. The mistake people make is that they have eyes for big properties, and forget that there were smart investors who keyed into these properties which is why they are prime today and sell for much more than they were bought.
I mean someone bought the said property for five million and it is selling for sixty million in seven, eight, ten years. And you think that you cannot start from a budget that fits you? This is the basic lesson I always give people. Investment lesson 101 is; buy a property that suits your budget, ensure you are buying something that has a huge return on investment and you will be fine.
What are the measures you take to ensure continuous relevance in your businesses?
To ensure continuous relevance in my businesses, I do lots and lots of research. I am always particular about research because I think that the day we stop learning is the day we start dying. I believe so much in this. There are a lot of people doing the same stuff that we do and to stay relevant means you do yours differently; so, it is not about the fact that we both sell make-up, it is about how are you selling your own make-up?
I try to do my things differently, I try to do it the right way and I proffer solutions in a distinct way that makes a mark. Research is key: doing the same things people do in a different way, owning it, and letting it be part of you. So, this is how I stay relevant. I am a Lagos financial realtor, people know my identity, they know how I look and I am sure people know how I talk. It is just my own way. I do not try to be anybody. I am doing my own thing and I am staying relevant in my own real estate space.
Change, they say is the only constant thing and we deal with it in every facet of life. How do you approach business changes?
Yes, change is really constant and it is one thing you should tell yourself when going into business. So, real estate is a thing that if the world changes by 5 over 10, real estate changes by 10 over 10.
Real estate really responds to changes. If the price of fuel increases, real estate will change. If the government decides to do a particular coastal road, real estate will change. So the market keeps changing which is why you must study the market. Study the market, do a market evaluation; you must be able to do research, know that for every phase in real estate, you need to switch and know the next thing.
What is the next thing and what is going on? You should be alert at every point in time. You need to know that for example, this month, say December; a lot of people will buy properties. In January they might not be available to your target audience will change. Be alert: this is how to approach the changes that occur in real estate.
What impact do you think Leadership and Teamwork have in transforming a start-up?
For me, it is leadership, service, and teamwork. The way I operate is, if I am trying to grow something, I look at the team I will need. Instead of trying to grow the business alone, I try to grow people.
I look at people on my team and I carry them along. I let them see the vision; understand the mission. I let them know how the vision will in turn be beneficial and self-developing for them individually and the business. We are all ‘visioneers’ carrying the vision and doing it like it is our own; everyone has a high sense of ownership and succeeds in our space.
How would you advise young entrepreneurs with huge ideas but who are confused on how to start?
Just start. The problem is people try to find the right way to start- the way to start and not have issues. Yes, do not take stupid risks, take calculated risks but then again, you need to start. In starting, you make mistakes but these mistakes will help you and set you up for the future. You have a huge idea; you know that it is workable and feasible. Start with a mindset that you are not bargaining to quit such that I am starting to do it the right way or the right way.
Being the founder of successful business ventures, what lessons, challenges and possible way-out would you share with business owners that are just starting?
This is basically getting people to trust your brand. So you are just starting up and there are lots of companies that sell drinks and you come up with XYZ drink and people are like let us just watch. There is this analysis I do: you post a picture and you get 4 likes but you post a video with that same content and you see 50 views but 2 likes.
It is simple. What it taught me is people are watching but they will not commit till they see that you are consistent and can be trusted. So you will need to stay in their faces and be consistently doing it the right way. So there is a lot of challenges with start-ups trying to gain acceptance in the market. It is a lot of branding and consistency that will help you in this journey.