Sanmi Adegoke, chief executive of Rehoboth Property International, on how he got started in property, his favourite book and music, the superpower he wishes he had and how he’d spend a million pounds.
How did you join the property industry?
When I relocated from Nigeria to embark on greener pastures in the UK, property was never the goal. I started my career working in McDonald’s, starting on the grill and working my way up to a managerial position. Not too long after, I realised McDonald’s was beyond being a fast-food company but more a real estate enterprise. This revelation fuelled my pursuit to further explore the opportunities within property and ultimately become the CEO of a real estate company.
What does your job entail?
No day is the same for me, from closing on development projects to client meetings, potential partnerships and appraising the next investment project. Nonetheless, my main focus is to drive the overall vision and strategy of the firm, which is focused on building generational wealth through real estate. A big part of this also entails being in alignment with my team on our goals for the day, week, month and so on.
What do you like most about the property industry?
I like the diversity of options within the property industry, from simple home refurbs to large-scale developments. The ability to conceive an idea and see the finished product is extremely fulfilling. It can be such a creative industry when one chooses not to follow the status quo and venture into what could look impossible.
And what do you dislike most about it?
I’ll say the lack of diversity and inclusivity in the industry. More can certainly be done in this area to ensure that the next generation of developers have a level playing field.
What would you change about the property industry?
The property industry, for the most part, still has its archaic ways of doing things, so I believe that in the near future technology will play a vital role in changing how things are done for the better, as well as incorporating sustainability. I also believe there could be more collaborations with industry colleagues to further advance the impact. For example, the larger, more seasoned developers collaborating with the not-so-seasoned developers on projects to foster growth for the up-and-coming as well as sharing expertise.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
The main barrier we faced as a business at the beginning was finding equity to fund our deals. You always hear the term ‘cash is king’; we had a lot of lucrative opportunities but not enough readily available capital to deploy to execute the deals available to us.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Definitely the successful completion of our Dartford Project, converting an old police station and court building into an ecosystem for entrepreneurs and SME business owners (private office and co-working space) called The Hill Hub, and of course the recent award from Property Week as the Entrepreneur of the Year. That was such a proud moment, taking into consideration my journey to date.
What do you value in people?
I really value integrity and honesty.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Put simply, keep at it and iterate as you grow along the journey of entrepreneurship.
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