Ghana Real Estate: Discussing Upcoming Projects with Erdinc Asar of Acacia Build and WOW Property

Erdinc Asar of Acacia Build and WOW Property discusses upcoming projects in Ghana. Know for offering unique lifestyle concepts, such as Pearl in the City and Diamond in the City apartments, Acacia Build Ltd has been awarded prestigious awards, including best property in Ghana, best mixed-use residential property in Ghana and best multiple residential project in Africa.

Interview with Erdinc Asar, Managing Director of Acacia Build Ltd

Erdinc Asar, Managing Director of Acacia Build Ltd

Can you outline the steps you took when setting up your business in Ghana?

When we first came to Ghana, we did some feasibility studies. We looked especially at Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and other places. We understood that this country needs lifestyle concepts and that does not mean just selling four walls to people. We want to sell people a lifestyle, even if they need to stay for only one month. They can stay and enjoy and be happy in the compound, the wife, husband and kids all together. So, what we wanted to create was a family and kids’ friendly concept. Ghana needs this kind of concept maybe more than it needs a thousand apartments and with it you have to serve good quality apartments with good air conditioning, good ventilation, sports activities, good facilities, supermarkets, restaurants, cafeterias and pharmacies, laundromats, dry cleaners, hairdressers, spas, tennis and basketball courts. These are all important. Also, nice swimming pools for the adults and smaller pools for the kids. This is what we understood that this country needed so we designed our projects around these ideas.

You have won many awards. What was the feedback after you finished your first project?

We built 150 apartments here and while we were building them, we listened to the buyers. We spoke with suppliers and construction companies, and we got an idea of what the city and the country needed. So, when we started building, we knew we were on the right path. We entered the International Property Awards and won awards for the best property in Ghana and best mixed-use residential property in Ghana. We won awards in Ghana and Dubai. Our journey started in 2014 and our company is a multi-awarded company.

What happened after you sold the first apartment project?

When we decided on the lifestyle concept, we needed to find a name for it, and we came up with ‘Pearl in the City’ apartments. At the time, I was not thinking about getting involved in property management, but when we spoke with potential buyers, they told us one of the biggest problems in this country is facility management and property management. So, we decided to also do property management and to technically support facility management. We trust our projects and our designs. We buy high quality materials, most of them from Italy, Spain, Turkey and Dubai. We put our office in the same compound so if people need help, they can come directly to us, our door is open. We have been here since 2016 and are very happy with our tenants and apartment owners, and if they have problems, we can sort them out immediately.

Can you expand on your company’s family concept?

Many people come to Africa from the European Union, the United Nations and even as far as 10,000 kilometers away and we understand that they need to feel like they are in their own homes, and they have to feel secure. And when they are living in the compound, they need to be able to enjoy things. Not just the important things like apartment sizes, or color of the walls, or what kind of glass is used, but they have to enjoy the compound with the good environment and nice landscaping. Kids have to play and run into the compound safely and mothers have to be comfortable with their kids enjoying going to the playground and swimming pool safely. So, people who come from outside and stay here for one year, two years or five years, they stay for a long time and think okay, this is what we want. We provide necessary shops like restaurants and cafes because they have to meet their friends in the compound. We also provide delivery services because they cannot always cook, and they also need a pharmacy and supermarket. That is why we designed it so that these types of necessity shops are here. When we were building, some electronic companies came, as well as some boutiques like outfits and sports stores, and we said we cannot sell the shop to you because the tenants mostly need necessity stores.

Tell us about your second project

I love it that buyers and potential buyers are happy with our business because if they were not, we could not exist. They give us good feedback and have said when we build new projects they will recommend us and that is like a gold recommendation for us. For example, they wanted a bigger swimming pool and the ladies wanted aqua sport for our second project the ‘Diamond in the City.’ So, when we were designing it, we decided we will build a bigger adult swimming pool but half of it will not be too deep so the ladies can do their aqua sport in the pool and in the other half people can swim long distance. The second thing we have seen is that kids need a bigger playing space and swimming pool, so we designed a bigger pool. In Ghana, we have seen that there are no aquaslides for the kids and we said we have to do it, so we added not one, not two but three aquaslides and a much bigger playground. What we have added to Diamond in the City, different to Pearl in the City, is a glass floor swimming pool. Technically it is difficult and very costly, but this is the first bigger size glass floor swimming pool in Ghana now being built. Plus, we wanted to put an open-air cinema on the rooftop and people love it. We bought some old vintage cars to put on the roof so people can sit in them and drink something, eat something and watch movies. Next to it we have a tennis court and basketball court and next to them we have an indoor and outdoor gym. People will not want to go to their apartments at 6pm because they will be able to enjoy these things on the rooftop until 11pm.

What is your recipe for success?

When we were building the Pearl in the City’s 150 apartments, we were not rushing to sell. We wanted to show people what we were building and who we were and in a short time they understood our concept. When we started on the interior decorations and we brought in the tiles and sanitary wares, people started to understand the quality, and at that time, we started to sell very fast. After selling the Pearl in the City in 2016, people pushed us to build a new one and many clients said they were ready to buy from the second project. I told them I would build better than the Pearl in the City and we can continue together. We continued to give good service in property management and helped them to rent apartments both long-term and short lets and we helped them with facility management. It is very easy to manage the property. We do not have too many headaches because the materials are very good quality. Even before we started building the Diamond in the City, when we showed the project to our clients and buyers, we became friends and most of them bought from the excavation stage.

What is the next step in your plans?

Diamond is the project now and it is continuing. We have sold 95% of it and some owners are moving into their apartments. We are also furnishing the apartments. We know what the tenants need, and we have a professional design team. It does not mean that we are making luxurious and expensive interiors. People want cozy places where they feel at home, and we have read that perfectly and are focusing on doing what tenants need.

The Diamond in the City project has also won an award, what was it?

In February this year we were in London and were awarded best multiple residential project in Africa and I am very proud of that.

You are also involved in another business, what is it?

WOW Property Ltd is the sister company to Acacia Build Ltd and unlike a lot of other companies in Ghana that do not have offices, our address is actually here. We manufacture here. We have joinery and carpentry works making kitchen cabinets, doors and other woodwork in a factory. We also have machines to handle aluminum, marble and granite. Another thing that sets us apart is that most property management companies only have real estate personnel, but WOW Property Ltd has factories for interior design, technical people to help management, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, electricians, carpenters and quantity surveyors, landscaping surveyors, designers and interior decorators. If you think about property management, it is not like a real estate company that only buys and sells. From A to Z we are here to assist people. When people deal with us, we can provide servicing. When we finish the furniture, if they need additional items, or if someone two years later wants to change something, we are here. In Ghana, this is a very important thing because it is the difference between Europe and America. Most of the buyers live in Europe or the US. In California, Florida, New York and London. They have so many difficulties with managing apartments, so WOW Property is helping them to easily manage apartments. It is a very trustworthy company, but behind it, the most important thing is that we work with discipline, perseverance, hard work, and everything is transparent.


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