Ghana Real Estate: Locus Estate, the Accra-Based Real Estate and Lifestyle Developer by Yaw Afrifa

Yaw Afrifa discusses latest news and presents Locus Estate, a real estate and lifestyle developer based in Accra, Ghana, known for renowned projects including: White Oak Apartments, Locus Square, The Hague, Locus Place, etc. He also gives an overview of Locus Estate’s other activities: architecture and interior design services, property management, advisory and consultancy, and property development.

Interview with Yaw Afrifa, CEO of Locus Estate

Yaw Afrifa, CEO of Locus Estate

How did Locus Estate start?

Locus Estate started with our first development: White Oak Apartments. It comprises of six units: two one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments with a rooftop lounge. This development is on a quarter acre plot in East Legon in Accra and was completed in 2017. We started this project more than five years ago, but we used the completion date to kick start our real estate venture.

What is your scope of business?

The first one is real estate. Then there is architecture and interior design services, property development, advisory and consultancy, and property management. Real estate is where we provide luxury homes for clients that truly understand value for money. Regarding architecture and interior design services, sometimes people come and view our finished products and our properties, and they love the work that we have done but they cannot afford it or they already have their land, but they want to have a piece of our property. Some are also contractors already. They like our architectural services, our floor plans, how functional it is and how we maximize the space. Some also come and say they love our interior decoration, the fitting, the finishing and our attention to detail. For the property development, if you have a land and you want us to build for you, we first identify your need for that house. Then we start it from true designing, to construction and then finalizing it. We have the advisory and consultancy. Some people come here with money, especially from the diaspora, and they want to invest, but they do not know how to go about it. So we offer advice. Some people want to build, they admire the work we do, but due to one or two reasons cannot afford us. Or they need some guidance or advice because one may want to build a mansion when truly he does not need it. So we give people advice in consultancy on their houses and at the same time how their houses will serve as investment when they will not need them anymore. We see real estate as functional spaces and we make sure that whatever you invest in is returned on investment. With property management, if you buy a property from us and you want us to manage it or rent it out for you, we do just that. We manage it, service it, and then remit you your rent wherever you are.

Summing up: with real estate we put up luxury homes, maximize the space and give you the best value for your money. Then with the architecture and interior design services, we have the best design team who put your dreams into reality. For the property management, we have a well trained and experienced team to manage the property after completion and help you make the right returns on your investment. For the advisory and consultancy, we guide people in making the best decision when it comes to real estate as an investment. And the property development is where we help people build their dream homes and make it a reality for them.

Do you also have any commercial properties?

We have Locus Square in East Airport. We also have Meraki, our sister company, which does all our interior services. They import all the finishing products, tiles, windows, etc., and they do the interior, the decoration and the architecture services. We also have an event center, as well as a lounge coming up.

What is your competitive advantage?

The first one is how we utilize space. For instance, before we had the land we are currently doing the development on, it already had two houses on it, but we are now putting seven homes on it. Right from the design stage, there is value for money where you see the maximization of space. Number two is the attention to details and design. Every year, we send our design team on a retreat. This year, they went to Cape Town for design inspiration and to keep up to date with the current trend. Our design team is always well advanced and informed, and everything we do is of a high standard. 50% of our clients are foreigners and there is that consistency to keep up with the service we give them. We always make sure that whatever project we bring up is better than what we had before and we advance on it every time. The last one is value for money. We had clients who came and wanted one of our properties but felt like it was expensive, and went to buy elsewhere. After a year, they came back and regretted not buying from us because what they bought was not what they expected.

Is Locus Estate owned by you or are there stakeholders?

At the moment, it is owned by me 100%. But as we expand, we look forward to attracting investors and also other joint ventures with other people who are willing to come and work together with us.

What projects have you completed so far?

White Oak Apartments was the first one. The second one was The Hague, which was a property development we did for a client in Airport Hills. The third one was Locus Place, which is another apartment building around Trasacco in East Legon. The fourth one we bought was Locus Vista, which is in East Airport next to Chain Homes. Then we bought Locus Drive, which is in East Legon Hills. We also have Locus Avenue and phase one is scheduled for completion by end of this year. We have Locus Square, which is scheduled to be in full operation by Easter. We have East Villa, a work in progress in East Legon Hills, and Locus Drive, which is also work in progress in East Legon. These two projects are at finishing stages. Two years ago we completed Locus Place in Kumasi, and we also have some service lands in Kumasi for sale. We are launching a new project this week called Tekas, which is a four-bedroom residential house in Western Circle. We also have more residents in Spintex junction under construction and they are also in the finishing stage. We have some resource works, as well as a lot of projects in progress which we will be launching next year.

Do you have other types of properties?

We have a restaurant in the Eastern region which will be launching on the market very soon, as well as riverfront properties coming up in Akosombo.

How are you juggling everything to make sure that the standards remain the same?

For the past five years, we have worked with different artisans and we have been able to screen them, and currently we are only working with the best. So anybody you see in any of our project site knows what they are doing and they are very competent to deliver the standard and the level of luxury we have always delivered.

What is your vision for the company in the next five years?

The vision is for Locus Estate to be a household name in Ghana. We want people to understand what we stand for, because here in Ghana, only a few provide true luxury estate. The sector is on check and everybody is doing whatever they want. It only takes time to expose or to affirm what you have done whether it is good or bad. In the next five years, all these projects we are doing will become landmarks and a point to look up to.

What motivates you to do what you do?

What motivates me is to see the project rise from foundation to completion and to furnishing, because when the house is not 100% complete, people cannot see the vision or what the purpose of the design and concept is all about.


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