Luxury Properties Developer in Ghana: Imperial Homes

“Overall the ultra-luxury residential property market is developing frantically as many high net worth Ghanaians and abroad are buying these pricey homes as retirement homes or as an investment as rent incomes in this sector is quite good.”

Interview with Frank Gyamfi-Yeboah, Executive Director of Imperial Homes

Frank Gyamfi-Yeboah, Executive Director of Imperial Homes

Can you provide us with your evaluation of the residential real estate segment that you act in? How is your sector performing nowadays? What are the trends today in Ghana?

We can categorise Ghana’s residential real estate sector broadly into three segments: there is the low income rudimentary housing group, the burgeoning middle income group and then the top end high net worth niche. Many developers provide housing for the first two categories but the top end high net worth sector very special and unique. Imperial Homes’ e focuses on this super luxury segment. Ghana’s growing class of high net worth individuals, especially top notch professionals and their families living abroad and in Ghana, who have distinct tastes and preferences. Many developers are providing housing that do not meet their standards, lifestyles and tastes. These clients insist on the top notch brands for fixtures, fittings equipment, flooring, doors, bathrooms, kitchens etc. We are at the forefront of consistently providing timeless, elegant, impeccably built houses, town homes and apartments lavishly fitted with almost every modern feature, tailored to suit our discerning and demanding clients.

Overall the ultra-luxury residential property market is developing frantically as many high net worth Ghanaians and abroad are buying these pricey homes as retirement homes or as an investment as rent incomes in this sector is quite good. The handful of property development companies in this exclusive sector are surprisingly quite busy.  

All our developments are real gems. But the Mankata Apartments on Mankata Avenue in Airport Residential Area is definitive. It’s been our most expensive and challenging project to date.

Tell us about the stress-free property acquisition concept. What is the procedure?

Property acquisition is a potential mine field in Ghana. Many land and home buyers in Ghana go through a tiresome, painful, litigation and rival claimant filled process to acquire land or a house. But we have a rigorous process of checks and searches with all relevant government agencies to ensure title to all lands and existing properties we are interested in developing are secure, clean and free from any encumbrances such as litigation, mortgages, charges and other liens, and that we can pass peaceful ownership on to our clients. After this is determined, our legal department ties up all the contracts and legal processes required to ensure we have undisturbed ownership. Thirdly, our experienced technical team of architects, engineers, planners etc decide on the kind of and suitability of the project in the environs we are operating in before we conclude technical drawings etc. and submit and  obtain the required and permits and approvals from the relevant city authorities and a myriad of other regulatory agencies. On receipt of the relevant permits and approvals our marketing team designs brochures and put the project up for sale on our website complete with all details regarding construction timelines, completion dates, project description, house types and finishes available. Put simply, by the time we start construction, potential buyers know what to expect! And they know they are making a hassle free acquisition. This is especially useful for buyers living abroad who don’t have to come to Ghana periodically or engage someone to spend up to a year tidying up ownership of property they’ve acquired. “Stress-free property acquisition” also invariably includes adherence to timelines, especially with regard to completion of projects and handing them over to anxious buyers, ensuring  periodic inspections by property buyers or their representatives, regular updates and reports sent to clients.

What are some of your landmark projects?

That is a tough question. All our developments are real gems. But the Mankata Apartments on Mankata Avenue in Airport Residential Area is definitive. It’s been our most expensive and challenging project to date. 16 spacious, impeccably laid out and superbly finished 3-bedroom apartments, lush gardens and a pool are its endearing features. It is supremely designed and beautifully finished inside and out. Premier Place Apartments I and II, a perfectly executed combination of a total of 50 units of 1, 2, 3 bedroom luxury apartments, duplex homes and penthouses are the first modern residential housing built on our Independence Avenue, while Bentley Grove’s 14 modern town homes finished in steel, glass and natural stone truly is a benchmark for small, private residential enclaves. Back up services such as back-up power generators, professional security, dry cleaning services ensure our residents are comfortable.

These are completed: what about projects you are working on now?

We are currently engaged on 13 residential, commercial buildings and small office building projects in the different parts of Accra. It’s a huge effort. We are working on 6 projects in Cantonments, 4 in Airport Residential Area and 2 in Abelenkpe. Many of them are 80% complete. Other projects are lined up beginning in 2018. In terms of strategy, we work with the banks and our clients. Our off-plan sales strategy ensures that have guaranteed buyers and that our projects are well financed. Furthermore, our brand, dots all the high brow neighbourhoods of Accra, endearing trust in potential buyers. This business is all about trust. If you don’t build a good reputation, no one will trust you. We have built a good reputation. People see Mankata, Premier Place, Bentley Grove, etc., feel secure in dealing with us knowing that we will not just take their deposits and drag them around.. Our strategy is about building trust. That is advice that I would give to anybody that wants to work in this sector.

This has all been recognised by GIPC because you have been listed in their Ghana Club 100 for the last two years. How did you get into that exclusive club?

Our entry into the Ghana Club 100 group of heavyweight Ghanaian companies was quite humbling since our company was barely 10 years at the time. Hopefully we’ll stay there for a long time and continue to make our contribution to Ghana’s physical development, help create jobs and contribute to the economy. But we’ve been recognised outside of Ghana too. Both the Mankata and Premier Place I won the African Property Awards ‘Highly Commended’ Award in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 respectively. For such a young company we feel immense pride that our hard work has been recognised.

Can you tell us more about your international customers?

Our international forays have been aggressive in the UK. I go to the UK almost every month. Visits to A Place in the Sun, to Standard Bank road shows, and to GUBA – the Ghana UK Based Achievements show, enable us to reach Ghanaians and other nationals who are interested in projects in Ghana. We’ve ventured into the UK market and we have adopted the same strategy there: to only build in very high-end areas. We are currently working in Elstree 5 miles outside of London and home to Elstree Studios, so there are lots of celebrities there. Maybe we’ll catch their attention! We are building a 4-bedroom properties there. It’s priced at about 3 million pounds.

What are the major projects that you are selling right now?

As I said earlier we currently have 14 projects going on simultaneously. It is exciting but quite demanding. Our clients have their preferences, so when developments approach completion, you have clients saying “I need this, can you change that, I don’t like this, I prefer this” etc. Our clients are demanding and even with 14 diverse projects it is still a challenge to meet all our clients’ preferences so we wait list them for a development project that suits their needs. To specifically answer your question regarding what we have on sale now, there’s a lot to choose from.  At the moment with Zollikon, we are 75% complete and sold. Ayarna Vistas town homes should be completed by end of January 2018. Two out of the units will be ready by the end of October. Except for two units, that remarkable development is sold out. Katmoor Gardens another monumental apartment development situated right next to Mankata Apartments is selling off plan as are Rangoon, our exclusive project of 8 magnificent family homes and an apartment building which has 8, 2-bedrooms apartments. Also Imperial Green another apartment development has units up for sale now. You should buy one!!Bentley Place at Airport Residential is all sold. We are just completing it. That is why I told you that most of our projects are sold before we finish building them.

Are you looking for technical or financial partnerships?

We are not looking for people to invest in our company. But we are thinking of new products and packages. I’ve been thinking for example of doing a packaged product where we put three or four projects together and offer different house types as a package to somebody or an investor and say that “this is an offer to you to buy 5 properties off plan. On completion we will sell them for $2 million but I’m offering them to you now for $1.5 million”. That is the kind of partnership we would be interested in.  A product that suits that kind of investor who can buy 5 properties off plan and then sell them at different stages of completion.  Some clients buy from us even before our drawing plans are ready! They get hefty discounts from us and re-sell when we are about 70% complete, while others sell at completion. They make very good profits. There are all kinds of investors, it depends on where we are and the trust they have in us. Those who buy off plan have a lot of trust in us. They know that we will deliver and that they will get value for their money. At the end of the day, our aim is to create value. When you create value for people, they always come back to you.

If everything goes according to plan, what is your vision for Imperial Homes in two or three years’ time?

I always say that the future is very bright for us. If you look at what we have done up to now and what we are doing now, I’ll look beyond the three years you are asking about to the next five years and safely predict that that will be a very positive phase for us. We’ve taken stock of what we’ve done in the past ten years since our formation and are ready to spring to the next level. So, we have planned the phase of things we want to do. It’s going to be amazing and landscape defining but for now I have to keep it to myself! We often say that if all of the nice neighbourhoods are full of Imperial Homes’ we’ll have no work to do! We are very positive. We put our heart into everything we do. You can see the passion in our staff and you can see the results. In 3 years, 5 years and beyond that I know we’ll keep rising.

Of course couldn’t have got here without the tireless input of our very dedicated staff and subcontractors. As you are well aware, we are a fully Ghanaian owned, managed and staffed company, 100% Ghanaian. That is truly our great hallmark. We must work harder in the coming years and consistently deliver better products so we don’t have to emphasise who we are or what we have or stand for because our products will speak and sell themselves. A person who has bought from us, a person with an Imperial Homes apartment will know that we are very good and will come back or recommend others. We want to get to that level. I know that we will.


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