Bamidele Onalaja
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Bamidele Onalaja: The Making of a Real Estate Mogul

Can any discussion about the Nigerian real estate sector be complete without the mention of RevolutionPlus Group? Hardly! Besides having an international office, and several projects across the country, RevolutionPlus has product offerings that make it relatable to the everyday Nigerian. And the man behind the vision is Bamidele Onalaja, a foremost real estate entrepreneur. 

Career

Onalaja’s career started in real estate in 2004 when he joined Agbara Estates Limited as the Marketing Manager to pioneer the sale of the “Vivas Home Project”. The project was a huge success. He later joined the Refuge Home Savings and Loan Limited (Mortgage Bankers) as the Head of Projects and Business Development. He was the department’s pioneer head and led the purchase of several profitable real estate investments and landed properties, including the “Beaufort Royale Estate”. He launched the Facility Management Department in the bank before leaving for Cornerstone Mortgage Bank.

At Cornerstone Mortgage Bank, Onalaja again had room to show his capabilities as the Head of Mortgage Operations. He moved on to Safe Trust Mortgage Bank (Formerly Sterling Homes) as the Ikeja Branch Manager.

All of these experiences positioned Bamidele Onalaja to take advantage of the opportunities in the sector. In 2014, he resigned from Safe Trust Mortgage Bank.

Building RevolutionPlus 

When Bamidele Onalaja left Safe Trust Mortgage Bank in 2014, he had a big dream of what he wanted to do in the real estate sector. His sole focus was providing affordable housing for the masses using a multi-channel approach. He registered the firm even when he had yet to get the capital. Unfortunately, it took work to convince others to see his vision. The banks he reached out to turned down his proposal. Even friends could not seem to get what he wanted to make out of it. He eventually got a relative who believed in his vision, which became the much-needed break to launch RevolutionPlus. 

Moving into an industry where many clients had unsavoury experiences with dishonest dealers was challenging. But then, it also presented itself as an opportunity because once Onalaja proved his integrity and delivered his promise to the client, it became a smooth sail. 

RevolutionPlus would typically acquire suitable parcels of land for development into residential estates and put general infrastructures such as roads, drainages, fences, water and electricity in place. This immediately improves the allure of the location, and boosts the value of the property. The plots of land are then allocated to those who have completed payments for them for development. As Onalaja stresses, he is not a land seller but a developer that will stand with the client through the construction works.

When the company clocked three years in operation in 2017, it had hit a billion naira in turnover. Clearly, providing affordable housing for the masses turned out a lot more profitable than many would have thought. Over the years, the company has tweaked and modified its offerings to cater to a broader market. Clients can get packages that allow them to pay for plots of land in instalments for as low as 25 thousand naira monthly. The properties have a price range that cuts across the various income levels in society. With such a package from RevolutionPlus, is there really anyone who cannot become a landowner?

Revolution Plus has grown extensively from just six products at takeoff with several projects now spread across the country. Onalaja is still dreaming big; rolling out new projects and creating the necessary infrastructures that give people descent residential and business environments. RevolutionPlus is one of the biggest players in Ibeju-Lekki, referred to as the ‘new Lagos’ – in reference to government’s development plan and massive investments in that axis. The company also has projects in Ogun State, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Ibadan.

Onalaja attributes many of his successes to the team of hardworking men and women who have stood by his side, particularly the marketing force that has gone all out to sell the company’s products to consumers. With an effective team of staff delivering on its promise and a satisfied customer base, it can only keep improving for RevolutionPlus. Importantly, the business can now run smoothly with or without his direct supervision. 

RevolutionPlus has also played a sponsorship role for some widely viewed programmes like the reality TV show Big Brother Naija, which is said to be one of Nigeria’s most popular TV reality shows. This, no doubt, has played its part in making the brand a household name. 

RevolutionPlus Property Group now has seven subsidiaries; RevolutionPlus Property Development Company Limited, RevolutionPlus Constructions and Infrastructure Limited, Remarkable Hotels and Apartments Limited, Remarkable Impact Investment Limited, Remarkable Foods Limited, Chris Bamidele Onalaja Foundation(CBOF) and Angelic Lingerie; and Onalaja is Chief Executive Officer of the Group. 

Recognitions & Other Interest

Key among the recognitions Onalaja has received are the “Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Real Estate personality of the year”, and “Outstanding leader award, to mention a few. He is also the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Lagos Chapter.

Bamidele Onalaja was, alongside his wife, recently honoured by Rotary International President Jennifer Jones and Rotarian Larry Lunsford. They were also inducted into the Hall of Fame, and their portraits and names were added to the Arch Klumph Society interactive display at Rotary International World Headquarters.

Philanthropy is also one of Onalaja’s interests, and he carries out these activities through the Chris Bamidele Onalaja Foundation (CBOF). CBOF has also conducted free medical outreach in various local communities in South West Nigeria. Among them are COVID-19 palliatives distribution in Lagos and Ibadan, widows empowered entrepreneurship skills acquisition and free distribution of equipment for women to start small businesses. 

Free education and scholarships have also been awarded to hundreds of schoolchildren. One of these is a free-education-based primary school named TOLDEL and located in Ikorodu area of Lagos, where indigent pupils attend without paying tuition.

Education

Bamidele Onalaja holds a BSc. degree in economics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Lagos State University. He also got an advanced diploma in project management from the University of Lagos and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the United States of America.

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