The bare branches of the tall leafless trees scratched the back of the pale cloudless sky as the sun beat down relentlessly on the typical harmattan afternoon on a Wednesday. I hate Wednesdays, I hate hot dry afternoons and I hate being broke and mocked for having the stereotype “agent’s shoes” ( you know the ones I mean, worn and bent, pointing upwards at the tip like something out of the “Arabian Nights”).
Blood suffused the podgy unshaven face of my short plump Syrian client, the heat didn’t help and we had been waiting an hour and ten minutes outside the property we were supposed to
inspect down Southwest Ikoyi only to be told by my colleague that the “main Agent” or
the Landlord’s agent was unable to make the appointment and open the apartment for
said inspection… “You are amateur!” he screeched (yes I mean literally screeched) wagging a fat forefinger in my face while his spoilt looking son pouted next to his wife, a regular “fancy dress Fatima” draped in a chador. I stood to my full six feet and eyeballed
him menacingly but it did not work, he was too angry to be intimidated and I couldn’t really blame him; the whole inspection had been a fiasco from the start….and that chador!?!!!? In
this heat? I did not understand how she kept from melting. Firstly, I was late as my ever reliable “clunker” of a car refused to start (it could be relied upon to embarrass me) just sat tight and said “no sir” I had to grab an okada to my colleagues office only to find he was not the “main Agent” and we spent the next twenty minutes calling this grand individual and practically pleading with him to show up. He eventually agreed after establishing that he will get 50% of our fee, leaving us to share the remaining 50% because the landlord wasn’t paying him, that time worn excuse! After that wonderful beginning, my colleague simply expected me to provide transport, spending money I did not have. I could not possibly come by okada when meeting up with clients if I did not want them to see me as a “hungry agent” so cab fare it was. Upon reaching the client’s flat in Apapa (they were moving up market to Ikoyi, even if it was only the Southwest) we all had to bundle into the guy’s car. Him and his family in the back and both of us squeezing into the front seat next to the driver. I had a friend once who claimed he would never sit next to the chauffer in a client’s car because it was beneath his
dignity, I wonder what he would have done in this case? Perhaps he would have offered to lap chador and given her husband a fit of apoplexy lol!
Having waited in vain for a while without the landlord’s agent surfacing and our Syrian client growing more and more impatient and heated we decided my colleague ought to go and find out why and where the almighty “main Agent” was hanging out (there were no GSM phones in our time and the only mobiles popularly called 0-9-0 belonged almost exclusively to the 419 practitioners). I treated his suggestion that I pay his cab fare to and from with the contempt it deserved and advised him against his alternative that he might “borrow” our client’s car.
He had just returned, hot and sweating on an okada, he seemed to think I was to blame for the police harassment he’d endured on his way but more importantly, he came without any news of the agent ( he wasn’t in his office and had left no massage)! Ever the optimist, I had implored everyone to wait because I thought the agent might be on his way over and was delayed-: perhaps by the police as well (a simple joke which earned me a dirty look from my colleague) moreover I really needed this fee!
Now the waiting was over and things had been made ten times worse because of it. I watched the Syrians depart in a cloud of dust and noted with satisfaction that she caught a piece of Chador in the car door. How to get back to the office after another failed venture was my new problem, of course my retarded colleague was making his own return my problem too! It really was a hot day. I hate Wednesdays, still broke.
Property is a key resource for all individuals and organisations and its proper management is
essential to existence of organisations and life in general. On account of the significant contribution that property makes to sustenance, it is imperative that it is managed in an efficient and ethical manner. The sustainability of property assets as requires effective management – physical, financial, human, information and social management. Against this background, property assets demand that they are professionally managed within the context of ethics, to ensure that asset value is maintained and preserved.