The Ghana Property and Lifestyle Expo made its debut last year in London and this year it’s branching out to the USA for the first time, coming to Atlanta on the 23rd August. We sat down with the founders, sisters Anna and Victoria Agyekum, who are also the co-founders of On Point Property Management Ltd, a 360 company which combines, management and lettings, bespoke personalised tours to Ghana.
Glam Africa: First of all, how did you both come up with the idea for On Point Property Management – I know you both have backgrounds in business and in the property.
Victoria: Yes, so both of our backgrounds are in property, I worked on the property before I set up On Point. There came a point when we were both new mums and we both didn’t want to work in that full-time environment for someone else – we wanted to do it for ourselves. We thought we had the confidence and experience, we wanted to have that degree of flexibility and we wanted to provide bespoke professional services to people in the property because we know the difficulties in finding someone who can manage your properties and do it diligently, and can look after tenants. So that was our primary service.
Glam Africa: How have you seen the industry change over the time you have been in business?
Anna: I think it’s got definitely a lot tougher. Brexit has been the biggest game changer and that’s what made both of us start looking at doing work in Africa, back home.
Victoria: Particularly in the settings and the management side, the tenants often were from Europe, and we had a decrease in the number of tenants wanting to stay in the UK. The day Brexit was announced, we literally had 50% of our viewings cancelled. A lot of them were from Italy, France and eastern European countries. There was a lot of fear in the atmosphere, in the real estate property industry and we just realised that we have to do something to accompany the lettings and management side of our business.
Glam Africa: And is that when you came up with the idea for the Expo?
Victoria: No actually, with the Expo that actually was born from the Invest Tour. So the Invest Tour side of our service, which we provide, is the Ghana side, which is the one-stop solution for property investment in Ghana.
Glam Africa: So it’s like helping people buy property there?
Victoria: Yes, correct. About a month after Brexit was announced we came up with the idea for Invest Tour – my background is also in tourism. I wanted to explore the tourism side again and combine it with my career in property. That’s when Invest Tour was born. However, the Expo came along when we realised people didn’t know where to look for property in Ghana, they didn’t know about the development, so we thought we’re going to have to bring the developers to everyone in a central location and that’s how the Expo was born last year, and ever since then the momentum has just continued. We realised that the market needed this service to come alive, there is so much of the diaspora that want to move back home and they find this extremely helpful to help them buy and invest back home.
Glam Africa: Absolutely. And this year, of course, you are in Atlanta from the 23rd of this month. Why did you decide to add Atlanta to the list, as well as London?
Anna: One of our clients we’ve been working closely with actually suggested in January why don’t we approach the US market, there’s a huge diaspora market in the US and it’s not being tackled. Victoria and I both instantly said the time is now, let’s crack on with it. Since January we’ve been working on the US side of the expo. It has been great to see the momentum and the interest, not just from the African diaspora or the Ghanaian diaspora but even the African Americans – they were desperate to really connect back with Africa and especially Ghana and these sorts of things are changing the narrative. We’re letting people really see what Africa is about, the lifestyle side of Africa, our property side, our investment side. I think it’s a great global platform. Our key thing is to just get that information out there, let the reputable, good developers be at the forefront of our market. Essentially in all that we are doing we are ambassadors for Ghana, showcasing Ghana to the global market, we are very passionate about it being done properly and professionally and most importantly consistently.
Glam Africa: So, what can we expect from the show?
Victoria: Well, we have 18 reputable developers flying over from Ghana and they will be offering special offers and discounts, you can meet the developers, their team, ask as many questions, as you like! We have a VIP cocktail evening, which launches the Expo on the 23rd, then we have a two-day expo event and then on Sunday we have a VIP farewell breakfast. During the two-day event, we’ll have Jocelyn Dumas hosting. We also have special guest speakers including His Excellency Dr Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA. Ghana International Chambers have also partnered with us for the event, we’ve also got industry experts who will be giving information; legal, finance and also lifestyle services, and developers and bank presentations so there’s going to be a wealth of information, all under one roof.
The Ghana Property and Lifestyle Expo – Embracing Transformation: Mastering the Evolving Landscape of the Property & Lifestyle Industries in Ghana kicks off this Thursday 23rd August at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Atlanta in Buckhead, USA.
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