Real estate investors have been urged to use innovative management strategies like monthly and quarterly rent advance payment, to attract prospective tenants instead of going for the two years advanced payment which is the normal practice among real investors in Ghana.

Mr William Halm, Chief Executive Officer of Spektra Global made this call at the just ended GHL Housing Fair held at the GHL Bank premises in Accra.

In a presentation on the theme: “Creating Wealth through Real Estate Investing”, Mr. Halm educated participants about the opportunities to create wealth in Ghana through real estate as the housing deficit in Ghana stands at 2.7 million houses according to the 2010 housing and population census.

He noted that “’Build to rent’ is the most popular form of real estate investing in Ghana and can catapult one to amassing great wealth aside other alternatives such as ‘build to sell’ and ‘buy-renovate-sell’ which is not popular in our part of the world.”

Mr. Halm noted that the massive housing deficit and a growing middle class in Ghana, has created a pressing need for decent accommodation. “In Ghana, people are willing to pay for solutions that solves a problem or meets a need, and that promotes wealth creation. So anyone can join the select few who are building by starting small, building and renting out one house at a time, supported by a favorable rent payment regime and steadily progressing to two, and then three to strategically create wealth over time”.

According to Mr Halm, another key consideration in real estate investment is the location of the property as it determines the value of a property and puts a cap on the rent one can receive for a property.

“The design of the building can also cause prospective tenants to choose a property over the other; hence the need to factor in design strategy, which gives more rental value and maximum returns on investment,” he explained.

Mr. Halm concluded his presentation by entreating participants to insure their properties against loss as “the only time a loss is made in real estate is when the property is lost.”

Mr Kwamena Budu, Head of the Corporate Communication and Brand Management at GHL Bank stated that the fair is organized by GHL Bank partly to bring all the real estate agents together to create convenience for home seekers and to meet their housing needs. “GHL has a heritage in terms of mortgage financing and we are able to assist home seekers as well as advise clients on the right steps to land property acquisition.”

Speaking on the rationale for organizing the seminars, he said: “we believe in giving a total experience. Hence the seminars are to add value to the fair as topics discussed are relevant to the times and answer questions on people’s housing needs.”

Participants of the seminar were happy with the outcome and declared the seminar insightful. “I have come to the realization that the most profitable way of acquiring wealth is building to rent and also to industrialize the rented building,” stated Ingrid Akafo, a participant of the seminar said.

The GHL Bank Housing Fair is held twice a year for industry players and prospective home-owners.