ASSESSMENT OF THE APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN REAL ESTATE PRACTICE, HH CHIEDU

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Content: ASSESSMENT OF THE APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN REAL ESTATE PRACTICE (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS METROPOLIS) BY HALIM HENRY CHIEDU A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF MASTERS OF SCIENCE (M.Sc) IN ESTATE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA ENUGU CAMPUS SEPTEMBER, 2010. 1
TITLE PAGE ASSESSMENT OF THE APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN REAL ESTATE PRACTICE (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS METROPOLIS) BY HALIM HENRY CHIEDU PG/M.Sc/04/38102 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF MASTERS OF SCIENCE (M.Sc) IN ESTATE MANAGEMENT SUPERVISOR: PROF J.U. OGBUEFI SEPTEMBER, 2010. 2
APPROVAL This dissertation has been approved by the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Nigeria, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Masters of Science in Estate Management.
____________________ SUPERVISOR
____________________ HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
____________________ EXTERNAL EXAMINER
____________________ DEAN OF FACULTY
_____________________________________________ DEAN. SCHOOL OF POSTGRADUATE STUDIES
3
CERTIFICATION This work embodied in this dissertation is original and has not been submitted in part or full for any diploma or degree of this or any other University. All observed errors of omission or commission are entirely mine. 4
DEDICATION This work is dedicated to my parents with much affection and gratitude for bringing magic and inspiration to my young life and also to the Almighty God for His infinite mercies and protection throughout the pursuit of my M.Sc. programme. 5
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT In the process of writing this dissertation I have received generous help, encouragement and guidance from lecturers, friends, and colleagues I remain sincerely grateful. A huge thanks to my project supervisor, Professor J.U. Ogbuefi, a man of infinite patience and limitless understanding, who worked closely with me to ensure the success of this work. I am greatly indebted to all my friends, uncles, aunts, nieces, brothersin-law, my lovely wife, and my entire extended family both home and abroad for their support throughout the time. Thank you for being there when I needed you most. God bless you all. Finally and most importantly to God, who is God indeed and never fails. To whom, I say may Honour and Praises be ascribed to your Name, forever. Amen. 6
ABSTRACT This study aimed at assessing the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in real estate practice in Nigeria, a case study of Lagos metropolis. It also considered critical issues and trends in information and communication technology which impacts profoundly in real estate practice, and how the resources of ICT can be effectively harnessed to improve the profession. The study adopted survey method for collecting data. Random sampling technique was used, and a sample size of 160 respondents was drawn from the study population. The questionnaires were administered to practitioners both private and government agencies. Interviews, primary and secondary data were also used. A total of 140 respondents completed and returned the questionnaires representing 87.5% of the distribution. Tables were used for data presentation, and chi-square (x2) used to test the hypotheses. The result of the study reveals that ICT application has helped in expanding and facilitating the development of contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria. The result of chi-square test (x2 = 24) indicated a significant relationship (P<0.05) between the application of ICT and real estate practice in the study area. The study also showed that the trends in ICT application has enhanced the growth and development of real estate practice. The result of chi-square test (x2 = 28) indicated a significant relationship (P<0.05) between the trend of lCT application and real estate practice in the study area. More so, the study reveals low adherence in the application of ICT within real estate sector in Nigeria. The result of chi-square test (X2 = 52.4) indicated a significant relationship (P<0.05) between low adherence of ICT within real estate sector in Nigeria. The result further shows that ICT resources can be effectively harnessed to improve real estate practice by mainstreaming a robust ICT programme in estate management curriculum in higher institution/in real estate practice. The study recommends the creation of more awareness of ICT packages by mainstreaming a robust ICT programmes in such a manner that students and practitioners can grasp and apply it. Continuous professional development (C.P.G) effort should be channeled towards ICT as a matter of urgency, including deadlines for compliance. 7
TABLE OF CONTENT Title page Approval Certification Dedication Acknowledgment Abstract Table of content List of Tables Chapter One: 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Background of the Study 1.2 Statement of the Problem 1.3 Aims and Objectives 1.4 research questions 1.5 Statement of Research Hypothesis 1.6 Significance of the Study 1.7 Limitation of Study 1.8 Scope of Study 1.9 Definition of Terms Chapter Two: Literature Review 2.0 Introduction 2.1 Concept of Real Estate Practice 2.2 Information and communication Technology 8
i ii iii iv v vi vii-viii ix-x 1 1 4 5 6 6 7 8 9 9 11 11 14
2.3 Impact of Information and communication
Technology in Real Estate Practice
16
2.4 Summary
38
Chapter Three: Research Methodology
3.0 Introduction
40
3.1 Research Design
40
3.2 Population of Study
41
3.3 Sources of Data Collection
41
3.3.1 Primary Source
41
3.3.2 Secondary Source
42
3.4 Sampling and Sampling Techniques
42
3.5 Instrumentation and Administration of Instrument
43
3.6 Validity of Instruments
43
3.7 Reliability of Instrument
44
3.8 Method of Data Analysis
44
Chapter Four: Presentation and Analysis of Data
4.0 Introductions
46
4.1 Analysis of Characteristics of Respondents
46
4.2 Data Presentation
48
4.3 Testing of Hypothesis
51
Chapter Five: summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.0 Introduction
60
5.1 Summary
60
5.2 Conclusion
64
5.3 Recommendations
67
References
72
9
LIST OF TABLES
4.0 Distribution and Collection of Questionnaires
46
4.1 Number of Questionnaires Distributed and Returned 46
4.1.2 Position in the Organization
47
4.1.3 Personal Data (Background Information)
47
4.1.4 Age Distribution of Benchmarked Firms
48
4.1.5 Does the Application of Information and communication
Technology in Real Estate have effect on the Contemporary
Practice of Real Estate.
49
4.1.6 Do the Trends in Information and Communication
Technology Application in Real Estate Practice
have Impact on the Contemporary Practice of Real Estate 49
4.1.7 How can Information and Communication
Technology Resources be Effectively Harnessed to Improve
Real Estate Practice.
50
4.1.8 What is the level of Information and Communication
Technology Adherence in the Contemporary Practice
of Real Estate
51
4.1.9 Computation of Expected Frequency (The Effect of
10
ICT Application in Real Estate Practice)
52
4.2.1 Computation of Pearson Chi-square (x2)
(Firms with Limited ICT Usage)
53
4.2.2 Computation of Pearson Chi-square (x2)
(Firms with Significant ICT Usage)
53
4.2.3 Computation of Expected Frequency
(The Trends in ICT Application in Real Estate Practice) 55 4.2.4 Computation of Pearson Chi-square (x2)
(Firms with Limited ICT Usage)
55
4.2.5 Computation of Pearson Chi-square (x2)
(Firms with Significant ICT Usage)
56
4.2.6 Computation of Expected Frequency
(The Level of ICT Adherence in Real Estate Practice) 57 4.2.7 Computation of Pearson Chi-square (x2)
(Firms with Limited ICT Usage)
58
4.2.8 Computation of Pearson Chi-square (x2)
(Firms with Significant ICT Usage)
58
11
CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Our society is a complex structure of people and institution that interact in a multitude of ways. The social and technological revolutions that alter this structure are no less complex. Long ago, we had the Ice Age, and Neolithic time or period. We later move into the Agriculture age and the Renaissance period. In the recent time, the society has moved into yet another age that has brought a far reaching change in human history. It is called Information and Communication Technology age. The simple truth today, is that no profession can effectively succeed in solving her 21st century development challenges, unless the professional visions, aspiration, mission and strategies are fundamentally anchored in the realm of knowledge creation, and strategically driven by information and communication technology (ICT). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has enhanced real estate practice in Nigeria. A simple example is the use of mobile phones for communication via text messages which has helped to improve communication in the course of everyday assignments. Field staff can make immediate contact with their office of the principal partner when issues arise 12
while out in the field in the past, such staff would have had to return to base to deal with such issues. The use of computers and the internet has also made it possible for firms to operate several branches apart from their Head offices with more ease than previously was the case. Professional reports may be vetted online and the exchange of documented information has been greatly enhanced. ICT are perfect tools for working with information and can handle and process large amounts of information for various purposes which would otherwise be difficult to manage manually. It can organise information very efficiently with all content properly identified and indexed making it possible to find whatever is required easily. In terms of speed, computers can perform in minutes, tasks that would take the average human being years to complete. Computers are quite accurate because they are designed to receive information and process such information using a predetermined sequence stored in a programme thus maintaining a high level of accuracy using the' same data repeatedly. Land Information System (LIS) is a tool for legal, administrative and economic decision making. It is designed specifically to create, visualize, analyse report and publish land-based data such as parcel information, zoning, land use, ownership and general property Information. LIS, on the other hand, may contain additional and useful information. The input of physical information such as soils, hydrogeology 13
and rainfall and human or socio-economic information such as rateable value, communications and utilities results in a system that offers surveyors and decision makers the ability to inventory, monitor and plan more efficiently and cost-effectively. Such an holistic approach supports the management of both human and physical resources at all real estate levels. The realization of this ICT innovation would offer a wide range of functionality from simple map production and information retrieval, such as terrier data to spatial analysis like site finding, valuation etc. However, it is observed that some real estate practitioners or firms in Nigeria is still in the dark as to the contemporary 'innovations and relevance of Information and Communication Technology (lCT) in global property market scheme, conflict of professional interests is an evidence of lack of strategic vision within the real estate sector. Parallel lack of emphasis on training and education to meet the demands of this new commercial environment is prevalent. There is a negligent attendance to the benefit of the function of Information and Communication Technology (lCT) through the emergence of cyberspace. The level of information and communication technology (lCT) awareness amongst real estate professionals in Nigeria is quite low (Kakulu, 2003) and a recent review of teaching curriculum amongst higher 14
institutions offering estate management in Nigeria including Universities Commission (NUC) minimum standards for ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCEs, reveals that although ICT course are provided for, it is in the form of general introduction on an awareness level. With the wide spread use and dependence on ICT globally, mere knowledge on an awareness level only is not sustainable as professionals are unable to apply the skill in practice in a meaningful way. Awareness level training in form of courses offered by service departments is not able to fully address the specific needs of real estate professionals in a meaningful way. In Nigeria today, we are all witnesses to the on-going ICT revolution in the Nigerian banking industry and the change from the use of manual filling and record keeping methods less than a decade ago to automated practice methods. Recently, A TM machines have been introduced into the Nigerian banking industry as well. The question to ask regarding real estate profession in Nigeria is how we have fared, and what our current ICT literacy level and utilisation as a profession is? Are we taking the lead in the construction industry or are we lagging behind in technology? 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The principle of globalization and the emergence of new technologies have created new challenges. These challenges have permeated all aspect of 15
living; real estate practice is not left out. Real estate practitioners are today faced with the challenges of new techniques and more efficient means of managing and storing information for quicker and more effective management decision, this makes the use of information and communication technology e.g. computer and computer network imperative in real estate practice. However, evidence has shown that several sectors in the corporate world depend heavily on information and communication technology in their daily operations, real estate practitioners in Nigeria do not seem to be operating at par with their professional counterparts in the industry. Some practitioners have traditionally lagged behind others, when it comes to applying the latest ICT application in real estate practice. 1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The aim of the study is to examine critical Issues and trends in information and communication technology, which impact profoundly on real estate practice, so that an objective assessment can be drawn on how the practice has fared, and how the resources of information and communication technology can be effectively harnessed to improve real estate practice in Nigeria. 16
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY The objectives of the study are as follows: 1) To examine the impact of information and communication technology application in the contemporary practice of real estate, in the study area. 2) To investigate critical issues and trends in information and communication technology which impacts in contemporary practice of real estate. 3) To examine how the resources of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be effectively. harnessed to Improve the contemporary practice real estate. 4) To ascertain the level of information and communication technology adherence in contemporary practice real of estate practice. 1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. Does the application of information and communication technology (ICT) have effect on contemporary practice of real estate? 2. Do the trends in information and communication technology (ICT) application in real estate practice have effect on contemporary practice of real estate? 17
3. What is the level of information and communication technology adherence on contemporary practice of real estate? 4. How can the resources of information and communication technology be effectively harnessed to improve the contemporary practice of real estate? 1.4 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESES 1. Ho: There is no significant relationship between the application of information and communication technology and real estate practice. Hi: There is a significant relationship between the application of information and communication technology and real estate practice. 2. Ho: There is no significant relationship between the trends in information and communication technology and real estate practice. Hi: There is a significant relationship between the trends in information and communication technology and real estate practice. 3. Ho: There is no significant relationship between low information and communication technology adherence and real estate practice. Hi: There is a significant relationship between low information and communication technology adherence and real estate practice. 18
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The significance of the study lies to a great extent in setting a stage for rapid and a more comprehensive appraisal of information and communication technology in real estate practice. This has become necessary to keep the practitioners abreast with the use and advantages inherent in ICT and its application to human problems. This study is also significant because it will help in reducing waste, save time and encourage simple, moral, accountable, responsive and transparent conduct in the delivery of real estate services This study is significant in the sense that it will help in facilitating cross collaboration and co-ordination amongst practitioners in different continents. This study is also significant because it will help in reducing waste, save time and encourage simple, moral, accountable; responsive and transparent conduct in the delivery of real estate services. This study is significant in the sense that it will help in facilitating cross collaboration and co-ordination amongst practitioners in different continents of the world, and ensure easier, faster and appropriate decision making in real estate practice. 19
Finally, this study will help demonstrate a proactive strategies that can be used to achieve utmost efficiency in real estate practice in Nigeria, through the effective and efficient use of technology (computers, technology providers, telephone systems, e-mail, serves, software and networking). 1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY A study of this nature, being carried out in the present economic, political and social conditions is faced with a number of limitations. Often, most respondents were unwilling to co-operate, for fear of disclosing the true position of their organisations activities some of the practitioners were apprehensive of the researcher's intention, suspecting that he may sell their firms information to the competitors. These problems limited the availability of some data needed for the investigation. In the course of this research work, the researcher encountered other setbacks which any research work might pose. These include ICT illiteracy, a good number of the practitioners were ignorant of the use of ICT in real estate practice, hence data could not be gathered. Despite these shortcomings, the research findings remain valid. 20
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY The study is designed to assess the application of information and communication technology in contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria. The study is limited to Lagos metropolis, because Lagos has the highest concentration of real estate surveying firms in Nigeria, and it is expected that innovations in the use of new technology in the practice will first emerge in Lagos. 1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS 1. Artificial Intelligent (AI): A concept of computer programmed to assume forms of human intelligent including learning, adoption and correction; these are computers working as experts in field real estate. 2. Computer Aided Design (CAD): A highly specialized kind of drawing program used in architectural and engineering work. 3. geographic information system (GIS): Is a computerised tool for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating analysing and displaying of data which are spatially referenced towards an effective decision making in real estate practice. 4. Land Information System (LIS): Denotes those information systems used in support of land management activities in real estate practice. 5. Multiple Listing Servicing (MLS): Is a computer Information 21
system used by agents to collect buyers to sellers, control and disseminate information as regard land and properties. 6. Soft Ware Application (SWA): This refers to soft ware developed to enable computer users perform specific tasks or results specific problems using computer in of real estate practice. 7. Management Information System (MIS): Is a software that provides information to real estate managers at all levels on proper decision taking in line with the policies and objectives of the organisation. 8. Local Area Network (LAN): LAN is a communications network covering a limited geographical distance such as office buildings within close proximity. 9. Management information system (MIS): Is software that provides information for managers at all levels on proper decisions taking in line with the policies and objectives of the organization. 10. Disk Operating System (DOS): Disk operating system IS a master control program that runs the computer example operating system software for the PC includes windows 95, 98, and me and NT/2000. 22
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter focuses on literature search on areas relevant to this study. Information for this section was gathered through textbooks, journals as well as internet and intensive sessions conducted on some real estate practitioners. However, the following shall be reviewed for the purpose of this study. 1) The Concept of Real Estate Practice. 2) Information and Communication Technology 3) The Impact of Information and Communication Technology in Real Estate Practice. 2.1 THE CONCEPT OF REAL ESTATE PRACTICE Various authors have defined real estate practice/estate management. According to Lexicon Universal Encyclopaedia (1989 Vol. 7E), an estate is a property to which a person is lawfully entitled. In traditional law, the word referred to property in land, a person's estate consists of the interest or rights that the person held in land. Funk and Wagnals new Encyclopaedia (1975) states that "the term estate is also used in a more general sense to denote the whole property processes by an individual i.e. the total belongings person". 23
Encyclopaedia Enearta premium suite (2004) describes real estate as land and everything built on it, and the nature and extent of one's interest therein. Though, chiefly an American usage, the term has the advantage of distinguishing between such landed property and the broader classes of property in general unlike common British usage. . The word "Real" as it relates to property, means land as distinguished from personal property, and estate is defined as the interest one has in property. Real estate may be acquired, owned and conveyed by individuals, Business Corporation, charitable organisation, religious organisation, etc. Furthermore, Ihekwumere (2004) described real estate practice as an art of providing expert advice on land, property and construction issues. This professional advice borders on many issues regarding the development, construction, occupation of residential and commercial properties. The estate surveyors and valuers' Registration Board of Nigeria, sees real estate practice as an art, science and practice of: a) Determining the value of all description of property and of the various interests therein. b) Managing and developing estates and other business concerned with the management of landed property. c) Securing the optimal use of land and its associated resources to meet 24
social and economic needs; among others. d) Determining the structure and condition of buildings and their services and advising on their maintenance, alteration and improvement. e) Determining the economic use of land resources by means of financial appraisal for the building industry; and f) Selling (whether by auction or otherwise and buying or letting (as an agent) of real and personal property and of an interest therein. Olusegun (2000) explains this much when ·he said that the service of a real estate practitioners may be sought by anyone with an interest in or contemplating an acquisition of interest in land or building. For example, he may be required to advice a vendor on a price to sell his property, or a prospective tenant on the annual rent he should pay a mortgage (bank) on the value of the security and on the mortgage loan he can advice and any person dispossessed of his land under compulsory acquisition, on the compensation he can claim. For the purpose of this work, one can say that real estate practice is an all embracing profession, which undertakes a wide range of services including: estate agency, property management, property appraisal, development and project management, estate consultancy and compulsory 25
acquisition matters, and land economy valuation on behalf of individual owners who wanted to be relieved of the responsibilities of personally attending to the details of renting, rent collection, property, maintenance, record keeping etc. as regards their property. 2.2 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Information and Communication Technology (lCT) and Globalisation are the two global phenomena that influenced the modem practice of real estate in many nations of the world including Nigeria. Real estate practice in Nigeria is experiencing a transformation in response to globalization. Aluwong (2005) said, "the Nigerian government through recent policies on trade liberation, regional integration and Information Communication Technology (ICT) shows some commitment to globalisation and the adoption of information technology". The world market has become homogenised, converting the domestic market into a twenty-four hour global market. This trend according to Bontz (2000) has brought unprecedented degree of competition among nations and among business organisations". Lucy (1995) defined information and communication technology as the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numeric information by a micro-electronic based combination of computing and telecommunications; a revolution that has penetrated almost 26
all fields of human activity, thus transforming our economic and social life (Obi and Oborah; 2001). It has been recommended that efforts be made to create conducive environment for the acquisition and usage of ICT equipment. Akinola (2005) observes that, there are now net managers of information, about millions of users, corporate and individual web sites, as the flow of information globally. Nigeria as a nation is not left behind in her desire to join the global internet race. The Federal Govt of Nigeria in March 2001 approved a national ICT policy and established a National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to oversee its implementation. The National ICT Policy has a vision of making Nigeria an ICT capable country in Africa and a key player in the information society by the year 2007, using ICT as the engine for sustainable development and global competitiveness. Also the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) defined ICT as the study design, development, Implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. However, ICT deals with the use of electronic computer and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information. More so, Encyclopaedia Britannica "0968) described information and communication technology as an integrated set of component for collecting, 27
storing, processing and communicating information. Business firm, other organisations, and individuals in contemporary society rely on information and communication technology systems to manage their operations, compete in the market place, supply services and augument personal lives. For instance, modem real estate firms rely on computerised information systems to process financial account and manage human resources. Information and communication technology (ICT) has been adapted in real estate practice to use surrogate information such as land sat or spot images, aerial photographs, etc., in addition to the base maps to give upto-date information on the study area. 2.3 THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN REAL ESTATE PRACTICE Information and communication technology has recently started what appears to be a revolution in real estate practice. Real estate practitioners are increasingly investing in technology hardware and software. Real estate practice is in the midst of dramatic changes brought about by online technology and enhanced accessibility to information. A large segment of the real estate practitioners are using websites, so that anyone with a home computer and internet services can get access to real estate sales 28
information. An essential element in the changes taking place is the creation of an industry standard in order to make the exchange of data between real estate practitioners, mortgage bankers, property inspectors, and other practice quicker and easier. According to Tse and Webb (2002) heightened interest in internet online searches by consumers has led most real estate professionals to change the way they operate their businesses. Real estate brokers/agents can use the internet to send-up-to-date information to potential clients at very low cost, accurately and quickly. The internet can also help real estate practitioners increase sales, save time and provide a noticeably higher level of service to both buyers and sellers. Virtual "model" homes may also be distributed on CD-ROM, very much like brochures, and can be accessed directly through the internet. Webb (2002) the impact of ICT on the real estate industry is potentially extensive, business strategies of traditional real estate brokerage firm have changed considerably from the 1980s through the 1990s to the present. This traditional business model for real estate brokerage firm use to concentrate on the real estate transaction process. Real estate brokers/sales people are essentially market intermediaries, providing information to customers, connecting buyers with sellers and facilitating the real estate transaction process. But now real estate business use computer automation 29
to speed the real estate transactions and brokers/sales people can concentrate on adding value for customers. Information about properties and real estate brokers/sales people are collected in one place through the websites. For instance, technology is prompting similar advances m the areas of title insurance, homeowners insurance, appraisal and real estate auctions. Those changes mostly revolve around computerized appraisal services, electronic primary mortgage loan origination and electronic secondary mortgage market sales. As a result, information cost is much reduced and most areas in real estate business have a much more competitive environment. A small brokerage firm has the advantages of flexibility in organisation and operation and the ability to capitalize quickly on new sales opportunities. However, the growth in the availability of database providing real estate market information and services actually reduce the need for traditional market services. E-mail, voice mail cellular phones and pagers have increased the efficiency and productivity of real estate practice. Once buyers, seller, borrowers and lenders are able to obtain relatively cost free real estate (or real estate related) information. Therefore, it should cause a reduction in the amount of routine work for real estate practitioners. Dixon (2005) citing Perez (2002) and Gordon (2000) noted that in over hundreds of years, when technological changes has brought about 30
radical changes to market boundaries, increasing the scope to exploit intellectual capital, examples includes painting, steam power (electricity), canals, and railways, mass media and more recently information and communication technology also, Rowlatt and Vaze (2002) asserted that the real estate practice of the twenty-first century is different from any other practice in the past and highlight three main aspects as follows: a) Infrastructure to assemble, analyse, communicate and manage information with computer mediated networks; b) Transactions to purchase goods and services carried out through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or over the internet; c) Interactions transferring information between enterprises of individuals, which add to value. Furthermore, Kakulu (2008) posit that information and communication technology application to property management provide the professional property manager with an extremely powerful and flexible information management tool for property management and lease administration. ICT enable proper documentation of virtually everything about a property, information about the owners' construction details; photographs, sketches, lease agreement including records of receipts and payments. Also, information about any property can be called up at any time 31
and in variety of ways. According to her, computer can also be programmed with handy reminders, shortlists of which administrative actions are due or are pending at all times reducing the incident of failing to keep appointments or sending out belated reminders. Also, apart from the database function, notices and reminders to tenants are made via the internet and not by post. In her words, ICT application IS cost saving and the processes of negotiation for rent renewals is properly documented and saved on the computer for future reference. The issue of distance is almost completely removed with ICT. According to her where surveyors in the property management specialty are sufficiently trained, a computerised approach to property management will assist the property manager as follows: a) Maintain a lively and active property data base which would be useful for planning and budget preparation. b) Information may be found whenever it is required. c) It can automatically extract and highlight important dates such as lease renewal dates and also prepare letters, reminders and demand notices. It is quite obvious that there is no management without measurement. An effective management can only be realised if there are data about the features in an estate. 32
In order to overcome the inherent problem of limitation in the old system of management of an estate, hence the invention of the Geographic Information System (GIS). Kufoniyi (1998) described geo-informatics as a body of knowledge that deals with the acquisition, processing and management of geo-information, that is, science and technology for the acquisition, storage, analysis, manipulation and dissemination of geoinformation. He defined GIS as a computerised tool for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analysing and displaying of data which are spatially referenced towards an effective decision making. Kufoniyi (1998) further stated that GIS performs three fundamental operation of database; query, derivative mapping and processing modelling, GIS has enhanced capability of executing proximity analysis, various site selection model such as trade area analysis, spatial interaction, location factors, etc. (ESRI, 2005) C.P.L.O. and K. W Yeung (2003) argued that at the application level, GIS is often called by different names e.g. practitioners in land surveying, land administration and real estate commonly used the term Land Information System (LIS) to denote those information systems used in support of land management activities. Land management refers to the decision making and implementation of decisions about the land and its resources. Gilbert Castle (2006) also emphasised on application of GIS in 33
estate management activities in the following areas; market monitoring and non king site selection, brokerage, property management portfolio management, appraisal, property tax assessment, management of publicity owned real estate assets, sales of data layers by public agencies, etc. Olaniyi (2006). The applications are not exhaustive; GIS has more advantages than the analogue way of keeping the tracks of information in an estate. Estate information managed with GIS is more versatile because it can be subjected to many applications without introducing errors. Among "the many benefits derivable from application of GIS in an estate are; New and flexible form of output (customized mapping), quick and easy access to large volume of data about the feature in the estate, selection of terrain details through answering some spatial problem, ability to answer complex land related questions. Another way in which GIS has revolutionalised the real estate industry is in the area of internet, whereby the estate managers display their services on the internet thereby enabling the customers to see the properties of their choice, its price, location; amenities in the estate and its neighbourhood influence without visiting the manager's office. Olaniyi et al (2006) further posit that the application of GIS in real estate practice has more advantages than the analogue way of keeping the tracks of information in an estate because the spatial data base is directly 34
linked to the spatial entities on the map of the estate. Estate information managed with GIS is more versatile because it can be subjected to many applications without introducing errors. Among the many benefits derivable from application of GIS in real estate practice are: New and flexible form of output (Customised mapping), quick and easy access to large volume of data about the features in the estate, selection of terrain data: is through answering some spatial problem, ability to merge on data set to another, capability of speedy up dating and the ability to answer complex land related questions. Ogbuefi (2002) explains this much when he says that few years ago, it was common to use lotus 1-2-3 in some of the real estate analysis, but today it is more common to use programmes like Microsoft Excel 2000 (9.0). Because of the continuous advances in computer Technology, there are obvious chances of further improvement in the way some of these analyses are to be executed. There is no doubt that manual method of analysis is not only tedious and time consuming, especially where complex investment projects with multiple variables are involved, but it also has limitations of scope and accuracy. He further noted that computer-aided approach is more effective, less time consuming with better and more secured storage capability, quicker display or retrieval and much easier manipulation than 35
the manual approach. He further stated that in the field of Geo-informatic (Land surveying) and Geograph, the computer has been adapted to use surrogate information such as land sat or spot images, aerial photographs, etc. in addition to the base maps to give an up-to-date information on the study area Ogbuefi (2002) further advocated for Land Information System (LIS) which would be an estate surveying equivalent of Geographic Information System (GIS). In LIS such surrogate information as design, state of repairs and maintenance and facility status in the property investment area can be used. In addition to other factors to get an up-to-date and a more comprehensive information on the property investment area. Sastry and Swaroop (2009) observed, that with the advent of computers, maintaining accurate data on land records has become easier. Many of the new generation software like CAD and GIS can accommodate the basic information of the land records and provide additional tools to perform analysis. The present technologies offer very wide range of the information applications. With the help of Global Positioning System accurate positions of the land locations can be established and similarly remote sensing data can be utilised for updating the land and infrastructure features time and again on the same base map whenever required. 36
Sastry and Swaroop (2009) also, said that the advantage of advance GIS is that it can be very easily integrated to the GPS and RS tools and can directly pass the information into the designed system. Using the new technologists, once the individual land record is computerised, various space-specific parameters can be hooked-up to the land record, the same record can be utilised right from taxation purpose to the micro/regional level planning. Tse and Webb (2002) obviously sounds the same note when they posits that, information and communication technology has significantly change the way firms are organised and methods many real estate professionals adopt in marketing properties, sellers can get directly involved in heterogeneous real estate practice. Business survival is becoming more closely tied to real estate sales, firm's abilities to adapt to technological changes and to use technology to attract customers. Through much debate and careful consideration along with a variety of successes and mistakes, the real estate sales business has been adapting itself to take advantage of the internet over the past several years. With such explosive growth in electronic commerce, a number of industries, including real estate, are leveraging themselves to benefit from the new technology. Crowston and Wigand (2003) agree with the earlier view when they said, that real estate is 37
an information business. Consequently, it is deeply impacted by information technology and resulting change, including the assembly, analysis and transfer of information. According to them this escalating change appears to alter the structure of the real estate market when (a) studying the firm that serves it as well as (b) the consumers it serves. The information revolution that is inescapably penetrating all facets of industry is propelling the real estate industry as well into territories unknown. The structure of the industry has evolved toward small, clearly identified specialised firms and large market-share brokerages. The middle-sized firm has been shrinking and appears to continue doing so. Dutton (2004) noted that new ICT help to reshape how people come to think about access to information. That is, as people begin to use a new ICT to access information and to interact with one-another, they begin to rethink their relationships with information and communication. It is this reshaping or redefining that often leads to innovation and change. For example, sellers have more information available, which allows them to better assess their market value. This in turn allows them to rethink how they handle their house ­ as an asset that they can manage relative to refinancing, renovations etc. The change in access to information on real estate allows a series of subtle changes to redefine what it means to use the 38
ICT available. However, the current advantages in computer technology, near friction-less, low-cost transmission of transactions easily crossing continents in seconds, as well as the growth of the World Wide Web (WWW), have placed pressures on the real estate transactions. Due to the pervasiveness of the internet, we anticipate an eroding power of real estate professionals, as they adapt to the loss of exclusive access to the MLS. Kakulu (2003) opined that the use of ICT in development appraisal assists the real estate practitioners in a number of key areas in the practice. 1. Real estate problem is reduced to an organized array of numerical data for input into the system thus compelling the real estate practitioners to adopt more logical and sequential patterns in the conduct of their work. 2. The results produced are more reliable than that produced using a pocket calculator. 3. All calculations are performed automatically and sensitivity analysis is done on the results so obtained to investigate the effects of possible and faceable changes in some of the variables on the ultimate outcome of the investment. 4. Weeks and months of lengthy calculation~ are reduced to a matter of 39
minutes. The impact of ICT on real estate practice is supported in the work of Johnson and Day (2005) when they stated that ICT has permeated every aspect of management and decision making in real estate practice. According to them conventional real estate practice have changed and now encompasses the use of systems as electronic data processing (EDPs) management information system (MIS), decision support system (DSS and expert system (ES) as well as emerging business computing system such as group wares technologies (e.g. group decision support system, electronic mail video conferencing, computer supported cooperative work and organizational computing systems. Evidences of this can be seen in the practice, as practitioners pursued decentralized data process strategies by downsizing, out-sourcing and inter-working tour of this system in effect, characterized the evolution and development of the business computing field in real estate practice. The report by the Federal Trade Commission and US Department of Justice (2007) revealed that real estate industry has undergone a number of substantial changes in recent years. Today real estate practitioners are changing the way they operate and are increasingly incorporating the use of internet into business models in a variety of way. Such as offering potential 40
buyers the option to view full, detailed multiple listing services ("MLSs") online, using websites to gather "lead" information on potential customers, and using internet to match home buyers and sellers. The increase ease with which home buyers and seller can perform tasks that once were exclusive domain of real estate agents and brokers likely has been an important factor in the increased demand innovative. Previous research by College of Estate Management (2001) has examined and analyzed retail value impact in rental property caused byecommerce using an analysis based on migration of sales from stores and mail order, the study suggested that rental growth in the UK would be reduced by between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent p.a. over the period of 2000 - 2005. Retail therefore provides an example of how ICT can create new distribution model, which affect turnover and rent in real estate. The work of Thompson and Hills (1999) Tien Foo (2002) and Tien Foo et al (2004) remain the best-known studies here. Tse and Webb (2003) states that real estate practice is in the midst of dramatic changes brought about by online technology and enhanced accessibility to information. A large segment of the real estate industry is using websites so that anyone with a home computer and Internet services can get access to real estate sales information. Furthermore, an essential 41
element on the changes taking place is the creation of an industry standard in order to make the exchange of data between real estate practitioner, mortgage bankers, property inspectors and other parties quicker and easier. Tse and Webb (2003) noted that heightened interest in internet online searches by customers has led most real estate professionals to change the way they operate their businesses. Real estate practitioners can use the Internet to send up- to- date information to potential clients at a very low cost, accurately and quickly. The Internet can also help real estate practitioners increase sales, save time and provide a noticeably higher level of service to both buyer and sellers. Virtual model names may also be distributed on CD-ROM, very much like brochures, and can even be accessed directly through the Internet. In their words, the use of the Internet is predicted to result in gradual decline in the total number of active real estate practitioners. Consequently, the actual amount of face time spent with buyers and sellers are reduced. Elder and Baryla (1996). However, stressed that people can now use the internet to search for both properties and agents sophisticated real estate consumers with internet access to incredibly debated property information tend to demand services and fee structure tailored to specific needs on the other hand, the internet may level the playing field by allowing all brokers to easily offer services and find new 42
customers. Thus, the intent has cause the real estate market to become much more competitive. Houses can be sold quickly and homes that are sold are less likely to be overpriced. Technological development will put continued pressure on commission rates due to increase competition, easy accessibility of information directly by consumers, and rebate schemes (Baen; 1998). However, seller may be able to shift part of the commission to buyer search costs. With the advance of technology, it is possible that the internet would enable information sharing and the bypassing of traditional information intermediaries. If buyers and seller can find one another through the internet (such as owners. Com), then the value traditionally added by the brokers will decrease, ultimately depressing commission rates (Muhanna, 2000). Real estate sales firms may need fewer, but more highly trained agents who can offer professional guidance and other value-added services to clients, while leaving routine services to technology. Sawyer, et al (2005) highlighted three industrial level changes in the US residential Real Estate industry as a result of the use of information and communication technology (lCT) as follows: 1. Process changes in the transaction of real estate transaction caused by rapid computerization; 43
2. Changing roles for information. These changing roles were highlighted: a) Access to information is increasing transparent b) Standards for digital data structure and exchange are seen as increasing important c) The value of information control in listing data and sharing information continue to characterize policy level activity. 3. Role of intermediation when appropriate ICT (such as computers connected to the internet) can reach the consumer (including home buyers and sellers) directly there exist the potential to leapfrog or bypass the players within a value chain. Information and communication technology has recently started what appears to be revolution in real estate practice; professionals are increasingly investing in technology hardware and software. Similarly, Kummerow and Lun (2005) aptly said that the improvement in ICT and productivity leads to important long run changes in business process and industry structure tending to favour larger firms with ICT and promoting specialization of function. Also, more change in the information structure of real estate decision systems could change systems dynamics and improve allocative efficiency. 44
Kakulu (2008) argues that ICT has enhanced agency practice In the following: property records are maintained on a database in the office or an external database where they are accessed or retrieved when required. ICT is also useful for advertising, as the property in question is advertised on the firm's websites on any property related websites where it immediately becomes available to the whole world. According to her actual physical visits to the site which is frustrated by distance, traffic jams or inclement weather is replaced with a video of the external and internal views of the property, also the property is accessed online, on a laptop or an office desktop computer. lhekwumere (2004) reaffirmed the impact of ICT when he stressed that the use of paper has reduced in real estate firms online disk storage has become the norm of real estate practice now. He further stated that drafting of letters to erring tenants can be time consuming, but ICT program offers a template for letters in proper form as well as pre-written form to meet all sorts of needs, e.g. eviction notices, rent demand notice, termination and all types of problems in real estate practice. Friedman (2005) described the change in the status quo and discusses how the world is being flattened by the drive towards technology and standards as a result of ICT. According to him these two drivers open data 45
standardization and technological innovations are flattening the real estate practice and by extension, the valuation terrain. Far from self-serving hyperbole, it is clear that process and data standardization as a result of ICT application will not only drive significant efficiencies into the market, they will eventually change the very nature of real estate analysis. In his word, estate practitioners who have been fond of saying that appraisal is an art not a science will be in a position of having access to data and tools that can analyze the data at a level that will truly begin to resemble real estate econometrics. lheukwumere (2004) observes thus: that ICT has enabled real estate practitioners in remote locations to access information on their individual computers back in the office via the web. She further assert that jobs that relied on constant communication such as project management, real estate practitioners now have the ability to update key stakeholders in the project easily. Such information is available to all parties involved using technology. The work of Price Water House Coopers (2000) examined the changing nature of real estate practice in the new economy. For an ebusiness (as opposed to a conventional business) physical capital and working capital may be seen as being less important than customers and 46
company employees (i.e. skilled and knowledge). Also, new types of real estate practice have emerged and there is a blurring of emphasis between the traditional sectors, with more marginal and secondary locations and property types at risk. Borsuk (1999) argued that technology impacts on the demand for real estate in a deterministic way. The first order consequence is that consumers gravitate online for convenience, device and control and so the geocentric shopping pattern, based on distance and location, becomes much less important. As a second order consequence of this, retailers decide to lead or follow their customer online, which causes a migration of sales to the Internet, creating a downward shift in individual store performance. Retailers then alter their sales channel matrix and this impacts on leasing strategy. The third order consequence is therefore an impact on rent and property values and lender and investor expectations. However, more recent research shades (Dixon and Marston 2002) Dixon et al (2002, 2005), have found a growing impact of ICT in real estate practice. In the words of Jud et al (2002) real estate practice is on the cusp of a radical transformation brought about by cyberspace technology. They also said that the flow of information in real estate practice is increasing quickly because of proliferation of company websites, e-mail, cellular phones, 47
personal digital assistances, online linkage to financing sources and other technology advances. According to them ICT is transforming· established institutions and opening up new venue, as many traditional brokerage activities can be delivered more quickly and with more efficiency. New Cyber space technology is making the house search process cheaper and easier. Real estate website such as NAR's Realtor.com and Microsoft HomeAdvisor.com allows potential buyer to search available properties by location of zip code and narrow the search by adding information on desired amenities and price range. Many sites also provide virtual tour of home interiors, allow buyers 360 degree view of each room when web searchers find something that meet their specification. They e-mail their interest to the seller or the listing broker. However, the new technology also brings forth the threats of competition from internet-based real estate company; real estate practices are in the midst of these technological revolution. Kakulu (2008) noted that ICT has generally enhanced real estate practice in Nigeria. A simple example is the use of mobile phones for communication via text message which helped improve communication on the course of everyday assignment, field staff can make immediate contact with their home office of the principal partner when issue arise while out in 48
the field. In past such staff would have had to return to base to deal with such issues. According to her, the use of computer and the Internet has also made it possible for firms to operate several branches apart from their head offices with more ease than previously was the case. Professional reports may be vetted online and the exchange of documented information has been greatly enhanced. Thrall (2000) said this much when he suggested that real estate practice is information arbitrage. The computer products are an example of how new technology is changing the way in which real estate decisions are made and demonstrate how real estate development, financing, investment decisions making has become very dependant on ICT. Crowston, et al (2001:13) viewed ICT in real estate practice as both the product and shaper of human action (Barley, 1986, Newman and Robey, 1992, Orlikowski, 1992) Increased use of web-based systems to advertise listings can both help and hurt practitioners current roles. They help by extending the practitioner's ability to market their listings. The increased ICT in real estate practice hurts because it reduces the practitioners control over information. This allows other potential intermediaries (such as the website owners/developers) to participate. Moreover, the increased uses of ICT also change the practitioners' roles and practices they spend less time as 49
a pure market intermediary and more time as a process/transaction supporters. Swanepol and Tuccilino (2003) reinforces the impact of ICT when they argued that ICT has drastically changed the nature of real estate practice, where people's skill was paramount and information was sole property of the real estate practitioners to a situation where information is democratized and knowledge creation as a service to customer driver' success. Hatchinson et al (2000) opined that normally it takes a month or more to arrange the financing and signing closing papers for a home purchase. But now, there are ways to speed this up. St. Petersburg Florida CREDCO offers one stop investigation shopping that provides residential mortgage credit reports, assess a borrower's credit risk and gives customers a personal credit report. All Alltel information systems formed a combined network that allows buyers to reduce the time for loan qualifying and closing from a month to a few days. With ICT real estate practice agents, appraiser, bank, and insurers associated with the sale on the same secure network, would have no need for the time consuming process of printing, faxing, or express mailing hard copy, forms and document. If a surveyor wants to remodel a less than 50
desirable new domicile or see how it might look with various kinds of floor, wall, and fabric coverings or furnishings and appliance he can obtain threedimensional models. From a CD-ROM called visual home from the Palo Alto, California, the company book from that work simply download the models and material into your PC says one report, and see how a new appliance or cabinet will fit into your existing home before it arrives on the delivery truck. Furthermore, Hutchinson and Sawyer (2000) affirm that realtor's websites have become an invaluable source for sorting through information ranging from how to pick a neighbourhood and a property, to how to get the best mortgage, whereas yesterday most of the control information was in the hands of realtors, now it is under the control of consumers. Some websites carry descriptions of homes, photographs, and even virtual walkthroughs, so visitors can get a fell of the properties, others list mortgage rates, details about neighbourhoods, schools and property tax rates. According to them practitioners can launch a search by specifying geographic location, number of bedrooms, price and so on. If you want to know if a house you are interested in is overpriced for the neighbourhood, you can go to an internet site (www.recomps.com) established by Steward Title of Orange Country, California, and dial into a national database that 51
allows you to compare recent sale price of similar homes in the same neighbourhood. In addition to sales prices data, detailed information is provided on Square Footage, lot size, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms taxes and special amenities such as a swimming pool, spa and remodeling. Also, the data search will cover as many as 30 comparable homes sold in a neighbourhood during the past 12 months. If you want to know where comparable properties are located, you can also go to website for Map Blast (www.mapblast.com). Map Blast allows the practitioner to produce a detailed map from almost any street address in the United States. The individual real estate practitioner is more important than the firm to home sellers selecting an agent, since prior acquaintance with the agent is the primary factor in considering an agent. Gone are the days when the real estate agent was the main sources of information for home buyers and sellers, Today's consumer has access to an exponentially unlimited amount of real estate information; some accurate and some questionable. This enhanced access empowers much different consumer and market environment for today's real estate agent. The "realestate-smart" consumer is creating a new role for those seeking to be real estate professional in today's competitive marketplace. Swanepoel et al 52
(2007) corroborates this view when they stated that the informationempowered practitioners and consumers has already affected real estate industry. For example, previously financial information was distributed via financial broker, newspaper or by television on delayed feed but today the financial information is delivered in real time to consumers with internet access. In addition, the information provided as mushroomed from the opening and closing price to an almost encyclopaedic array of new releases, biographic, past history, profiles, comparisons, and related matters. Thus consumer access has caused a significant change by creating not only new competing business models but by reengineering the paradigm ... with the potentially more informed consumer the real estate professional's role is changing to subject-matter-expert, information processor and transaction facilitator rather than salesperson, order taker or chauffeur. Johnson et al (1988) Webb (2000) found that education before licensing remains the single most important thing that could be done to enhance the professional practice and image of real estate practitioners. Despite the technology boom on an off line, the real estate industry will remain high touch. The Internet is often viewed as a business opportunity but few would plan to use the Internet to reduce marketing and customer acquisition costs. Home buyers can shop for listing online, view virtual tours of properties, 53
exchange emails about the home buying process with a practitioner, and even bid for a property online but they still need a professional to complete the paperwork, negotiate the deal, and resolve the unexpected problem. Buyers and sellers will gravitate to service options that meet their specific needs, whether technologically based or from a personal representative. Experts are trying to shape the future of ICT implementation in real estate practice. However, part of the fun of life is still going shopping in person. The first wave of customers tends to go online, but in time, customers will be less impressed with the novelty of online shopping than with the quality of the transaction. Thus there is still a need for re-intermediate of the salesperson. On the other hand, Jud and Frew (1986) suggest that brokers do more than produce matches between buyers and sellers. They argue that the influence of brokers on the demand for housing is similar to that of advertising on the demand for other good and services. However, the first wave of consumers tends to go online but in time customers will be less impressed with the novelty of online shopping than with the quality of the transaction or practice. Thus, there is still a need for the re-intermediation of the salesperson. 54
Summary Information and communication technology significantly changed the way real estate firms are organized, the methods many real estate practitioners adopt in marketing properties and services. Business survival is becoming more closely tied to real estate practitioners' abilities to adapt to technological changes and to use technology to attract customers. Recent research by Dixon and Marston (2000, Dixon 2002, 2005) has found a growing impact on ICT in real estate practice. Perhaps, therefore, the issue is not lack of impact of ICT on real estate practice; rather part of the problem with much of the research in the field is that it is often crosssectional in nature, preferring to take snapshots in time rather longitudinally. This suggests we may therefore be missing change caused by ICT because in organizational management and real estate process, the changes are much harder to map. Also, the majority of studies do not compare current working practices. It is inherently more difficult to identify step changes in practice if you have only recently become part of the revolution in technology, and part of the issue may also be connected with who is surveyed in these studies, what their role is in the organization and how they see technological changes as altering their practice models. 55
Focusing too narrowly on the institutional barriers or simplistic application of transaction cost theory, with little or no empirical support (Baen and Guffery 1997, Bakos, 1998) could have compounded the problem intended for resolution as a result of measuring and identifying the precise nature and the impact of technological change in real estate practice. Nonetheless the above research works offer a valuable insight. While these studies have been successful in finding the interplay between ICT application and real estate practice, they necessary omit much of the subtlety of the connections which this research study is intend to solve. 56
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 3.0 INTRODUCTION This chapter deals with the methods and procedures used in the conduct of this research study. Good effort was made to highlight all the elements and how they were used in the study. These elements include: (i) The Research Design (ii) Population of Study Area (iii) Sources of Data Collection (iv) Sampling and Sampling Techniques (v) Instrument for Data Collection (vi) Method of the Data Analysis 3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN The study is a survey research as well, this is because it seeks to survey the opinions of practitioners on the need and relevance of information and communication technology in contemporary practice of real estate as well as the "Status quo" of information and communication technology (ICT) in real estate practice in Nigeria, using Lagos metropolis as the area of focus. It also seeks to analyze the extent ICT have been 57
applied in contemporary practice of real estate in Lagos metropolis. To this end therefore, a survey research design is employed. A survey according to Okwudili (1996) is an opinion poll which shows the standing of a given population on an issue using a sample which is a true representation of the population. 3.2 POPULATION OF STUDY AREA The study population was grouped into two with peculiar questions to their circumstance. The first group consisted of real estate firms with limited usage of information and communication technology. The second group consists of those firms whose current level of information and communication technology (ICT) usage is significant. The study population was limited to those practitioners In the Lagos metropolis. They will be randomly selected in the study area not withstanding the age of establishment, big or small, private or government, main offices, branches e.t.c. This study examined the opinion of a cross section of practitioners of the selected benchmarked companies and their experience with existing technology and the new information and communication technology. Hence the total population for the study is two hundred and sixty nine (269). 58
3.3 SOURCES OF DATA COLLECTION 3.3.1 PRIMARY SOURCE The information from this source comprised of responses to the questionnaires administered to and collected from the respondents In the organizations. One set of questionnaire was used for the study. Oral interview was also conducted and recorded where the respondent did not have time to write. 3.3.2 SECONDARY SOURCE The secondary source data needed for this study were obtained from textbooks, journals, magazines, newspapers, periodicals and other publications. The researcher conducted primary research for information through the use of internet services.
3.4 SAMPLING AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUES
In calculating the samples size of the practitioners both private and
government agencies, the researcher applied the statistical formula for
selecting from a finite population as formulated by Taro Yamane (1964).
The formula is stated thus:
n=
N
I + N(e)2
59
Where I = Constant value
n = Sample
N = population size
C = Co-efficient of confidence or margin of error or allowable error
or level of significance. According to Yamane, the margin of error (e) is
meant to determine and get reasonable and workable sample size from a
finite population. For this study, 5% is an appropriate margin of error.
Therefore, since N = 269 and e-0.05, n can be calculated as:
n=
N
I + N(e)2
n=
269
1 + 269(0.05)2
n = 160
Therefore, a total of one hundred and sixty (160) respondents constituted the sample size of the study. 3.5 INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION The major instrument for the collection of primary data was the questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed on the basis of the research hypotheses. The questionnaires contain yes or no answers. These were personally administered to the respondents from the selected firms by the researcher. 60
3.6 VALIDITY OF THE INSTRUMENT To ascertain the validity of the instrument; the researcher subjected the instrument to face-to-face validity by giving it to the supervisor, and professor in estate management, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, who examined the items contained in the questionnaire and made sure they were in line with the objectives of the study. The structure and language of the questionnaire was modified in line with the objective of the study. 3.7 RELIABILITY OF RESEARCH INSTRUMENT To ascertain the reliability of the instrument some copies of the questionnaires were administered to the practitioners under survey, who completed same and returned to the researcher. After one-week, interval the same practitioners were presented with the same questionnaire for completion. The aim was to ascertain the consistency and trust worthiness of the practitioners in completing the questionnaire. When the two sets of responses were compared, it was evidenced that their responses were similar as the respondents maintained similar standpoints in both cases. 3.8 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS The following methods of data analysis were adopted. The data collected were summarized and presented using tables, to give a visual 61
impression of the findings. The data obtained were properly collated, summarized and presented in tabular form. Chi-square (x2) was used to test
the hypothesis. This technique allows the result obtained to be compared
with statistical techniques and to be tested for significance.
Chi-square is a statistical tools used in testing hypothesis when the
data are in nominal or ordinal form. The chi-square test is an important tool
in hypothesis testing, it is used when there is need to compare cultural or
observed distribution with a hypothesised or anticipated one, this is often
referred to as goodness of fit; the computation is based on the difference
between the actual and expected values the formula for calculating chisquare (x2) which is used in testing the hypotheses of this study is given as:
(fo ­ fe)2
X2 =
Fe
Where X2 = Chi-square
Fo = Observed frequency
Fo = Expected frequency
The output of the model is calculated at 5% level of significance
which is gotten by (row-1) (column-1).
62
CHAPTER FOUR PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.0 INTRODUCTION
This chapter is concerned with the presentation and analysis of data
gathered from the study. Percentages were used to analyse the data, Pearson chi-square (x2) were used to test the hypotheses copies of questionnaire were
collected from the respondents and the responses were used to deduce
findings of the study.
4.1 ANALYSIS OF CHARACTERISTICS OF RESPONDENT
In this section, an analysis of the distribution and collection of
questionnaires distributed.
DISTRIBUTION AND COLLECTION OF QUESTIONNAIRES
Table 4.1: Number of Questionnaires Distributed and Returned
Option
Number
Percentage (%)
Number returned
140
87.5
Number not returned 10
6.25
Total
160
100
Source: Field Survey
63
As depicted from the above, 160 questionnaires were distributed, but
87.5% were returned while 6.25% were not returned.
Table 4.1.2: Position in the Organization
Option
Number
Percentage (%)
Senior Partner
40
2.5
Managing partner
28
17.5
Department Head
23
14.4
Other employee
09
43.1
Total
100
Source: Field Survey
Table 4.1.2 above shows that the total number of 25% of the
respondents were senior partners, 17.5% of the respondents were managing
partners, 14.4% of the respondents were various department heads and the
greatest percentage 43.12% are made up of various employees including
probationers; personal secretaries and others.
64
4.1.3: Personal Data (Background Information)
Table 4.1.3: Highest Educational Qualification
Option
Number
Percentage (%)
OND
35
21.9
HND
30
18.8
B.Sc
40
25
M.Sc
20
12.5
Ph.D
8
5
Others
27
16.9
Total
160
100
Source: Field Survey
From the table, analysis shows that 21.9% of the total number of
respondents are OND holders 18.8% of the respondents were HND holders,
25% are B.Sc holders, M.Sc makes up 12.5% of the respondents 5% of the
respondents were Ph.D holders, while 16% are others. From the analysis the
researcher can deduce that most of the practitioners in these firms have at
least first degree.
65
4.1.4 Age Distribution of Benchmarked Firms
Option
Number
Percentage (%)
0-4years
10
21.28
5-10years
9
19.15
11-20years
18
38.29
21-40years
10
21.28
>40years
-
-
Total
47
100
Source: Field Survey
From the table, analysis shows that 21.28% of the total number of
benchmarked firms have been in operation for less than 4 years, 19.15% less
than 10 years, 38.29% have been in operation for less than 20 years and
21.28% for less than 40 years
4.2 DATA PRESENTATION To examine whether the application of information and communication technology in real estate practice, has enhanced the potential development of contemporary practice of real estate this question was raised. Table 4.1.5: Does the Application of ICT in real estate have effect on the contemporary practice of real estate? 66
Responses
Frequency
Percentage %
Yes
105
75
No
35
25
Total
140
100
Source: Field Survey
From the data presented in table 4.1.4 above, 75% of the respondents
said `Yes' that the application of information and communication
technology in real estate practice has effect in the contemporary practice of
real estate, while 25% of the respondents said `No' that the application of
ICT in real estate practice has no effect in the contemporary practice of real
estate.
Table 4.1.6: Do the trends of information and communication
technology application in real estate practice have impact on the
contemporary practice of real estate?
Responses
Frequency
Percentage %
Yes
90
64.3
No
50
35.7
Total
140
100
Source: Field Survey
67
In order to find out whether the trends in ICT application in real estate
practice have impact in the contemporary practice of real estate the
respondents were asked to indicate the right answer. The responses from the
above data shows that 64.3% of the respondents agreed that the trends in
ICT application in real estate practice has impact on the contemporary
practices or real estate, while 35.7% of the respondents said `No' that the
trends of ICT application in real estate practice has no impact on the
contemporary practice of real estate.
Table 4.1.7: How can ICT resources be effectively harnessed to improve
real estate practice?
Responses
Frequency
Percentage %
Mainstreaming a robust ICT
courses/programme into estate
management curriculum in real
estate practice.
85
60.7
Organizing seminars, workshops,
symposium in real estate firms.
55
39.2
Total
140
100
Source: Field Survey
68
To ascertain how ICT resources can be effectively harnessed to
improve contemporary practice of real estate. The respondents were asked to
tick the right answer. From the above data 60.7% of the respondents ticked
mainstreaming a robust ICT courses or programme into estate management
curriculum in higher institution in real estate practices, while 39.2% of the
respondents ticked organizing seminars, workshops, and symposium on ICT
in real estate practice.
Table 4.1.8: What is the level of Information and Communication
Technology adherence in the contemporary practice of real estate?
Responses
Frequency
Percentage %
Low
41
29.3
High
99
70.7
Total
140
100
Source: Field Survey
The above table shows that 29.3% of the respondents accepted a low
level of ICT adherence in contemporary practice of real estate, while 70.7%
of the respondents accepted high level of ICT adherence in the contemporary
practice of real estate.
69
4.3 TEST OF HYPOTHESES In testing the hypotheses, the following steps would be adopted. 1) Statement of the hypothesis in the null and the alternative 2) Identification of the test statistics 3) Formulation of the decision rule 4) Computation of the test statistics 5) Interpretation of the test results Hypothesis One Ho: There is no significant relationship between the application of information and communication technology and real estate practice. Hi: There is a significant relationship between the application of information and communication technology and real estate practice. TEST OF DATA The data for verification of hypothesis one is given below: 70
Table 4.1.9: Does the application of information and communication
technology in real estate practice have effect on the contemporary
practice of real estate.
Firms with limited ICT usage
Firms with limited ICT usage
Response
Fo
Fe
Fo
Fe
Total
Yes
65
52.5
40
52.5
105
No
5
17.5
30
17.5
35
Total
70
70
140
Formula for expected frequency is Fe = (Row total X column total) Grand Total Where fe = Expected Frequency R = Total for row C = Total for column T = Grand total Substituting for the above values we have
Fe = Fe =
105 x 170 140 35 x 70 140
= 52.5 = 17.5
Fe = Fe =
105 x 70 140 35 x 70 140
= 52.5 = 17.5
71
Table 4.2.1 Firms with limited ICT usage
Response Fo
Fe
fo-fe
Yes
65
52.5
12.5
No
5
17.5
-12.5
Source: Field Survey
(fo-fe)2 156.25 156.25
(fo-fe)2/fe 2.9 8.9 11.8
Table 4.2.2 Firms with significant ICT usage
Response Fo
Fe
fo-fe
Yes
40
52.5
-12.5
No
30
17.5
12.5
Source: Field Survey
Degree of freedom (df) = 1 Level of significance = 0.05 Calculated (x2) = 23.6 Critical value or table value of (x2) = 3.841 X2 C>X2T 23.6>3.841
(fo-fe)2 156.25 156.25
(fo-fe)2/fe 2.9 8.9 11.8
Total = 23.6
72
Decision Since the calculated chi-square (x2) which is 23.6 is greater than the
critical value 3.841, we accept the alternative hypothesis (Hi) and reject the
null hypothesis (Ho). This implies that the application of ICT in real estate
practice has enhance potential development of contemporary practice of real
estate.
Hypothesis Two
Ho: There is no significant relationship between the trends in information
and communication technology and real estate practice.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between the trends in information
and communication technology and real estate practice.
Test of Data
The data for verification of hypothesis two is given below:
4.2.2: Do the trends in information and communication technology
application in real estate practice have effect on the contemporary
practice of real estate.
Table 4.2.3
Firms with limited ICT usage
Firms with limited ICT usage
Response
Fo
Fe
Fo
Fe
Total
Yes
30
40
60
45
90
No
40
25
10
25
50
Total
70
70
140
73
Formula for expected frequency is
Where
Fe = fe =
(Row total X column total) Grand Total Expected Frequency
R = Total for row
C = Total for column
T = Grand total
Substituting for the above values we have
Fe = 90 x 70
= 45
140
Fe = 50 x 70
= 25
140
Fe = 90 x 70
= 45
140
Fe = 50 x 70
= 25
140
Table 4.2.4 Firms with limited ICT usage
Response Fo
Fe
fo-fe
Yes
30
45
-5
No
40
25
15
Source: Field Survey
(fo-fe)2 225 225
(fo-fe)2/fe 5 9 14
74
Table 4.2.2 Firms with significant ICT usage
Response Fo
Fe
fo-fe
(fo-fe)2
(fo-fe)2/fe
Yes
60
45
15
225
5
No
10
25
-15
225
9
14
Source: Field Survey
Total = 28
Degree of freedom (df) = 1
Level of significance = 0.05 Calculated (x2) = 28 Critical value or table value of (x2) = 3.841 X2 C>X2T
28>3.841
Decision Since the calculated chi-square (x2) which is 28 is greater than the
critical value 3.841, we accept the alternative hypothesis (Hi) and reject the
null hypothesis (Ho). This implies that the trends in real estate practice has
increased the potential development of contemporary practice of real estate.
75
Hypothesis Three Ho: There is no significant relationship between low information and communication technology adherence and real estate practice. Hi: There is no significant relationship between low information and communication technology adherence and real estate practice.
Test of Data
The data for verification of hypothesis three is given below:
4.1: What is the level of information and communication technology
adherence in the contemporary practice of real estate?
Table 4.2.6
Firms with limited ICT usage
Firms with limited ICT usage
Response
Fo
Fe
Fo
Fe
Total
Yes
69
49.5
30
49.5
99
No
1
20.5
40
20.5
41
Total
70
70
140
Formula for expected frequency is
Fe =
(Row total X column total) Grand Total
76
Where fe = Expected Frequency R = Total for row C = Total for column T = Grand total Substituting for the above values we have
Fe = 99 x 70 140
= 49.5
Fe = 41 x 70 140
= 20.5
Fe = 99 x 70 140
= 49.5
Fe = 41 x 70
= 20.5
140
Table 4.2.4 Firms with limited ICT usage
Response Fo
Yes
69
No
1
Fe
fo-fe
49.5
19.5
20.5
-19.5
Source: Field Survey
(fo-fe)2 380.25 380.25
(fo-fe)2/fe 7.7 18.5 26.2
Table 4.2.2 Firms with significant ICT usage
Response Fo
Fe
fo-fe
Yes
30
49.5
-19.5
No
40
20.5
19.5
Source: Field Survey
(fo-fe)2 380.25 380.25
(fo-fe)2/fe 7.7 18.5 26.2
Total = 52.4
77
Degree of freedom (df) = 1 Level of significance = 0.05 Calculated (x2) = 52.4 Critical value or table value of (x2) = 3.841 X2 C>X2T 28>3.841 Decision Since the calculated chi-square (x2) which is 52.4 is greater than the critical value 3.841, we accept the alternative hypothesis (Hi) and reject the null hypothesis (Ho). This implies that level of ICT adherence in contemporary practice of real estate is low. Hence the practitioners are not able to use the existing computer software and hardware packages in real estate practice. 78
CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5.0 INTRODUCTION This study assessed the application of Information and Communication Technology in Real Estate Practice ­ A case Study of Lagos Metropolis. In this chapter, is the discussion of findings. The findings are related to the current body of theory as presented in the literature review. The conclusions are based on the findings of the research. Recommendations are also made at the end of the chapter. 5.1 SUMMARY Following the collection and analysis of data, some pertinent findings were registered. They include among others: (i) That information and communication technology (ICT) application has helped in expanding and facilitating the development of contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria. In fact, from the analysis of data, it was found that 105 respondents representing 75% agreed that the application of ICT has enhanced the contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria while 35 respondents representing 25% are against the view that ICT application has enhanced the 79
practice of real estate. It was also revealed that mobile phones are now used for communication via text messages which has helped improved communication in the course of everyday assignments. Field staff can now make immediate contact with home office of principal partners when issues arise while out in the field. The application of ICT enables proper documentation of virtually everything about a property, information about the owners, construction details, photographs, sketches, lease agreement including financial records of receipts, and payments. Information about any property can be called up at any time and in a variety of ways, it can also be programmed with handy reminders-shortlists of which administrative actions are due or are pending at all times, reducing the incidence of failing to keep appointments or sending out belated reminders. Notices and reminders to tenants are now made via the internet, also the process of negotiation for rent renewals is properly documented and saved on the computer for future reference. The issue of distance is completely removed with ICT as properties are advertised on the firms websites or any other property related websites, where it immediately becomes available to the whole world. In terms of viewing, actual physical visits to the site which are often 80
frustrated by distance, traffic jams or inclement weather is replaced with a video of the external and internal views of the property which may be accesses either online, on a laptop or in an office desktop computer. (ii) That the trends of information and communication technology (ICT) application have enhanced the growth and development of contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria. From the data analysis, we found that 90 respondents representing 64.3% agreed that the trends of ICT application have enhanced the growth and development of real estate practice in Nigeria. While 50 respondents representing 35.7% disagreed with the view that the trends in ICT application have enhanced the growth and development of contemporary practice of real estate. It was also revealed that it is now possible for more practitioners than ever to collaborate and transact business in real time with other practitioners on more different kinds of work. From different corners of the planets and on a more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of real estate practice using computer, e-mails, fiber optics, networks, teleconferencing, dynamics, decision support system (DSS), geographic information system (GIS). 81
(iii) That information and communication technology resources can be effectively harness to improve real estate practice by mainstreaming a robust ICT programmed/topic into estate management curriculum in higher institutions. From the data analysis we found that 85 respondents representing 60.7% indicated mainstreaming a robust ICT programmed/topics into estate management curriculum in higher institutions. While 55 respondents representing 39.3% indicated organizing seminars, workshops, symposium in real estate firms. Deductive evidence showed that information and communication technology courses are offered to students in a very general way and on an awareness level only. This might have been sufficient in the past where the dependence of the corporate world in ICT was not as high as it is in Nigeria today. The applications elements where students are introduced to specific professional software and grounded in its use is not very effective due to lack of capacity and professional software developed in line with local practice procedure. Hence, to effectively harness ICT resources, to improve real estate, there is need to mainstream robust ICT programmed/topics into each particular course where required in such a manner that students can grasp, 82
assimilate and apply the techniques in a meaningful and sustainable way. (iv) That the levels of information and communication technology adherence in some real estate firms are low. From the data analysis, we found that 99 respondents representing 70.7% indicated low level of ICT adherence in real estate practice. While 41 respondents representing 29.3% indicated high level of ICT adherence in real estate practice. Evidence showed that there is a low adherence to the radical prospects of ICT within real sector in the study area. This low adherence is caused by a combination of factors such as political, economic, financial and educational factors. Good numbers of estate surveyors interviewed are not computer literate, and some of the real estate firms are not aware of the existing computer packages to facilitate computations in investment valuation, development appraisal, commercial residential agency etc. If adequate remedy is not taken to embrace the innovations of information and communication technology (ICT), real estate profession may rapidly fritter away her influence to other related and competing profession. 83
5.2 CONCLUSION From the findings of this study it can be safely concluded as follows: (i) That information and communication technology (ICT) application has helped in expanding and facilitating the development of contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria. ICT has significantly changed the way real estate professionals adopt in marketing properties and service and the extent to which practitioners can get directly involved in the heterogeneous real estate market. Business survival is becoming more closely tied to real estate sales firm's abilities to adapt to technological changes and to use technology to attract customers. Through much debate and careful consideration, along with variety of successes and mistakes, the real estate practice has been adapting itself to take advantage of the internet over the past years. With such explosive growth in electronic commerce, a number of industries, including real estate, are leveraging themselves to benefit from this new technology. (ii) That the trends in information and communication technology (ICT) application has enhanced the growth and development of contemporary practice of real estate in Nigeria as it is now possible for more practitioners than ever to collaborate and transact business in 84
real time with other practitioners on a more different kinds of work from different corners of the planets and on a more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of real estate practice using computer, e-mails, fiber optics, networks, teleconferencing, dynamics, decision support system (DSS) geographic information system (GIS) and (LIS). (iii) That there is a low adherence to the prospects of information and communication technology within real estate sector in Nigeria. This low adherence is caused by a combination of factors such as political, cultural, economic, financial and educational factors. Good numbers of estate practitioners interviewed are not computer literate. (iv) That information and communication technology resources can be effectively harnessed to improve real estate practice by mainstreaming a robust programmed/topics into estate management curriculum in higher institutions Webb (2000) found that education before licensing to practice remains the single most important thing that could be done to enhance professional image of real estate practice. Information and communication technology has completely enhanced real estate practice, but in Nigeria; there is room for improvement. A simple example is the use of mobile phone for communication via text messages, 85
which has helped improve communication in the course of everyday. Field staff can make immediate contact with the home office of the principal partner when issues arise while out in the field. In the past, such staff would have had to return to base to deal with such issues. The use of computers and internet has also made it possible for firms to operate several branches apart from their head offices with more ease than previously was the case. Professional reports may be vetted online and exchange of documented information has been greatly enhanced. Real estate professionals can now use internet to send up-to-date information to potential client at very low cost, accurately and quickly. The internet has also helped the practitioners increase sales, save time and provide a noticeably higher level of services to both buyer and sellers. Virtual "model" homes can be distributed on CD-ROM very much like brochures, and can be accessed directly through the internet. Some of the general business applications programmed that are available on most operating systems such as windows and spreadsheets, databases, word processors, and computeraided design programmes. As a profession that is relevant to all these other professionals at work in the construction industry, there is an urgent need to remain at par with the rest industry by a gradual shift from overdependence on traditional filing 86
cabinets and pocket calculators to the sophistication of computer technology. The time is now ripe for estate surveyors and valuers to quit paying lip service to this all important issue and take on the challenge to see that within the next few years, practicing surveyors are fully trained and sufficiently literate to use computers in every aspect of their professional practice. The computerization process and the move towards automation at all levels of real estate practice is a collective responsibility of the estate surveyors and valuers registration board of Nigeria. The Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Universities and other higher institutions as well as the individual valuers as part of his/her personal continuous professional development efforts. 5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS In the light of the foregoing the summary of findings and conclusion, the following suggestions are proffered to ensure that real estate practitioners embrace the use or application of information and communication technology in various real estate practice. (i) The first port of call should be the institutions of higher learning where the initial introduction to estate management is being made. The curriculum should be overhauled to include extensive ICT 87
training in terms of its theoretical and practical aspects. If the present crops of aspiring estate surveyors and valuers benefit from this review, it will go a long way in reducing the costs and burden of training staff by the estate firms. It will also provide better job opportunities for the young professionals. The present curriculum does not prepare the undergraduate for real life experiences. At every step the students should be allowed to meet the real experiences of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses. (ii) The Nigeria institutions of estate surveyors and valuers should organize seminars, continuing professional development (C.P.D) and workshops including demonstration of the relevance of information and communication technology applications to real estate practice. This will go a long way in educating the professionals who did not have a chance to learn and also update others who have the basic skills. Practicing surveyors should send their staff to these workshops and seminars to grasp the real life application. (iii) The Nigeria institution of estate surveyor and valuers should launch extensive research into the relevance of information and communication technology application in real estate practice by approving funds for the reSearch Committee to carry out such 88
Educational Research. Data gathered from such research will serve as a fundamental base for learning and from where more estate surveyors may have insight into the benefits that abound in the use of ICT. (iv) Acquisition of infrastructure: The major complaint of estate firms who are not presently computerized is the cost of acquiring the equipment. They wonder if it cost-effective, if it will be as efficient as promised. The foregoing arguments in favour of the electronic digital computer have shown without a doubt that it is cost-effective. These firms do not have to buy brand names like dell, apple, Toshiba, or HewlettPackard to get the job done after locally assembled computers which are cheaper can do the job as well for a start. (v) The role of the institution: The Nigerian institution of estate surveyors and valuers have roles to play in encouraging the use and adoption of information and communication technology and other forms of technology. a. The institution should put legislation in place to make it mandatory for real estate firms to make use of ICT in this 21st century. Other professional bodies that are the pride and joy of the nation did not start computerizing at will. They were given ultimatums to meet with the standard set in place so as to compete globally. 89
b. The institution recently launched its own website, therefore it must realise the importance of its relevance. The institution can offer free access to the internet and a range of other related benefits for a specified period which will cut operating costs and make email the primary method of communication between practicing firms till they can pay for such services. (vi) Academic staff responsible for teaching core departmental courses who may need to mainstream ICT into various aspects of the syllabus lack the capacity to do so and need to be trained or retrained to enable them update the course content in such a way that ICT is fully integrated. (vii) To make ICT more relevant, useful, appreciated and easily understood in real estate practice, there is need to mainstream relevant ICT topics/programmed into each particular course where required in such manner that students can grasp and apply the techniques in a meaningful and sustainable way. (viii) Development Appraisal/Investment Analysis rely heavily on mathematical computations and manipulation of data in a meaningful way to achieve the desired result. Computer should form the basic teaching tool for this subject by the use of dedicated professional 90
software as well as the adaptation of spreadsheets to suit specific requirements. A situation where students are taught ICT separately from its use and application is more difficult to make the connection between both subjects. (ix) Practicing estate surveyors and valuers should as a matter of necessity and absolute urgency undertake courses in computer science. This way, they will become more abreast with what ICT (computer) can do and what it cannot do. By so doing, they can enjoy the benefits of ICT (computer). More importantly, a standardize computer valuation packages should be developed and made universal to replace the existing valuation table. (x) The public sector, private sector and corporate sector need to have an extensive audit done to ascertain their capacity building needs within the context of ICT. The results of such an audit should form the basis for the development of ICT programmes designed for the surveyors. (xi) There is an urgent need for the development of professional software and hardware packages in real estate practice that will accurately reflect the local practice method. (xii) Standardisation of professional practice is required as real life problems cannot be solved easily without proper diagnosis of problems and the introduction of standards. 91
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Macmillan Limited, USA. Thompson, R. and Hills, M. (1999); "Wired up for Estra Value" : Journal of Real Estate Research. Vol. 17 Nos. ~ pp. 245 - 55. Thrall G. I. (2000): Data for Commercial Real Estate Stock and Pipeline Analysis. Full Dodge and Comps Corp. Journal of Real Estate Literature 82 155 - 59. Tien, Foo S. (2002); Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Office Space Demand" Paper Presented at ERES Conference, Glasgow June Tse R. Y. & Webb J. (2003) Real Estate Technology. University of Florida: Department of Geography. Gainesville, FI 33611. Tse R. V. C. and Webb J. A. (2002); The Effectiveness of a Web Strategy for Real Estate Brokerage. Journal of Real Estate Literature. 10 (1): 121-130. Tse, Raymond Y.C and Webb James R (2002) Information Technology on real estate brokerage and Explore Whether Internet Services Journal of Real Estate Literature V olume.10 Webb J. R. (2000); An Inquiry into the Professional Self-Image of Real Estate Agents Journal of Real Estate Research Vol. 20. 153-77 Zuboff S. (1988); In the Age of the Smart Machine. Basic Books New York: Zumpano L. V., Elder H. W. & Baryla E. A. (1996) Buying a House and the Decision to Use a Real Estate Broker. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. 13:2 169-81. 97
APPENDIX 1 QUESTIONNAIRE University of Nigeria Enugu Campus Department of Estate Management Faculty of Environmental Studies Sir/Madam, I am a postgraduate student of Estate Management Department, University of Nigeria, and Enugu Campus. I am currently carrying out a research work titled, "Assessment of the Application of Information and Communication Technology in Real Estate Practice." I humbly request your assistance towards the success of this study by objectively completing this questionnaire. Please, be assured that every information supplied will be treated in utmost confidence. Note also that this research is purely for academic purpose and would not under any circulstnace be used otherwise. Thanks. Yours faithfully, HALIM HENRY .C. RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE 98
Instruction: Please, tick [ ] where appropriate.
SECTION A: PERSONAL DATA
Sex:
Male [ ] Female [ ]
Marital Status: Married [ ] Single [ ] Divorced [ ]
Religion:
Christianity [ ] Muslim [ ] Others [ ]
Qualifications: HND [ ] MS.c [ ] Ph.D [ ]
1. Does ICT application have a role in supporting and enhancing real
estate practice? Yes [ ] No [ ]
2. Information and communication technology application contribute
towards the development and growth of real estate practice?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
3. Without ICT application, there will be no improved standard of real
estate practice. Do you agree? Yes [ ] No [ ]
4. In your own view do you believe that ICT application play a vital role
in enhancing the standard of real estate practice? Yes [ ] No [ ]
5. What extent do you apply ICT in running your office?
(a) Preparing letters, reports and other documents [ ]
(b) Sourcing of property [ ]
(c) Sending mails [ ]
(d) Advertising of properties [ ]
6. How would you access your practice with the use of ICT application
with none use of ICT application?
(a) No change
[]
(b) Great change [ ]
(c) Little change [ ]
7. What is the degree of information and communication technology
adherence in real estate practice in your firm?
99
(a) High
[]
(b) Moderate
[]
(c) Low
[]
8. Are firms with ICT application better in the practice than firms
without its application? Yes [ ] No [ ]
9. Does the application of ICT resources enhance the development of the
contemporary practice of real estate? Yes [ ] No [ ]
10. Is any of these ICT software systems used in your establishment?
S/N Software System
Yes No %
1. Spreadsheet
2. database management system
3. Word processing
4. Time line/internet
5. Statistics packages
6. Computer-aided design
11. If you apply any of all the above components of ICT in your firm,
what is the difference between now that you apply it and when you
don't?
(a) No change
[]
(b) Greater turn up of clients
[]
(c) High standard of practice
[]
12. Do you use computer information systems for maintaining real estate
database? Yes [ ] No [ ]
13. What has been the comment of clients since the application of ICT in
real estate practice?
(a) No comment
[]
100
(b) Impressive change
[]
(c) Excellent change
[]
(d) No change
[]
14. Does the trends in ICT application have effect on the contemporary
practice of real estate in your firm? Yes [ ] No [ ]
15. Can ICT application be an impediment to real estate practice?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
16. ICT impacts on real estate productivity. Do you agree?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
17. What are the key drivers and barriers to ICT implementation in real
estate sector?
(a) Lack of basic knowledge of ICT by estate valuers
(b) High cost of purchasing ICT equipments
(c) Unavailability of finance for ICT installation
18. Does the application of ICT in real estate practice provide a
framework for consistent and uniform evaluation in your firm?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
19. Does the application of ICT have effect on real estate practice?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
20. What is the objective of your internet presence?
(a) Promote firm's brand
[]
(b) Generate new listings
[]
(c) Attract buyers
[]
(d) Provide information and advice
[]
(e) Minimize transaction costs
[]
21. How can the government assist in alienating the problem of ICT
application in real estate practice?
101
(a) Making ICT equipment affordable
[]
(b) Ensure regular power supply
[]
(c) Reduce duties on computer importation [ ]
(d) All of the above
[]
22. Has your firm ever presented any report in electronic format?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
23. Do you recommend the application of ICT in real estate practice?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
24. How can the resources of ICT be effectively harnessed to improve
real estate practice?
(a) Mainstreaming a robust ICT topic/programmed into estate
management curriculum
[]
(b) Creating awareness of the use of ICT through seminars,
symposia and workshop
[]
(c) All the above
[]
25. What are the problems your firm face as a resulted of manual
operation?
(a) Data storage and retrieval is inefficient [ ]
(b) Information about properties is duplicated [ ]
(c) None standard valuation report
[]
(d) Delay in meeting up deadline
[]
26. In your opinion, do you think ICT application has improved the
activities of the firm? Yes [ ] No [ ]
102

HH CHIEDU

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