to the Study
Increased urbanisation in
Lagos has brought the challenge of inadequate housing schemes for home buyers.
Government at various levels have not been able to do much in providing
accommodation for the growing population.
Aside from shortfalls in supply, the housing conditions of public
housing complexes are not of good quality. A lot of problems jeopardize the
well-being and quality of life of residents (Ocholi, 1992 cited in Ukoha &
Beamish, 1996; David Jiboye, 2012; Rahman, 2014; E. Eyiah-Botwe, 2015).
According to Ocholi, (1992), some of these problems include degeneration of the
health of the inhabitants due to overcrowding and trash that litters the
environment, transportation shortages and poor neighbourhood facilities which
include lack of designed playgrounds for children, multipurpose hall, parking
areas, safety facilities for the disabled.
Torbical and Stroh (2001) research
suggested that service is the most important component in determining overall
satisfaction. However, previous research have shown how residents of public
housing have expressed dissatisfaction with their housing stock, being
low quality housing that do not adequately match their needs, owing to lack of
basic features such as good roads, schools, refuse disposal systems, security
system, waste disposal, portable water, stable electricity, children
playgrounds, community halls, car parks, facilities for the disables, fire
escape route, fire prevention and fighting devices, adequate facilities
management services, management response to repairs, and handling of residents’
complaints (Salleh et al 2011; David Jiboye, 2012; E. Eyiah-Botwe, 2015).
Buying a house is an important event
in a person's life. House Buyers Association of Malaysia (HBA), (2002) referred
to it as the single and biggest capital investment in one's lifetime. Housing
has progressed from its early inception of being a basic shelter towards a
portrayer of personal success and aspiration. It now involves activities that
generate economic benefits and improve quality of life. Housing should provide
residents with safety, comfort, privacy, good health, quality services and
value for money (Manuel Jose & Pedro Simoes, 2003; Nor'Aini, 2007 cited in
Mustafa & Ghazali, 2012).
The foregoing trend have resulted in
the surge of private real estate developers, who, having noticed this gap have
emerged and going into micro-scale urban planning called gated communities
which most times comprise housing types in forms of condominium apartments
(Danquah and Afram, 2014). These condominium apartments are in high demand in
Lagos, Nigeria, due to population which is growing exponentially, scarcity of
land, and because public housing schemes, aside from being insufficient, do not
meet the expectations of home buyers in terms of facilities management services.
For about two decades now, real
estate developers have shifted their focus in housing provision from the low
income earners to the middle and upper-middle income dwellers due to the
ever-increasing demand for these types of housing (Danquah and Afram, 2014).
According to the African Development
Bank Market Brief report of 2011, the middle class is a neglected cross-section
of the society who account for 34.5million people or 26.8% of the population.
This has positive implications for housing development types which is
acceptable by this class of home buyers.
Studies have shown that good housing
have contributed to overall housing satisfaction especially in private gated
community schemes. Nevertheless, there is high competition among developers to
take over the market. They invest on different dimensions of service quality
and costs in order to satisfy customers and obtain a good share of the market
(Grubor et al., n.d.; Senaratne et al., 2006; Zadkarim et al., 2011).
Despite the competition, top companies
like ‘Aircom Nigeria Limited’ expect to perform well in the next two to three
years due to high unbilled sales. As at 2012, the company had successfully
completed and delivered to various buyer groups several condominium apartments
units in the following estates: Northern Foreshore Estate, Friends Colony
Estate, Napier Garden Estate, Egerton Place Estate, Bourdillon Court Estate,
Milverton Court Estate (AirCom Nigeria Limited/About Us, 2015).
In a competitive market as witnessed
among private real estate developers in Nigeria, most especially in Lagos,
certain factors are responsible for the choice homebuyers make when purchasing
condominium apartments. These factors lead to customer satisfaction and can
help to increase customer loyalty. Such earned loyalty will make existing
customers to advocate for a property developer by engaging prospective buyers
in positive word of mouth, help to increase their market share and hence stay
ahead of competition. In order to achieve this feat, a real estate developer must
provide superior service quality and ensure that existing customers are
satisfied because various research have shown that providing superior quality
and keeping customers satisfied are rapidly becoming the ways for companies to
stand out among competitors (Parasuraman et al., 1985; Zeljko M.Torbica and
Robert C. Stroh., 2001). It is against this backdrop that this aimed aimed at
appraising users’ satisfaction level with the facilities management services
provided by Aircom Nigeria Limited in one of its highly admired condominium
apartments in the Lekki suburb of Lagos - The Egerton Place Estate.
of the Problem
Increased urbanisation and
population growth has led to shortfall in supply of public housing. Aside from
shortfalls in supply, the conditions of public housing complexes are not of
good quality. A lot of problems jeopardize the well-being and quality of life
of residents (Ocholi, 1992, cited in Ukoha and Beamish, 1997). Some of these
problems include degeneration of the health of the inhabitants due to
overcrowding and trash that litter the environment, transportation shortages
and poor neighbourhood facilities which include lack of designed playgrounds
for children, multipurpose hall, parking areas, safety equipment and facilities
for the disabled.
To overcome these
problems and provide acceptable condominium housing types for the people, it is
important to look into how successful private real estate development companies
have addressed the issues with particular regards to the management of their
facilities and property assets, which have make them successful and increased
the demands for their housing stocks.
The research is thus aimed at
providing answers to the following research questions:
did the facilities management team perform with regard to users' expectations
and perceptions of services across the different SERVQUAL Dimensions
are the facilities management team’s areas of strengths and weaknesses
will be the behavioural intentions of users from their experience of facilities
management services in the estate of the case study
Aim of the Study
The aim of the study is to identify
and appraise the levels of what constitute residents' satisfaction with regard
to provision of facilities management services in the study area (Egerton Place
Estate, Lekki, Lagos).
Objectives of the Study
facilities management team's performance with regard to users' expectations and
perceptions of service across the different SERVQUAL Dimensions
facilities management team's areas of strengths and weaknesses
users' behavioural intention from their experience of facilities management
services in the case study estate
Purpose of the Study
Studies have been conducted on user
satisfaction of residential estates (Parasuraman et al., 1985; Ukoha &
Beamish, 1997; Zeljko M.Torbica and Robert C. Stroh., 2001; Daramola, 2006;
Aribigbola, 2008; David, 2010, Mohammad, Gambo, & Omirin, 2012).
Nevertheless, there are no information as to how these residential satisfaction
and/or dissatisfaction data would be useful to real estate developers as
feedback on existing projects and feedforward to further improve on future
designs. This creates a gap as it becomes problems for many developers who
would have found such information useful in helping them maintain residential
user satisfaction, stay ahead of competition and ultimately help maintain the
company's bottom line. Therefore this study sought to look into how real estate
developers can use service quality dimensions of SERVQUAL model to test their
facilities management services, detect their strengths and consolidate on them,
and also detect their weaknesses and improve on them. By so doing, they will
achieve high residential satisfaction, increase customer loyalty, achieve
positive word of mouth from residents and increase company’s market share.
Significance of the Study
This study will benefit three
participants consisting of the Facilities Managers, the Real Estate Developers,
and the Home Buyers. The study will reflect how the facilities management
services are rated by users who are the beneficiaries. This will enable them
improve on service provision since it is key to continuously satisfying
condominium users. The real estate developers will use the data as feedback to
improve on present service provision and as feedforward into future designs and
construction in order to ultimately increase demand for their housing stock and
preserve their reputation in the industry. The homebuyers would be happy to
have invested in a home of choice and realised value for money in terms of home
acquisition and top class services that come with it. This will consequently
create a 'win - win' situation for all concerned parties.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is limited to
the real estate development sector within the south-western geo-political zone
of Nigeria; in particular the Lekki sub-urb of Lagos State. It should have been
ideal to extend the research to other states in Nigeria, however, the study
restricted the scope to the south-western geo-political zone of Nigeria because
a study of the entire country would make conclusions unnecessarily wide, varied
and incapable of clear interpretation. More so, factors that operate in the
real estate development sector in Nigeria is not the same thing across the
various regions of the country. Thus, a study restricted to the south-western
geo-political zone of Nigeria. This selection of this geo-political zone will allow
the researcher to form definite conclusions, amenable to clear interpretations
and create a platform for further research that can be extended to other parts
of the country.
It would have been ideal
to extend the concept of facilities management to all sectors of the economy,
however, this would be cumbersome and unrealistic due to the varying sizes of
other sectors, couple with their differing problems and standards. This would
merely result in over-generalised and unrealistic results which may not be acceptable
by scholars, industries and stakeholders. A study devoted to the real estate
sector on the other hand, would afford the researcher a more concentrated study
in an industry considered as one of the most lucrative in Nigeria.
Also, the time frame allowed for the
research as well as associated logistics in covering the whole country make it
imperative that the research be limited to the south-western geo-political zone
Lastly, there are many
residential estates, private and public in Nigeria. It is not possible in the
face of various limitations to cover all the estates. Therefore this research
is focused on a privately owned and managed residential estate in the Lekki
sub-urb of Lagos State in the south-west geo-political zone of Nigeria.
This study is an
exploratory survey research trying to measure quality management in residential
estate within Nigeria. In this context, the research relied extensively on
research questions in the form of questionnaire in achieving its aim and objectives.
Limitations of the Study
It is worthy of note that the
criterion of residential satisfaction is not without its limitations
(Francescato 2002). This must be kept in mind when interpreting the results of
this research, but do not invalidate the utility of its criterion.
Due to the constraint of
time for this research, the author has done study in a specific location.
However, no urban location can be representative of all cities in the country.
Geographical limitation as introduced above may inevitably introduce limited
bias into the survey, which could limit the application of the results to
geographically dissimilar areas. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the
results could at least form the framework for future research of other far away
locations in the country.
Also as highlighted by
Asika, (1991), there are various barriers to the collection and exchange of
information due to fear of commercial confidentiality. This is even more
pronounced if the source of the information is privately owned. That was the
author’s experience in the case study location.
Limiting the research
work to real estate sector is another major drawback of this work in that it
hampers the application of its findings to other sectors of the economy without
Lastly, future research
should examine factors related to the limitations of the current study. More
rigorous and detailed testing of measurement scales in Nigeria would further
our knowledge of cross-cultural measurement issues. It is possible that some
scales developed in Western culture (e.g. service quality measure) may not be
suitable for the Nigerian culture.
Egerton Place Estate emerged as a
residential location in 2013. It is one of the private residential estates
facilitated by Aircom Nigeria Limited after its acquisition of 62 hectares of
land in Lekki Lagos, in its bid to be a major player in the real estate
development industry in Nigeria. It is situated off the Akanni Ajiran Street,
Lekki, approximately on Latitude: 6.44861 and Longitude: 3.51555.
The entire mass of land
of 62 hectares which was acquired by the developer company (Aircom Nigeria
Limited) also accommodates a number of luxury privately developed estates by
the same company. Notable among them are: Northern Foreshore Estate – A three
phase project with several housing units, Friends Colony Estate, Napier Garden
Estate, Bourdillon Court Estate and Milverton Court Estate. Development within
these estates include block of flats, terrace houses, duplexes and detached
An important factor
peculiar to Egerton Place Estate is the provision of 24 hours electricity as
residents are not permitted to bring in electricity generators into the estate.
Going by local standards, condition of infrastructure and management services
in the estate can be said to be excellent, with coordinated type of
developments, well laid out neighbourhood and provision of services which
include security, utilities, sewage, waste disposal, treated water supply and
Unlike some other
private estates in the Lekki and Victoria Island axis of Lagos, Egerton Place
Estate is not prone to any flooding and it is not being affected by rising
water levels whenever it rains because it has a well designed and built storm
water drainage system which channels water away to the lagoon. This has made it
to retain very good road and drainage systems which form part of the visual
appeal to any visitor to the estate.
Also the estate has maintained a
very serene nature devoid of traffic and any noise pollution because incidents
of commercial activities and running of electricity generator are not permitted
within the estate. This has made the estate a choice one for residents looking
for well managed privately owned estate in Lagos, Nigeria.
1.11 Definition of Terms
"It is defined as a person's
perceived likelihood or "subjective probability that he or she will engage
in a given behaviour" (Committee on Communication for Behaviour Change in
the 21st Century, 2002, p. 31)"
With regard to this study,
Behavioural Intention is the kind of attitude a customer will exhibit after
their experience of a service. This could be favourable, if they had a good
experience with the service or it could be unfavourable, if the service experienced
did not meet their expectations.
Condominiums are most often thought
of as apartments in high-rise and higher density residential buildings.
However, the Canadian Condominium Buyer's Guide defines condominium as: "a
form of real property ownership that has two distinct parts: you own your
condominium apartment to which you get a title, and you also jointly own common
property with the other apartments owners in your complex" (Mortgage &
Each condominium type has its own
unique features, challenges and opportunities. However, something that is
common with condominiums is that they house individual property owners sharing
decisions which bother on management, operations and maintenance and shared
services (Facilities Management Victoria Pty Ltd, 2012).
Therefore condominium apartments as
used in this study refer to the property where an individual owns an apartment
and also jointly owns common property with the other apartments’ owners within
a building. Such common property that is jointly owned include: swimming pool,
gym, crèche, recreational facilities and other common areas.
Condominium apartments could come in the form
· low-rise residential buildings
(fewer than four storeys);
· townhouse or row house complexes;
· stacked townhouses;
· duplexes (one unit over another) or
· triplexes (stack of three units);
· semi-detached houses
· single-detached houses; or
· Vacant land upon which owners may
In its modern form, a
gated community (sometimes also referred to as walled community) is a form of
residential community or housing estate containing strictly controlled
entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterised
by a closed perimeter of walls and fences.
It is important that
customers have one key contact point that is responsible for the coordination
of all the services provided. In this study, this contact point is called the
Facilities Manager. Facilities managers develop and coordinate the service
portfolio for their customers. Facilities manager could, for example, be the FM
team of a real estate developer who offers services along with the buildings.
Or it could be the FM team of a private or public company that handles all the
services of the building i.e. security services, cleaning services, etc.
Facility Management Services
Services are, in the context of this
research, understood as Facilities Management (FM) services performed by a
Facilities Manager during the use phase of a building. They include two main
services, such as maintenance, cleaning, waste management and repair.
services, such as security, catering and childcare.
The definition of
services used in this research is in line with the rather broad definition of
facilities management (FM) provided by the International Facility Management
Association IFMA (www.ifma.org), which describes FM as "a profession that
encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built
environment by integrating people, place, process and technology".
However, it excludes the technical systems of a building included in IFMA’s
Real Estate Developer
A real estate developer is an
individual or corporate entity who buys land, finances real estate deals,
builds or has builders build projects, creates, imagines, controls and
orchestrates the process of development from the beginning to end. The projects
or developments include, but are not limited to residential estates, which is
the focus in this research. In most of the cases, the real estate developer
also manages the service aspects of the residential estates during their use
reflects the degree to which individual's housing needs are fulfilled (Salleh,
2008). Such fulfilment could make residents exhibit high level of residential
satisfaction and show loyalty to the property development company through
favourable behavioural intentions.