One of my friends is visiting Naij this Christmas so I was trying to hook him up with a nice, reasonably priced, central space in Lagos. I’d asked around and gotten some hotel recommendations when he mentioned he was either looking for a hotel with a suite or an apartment. Hmmm. So I went back to my contacts and the 1004 Estate came highly recommended.
There are all these different companies offering short-leases around Lagos nowadays, and one can easily find most of these companies online. But knowing how Naij is, I wasn’t comfortable doing business with just any short-lease company I found online, so I reached out to my contacts again and was connected with a representative (let’s call him BJ) from a legit short-lease company.
Now, here’s where my search got pretty interesting.
While discussing with BJ, he mentioned I’d be able to get a 2 bedroom in 1004 for about 150USD per night. However, he wasn’t willing to take my reservation just yet. Why? Because I was looking for a room in December and he felt like prices would have increased by then. Plus, there’s the possibility that other folks may want to rent out the space for like a month or more. My reservation was for only 11 nights. Hmmm. BJ suggested I check back in early December, and if the space was still available, then I could reserve it. #interesting
Something about my conversation with BJ didn’t seem right. I certainly appreciated his honesty, however, there was no way I could recommend him to my friend with an open conscience. So I spoke with some of my relatives and friends who live in Lagos and asked if it seemed ok that I couldn’t make a reservation for December. Here are some of the responses I received:
“Ahn ahn, it’s December nauuuu. Even artists and entertainers don’t collect money around this time because they can charge more come the festive season”
“You know, there’s nothing wrong with that. What if it’s only one apartment they have in that 1004? They’d want to maximize their returns”
“It’s business my dear. You have to do what you have to do”
I get it. It’s business. But, as a customer, I’m not going to wait around for YOU to DECIDE whether or not you’ll rent me your space. I’m going to shop around and see if there are other PROFESSIONAL folks willing to take my reservation/money and GUARANTEE me a space once I arrive Lagos.
I feel like it’s one thing to say “we currently aren’t taking any reservations due to capacity….please check back in come December” versus “the price now can be much more in the future so wollop and check back in come December.”
Again, I must commend BJ for his honesty. But, I feel like the appropriate thing to have done in this situation was to just let me know that they didn’t have any openings in December as at now, but maybe something could come open so I should check back in a couple weeks’ time.
In general, I feel like a business should have pricing fixed, for the most part, and based on different seasons. For example, if I’m buying a ticket from the US to Nigeria in December, regardless of what month I buy that ticket, I KNOW the ticket will NEVER be less than 1000USD. Why? Because it’s December! Demand is high so prices are high. Same with hotel reservations. If I’m going to spend new year’s in NY and I’m looking for accommodation in Times Square, I’m certain it’d be pricier than normal because, again, law of demand and supply.
Having said that, I’m going to cut BJ some slack and assume his company doesn’t have enough data yet to be able to set prices by the season.
So let me know what you guys think. Is it ok for a company/artist to not take any reservations because prices may be higher in the future? Or should there be a somewhat set pricing schedule, especially one that reflects appropriate pricing during peak seasons (e.g. Christmas, Easter, etc.)?
PS – I was able to get another real estate agent who has agreed to take/guarantee my December reservation for 11 nights…*dancing*