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Cost-Benefit Implications Of The Adoption Of Social Marketing Options In Hostel Market Activities Within Owerri.




This study aimed at exploring the cost-benefit implications of the adoption of social marketing options in hostel market activities within Owerri. Its goal was to make the system more profitable to the Estate Surveying professionals within the Hostel Property Investment Market Areas (PHIMAs) in Owerri and beyond. This task was guided with a set of research objectives which intended to address five major research questions. A survey approach involving qualitative data retrieval, collation and analysis were carried out. The information contained in this research was retrieved from samples of 400 hostel tenants and 20 respondents of sampled firms of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers. Information in this research was analyzed using applicable techniques like the Likert, Mean responses analysis and percentage analysis. Findings identified the various transactions for which hostel tenants and the managers of the hostel facilities needed suitable social marketing media. Findings also revealed the recognition of DSMM as trending over the TSMM in handling hostel transaction activities. The weaknesses, causes and risks of participation among the Estate Surveyors was also identified. After testing the two guiding hypotheses, the null of both hypotheses were rejected. The researcher therefore drew the conclusions that in as much as the digital social marketing options are most preferred for hostel transacting hostel tenants, than the Estate Surveyors within the Hostel Property Investment Markets of Owerri, most firms are yet to align to the trend such that the rival Charlatans especially the Charlatans who studied other disciplines and Illiterates with fair knowledge of Estate Agency services, have significant access to hostel letting within selected locations in Owerri compared with the Estate Surveyors in Estate Agency Practice. The cause of the infiltration is not far from the identified risks and challenges presented in this work.



1.1       Background to the Study

Microsoft Thesaurus (2021) indicates that the term marketing is synonymous with the acts of advertising, promoting, selling, publicizing and or presenting a commodity. Marketing is thus an age-long practice applied in every aspect of business affair. Even here Nigeria, our local food markets, marketing strategies are applied in diverse ways to draw the attention of traders and consumers to stocks of traders’ commodities on sale and often used as means of discouraging people from patronizing unhealthy commodities. In cases where there are similar of such commodity or a proliferation of such stock, marketing becomes a tool for competitive display thereby working on the perception of the target consumers about the product of the marketer in comparison with their rivals. In the real estate world, marketing has been major tool for promoting sale of houses, advertising lands for sale, and creating awareness of the limited stocks. It operates on the principles of consumer convenience (Spacey, 2017). Traditionally, marketing of properties have not been effectively practiced in this part of the world except in terms of publicizing same on newspapers, magazines or bulletins unlike the experiences in India, Australia, United States of America and the United Kingdom (Ogedengbe & Osasumwen (2018) and this accounts for the protracted paucity of information regarding stock of real estates for letting or acquisition in Nigeria. This does not rule out the position that some organizations attempt to publish theirs ones in a blue moon.

Numerous kinds of real properties abound in Nigeria targeting both common and specific consumers. This may ranges from residential to none residential properties. The residential properties in Nigeria are mostly targeted at the buyers and users. Although the population of expected users may be overwhelming, the ability of these consumers to locate their choice property depends most often on how the accessible information about their vacancy and quality are to the consumers; the manner such details were relayed, and how much information that is revealed about a property also play major role in shaping the consumer propensity to seek and bargain above other persons who may have similar or shallow knowledge of the property (Lefebvre, 2017).

Globally, social marketing has forged a very strong tool for attracting tourists/intending travelers to available hotels, suites, guesthouses or chalets in their proposed destinations and gives them full options for cheaper, safer, more luxurious, or intercontinental accommodations (Andreasen, et al., 2015; Ibisola, Adetokunboh & Sodiya, 2018; Iroham, Oloyede, Ajibola, & Durodola, 2015). There is however need for the agents to gain edges of experience above the extent of data these consumers and property owners/sellers may have regarding online marketing for them to sustain their practices in a competitive digital world.

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There are abundant articles on social marketing that traces social marketing to a 50-year practice that utilized online facilities to support the creation and management of contents of information in such a manner that attracts huge traffic of use. These studies as discussed in Chapter two lays credence to the advent of social marketing as more suitable media for influencing the public domain regarding their perception about neighbourhoods, house hunting and benefits of certain unpriced real estates among other benefits, thereby making the real estate industry a beneficiary of these media.  A situation where the Estate Surveyor and Valuers disregard this development, they may not be able to claim right of service over the service in future when the majority of property dealers must have mastered the digital use to their utmost benefits.

In the now, accommodation in hostel investments in Nigeria rarely change hands and only those with pre-knowledge of their availability seize the opportunity of marketing them on-behalf of the owners with or without documented deal on commissions (Alaka, Pat-Mbano & Ewulum, 2012). The hostel market is clothed with array of transactions that may be inconvenient for the agent and the tenants and the owners such that could discourage most agents from accomplishing rental deals satisfactorily. The nature of these deals could vary from client to client yet. On the other hand, caution is highly required in social marketing in attempt to convince renters about the properties in your portfolio for letting.

1.2       Research Problem

Social marketing has grown from its traditional social marketing environment into today’s digital marketplaces and consumer-centric market place (Garret, 2018). A study of the evolution of social marketing shows that marketing is upgraded with multi-advertising channels through which real estate products may be promoted or marketed. Since 2007 till 2017, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers having seen the fast transforming nature of the social marketing system finds the system as golden opportunity for professionals and firms of Estate Surveying and Valuation to explore its application in their practice and has issued circulars to this effect urging all her members to adapt to the change in marketing strategy (Ibisola, Adetokunboh & Sodiya, 2018) Whereas some empirical studies reveals the need to go digital, some encourages the real estate expert to blend traditional social marketing with digital marketing system. Some group of literatures argue that the digital marketing practice is not known to the profession and as such could jeopardize client-agents relationships. Sequel to these deliberations, decades of evolving trends in social marketing has resulted in more and more channels that gives the consumers and sellers privileges to even design and manage the contents of their products which presently benefits the non-professionals the most. Studies conducted in Nigeria between 2011 and 2021 are revealing that Estate Surveyors may be facing serious challenges because they do not understand how the application of this social marketing techniques/tools could serve them in the real practice of real estate transacting. Thus the research perceives that the Estate Surveyors and Valuers are more disenfranchised than the non-professionals the adoption of digital social media marketing DSMM or online services. Considering the rapidly developing world of PHIMAs which represents highly volatile and competitive market of private hostelling in Nigeria, and Owerri in particular, many nonregistered agents who are found scrambling for their jobs and many Students gunning for the much convenient options within these PHIMAs may edge out the professionals for lack of exposure. Unfortunately, most of these students who seek accommodation are filled with distrust regarding some accommodations as they either appear expensive outwardly or they fear the condition of accommodation may not favour them. There is therefore the need for the known experts in Estate Agency to be acclimatized with the application and benefits of social marketing in displaying their roles particularly in the students’ hostel setting, and to unlock their roles with much efficacy.

1.3       Aim, Objectives Research Questions and Research Hypothesis

This section consists of presentations on the main purpose of this study, step-by-step approach to achieving this main target (i.e. the Objectives of the study), the formulated research questions to guide the research and the construct directing field data (i.e. the research hypothesis).

1.3.1    Aim of the Study

The aim of this study is to explore the cost-benefit implications of the adoption of social marketing options in hostel market activities within Owerri. This is with the view to making the system more profitable to the Estate Surveying professionals within the Hostel Property Investment Market Areas (PHIMAs) in Owerri and beyond.

1.3.2    Objectives of the Study

In the course of this study, this aim shall be achieved by addressing the following objectives:

  1. Investigate to identify, the nature of hostel transaction services which firms of Estate Surveying and Valuation could render to their consumers through the social marketing media within the private hostel investment markets areas (PHIMAs) in Owerri;
  2. Compare the choices of traditional hostel marketing options with the digital marketing options among property managers in Owerri;
  3. Investigate the updates in use of social marketing strategies in the marketing of hostels within the study area;
  4. Assess the benefits in the application of social marketing options to the Estate Surveyors/Agents in the hostel property investment markets areas of Owerri, Imo State;
  5. Assess the risks (dangers and disadvantages) of social marketing to Estate Surveying professionals in accessing hostel marketing jobs from the hostel Property investment market areas (PHIMAS).
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1.3.3    Research Questions

The above objectives shall be monitored and achieved with the aid of the following research questions formulated by the researcher in-line with each afore-stated objective:

  1. What are the various transactions practices for which improved social marketing experience is desired of typical Estate Agent operating within typical private hostel investment markets areas (PHIMAs) in Owerri?
  2. Is the digital social media and mobile marketing innovation more favoured system in the hostel property market than the traditional approaches?
  3. Are there newer features in social marketing presently making it more attractive approach in hostel and other property marketing?
  4. To what extent are Estate Surveyors embracing the adoption of social marketing systems in the hostel transactions in Owerri, Imo State?
  5. What are the risk implications from the divergence of hostel letting options vis-à-vis traditional options and digital (or social marketing) options in Owerri, Imo State?

1.3.4    Research Hypothesis

1H0:    Digital social marketing options are not more preferred letting approach among students than Estate Surveyors within the Hostel Property Investment Markets of Owerri.

2H0:    The Estate Surveyors have insignificant access to hostel letting within selected locations in Owerri compared with the rival Charlatans in Estate Agency Practice.

 1.4       Scope of the Study

This study shall focus on finding out the prevailing challenges of the Estate Surveyors in competing favourably against the Charlatans in the hostel market, explore the possible ways of bridging their participation in hostelling activities using the current social marketing options. The coverage of the study shall be delimitated to selected neighborhoods within the IMSUOPHIMA and FPNOPHIMA as developed by Alaka (2011) for ease of studying hostels within Imo State and Owerri metropolis in particular. Choice areas of the study shall be constrained to two prominent and two remote neighbourhoods, one of each categories from each of the PHIMAs selected in order to address the research problem within the permissible research timeframe and the research project costs. Also, the interest of the researcher shall exploring transaction experiences within the PHIMAs, the participants constituting the Estate Agents in terms of nature of services rendered, and the presence of the Estate Surveyors, their activities and experiences in the PHIMAs. This study shall take a survey approach and shall solicit data from two major population frames – the Estate Agents operating within the hostel markets and the Student tenants.

1.5       Justification of the Study

This study is driven by the need to expose the setbacks of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers as presupposed Agents responsible for managing hostel transactions within the PHIMAs as the non-professionals (opportunists) are observed significantly taking over the hostel investment domain in Nigeria. The researcher believes it is time for the advance in their level of exposure concerning the untapped dividends of hostel market settings in Nigeria, eschewing the phobia for antecedents of breaches in marketing their clients’ products (Properties) in professional conduct and its consequent litigations. Since large extent of the challenge lies in understanding social media marketing against age-long traditional practice, this research is necessary to dissect the benefit-cost debates of researchers resulting from the comparison of social marketing systems in the real estate investment management practice viz-a-viz marketing of products and servicing of clients’ product consumers. This aspect of study shall be addressed in Chapter two under the benefit-cost implications and impacts of social marketing in real estate practice.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This study is a novel product of research on how the use of a blend of social marketing techniques could support the Estate Surveyors and Valuers reap the dividends of hostel transactions in Nigeria beginning with the selected PHIMAs in Owerri. As the first of its kind, outcome of this research should generate useful data for understanding the efficacy of applying of digital social marketing techniques in rental residential property transactions especially in the unique world where students dominate the consumers’ segment and are poised to secure accommodation with utmost trust and convenience. This study shall also contribute useful data for future academic researches into improving the chances of exploiting digital social marketing as the leading marketing strategy to optimal service delivery in the hostel market and perhaps, other sectors of the property market.

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1.7       Operational Definitions

  • DSMM marketing: Digital, social media and mobile marketing; a constant major transformation in marketing that combines technological developments that influences market research and practice.
  • Estate Agents: This refers to a real estate let partly to residential tenants and partly to commercial tenants.
  • Hostel transactions: Commercial real estate in this study refers to any real estate used wholly or partly to generate financial returns. In this study the examples include office buildings, rental residential buildings/properties, shops, mixed business properties.
  • PHIMAs: In this study, challenges refer to possible parameters that guides investors and renters in determining rental values in a typical property market setting.
  • Social marketing: the application of traditional or online techniques by a real estate agent in promoting, packaging, and making real estate transactions trustworthy, effortless, and more satisfactory to both the property owners and the consumers of real estate products.
  • Stakeholders: Agents, hostel owners, hostel renters

1.8       Abbreviations and Acronyms

This section consists of two subsections presenting the abbreviations (1.8.1) and the acronyms (1.8.2)

1.8.1    Abbreviations

The abbreviations used in this research is presented on Table 1.1 below.

Table 1.2: Abbreviations used in the research

Abbreviation Full meaning
LET Likert Evaluation Technique
MAV Minimum acceptability value of response
MR Mean of responses
RIV Relative Impact Value of responses
ARR Analysis of Responses Result
CRR Collated Responses Result
TSMM Traditional Social Marketing Media


1.8.2    Acronyms

The acronyms used in this research is presented on Table 1.2 below.

Table 1.2: Abbreviations used in the research

Abbreviation Full meaning
PHIMAs Private Hostel Investment Market Areas
IMSUOPHIMA Imo State University Private Hostel Investment Market Area


FPNOPHIMA Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri Private Hostel Invesment Market Area
DSMM Digital Social Marketing Media

 1.9       The Study Area

Owerri as a metropolitan city is bounded in the North by Akabo in Ikeduru Local Government Area, in the east by Obiagwu, in the northwest grid by Orogwe community and the south west grid by Obinze. Conversely, its urban sphere captures developing areas such as Egbu town, Orji town, Uratta town, Naze-Agbala-Ulakwo axis, Ihiagwa-Eziobodo axis, Ogabku-Irete-Orokwe axis, Umuguma town. These areas cut across three local government areas forming the metropolis. Namely, Owerri-North, Owerri-West and Owerri Municipal. A geographical position of the study area as captured on the Google Historically, Owerri metropolis is a beehive of divers social-economic activities for which numerous properties have been developed at both the core and the suburbs. Owerri metropolis consists of three major local governments: Owerri municipal, Owerri North and Owerri west. Its CBD is dominated with commercial, residential and institutional land use developments. Development towards the outskirt of Owerri has been increasing in recent years resulting in more influx of traders, property investors, students and various workers of different ministries and private offices annually. The institutional landuses in the city comprise financial, health and academic institutions. Presently, of all the Tertiary Educational Institutions TEIs in Imo State, two are universities; two are polytechnics, while two are higher colleges. Significantly, five of the institutions are found in the location of study. These institutions include Imo State University, (IMSU), Owerri; Federal University of Technology, (FUTO), Owerri; Federal Polytechnic Nekede, (FPNO), Owerri; Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, (AIFCE), Owerri; and Federal College of Land and Resources Egbeada, (FCOLAR), Owerri West (Alaka, 2011). Each of the five academic institutions (TEIs) in Owerri (IMSU, FUTO, FPNO, AIFCE and FCOLAR) has peculiarities in terms of neighbourhood developments, with each institution supporting the neighbourhood residential tenant practices. IMSU is located within planned neighbourhoods. AIFCE is located within semi-planned neighbourhoods, while FUTO and FPNO are at the unplanned neighbourhoods. This implies that the study area is multi-located within the capital territory. The residential housing areas presently comprise single-family houses, bungalows, duplexes, and storey buildings, multi-family/multi-tenant buildings of different levels, sizes and shapes, occupying different property spaces.  For purposes of this research the researcher shall concentrates on hostel activities around IMSU and FPNO by adopting the boundary definitions (IMSUOPHIMA and FPNOPHIMA) as developed by Alaka (2011). Below is a map of Imo State (Figure 1.0) showing the Owerri metropolis within which the case study is domicile.

Pages:  120

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo                                     

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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