Olaide Oboh's path into the world of property was guided by her profound love for people and her desire to create positive change in diverse environments. She candidly shares her story with Hanna Afolabi of Black Women in Real Estate (BWRE), reflecting on her journey and the valuable lessons she has learned.
Olaide Oboh, Socius, Executive Director
For Olaide, coming from East London is more than just a location; it's a source of strength and connection to a multicultural community that she cherishes. Initially, she was unaware of the vast opportunities in the real estate industry, as no one in her family had pursued such a career. However, Olaide's natural gift for connecting with others soon proved to be an asset that the industry needed most.
Graduating in sociology from Goldsmiths University, Olaide's curiosity about how society functions led her to take on front-end roles, where she could observe and understand people better. Her journey began in the Police force, where her dynamic personality took her to various places to gather essential crime statistics. Eventually, she found herself in Hackney Council, where she realised the significant impact a person's home and community can have on their life chances. This revelation transformed her perspective on real estate; it was no longer just about buildings but about improving people's lives.
Driven by her passion for shaping her community positively, Olaide navigated her way through various roles, from Planning to acquisition, and finally to delivery. However, she encountered the harsh reality of a lack of diversity within the industry, feeling isolated as one of the few Black women present. Olaide found herself molding herself to fit in, but she soon realised that authenticity was the key to making a genuine impact. Embracing her identity and culture, she no longer felt the need to code-switch or conform to societal expectations.
Fueled by her vision for a better, more inclusive industry, Olaide co-founded Socius, a groundbreaking developer and investor focused on mixed-use regeneration with a people-centric approach. The aim is to address social issues and create genuine change through development projects. Olaide's enthusiasm for this mission is palpable, and she actively encourages building networks to amplify collective voices. In her view, sharing networks helps identify allies, friends, and advocates who can champion causes and promote positive change.
Olaide's mentorship of young women extends beyond the realms of real estate. She shares her experiences, hoping they will learn and grow from them. Her belief in continuous learning and improvement guides her to challenge not only the underrepresentation of women in the industry but also the lack of diversity across all backgrounds and ethnicities.
To Olaide, real estate is not just about financial gains or holding high positions. Making a difference and positively impacting lives is the ultimate driving force behind her journey. Her passion for people and genuine care for her community have led her to create waves of change within the industry.
Olaide Oboh’s podcast episode will be released in September 2023 as part of Black Women in Real Estate’s Phenomenal Women campaign.
The Phenomenal Women campaign is sponsored by the RICS