Now youth are moving to share the cake too with web and mobile applications that can help house owners sale them or landlords get tenants quickly online. The web is taking over in every sector from car rentals, guesthouses and restaurants, you can find just anything online.
The PropertyGuide is one such portal.
The founders of the real estate search engine say it helps home buyers find homes on the market and as well provide real estate information for better choices. The portal also helps real estate professionals list their properties and promote their services and has done much since it launched in beta October 2012 by three founders young Kenyans.
Problem It Solves
Nicolas Simiyu, a co-founder says, “Like any typical vertical classifieds for property, we make it easier for house hunters to get and view houses online before making a decision to go see the house in person.”
Simiyu adds, “Since we charge for listing a property on thepropertyguide.co.ke, to some extent, we also protect our consumers
against dubious agents.”
How It Works
Now employing a team of 9, thepropertyguide.co.ke co-founder says it works simply.
“It is pretty straight forward and easy to use, from the property agent/owner/manager, they are required to create an account
before adding their properties, properties without pictures and good descriptions are declined by admin and the account owner is advised on how to post a property”
The team provides free photography to ensure high quality of images as long as one is property agents/owners/managers and has paid the package’s fee.
The agents have access to personal accounts on the dashboard where they can trick visits to their property and other personal data easily while the public has access to a free search engine giving results of properties of agents that have signed up only.
Simiyu says at the moment there are over 30 registered property agents and owners on the site and over 1,000 properties listed.
The Property Guide has different packages according to use.
The Personal package where they charge per property listed. The Business and Business plus all charged according to the number of properties the agent,owner or property managers run. The Business packages have dedicated account managers to aid in listing properties, mini websites, featured properties and have virtual property tours.
They also sell ads space on their portal.
We Know The Market
Though business looks great, the co-founder says there is competition in the market too. Horizontal classified websites like Pigiame, OLX and Junkmail are among their competition. But the team says they know the market.
” We are local and understand better the needs of our market, furthermore, our platform is property dedicated which gives us
more time to respond to specific needs of the real estate industry. Our competitors are purely horizontal classified portals,” says Simiyu.
He adds that free horizontal classifieds and listings are not moderated and expose consumers to fraud and says because they charge for patronage on their platform, they keep fraudsters at bay and promises that being local also means they are here for the long haul.
And if you want to know what is cooking, their mobile site will be out soon followed by a print magazine which will be in stores April for the high-end market only and they are targeting an annual readership of about 0.5 million people.
But there have been challenges too, the self funded team plough back into the business every revenue they generate and are open for any seed investment.
Another challenge Simiyu says is online real estate in Kenya lies in quality of information and therefore there is need for proper description and photography.
But they are solving them, according to him, “Any one selling or renting real estate online needs to understand that providing as much description about the property as possible is the first step to a successful sell.”
They aren’t giving up soon, the team believe their product is a solid one and the super team is sure it break even soon.