Buyers, owners and agents should have the opportunity to look at the property market in Kenya with a fresh eye. The country has massive property investment opportunities, but the industry must work towards professionalising the business so that all players benefit.
Investment expert James Muratha, who is also the RE/MAX chief executive officer, says dealing in property need not be a painful experience for any party as sometimes witnessed. The business can be done professionally and leave all satisfied.
RE/MAX has introduced in Kenya a franchise model for property agents, with the aim to promote professionalism.
“Anyone who wants to buy, sell or let property should not end up ruing the experience,” he says. “The time to eliminate fraud or the risk of being conned is now. Property transactions are a matter of trust between buyers, sellers and agents, and no party should short-change the other.”
He urges buyers and sellers to conduct due diligence and have a document that details the contract.
“The professional way is; when you are engaging with another party, sign a mandate to show that you have a legal document,” he argues.
Property, he asserts, remains an attractive investment option in Kenya. The market showed this last year by remaining vibrant, defying naysayers’ predictions.
“Political doomsayers were proved wrong as property remained an attractive investment option in spite of the prolonged electioneering period in the country,” Mr Muratha says. “The tide has turned and whoever will not invest in property will be left behind. It is wise to avoid deferring the decision to invest. Real investors have been busy investing. The politics did not discourage them.”
Mr Muratha points out that the RE/MAX global experience has shown it is possible to build a network of ethical property agents, thus helping stem fraud in the industry and encouraging investment.
He argues that property agents must be properly trained and must operate within a system where they can be regulated. “If a property owner – such as the owner of a building or house, or even a seller – can be made to have confidence dealing with agents, the industry’s reputation will be enhanced.”
He, however, notes that the market does not train property agents and individuals act the way they wish, which may not necessarily be professional or ethical.
“For example, you may encounter an agent who demands fees from clients before taking them on a tour of available properties. Such an agent may not care whether the client gets a property of their liking. They only care that they have been paid fees upfront. That is unethical,” notes Mr Muratha.
He says it is also possible to encounter property firms that are unwilling to pay agents or brokers the agreed commission once the deal is done. “That, too, is unethical,” Mr Muratha stresses.
RE/MAX Kenya offers real estate investors a strong brand platform and an opportunity for franchise ownership. Those investing in RE/MAX acquire the rights to use a renowned global brand, cutting edge technology, first class training, unmatched marketing and opportunities for international business referrals, among other benefits.
RE/MAX Kenya also supports investors through the franchise purchase, franchise set-up, and building and maintaining a thriving real estate business. The company is part of RE/MAX LLC, a top global real estate franchise group headquartered in Denver, Colorado, USA.
RE/MAX, as a global brand, has offices in over 100 countries worldwide, and an agent count of more than 115, 000.
The success of RE/MAX is founded on its global affiliation, the size of its local network of agents and their high compensation.
RE/MAX is among the top 10 global franchise brands in the Franchise 100, and number 1 among real estate brands.
RE/MAX products and service offerings
This is the core of RE/MAX’s real estate services and products. The firm offers an opportunity for real estate entrepreneurs to open and set up new real estate business, or grow already existing real estate businesses through sale of franchise rights.
Mr Muratha explains: “We will not only sell you the right to do your business under the RE/MAX brand, we will also be there with you in the step-by-step set up of your new franchise office. With RE/MAX, you are in business for yourself and not by yourself.”
Real Estate Agency
RE/MAX’s outstanding and well trained sales associates ensures that property sellers get the best price in the market for their property, and that all transactions between the seller and buyer are satisfactorily concluded.
The company serves local and international clients, finding for them the best housing, retail and office property, as well as ensuring that real estate property owners get the best rental value from letting.
RE/MAX manages property portfolios for commercial, residential, office, and retail. Its property management services include evaluation, marketing, leasing and renting, drafting of agreements, rent collection, inspection and maintenance.
Valuation and Development Advisory Services
With a good understanding of clients’ needs, and the knowledge of the various market segments, RE/MAX offers a full range of customized advisory and consultancy services. The firm provides land and building valuation services, real estate market research and development feasibility study services, as well as land development consultancy services.
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