The real-estate sector has grown to be fierce and more practical over the years. With the extensive penetration of smartphones and internet, virtual searching and selling of property has become pre-dominant in Kenya. Agencies, property companies as well as individuals have taken on the internet for the same.
Being quite a flooded sector in the country, more companies are still launching to offer more convinient, efficient and simplified services for the people. Rumi.co.ke is one of the newbies looking to enter the intensive real-estate industry with an eye on the gap pioneer companies have left between the consumer and property owners.
Backed and operated by Fervid Ltd., a Kenyan ICT firm, Rumi seeks to provide unprecedented local reach to property across Kenya, to a highly targeted and engaged audience, at a period when real estate advertising shillings are making a radical shift from offline to online… Rumi hopes to bring healthy competition to a sector where well-resourced start-up sites are already making their million-shilling mark.
According to the CEO and Co-founder of Rumi, Kennedy Odoyo, the soon to be launched company is looking to transform the search experience for the real estate in Kenya where buyers and renters will now locate homes with a user-friendly trouble-free design.
“Currently, there is no way for tenants to apply for listed houses for rent, and make payments online, and for landlords to view the background of people who applied to rent, for instance, where they work, their renting histories, previous landlords, and monthly salaries. So, we felt there was an urgent need for such a facility, to speed up the process of house-buying and -renting, and cut the hassle,” Odoyo said.
Unlike competitor sites, Rumi has a facility that will allow tenants to pay rent online, directly into the landlords’ bank account. Advertising costs will also be kept low for real estate agents.
Homebuyers and tenants can also inform themselves about where to live in a special section for suburb ratings, reviews, and comments by locals. Rumi offers features, such as a secure portal for paying rent online with mobile money transfers using Mpesa, Yu Cash, Airtel Money, Visa Card, Mastercard, or Co-op Bank. Another unique feature, is the ability to automatically detect your location, and give you all the available properties within your proximity.
One on one with Kennedy Odoyo
In a virtual interview with Kachwanya.com, Mr. Odoyo clarified on matters i suspected might be a problem to the Kenyan market that happens to be a bit rigid when it comes to the nitty gritty. Here is how our conversation went…
What is the motivation behind the soon to be launched product considering the industry is already flooded with the same product and services?
My motivation comes from the fact that, am bringing new features to the online real estate classifieds, Like giving the prospective tenants to showcase their Rental History, Previous Landlords details, adding another feature of enabling tenants pay online, capability of mobile money payment which is also available, tenants saying good bye to banks long queues , will greatly speed up the process and can help the landlord who has many houses to reconcile all his/her statement/transactions online.
Do you think Kenyans will be willing to have their personal information out there? like where they have lived before, former landlords and where they work etc considering how particular they are with privacy?
I believe Kenyan’s will be able to showcase their details so long us, they have got a good and affordable house that they want to rent and at the same time; ONLY the Landlord in which, they are applying his/her house is the only one who will be able to see the specific tenants details. In fact nowadays it’s a requirement for most real estate agencies to tell them where you are working, your salary etc in order to sign a contract to the house you are renting, basically we are just making the work much simpler and easier.
What is your money making spec here? Any fees for tenants and Land Lords? if so, what are the ranges we are looking at here?
Once we launch officially, We will be making our money by Landlord’s/ Agents paying for between 100/= – 300/= per house advertised, making it affordable.
The business is viable. I totally agree. What is the other X-factor besides payment of rent through the website?
The x-factor is that it will make house renting much cheaper and faster, with the landlords and real estate agents making decision once based on the renting history provided records by the prospective tenant.
It will also help in increasing the security and help in reducing chances of having terrorists rent your house like in the case of the Black Widow just before westgate attack.