The CEO of BuyRentKenya says the portal is developing a Concierge service that will eliminate the need for buyers and sellers to get involved in property transactions.
Jamie Pujara says his four-year-old property portal has now established itself as a leading brand in the Kenyan market and will capitalise on its strong brand power with a new service offering: BuyRentKenya Concierge.
“While it’s still in development, in essence our Concierge service will work as an extension of the portal where we provide a more details-service at a higher price,” says Pujara, a guest speaker at the 2017 Property Portal Watch Bangkok conference.
“Our ideal target market is a private seller looking to sell or rent their property but because of time commitments is not willing to do it themselves,” he says.
Pujara explains that Concierge will offer a one-stop-shop approach designed to save customers time.
“Our clients are looking for someone they trust to take pictures, upload the listing, handle the leads and do the site visits. They only want to be contacted at the time when a buyer is ready to sign,” Pujara says.
With a population of over 40 million people, one may think that Kenya’s market is full of real estate agencies that offer such a comprehensive service, but Pujara says these agencies are few and far between in an emerging market.
“With a lack of information in the market, in the past we've had many home seekers turn to BRK as an expert, asking us to help them find the property and assist with due diligence. In essence, we've become the buyers’ agent and introduced them to the sellers’ agent, resulting in a win-win for everyone,” he says.
Although the key concepts of Concierge have been nutted out, Pujara says there’s no rush to thrust the product into the market just yet. He wants it to effectively service his customers.
“We are trying to be analytical in deciding how to formally launch this product,” Pujara explains.
“On the one hand, agencies may see it as a threat to their business, but on the other hand we feel this provides a good opportunity to leverage on our strong brand and customer loyalty to become part of the transaction.
“By using our data, we are able to determine which properties this works best on and have tested this with great success in a controlled environment. Once we can finalise on a model we can scale, we will launch it to the market.”