With a rapidly growing real-estate sector, Kenya has attracted a large pool of real-estate professionals who not only provide much needed expertise but who are also ready to take advantage of the emerging property-investment opportunities in the country.
Developing a sustainable and lucrative property market in Kenya is reliant on having real-estate professionals who adhere to professional code of ethics, are academically and professionally qualified and who adhere to Kenyan laws on issues relating to property from ownership and purchase to property development.
Who makes up the real-estate directory?
Simply referred to as an agent or broker, a real-estate agent acts as not only the go-between of property buyers and sellers but also with landlords and tenants. Their functions include:
- Sourcing properties for sale and arranging/conducting viewings
- Property management
- Property valuing
- Offering insights about property improvements such as renovations
To be registered as a real-estate agent in Kenya:
- Must be a full member of Institution of Surveyors of Kenya or a corporate member of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Degree or diploma holder from a learning institution recognized by Estate Agents Registration Board
- Must have over six months practical post qualification experience gained in Kenya that satisfies the board
- Must be of good character and the Board must be satisfied that one has never been convicted for fraud or dishonesty
Popularly known as ‘Wakili’, they are in charge of the legal aspect of property issues.
- Accompany property buyers and sellers during negotiations and signing transactions agreements
- Offer legal guidance to avoid legal pitfalls, explain legal jargon and read through fine print in all related documents
- Crucial for requisite searches, preparing property transfers and closing statements
- Lawyers serve the best interest of the party they represent
To practice in Kenya, property lawyers must:
- Be members of the Law Society of Kenya – Bar Association
- Degree holder of Law
- Successful candidates from Kenya School of Law
A fairly new role in Kenyan property industry, mortgage brokers link up mortgage borrowers with the best mortgage lenders.
- Search for varied mortgage rates given by different lenders
- Help borrowers access cheaper mortgage rates than available through a bank directly
In Kenya, mortgage borrowers prefer corporate borrowers and their rates are 1% of the mortgage value.
Banker/ Financial advisor
A banker is also consulted as a financial advisor:
- Offer full or partial property-investment financing
- Provide financial advice relating to the property market
- Help clients develop feasible financial and property-investment plans and goals
- Set loan/mortgage qualification requirements
In Kenya, bankers are derived from various local and international banks, building societies, Savings And Credit Co-operatives (Saccos), etc.
A surveyor is qualified to establish property boundaries and beacons and then to verify the status of properties in the Survey Department.
To qualify as surveyor one must be:
- Holder of Surveying and Photogrammetry BSc degree from a reputable university
- Or have diploma certificate from Kenya Institute of Surveying & Mapping
Referred to as a valuation and estate-management surveyor in Kenya, they prepare and report asset valuations as well as manage those assets.
To qualify one must have:
- A degree in Land Economics
- Postgraduate diploma from Institution of Kenya Chapter of Valuers and Estate Management Surveyors
- Integrity and high ethical and professional conduct
Contractors are the most used professional in Kenya. They often multi-task as project managers and they are charged with:
- Building property plans
- Implementing the project based on project scope
- Co-operating with property development architects and engineers to develop a property that meets the needs and expectations of clients as well as abides to set development regulations
- Meeting project milestones within set budget and timelines
For a profit, developers:
- Search for potential investment properties
- Source financing
- Seek planning authorizations
- Construct on raw property
- Repair and maintain properties
- Lease property
In Kenya, an architect advises clients on standard procurement procedures and:
- Sources contractors
- Develops property plans
- Designs buildings
- Oversees property constructions
Property managers look after real-estate investments on behalf of the owners. Although there are property management companies in Kenya, they are rare, and real-estate agents more often carry out the following roles:
- Source and evaluate tenants for rental properties
- Negotiate lease or rental terms and contracts
- Collect rent
- Arrange property maintenance, from cleaners to electricians and plumbers
- Advise on insurance and legal matters relating to property ownership and investment