Focusing beyond COVID-19, what impact will it have on Kenya’s real estate business, and what are its implications for Owners, Developers, Reserves, and contractors?
Though the impact of COVID-19 on real estate in Kenya is yet to reach its maxim, some fundamental changes are coming in the sector. There is bound to be restructurings, bailouts, and government interventions in the real estate sector.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, behavioral standards such as remote working and online shopping have been posing challenges to traditional models of doing business.
However, the need for “social distancing” will likely aggravate and accelerate these challenges. When the world gets over the pandemic, many fundamentals of social distancing will continue.
Presently, it is almost impossible to buy a property without some physical engagement, but regulatory bodies may start taking advantage of online tools — such as the electronic signing of documents. This will speed the buying and selling process of real estate in Kenya. It also looks potentially disruptive and can displace and eliminate the need for traditional service providers in the real estate transaction cycle.
Best Practices during and after COVID-19
Electronic Verification of Titles: One of the major challenges in the acquisition of properties in Kenya, has been the authentication of property titles. The land use act of Kenya puts the control of land in state governments.
Many state bureaus of lands documentation are not digitized. Verification of documents is still integrated and somewhat difficult without having to go through a middle man to get this done. The impact of COVID 19 has made remote accessing and verification of titles unavoidable. Electronic Verification is currently being embraced in many countries through an indisputable and secure technology. The Kenyan governments is currently offering partial verification services to real estate agents
Communication: You can talk to clients and buyers by phone, video, Social media platforms or email. Many people are now embracing the use of telephone, email, and videos to communicate and transact in the real estate sector. This is necessitated by the need to reduce costs and the need for physical interaction in the real estate business.
While people will remain sociable, communication will get more virtual rather than physical. People are going to embrace finalizing of business deals through virtual means such as listing sites.
- Online listings: The listing of properties online will probably continue to be more incorporated by real estate players.
- Direct communication using 2-way instantaneous audiovisual technology, such as zoom, Skype FaceTime
- Remote virtual tours – Saves time and offers convenience with residential and commercial 3D virtual tours. Instantly showcase listings to a global audience.
- Virtual demonstrations for enticing potential clients will continue.
- Electronic signing and transfer of documents.