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Getting ahead of the pack in a crowded field

By Ishaq Jumbe | December 11th 2019
By Ishaq Jumbe | December 11th 2019
Dr Benedict Mutuku, CEO Goldwyne Consult (R) with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (PHOTO: Courtesy)

While Benedict Mutuku, CEO Goldwyne Consult worked as a realtor for leading real estate agencies, he also worked on his masters’ thesis. His research titled ‘Gaps and their effects on organisational performance in the real estate industry in Kenya’ drove him to open his own firm.
He spoke to Hustle on how to establish a business that is customer focused.

Build around your experience

I have been working in real estate marketing for the past 20 years now while at the same time pursuing business as a discipline in the university. I have conducted research and mentored students at the university around the same topic, therefore, I can safely say that I monitor the pulse rate of the market at close quarters.

With the free market economics and the vibrant nature of business in the region, it was obvious when I went into business that I would dabble into real estate as I had spent years trying to apply best practices and gather enough experience as an employee in real estate agencies.
Start small and work your way up

When I began, I did not have lots of capital and only one client, a staff of three and a few units in Bombolulu. The units had been freshly constructed and it was my job to sell and rent them out. By the time we finished renting and selling out the 22 units, my previous customers from my days of employment had learnt that I had opened my own business and gave me business. It didn’t take us long after for business to break even.

Let integrity be your guiding principle

When it comes to handling people’s money, the urge to take more than your commission has led many to cheat and make side deals.
What inevitably happens is that they soon develop a reputation that affects their business as the service we offer is aimed at offering solutions to landlords and not encumbering them with more stress.

Therefore you should deliver what you claim you will and be timely about it. These people are more often than not recovering from the stresses and strains of an expensive construction and will appreciate an arrangement where they can get their returns hassle free.

You have to always remember that the estate you are managing is not yours despite the fact that the clients know only you and come to terms that your percentage of the takings per sale or rent is only a fraction of the entire amount.

Be innovative

As a company operating in a saturated industry, we set ourselves apart by offering our clients a full spectrum of services across the property life cycle. We assure our clients that we go beyond bricks and cement, through design, community engagement and customer service to create places where people will be proud to live and invest in.

We employ state-of-the-art technology while maintaining the human touch. We look to move properties up the rental hierarchy while maintaining affordable prices through proactive property management improvements through refurbishment and reconfiguration.

Maintain standards

As a property manager, you should have standards on the properties you place in the market under your banner. That way customers will come to expect quality and trust you. Before we take over a building, we ensure certain standards are met.

Amenities for decent living are not negotiable and we also see to it that that renovations are done whenever they are due.

It behooves a property manager to ensure tenants and clients in general do not get a raw deal in the properties that he lets or is selling.

Be competitive

The real estate industry is really competitive. In order to succeed, you have to ensure that what you offer is a solution to the landlord as well as the tenant meaning that your interests should never be the primary focus in this case.

We offer three months’ rent for landlords despite the fact that tenants pay monthly as usual. This lump sum allows the landlord to pursue other projects.

Invest in your staff

Employees are the best brand ambassadors of your firm and they should be made to feel part of the firm. As they say, no man is an island and to be abler to grow, you need people whose loyalty you can only maintain by ensuring that you are fair to them.

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