Using Architects to maximise ROI and Profits for Real Estate in Kenya.
In a competitive real estate world eg in Nairobi, a customer who buys into sub standard services will not realize full potential and Return on Investment. Customers who know how to identify if consultants are well trained and registered benefit from better services hence push the customers who paid for sub standard services out of the market.
Currently, the threat of loosing Real Estate income is mostly into customers who pay for substandard services.
See comparisons between customer A and B below for a hypothetical site in Ongata Rongai.
For example, customer A, pays a registered architect to design for him an apartment in Rongai. He gets benefits of feasibility study in which room size,1,2,or bedsitter units have higher demand. He also gets good budget estimate to enable him plan. He gets good advice on how to hire a contractor. He gets good advice on how to resolve problems during construction.
Eventually, his building will have 100% occupancy since its well designed and cooupants more comfortable. Renters feel comfortable in his building since the building offers them privacy, good views, unique architecture/aesthetics, ample services e.g. car parking, clothes hanging lines, balconies etc.
Rental income will flow constantly and owner will be able to increase rent without his tenants moving out since the neighborhood does not have such well designed building hence no competition.
Customer B goes ahead to procure architectural services from a quack i.e a person not registered by Government of Kenya to offer architectural service.
Since the quack has no capacity to do a feasibility study, he copies a neighboring apartment and like everyone else, goes for a 2 bedroomed unit.
The 2 bed roomed unit size internal dimensions will mostly be out of proportion since it’s not custom made to fit within the plot, target income group and owners budget. This will result in a very high cost of construction hence the owner will be forced to charge a higher rent than the market for a substandard building. The result is that the building will stay empty for years before getting a tenant. This is a loss to the owner.
Here is such an example in Rongai. A sizeable number of the 2 bedroomed units in this block have been empty for years .
This one, in the same neighbourhood, has 100% tenancy for 2 bedroomed units.
Since the owner does not have the benefit of a registered architect to help him out in negotiations with contractor/foreman/builder, simple decisions eg repair of poor workmanship in paint , plaster r or tiles will go to become a loss to owner. In a situation where there is a registered architect offering supervision, he will be able to guide the owner into a contract whereby poor workmanship goes into a loss to the foreman/contractor profits.
This will make the contractor more responsible, resulting in a better house which will fetch good rent.
Disagreements between owner and contractor/fundi where there is no registered architect to guide can quickly get out of hand and move to litigation and or extra judicial methods through criminal gangs. This is again a loss to the owner and can be resolved if the owner uses registered architects for supervision.
A registered architect due to experience, will be able to resolve issues fairly to both owner and contractor/fundi due to his vast knowledge in arbitration .
In a competitive world, land owners who choose to pay for sub standard services form quacks will lose out to land owners who choose the straight path. Land owners who choose to use registered architects will in the long run enjoy higher , more consistent rental income.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.