In the recent days, landlords have been ignoring the services provided by agents in kenya. Reason for this trend is yet to be clear. “Note that we don’t use agents to market this building”, is written on one of the gates across from my house. This caught my attention having in mind that i got my recent house through an agent. Thanks to my curious nature, I did my research and i was able to schedule a meeting with the landlord. 

What could have changed?Could it be the sum of money charged by agents? 

Kimani(not his real name), the landlord of the property across from my house, has more than 3 rental properties in Nairobi. “It is a good investment,” he said with a huge smile on his face. “ in the past, i have been using agents to market my properties, including undeveloped land. They would manage my property, make calls and give me updates on every little detail. For every deal made, i would give them a commission depending on the sale. But things changed with the increase in their demand. Their charges went up such that I could not afford to share such an amount of money. I now use caretakers who are within the premises each day hence more convincing and even cheap. They pass to me any complaints from the tenants and also notify me when a new client wants to contact me. This is more or less the same work done by agents. I only have to pay them a fixed salary every end month”. 

Kimani was keen to note that some desperate tenants have been conned by unknown people, claiming to be agents. “ I have dealt with so many cases of tenants who pay for a house, through a fake agent. Such people should be erased from society and locked behind bars. I have a bank account where my tenants pay a deposit and also their rent. They also have to produce bank receipts to confirm the payments”

Having heard one side of the story, I decided to contact the agent who helped me get my current house. Although he was busy, he managed to answer my questions the following day in the morning. “It is true that the business is not booming as before, but we still have many interested clients and developers. Only those that have less than a one-story building that doesn’t use our services”. 

Judging from my research, the two parties had different sides of the story. We would like you, our clients,to share your thoughts in the comment section below and tell us of your experience with agents and why you think the business is dropping.