Kenya’s real estate has always been a field for the brave and risk takers but now things have slowed down as the market has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic as the risks increase. Real estate is really private and a people-focused industry. Since the government announced the first case of Covid-19 two months ago, business in the real estate sector is almost coming to a standstill. Furthermore, the lack of skill to conduct deals face to face in the course of the lockdown affected the way business operates in this sector.
Most home buyers are reluctant to purchase property due to the threat of losing their jobs and are insecure about their annual income which has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. While most investors are evaluating and calculating their losses, other investors see it as an opportunity in the real estate industry. This is in terms of property prices and an oversupply of units which had reached its climax. This might lead to a change from a seller to buyer after Covid-19 providing a twist that buyers have been yearning for. The real estate buying and selling often involves speculation.
Many real estate agents are adopting innovative methods and strategies to manage throughout these unprecedented occasions. It is important for real estate agents to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and make the best of a precarious situation.
Most homebuyers are reluctant to purchase the property when the risk is too high. The Ministry of Land decided to close the Lands Registry and the Central Registries at Ardhi House to create room for consultation and protect the staff on March 17. The Land Registry was closed temporarily for 28 days, the timeline is expected to extend depending on how the situation progresses.
The property sector should implement a mandatory “stay at home” policy for any staff member or real estate agent exhibiting any signs of illness during this coronavirus pandemic. Also, measures should be taken such as cancelling in-person meetings or potentially postponing events may be a good measure limiting contact between individuals and establishing health safety procedures. Also, a greater application of digital technologies will make business operations efficient and prove resourceful.
It is important to stay informed and do not panic. Make sure to use your best judgement when handling responsibilities and following your work routine. Take note of the changing levels of risk and remember that this is not a permanent situation. Make sure you focus on putting policies and procedures in place to avoid business disruption in the event the situation worsens.
It is crucial to ask clients or employees about their recent travel especially in areas identified as having an increased risk of Covid-19 cases. It is key to let potential clients know that their safety is important as well as yours. This minimizes the chance of compromising any future clients. Make sure the screening questions are based on current and factual information from Public Health Authorities.
Viewing of property
There are pros and cons of holding an open house showcase based on the current situation. It is essential to assess the risk based on a specific location and align your information with the health authorities. Moreover, this might prove the right time for property marketing technology to be present for making an initial assessment of the property such as virtual tours, video tours and other sufficient methods.
Online marketing and communication have already become the primary medium of selling in the real estate industry. Enhanced digital viewings will help upfront or potential homebuyers to decide whether they want a physical viewing. Besides, off-market listings are now a significant segment of the market and maybe more appealing in the post-COVID marketplace available through real estate agents. Real estate transactions are driven by the availability of money, prices and properties which may balance during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Technology will get better allowing room for a high-quality presentation and infrastructural development.