Diamond Property Merchant Limited−a real estate company− is this year’s winner of the Kenya Top 100 mid-sized companies’ awards.
“The Top 100 SME recognition comes as a wakeup call that the market has acknowledged our unique investments solutions,” opens up Edwin Khiranga, Sales and Marketing Director at Diamond Property Merchants. He attributes this success to hard work, dedication and commitment to gratify clients’ needs.
The Top 100 mid-sized companies’ survey takes place in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The annual awards, an initiative of the Nation Media Group’s Business Daily and financial consultancy firm KPMG, is currently in its ninth year.
Established in 2000, Diamond Property Merchants has straddled the real estate sector racking up success year after year: “Our key focus is providing Kenyans with strategic property investment solutions,” offers Mr. Khiranga.
The firm started off as a real estate agency. It has grown in leaps and bounds to become a large scale property company, and top of its game according to the executive. In 2010 it took a strategic focus to add value to land investment by responding to the needs of Kenyans. “Our land are affordable and have the best value add,” shares Khiranga.
That strategic approach has seen Diamond Property develop affordable housing units much to the excitement of clients. It involves a three dimensional (3D) approach, catering for the needs of all segments of the market, from middle income earners, upper middle to high income earners. Other organized groups such as Chamas have not been left out as they can access a raft of affordable properties through their unique savings module.
Word on the street has it that Nairobi is a hot property market. Mr. Khiranga acknowledges this saying that there is extreme demand for home ownership in Nairobi due to the influx of people coming to Nairobi from the country side for higher education, job opportunities and more. “If you look at a place, say Eastlands, you find that most properties are fully booked even before completion. The same applies to our properties which informed our strategic direction of launching them in phases, so that everyone has a chance to enjoy our offers. Overly, we have a goal of converting tenants into home owners, especially the youthful generation.”
Some of its ongoing and completed projects include Eden Park along Kangundo road, Ebenezer Gardens, Ruiru East properties located in Juja farm and Bethany City. “Our housing concept is affordable and our properties are strategically located in high growth and productive areas,” avers Khiranga.
Guided by the values of professionalism, uniqueness, teamwork, reliability, equity and customer focus, the company has been on a growth trajectory to deliver its promises. “We are not looking back,” he quips.
“Our agribusiness programme has transformed the property market, creating urban farmers by availing proper infrastructure and farm management services,”
Mr. Khiranga further observes that as investors wait for their land to appreciate, there is need to start earning from their investment. “In this breathe, earlier this year, we conducted a survey among our previous buyers in matters such as – what they have been doing with the land bought and its value. Most of them were happier with the rate of appreciation. Something more needed to be done though,” says Khiranga.
The firm felt the need of actualizing the real value of land. These ideals prompted it to transform into a strategic land investment hub. That is how the agribusiness idea was born.
“The agri is part of value addition to our clients who would wish to reap extra grains from their investments,” says Mr. Khiranga.
The executive affirms that the agribusiness value add has been a success since its launch a few months ago. “Most investors are now happier that their land is actively in use which also guarantees a high rate of turnover. We also envision the agribusiness ventures to have a bridging role in the commodity market. Since we are using greenhouse for the projects, these urban farmers can farm around the year, irrespective of the rains or seasons. With constant supply of the produce to the market, we will have prices of vegetables and the likes stabilizing-a larger economic gain to the society.”
Timely issuance of title deeds
Land is a very tetchy issue, which always influences the buying decisions of many people. As such, timely delivering of promises to clients is key, admits the manager. He adds that Diamond Property Merchants is known for efficiency, flexibility and timely delivery of genuine title deeds. “We usually give our customers a minimum period of two to three months at the time of purchase to obtain their title deeds. We’ve issued an average of 5000 titles annually.” Moreover, the company does due diligence on any piece of land before purchasing to ensure it is genuine.
Towards this end, Mr. Khiranga observes that the move by the government to cap interest rates on bank loans means Kenyans will be able to access affordable financing and mortgage options. The industry needs to make this possible.