NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Real estate company Optiven Group has launched a mobile application that seeks to ease the process of acquiring land in Kenya.
The company’s Chief Executive George Wachiuri says the Optiven App, which has been developed at a cost of Sh7.2 million, will enable Kenyans on the continent and in the diaspora to interact with the firm’s various projects spread across the country.
For instance, the app is incorporated with Google Earth to allow diaspora customers view their properties in real time.
It also allows customers to view their transaction statements such as deposits made for acquiring property, as well as monthly payments made to the company.
“The app has an inbuilt calculator to make it easy for our customers to get the actual figures. Once a customer pays, a statement is shown, then a receipt is sent. Additionally, the app has a reminder for when the next installment is due,” Wachiuri told a media briefing during the launch.
Additionally, customers can reserve available properties for up to 48 hours and get updates on the company’s latest projects.
“Diaspora customers will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the app. We have all heard of cases whereby diaspora customers have been lied to by their families and friends on matters land buying, this app eliminates these scenarios,” he added.
App owners who give referrals that result in a sale will also earn between Sh20,000 and Sh50,000; “the app will provide passive income to owners of the app,” he said.
The company will also be targeting the youth with the app.
Stephen Mbugua Mute, Sales Manager at the company says the app is looking to attract young people as it offers a simplified way of investing.
“The Optiven app will be very attractive to the youth who prefer mobile money to make transactions. It will make investing in property easy and fun and will also grow the industry at large,” he said.
Mute’s sentiments are backed by a finding by Harvard University associate professor in the practice of real estate and the built environment Bing Wang who says that although real estate accounts for 13 percent of world GDP, its productivity growth is poor compared to other industries, due to a lack of innovation.