[Interview] Reuben Kimani, CEO, Username Investment, Kenya
Could you introduce your company?
Username Investment is a real estate company in Kenya that was formed in 2013 and provides affordable land and homes to the current and upcoming generation.
It came to our attention that people earning Kshs. 30,000- Kshs. 100,000 could not afford properties worth millions that were being offered in the market. We made a commitment to open up the previously inaccessible property market to the demographic of ages 20-40 by offering strategic, value added and affordable properties.
Where is the company located?
Username Investment Limited is located in Kenya with two offices in Nairobi City;
• The Head office at The Mirage, Tower 3, 10th Floor in Westlands, Chiromo Lane.
• Nairobi Central Busines District Office at The International Life House, 6th Floor.
How is the company funded?
Our first capital was from our savings as directors. Currently we reinvest all the proceeds from preceding projects to execute more projects. Username Investment is a private company run by myself and two other directors - Joseph Gitonga, our Head of Sales and Marketing and Julius Karanja, Director Head of Finance and Customer Experience.
What are the USPs of Username Investment?
Affordability is the first point that comes to mind. We offer properties with prices as low as Kshs. 95,000 up to Kshs. 430,000 with a flexible payment plan of up to 12 months. This meets lower income earners of between Kshs. 30,000 to Kshs. 100,000 in a month. The prices are inclusive of title transfer, stamp duty and legal fees with no hidden charges.
Strategic location also. We do our research before we launch projects to ensure they are in areas with potential for growth. These are mostly areas with upcoming infrastructural developments and areas close to urban areas such as Ngong, Konza and Nakuru.
Title delivery efficiency is also a strength of ours. We ensure we deliver title deeds within 3-6 months to allow our clients construct the property or resell them in future. A title deed can also be used as a collateral in Kenya.
We also ensure that our properties have add ons like a perimeter fence, estate gate, water, electricity and all access roads graded.
Has your company formed any strategic partnerships with other companies/organizations?
Certainly, we have partnered with various companies and organizations. ABC Bank acts as our financier for diaspora clients who are willing to invest in land back at home. Housing Finance offers intergrated solutions for mortgage finaning and some of the clients who take mortgages from the company are reffered to Username Investment to purchase affordable land.
We also work with Kenya Homes Expo.The expo brings together land owners, realtors, contractors, landscape artists, to interior design companies and insurers and bankers and aims at successfully delivering innovative shows for the real estate industry in Africa. We exhibit our properties in the show in a bid to reach a wider audience.
The Kenya Diaspora Sacco promotes investment opportunities and saving among Kenyans residing in the United States of America to ensure they have a reliable and organized way to invest, access affordable credit, carry out projects, build businesses and meet personal needs in Kenya. The sacco finances our diaspora clients who are willing to invest in affordable lands.
Other organizations we've been associated with are The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kenya Property Developers Association.
What are the ambitions of the Username Investment?
We are working to get into other sectors of the economy in the medium term. Our business is driven by the need to impact people and communities in Kenya and Africa.
Reuben Kimani will participate in the Africa Business Communities Networking Event in Nairobi on 3 July 2018.
Read all about this networking event and how to participate here