The Kenyan real estate industry has remained ever vibrant especially with the dream of owning homes by a majority of Kenyans. This sector has recently seen property agents take up the role of marketing lands, rental property and airbnbs in urban centres.
The concept of Air, Bed and Breakfast (Airbnbs) is quite popular with travellers seeking short term and affordable places for accomodation. They have lately given hotel owners a run for their money.
This has been the venture for Amanda Kimani, who founded Luxe Living, a company that has 37 airbnbs under its umbrella. It also offers consultancy and marketing of various spaces.
DON'T MISS: Stay informed with the latest news and interact with us on Instagram.
Here is the inspiring story of the 25 year old as told by WoK.
Losing job due to Covid-19 pandemic
After her Business Management degree, Amanda worked for an insurance company for 1 year. However, she wasn’t very impressed with her role and went on to get employed at Heritage Property Consultancy as a trainee.
When the Covid-19 pandemic struck and sent economic shockwaves, she lost her job. But all was not dull for her as she had learnt crucial lessons while working for the real estate company. With a steady, diligent and strong spirit, she picked up the slack, rolled her sleeves and ventured into self-employment.
Savings and Parents’ boost
Using savings and parents’ top-up, Amanda began with a single airbnb unit which she furnished and began looking for clients. Her idea was to start small and gradually expand while taking note of any baggages.
JOIN US: Stay informed with the latest Kenyan news and join the conversation on Telegram.
“To succeed in real estate, where many assume you need very deep pockets to thrive, I decided to find a niche that will allow me to start small and grow. That is how I settled on focusing on Airbnbs,” she told Nation.africa.
Her firm, Luxe Living & Co. took 3 months to return back the capital she had invested. She then expanded to 5 units and was contracted to manage other people’s spaces. The bubbly entrepreneur has three other personnel handling marketing, IT and a managing director. Under Amanda’s tutelage, the company has diversified into property consultancy, management, sales and letting spaces.
Amanda’s venture has had a fair share of challenges. She says that there are clients who book rooms and then end up cancelling which locks out potential customers. Additionally, some people may totally fail to pay for services rendered.
The 25 year old details that being the cog in the wheel of the business has seen her go to bed as late as 3 a.m and wake up at 9 a.m. Despite receiving discouragement from people who think she’s too young, she has remained unbridled and takes pleasure in a flow of sweat on her brow.
“I’ve had someone tell me to my face that I am trying too hard and that I am not going to make it in this space. However, I keep pushing on and every day, we are growing as a company and we are always meeting our targets,” she says.