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Technology driving access to land

In this era of technology onslaughts, virtually every sector is scrambling to use modern methods to make work easier. Property has not been left out and is slowly picking up.

Wezesha Group is a platform that was only launched two months ago in Nairobi to cater for people interested in acquiring affordable land. The proprietors behind this concept use the USSD technology — a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication used to send text messages between a mobile phone and an application programme in a network — to market and sell properties currently in Malindi and Embu counties.

Imran Khan and Amran Damji are entrepreneurs whose concept involves combining selling plots to clients as well as providing them with an insurance cover. Weezesha has launched two products— Wezesha Ploti and Wezesha Bima.

“Each individual has a right to be a land owner and also has the right to quality insurance covers. This is what has brought us together to steer what we believe will be the forefront of innovative products,” says Khan. Wezesha strength is offering flexible payment modules.

Payment rates are ranging from Sh800 for an eighth of an acre payable in weekly instalments of Sh3,500 weekly dependent on the location and potential for commercial value. For instance, a quarter of an acre in Malindi goes for Sh1,500 a week.

“Payments of such parcels are placed at 52 weeks to completely finalise before a handover and demand has been growing,” Khan says. Through Wezesha, buyers skip bureaucracies and frustrations of acquiring property that has become a common story in the Kenya property market. The two partners say they have made it their mission to eliminate fraud by dealing with an open network, which encourages transparency

. “Once a buyer starts paying as a show of commitment, Wezesha facilitates a quick process of keeping track and sharing a paper trail. Once the entire amount is paid, a certified sale agreement is done and title deeds prepared,” says Khan.

The company has nine agencies across the country and deals with acquired or listed properties after what the directors say is “extensive groundwork”. “Most payments are done via mobile phones and interest has been growing in recent days from in and out of the country,” he says. Even speculators and large commercial users— many of them big customers—have been making enquiries on properties on offer.

“Wezesha does due diligence and offers educative marketing to potential buyers who are in the dark on what investment to go for,” says Khan. Between 2,000 and 3,000 messages are coming through every day tracked from their Muthaiga offices daily.

The duo sells around three to five plots on a working day and at least 100 in a month. “We are not discriminatory in our target audience, so our social media audience easily become our customers,” adds Damji. Amran and Imran, who testify on having had personal experiences in property dealings have pledged to build customers’ trust and confidence especially via the power and influence of social media.

“Opportunity, for so many people, rarely portrays itself as something appealing. I have been through different experiences in life, each teaching me its own lessons and values,” says Khan. The Wezesha platform is revolutional to say the least.

Still, the company has faced major challenges with respect of getting the right people on board. This has made them shift their model to dealing with clients one-on-one even on location. According to Khan, this breeds trust in customers.

“People like to deal with individuals and this is expected considering that land is a sensitive asset,” he says. For Wezesha, the plan is to make it an alternative for the traditional hassle through credible transactions, which is fast and cheaper. Based on their vision, technology will make them grow bigger in tandem with social media.

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