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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Kennedy Murimi: How I lost Sh. 300,000 buying a cheap plot

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Cheap Plots Kenya: Kennedy Murimi is the managing director at Denver Group, a real estate company based in Nairobi.

Greatest milestone: My greatest milestone is setting up Denver Group. It was not easy. I had to sell properties and consolidate funds to give the company adequate start-up and operating capital. I remember buying three plots along Lukenya Hills in 2013 for speculation purposes. I sold them in 2018 and channeled the proceeds to the company. This decision has since paid off. Push and sacrifice for what you desire to achieve. The growth process may be slow, but it is worth it. You must take starting a business as seriously as running an actual business.

The key to making it: Believing in yourself and overcoming fear is the secret. If you have unwavering faith that what you are starting will grow into something profitable, then it definitely will if you put in good work. You must understand and know what you want to provide to the market and focus on it fully. The market always rewards solutions to consumer problems. In my case, we decided to focus on selling plots and all the funds that we got were channeled towards this course. We faced a lot of challenges and ridicule, but we never changed our end goal. Focus is key in growing any business.

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Biggest money loss: I bought half an acre of land in Narok County at Sh. 600,000 in 2014. I paid a deposit of Sh. 300,000 without doing due diligence since I trusted the seller fully. Later, when I decided to fence the property, I was informed that the land was fraudulently sold to me and the person was not the real owner. I took in the Sh. 300,000 loss, and learned that it is important to do thorough due diligence before investing on a property, and to also involve stakeholders who understand the investment being made.

If I could start again: I would ensure that I do proper research, due diligence, and involve the relevant stakeholders in property to safeguard my investments. Patience is key in real estate and this is something that I have learnt the hard way to practice.

My saving method: If I want to save for something, I look for an option that will not be affected by inflation. For example, buying a plot, investing in bonds and shares. But my most preferred saving method is through buying land. Land investments are safe and the appreciation rate over time is huge. I once tried saving money in a bank and got a very low interest gain at the end of the year. I never tried again.

Entrepreneurship versus employment: Entrepreneurship is ideal. It gives you the ability to determine what you earn based on the output of your goods and services. On the other end, I find employment quite limiting. The impact you make on your life and society is pegged on the employer you are working for. The level of satisfaction is relatively lower than that in entrepreneurship.

My parting shot: If you have a dream, or a goal that you want to achieve, go for it and let no one tell you that it is not achievable. Believe in yourself and have faith that everything will work out despite the challenges you will face.

This feature was first published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.

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