Safaricom Investments Co-operative Housing Unit Manager, Daniella Nyakuraya. PHOTO / VERA SHAWIZA

How Technology Spurs Growth Within the Real Estate Sector

By Daniella Nyakuraya, Safaricom Investments Co-operative Housing Unit Manager

In the last decade, technology has

disrupted countless businesses’ models

and the speed of these disruptions

keeps growing by the day. According to

Forbes, technology has grown

exponentially over the last century,

and the speed at which reliable and

stable industries are disrupted is

indisputable. The real estate tech

sector across the globe is gradually

being redefined by ever-changing market

conditions and shifts in consumer

needs and behaviors. The Kenyan real

estate industry continues to expand as

investor appetite grows alongside the

customer base. Consumers of real estate

products have evolved from only using

non-technological solutions like

physical blueprints and physical site

visits to now incorporating technology

in their decision-making.

The current real estate customer’s

investment needs are accompanied by

questions such as, does the house have

internet? Can I find the house and

developer online? How can I see what I

am investing in without physically

being there? These types of

expectations and needs have pushed real

estate firms to apply strategies and

technological innovations like the use

of virtual reality, renders and fly

through videos that align with emerging

trends to enhance efficiency and meet

consumer needs to remain competitive.

The application of technological

solutions in the Kenyan real estate

sector is and will continue enabling

the players in the sector:


Investors in the real estate sector are

now demanding smart and energy-

efficient homes that are designed with

technology in mind to reduce costs,

boost automation and ensure security.

This has pushed real estate firms to

strive to provide solutions such as

renewable energy in the form of solar

panels to appeal to investors who are

conscious of green building. They are

also building smart homes that support

use of smart apps for security and

other home functionalities like turning

off lights or closing curtains


Investors are also looking to see,

explore and experience multiple housing

projects, even before construction

kicks off, through having virtual tours

enabled by virtual reality and fly

through videos. Virtual reality and fly

through videos have further helped

boost diaspora investor confidence

since they are able to visualize and

understand their potential


Efforts are also in place to exploit

the use of technology for data analysis

to understand current and future

investors needs vs wants. This means

having a clear understanding of who the

investors are, the kind of property

they want and its location, their

budget, and the best ways of reaching

out to them. This analysis is done by

making use of different technologically

enabled means such as machine learning

algorithms to identify patterns and

build predictive models that can be

interpreted to influence future

decisions and projects. Developers are

also using data analysis to cement

their decision to diversify their

projects by having high-end, mid-market

and affordable housing projects.


According to data from the Data

Reportal for the Digital 2023 report,

there were 17.86 million internet users

in Kenya in January 2023, an 8 percent

increase between 2022 and 2023. The

growth in internet use has led to an

increasing need for leveraging the

digital space to share information and

market products. According to the

National Association of Realtors 2021

survey, 96 per cent of home buyers used

online searches to find homes. The

surge of internet use by investors when

house hunting has led to increased use

of social media and websites by real

estate players to provide information.

This has encouraged investors in the

diaspora to invest back home since they

can easily access information.

A wider access to social media has also

contributed to an increase in the

online search for information. With the

opening up of the internet space,

investors can easily get updates on

either previous, ongoing or upcoming

projects. The digital space also

enables them to read reviews and

testimonials from fellow investors.

Through the real estates’ social media

accounts, investors can interact with

the firms, ask questions and understand

their investments. For individuals who

are unable to attend physical site

visits, technology is being used to

give weekly and regular updates on

social media or through webinars that

are used as member education forums.

Customers can ask questions, give

feedback, and get access to online

newsletters that further increase their

trust in the developer.


Technology is reshaping the face of the

construction industry from its

conventional perspectives to the modern

era. As construction demand continues

to grow, real estate players are forced

to keep up with the new trends in the

market. So many technological

advancements have evolved in the

industry that seek to make it possible

for construction developments to last a

lifetime. The application of

technology in construction enables huge

improvements in productivity,

efficiency, durability, and safety.

Technologically enabled materials like

aluminium formwork, prefabrication, and

3D printing have allowed for faster

delivery of construction projects.

These technologies help in speeding up

construction thus increasing efficiency

and timeliness while avoiding macro-

economic factors that could affect



Have you ever visited a website, and

there was a pop-up message asking how

you can be helped? Technology has

enabled the real estate sector to

automate its activities thus enabling

firms to differentiate their products

and services therefore building

customer loyalty. Potential investors

are able to easily interact with

developers and get access to their

contacts from their websites increasing

the conversion rate. In addition,

unlike before when getting approvals

for construction was done manually,

developers are now able to simply visit

an online website to apply and upload

documents for approval.

Advancement of technology does not

merely add something; it changes

everything, and to remain competitive

while offering quality service

delivery, real estate companies in

Kenya ought to continuously embrace

these changes.

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