Every landlord has a vision for their real estate investment. They know right from the beginning the kind of tenants they would like to engage with and admit into your building. They use this to model the building in such a way that compels the target tenants to flock to the building and feel at home while in there. This is why you will often walk into a building and immediately find several things that are not to your liking or that are. It is because those things were meant for a specific type of person. You should therefore learn to discern the kind of tenant the landlord had in mind. This will help you make quick decisions while house hunting and thus helps you move quickly. Below are some markers to help you realize whether or not you are the target tenant.
There is a saying that if you balk at the price then it probably was not meant for you. Imagine for example a platter of fruits at Windsor Golf Club. Compare that with the same selection of fruits at the bus station stalls. The price will be vastly different. At Windsor, the price will be a lot higher than at BS. If you are at Windsor and you complain about the price then attempt to make a comparison then you will be very quickly reminded that it is a high end establishment. As such, the target market is made up of people who would not mind paying that much for fruits that cost nothing more 200 shillings at Muthurwa.
If you walk into a building and ask about the rent only to complain about how high it is then proceed to compare with a different building down the road then you are definitely not the target tenant. The same is true for the opposite end of the spectrum. If you find the price so low that you start to suspect things like water shortage and insecurity then you are not the target tenant either. In fact, rent is one of the best ways of determining if the landlord had you in mind as they built their building.
Apart from the four walls, what else comes with the house? What other benefits are there for renting that articular house? Do you also get secure parking? Do you also have access to a state of the art gym and spa in the premises? Do you also get to use a well serviced laundry station? Do the water and power come free? By a simple look at the extras of any rental property, you can easily tell if you are the target. You know that obviously the higher end the offerings there are the more rent you will need to pay. You will be told those things are free but you are paying for them.
You should therefore decide if you are a paring, CCTV and Wi-Fi kind of tenant or if you are a ‘power bill as the landlord’s responsibility’ kind of tenant. To make it simple, if your budget is below 20,000 shillings per months for a one bedroom house then do not expect building Wi-Fi and gym. The most you can expect is a security guard at the entrance of the building and maybe paring.
If a building has three bedroom units with space for parking then it is safe to assume that the target is families. If the building is all bedsitters then you could assume that the landlord is hoping for student and low income tenants. You can also tell the kind of tenant the landlord is hoping for by looking at the features of the space. If you walk into the unit and immediately think that the space is too much or too little then you are not the target. If the landlord has a certain tenant target then you will not be at home in the building. Families will obviously be attracted to the three bedroom units with parking or, in other words, space for the kids to play. If you are a single person who does not particularly like children, you will not enjoy your weekends.
What is in proximity of the building? Is it something you would be interested in? Is it something that you would find necessary to be comfortable? Or is the building close to amenities you would never benefit from? That is usually a pretty good indicator that you are not the target. The target will usually be someone who will benefit and be happy / excited about the amenities in the proximity.
For example, why would a single man who just started his first job need a game arcade or play ground? Why would the same young man need to be close to a preschool? The Madaraka shopping centre is teeming with bars. You rarely ever see people with their kids walking in and out the flats above the bars. The reason is that it would not be okay to raise children in such a place.
Another clue could be how far the building is from the Nairobi CBD. How many people who use public transport live in a place like Membley? If the neighborhood does not have public transport access then better buy a car quick or look someplace else.
If you know the kind of tenant the landlord wants then you can decide if the building will be a fit for you or not. You could be mightily uncomfortable if you move into a unit that was not built with you in mind. This is the whole logic behind the maxim- do not settle. Happy ‘tenanting’!