Kenyan prop-tech start-up Obodo has launched a pilot product which is a property management tool for real estate agents and individual landlords to help them manage their rental homes easily and inexpensively.
The platform – which is called Kijiji and was founded by James Muriuki, Skitah Wambui and Mark Muita – will also allow Obodo to better understand tenants, their needs, behaviors and expectations, as it prepares for future launches.
âThe idea for Obodo came to me last year when I left home for the first time. I had to go through rental hell when I was young on a budget. Fighting with owners, getting ripped off and lying, enduring days or weeks with unresolved maintenance requests, âMuriuki told Disrupt Africa.
âWhen I researched, I realized that somehow I was among the lucky few because over 60% of Nairobi’s people live in slums. It made me take the plunge. “
Obodo’s general objective is to bring real estate management online in Africa, which is still mostly done manually.
âProperty managers or landlords don’t have or haven’t adopted the tools they need to more effectively manage their rental units. This leads to a lot of wasted time for administrative work, data loss and fraud, âsaid Muriuki.
âKijiji can bridge that gap. By collecting, analyzing and sharing access to rental data, Kijiji can help property managers better understand and improve their business, give tenants the tools they need to address their concerns, prevent fraud and increase transparency between the two parties.
The self-funded startup is on the verge of entering a pre-seed investment cycle and says it has had positive feedback since launching its product. It’s been slow to convert so far, but Muriuki believes this is due to the nature of the business. For now, the startup is focusing on Kenya’s five most populous urban regions, but plans to expand into eastern and southern Africa thereafter.