Local company seeks to address Rwanda’s information gap in housing sector

Local company seeks to address Rwanda’s information gap in housing sector
Local company seeks to address Rwanda’s information gap in housing sector

Despite the opportunities and demand in the local real estate and housing sector, a majority of potential home owners say that there is often inadequate information on available options.

This has led some potential buyers of housing accessories to at times import them largely for lack of awareness on what is available on the local market.

The information gap could also have partly caused reduced activity, especially among the middle class, who have a perception that the available and existing property is beyond their range of affordability.

Players in the sector say that with a platform availing information about housing and real estate, potential buyers will be made aware of what their options are.

Modeste Niyogaba, a 33-year-old civil servant seeking to build a family home says he has acquired a plot of land, but there is little ready information on available options for potential home owners.

He said, prior to commencement of the home development process, one has to take time visiting establishments across the city weighing available options on construction materials and services in home development.

In an attempt to bridge the existing gap, a local firm has stepped forward to provide a platform linking potential home owners, and products and service providers in the country.

The firm, Rwanda Homes, has developed a web based platform to enable information seekers access all providers of home construction and development products and services in the convenience of their offices, homes.

The web-based platform (www.rwandahome.com) also has provisions for a smart phone application, an SMS platform, as well as an annual industry specific expo where residents, citizens in the diaspora as well as investors in the sector can access real time current market information and trends in this sector.

‘Stressful to develop homes’

Phillip Mulari, the managing director of the firm, said, often, house development projects are known to be stressful for property owners, which should not be the case.

“We all want a house to call our own at some point in life. Undertaking such a project to build or buy a home here in Rwanda requires a lot of planning; mentally and financially. But it shouldn’t be time and resource consuming as is the current situation. People undertaking projects of this nature currently endure a lot of stress trying to balance their work and family life with (unnecessary) stress of sourcing products and service providers for home construction and development,” he said.

He said that, going forward, they hope to be able to enable potential home owners have access to information while also allowing providers of products and services to easily reach potential clients.

“This will not only allow for consumers of home construction and development products to have this information at their fingertips but also allow the providers of these products and services to reach their clients virtually 24 hours a day and also have a platform through the expo to showcase their products and services,” Mulari added.

The firm is set to hold an expo on November 29, which will create an ideal link between buyers and sellers.

The six-day expo, to be hosted at Amahoro National Stadium, is expected to attract providers extending across the construction, interior design, furnishings and home finance industries as well as over 10,000 visitors.

Providers of goods and services say that the development presents an ideal opportunity to reach out to clients and eliminate the information gap.

Manoj Kumar, of Sadolin Paints, told The New Times that through the expo, Rwandans will be made aware of their options in the various housing needs.

“People with the various needs in home development can find out what their options under the various price ranges are, all under one roof,” he said.

Ali Manji, of Viva Products, which specialises in bedding products, said this will be a good platform to connect various players, and for potential buyers to be aware of the Made-in-Rwanda products.

“An example is that we have previously provided products to high end facilities. This shows that local producers are in position to provide world-class products and services and we should rely less on imports,” he said.

He said that the expo will also provide a chance for providers of products and services to engage the market on their demands and needs to be able to satisfy them better