News and Events
‘County governments mum but communities grateful’
The Standard| Kevin Oguoko| 28th January 2015
1. Your company, Optiven Limited's flagship product is the value-added plots. How does this differ from other plots on the market?
Our value-added plots are more than just mere barren plots on sale. We 'add value' to our plots by providing electricity by setting up a transformer right in the middle of the estate. We also provide water from boreholes dug in the estates and pipe it to each individual plot. On the estate composed of our value added plots, there is allocation of space for a commercial center and an open recreational space referred to as the 'green zone' which is maintained by an onsite gardener.
2. How does this differ from serviced plots?
Serviced plots do not have 'green zones' like we do, they do not have a serviced internal road connection from the main roads of these remote areas. Some of the road connections we have invested in are as long as ten kilometers. Our provision of these amenities is more sincere and practical, theirs is a mere barren fenced piece of land with a borehole which is not piped to the plot. The sellers of these 'serviced plots' fear the costs of carrying out such essential services, they just want to sell the plots and get out, leaving you with the other real expenses.
3. What are some of the costs 'value-added plots' incur before they are put on the market?
To dig the borehole is Sh1.8 million, the water pump is Sh1 million, the water tank plus its holding structure is almost Sh2 million. Piping of the water from the storage unit to individual plots costs about Sh8 million.
4. How does the prices of these value-added plots compare to other plots considering the value-addition costs?
If we were in the business of just making money, then we would have been making millions, which we can. But Optiven is in the business of transforming people's lives. Our plots are 50 per cent higher, but the clients never seem to mind after they consider what is in the offing compared to surrounding plots.
5. The plots sold in the emerging areas of Kajiado, Isinya and Mombasa Road environs have been said to be bought by speculators. What is the situation on the ground?
I think the amenities we provide make it virtually impossible for you to hold the land for speculation purposes. The facilities make it easier for you to put up your home and move in. We also have a construction company as a subsidiary of Optiven which develops exclusively for our clients.
6. Research shows that land within the Ruiru and Mlolongo area is enough to house all Nairobi residents. Are the plots located further from these areas such as in Isinya, overpriced and logical to live in for Nairobi-based employees?
I don't think Nairobi is big enough to house all its residents. Majority of the city residents are in slums, and I know they are saying that once they construct enough flats housing problems will reduce. The problem is that the infrastructure to support such developments in Nairobi is not there.
7. As devolution takes root, sewerage systems and road networks are some of the things that will be addressed. Surely, that cannot be reason enough to move 2-3 hours away from the city centre to build homes that will force you to commute daily?
Most of our clients are people who drive to work. It takes less than two hours to get to the city centre from Isinya, traffic normally starts when you get to Mombasa Road. Besides, more and more people are using the railway station in areas such as Syokimau. With the expansion of the railway line currently taking place, in future these quiet, serene areas will be made much more comfortable to live in.
8. Optiven promotes itself as giving title deeds in record time. What is the story behind this?
We give our clients verifiable information thereby earning their trust. We try as much as possible not to over-promise but instead under-promise. Our pool of professionals also ensures that we get the title deeds way before the projects are bought out. Currently, we have 90 per cent of the title deeds to the plots we are selling.
9. There have been accusations of rival land dealers killing each other in and around Nairobi. What is the cause?
It all boils down to greed. People want to make exaggerated profits and move on. The bad land dealings have been known to arise from businessmen playing dirty tricks on each other. We almost lost a lot of money recently. I luckily got wind of what was going on at the last minute by engaging a neighbour of the land we were trying to buy with in small talk. I found out that the land dealer had two title deeds for the same piece land and was selling it to us and another person at the same time. While we would have gone on to dispute this parcel of land with the other buyers in court for years he would have been so far away.
10. Have county governments in these areas approached you or subsidised your efforts such as building internal roads that have a social impact?
No. None of the county governments have approached me yet. However, the local communities have recognised our effort and I was recently called into one of the communities to be declared a Maasai elder in honour of our development projects.
Industry players have also awarded and lauded our efforts and Equity Bank is doing a case study on us. And of course we were the number one company at the Top 100 Mid-size Company Awards, 2014-2015. We are the first real estate company to win the award since the inaugural award ceremony six years ago.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/lifestyle/article/2000149554/county-governments-mum-but-communities-grateful?pageNo=3
- Victory Gardens Phase 3 - Own the Dream
- Grace Gardens - Mt. Kenya View
- Eldoret Breeze
- Eden Gardens - Kajiado County
- Dollar Point Commercial Center - Kajiado County
- Shekinah Gardens - Kajiado County
- Victory Gardens Phase 3 - Gated Community in Kitengela
- Project Investment Guide
- Hope Gardens Phase 4 - 1/8 Acre Commercial and Residential plots in Kajiado
- Neema Gardens - Kitengela
- Imani Breeze Estate - Kitengela
- Savanna Gardens - Kitengela
Like our Page
We have 44 guests and no members online