How to Make Money in Real Estate in Kenya

by | Oct 25, 2022

For the past two decades, the Kenyan real estate business has registered exponential growth. The growth has been fueled by a growing population that has created a housing demand in towns and demand for agricultural land in rural areas. The said demand has seen the entry of international firms which has considerably shifted the tastes and preferences of local buyers. If you were thinking of investing in real estate, the listed options below are going to make you more money.

1. Renting out residential buildings

If you have invested in residential apartments, you are assured of receiving rent into the unforeseeable future. This is mainly because there is a huge housing deficit in the country. In fact, about eighty percent of Kenyans in urban areas live in rental houses.

Additionally, students and workers alike are relocating to urban centers, which means that houses will always be in demand. You can choose to be a landlord, or simply hire a property agency to collect rent on your behalf.

Whichever route you choose, you have to be aware of the existing laws with regard to letting property and the taxes you have to pay.

2. Leasing out land or buildings

Sometimes, investors usually do not have a lump sum amount to buy land. They usually view leasing as a cheaper option, giving an opportunity to anyone with idle land to earn an income.

Most of the investors usually want to build petrol stations, schools, shopping malls, or even start a horticultural business. Granted, you need to be well versed with laws pertaining leasing in Kenya so that you operate within the law.

This requires that you engage a real estate lawyer who will draw a favorable lease agreement. The lease agreement is usually your line of defense if the lesser decided to end the contract prematurely.

3. Home renovation flips

Because of the entrance of multinationals into the Kenyan real estate space, Kenyans’ taste of houses and buildings shifted drastically. Buildings that were once rented were abandoned for newer and classically designed ones.

However, house flipping emerged as a way of earning from real estate. If you have a considerable amount of money, you can buy these old buildings, renovate them, before you dispose them in the market.

You can also approach owners of these old-looking buildings and sell them the idea of having them renovated to attract more clients. That way, you can earn money by renovating homes and buildings without actually owning them.

4. Managing properties

This career doesn’t require one to own a real estate property or even land. However, you need to be registered and licensed by the Estate Agents Registration Board before you start out. And as soon as you get your licenses, you can set up your company and start managing properties for property owners.

One way is by approaching them and convincing them to allow you to collect rent on their property, sell their property, and basically manage what they own. You can then slowly start building a portfolio that you can use to bring more property owners under your wings. That said, you should be prepared for challenges that are unique to this business.

5. Real estate investment trusts

Because of an increase in real estate in terms of incomes, REITs have become a simpler way for investors to own a part of a real estate firm. And though investors are not directly involved in real estate, they earn dividends from the real estate companies. This is because the firms are required by law to distribute the income earned from real estate to the investors.

6. Airbnb

Though it’s a foreign concept, the idea of listing property on Airbnb for travelers to have a place to stay is catching on.

All you need to do is create a free account, take good pictures of your home, describe what you’re renting out enticingly, and list your property on Airbnb website. As soon as a traveler checks in, the website is aware since travelers create an account with Airbnb.

As an investor, you receive commissions from the company via PayPal, Payoneer, or bank transfers.

7. Selling undeveloped land

Land as a real estate asset is ever increasing in value. The reason is because most Kenyans are becoming aware of the need to own land where they can build a retirement home. This need for land has presented an opportunity for the quick-witted business person to make a killing.

If you have cash, you have the option of buying several parcels of land, subdividing them, then offering the plots up for sale to buyers. In this real estate option, you need to understand the laws governing land ownership in Kenya, how to avoid unscrupulous sellers, and where to seek redress in case things go South.

8. Renting out parking spaces

In major towns and cities in Kenya, finding a secure parking space is a challenge. That said, the challenge presented an opportunity to entrepreneurial Kenya’s with land to turn them into parking lots.

What one requires is simply to fence off the land with either a perimeter wall or a chain link fence, hire a guard, and someone to collect cash. You however need to be conversant with the County Government laws on such businesses before you proceed.

9. Renting student hostels

When major colleges and universities were put up in different places throughout the country, a need for housing became a major concern. Several business-minded Kenyans saw a need to put up students’ hostels to cash in on the demand.

With such a business, it might be easier to approach the university or college administration and inform them about the hostels. Proximity to the educational institutions and other amenities should be considered first before setting up the hostels. Also, you should take note that hostels are supposed to be more secure that normal residential houses.


The real estate options listed above are going to make you money in the real estate space in Kenya. After all, land and housing demand continue to rise almost on a daily basis.