Gakuyo: The making of a real estate giant

Rev. David Kariuki Ngari aka Gakuyo issuing a title deed to one of its members who have successfully procured a piece of land in one of their numerous projects.
Rev. David Kariuki Ngari aka Gakuyo’s rise to prominence can only be described as a classic Kenyan dream story.

Gakuyo started amid humble beginnings from the sale of a single piece of family land in 1998, to grow to become one of the leading land buying and selling real estate giants in the country.

Born and brought up in Munyu village, one of the poorest regions of the larger Thika sub-county, Gakuyo grew and actually the idea of starting a real estate firm. As a freelancer, he sub-divided a piece of land that his father handed him into small plots and sold them off before buying vacant land from a neighbour.

From the proceeds of those plots, the drive to beat the odds grew bigger and the demand for a better living was propelled by a growing church membership who supported these projects.  His resolve to work clean drove him to grow along with people who could not have afforded land in the first place. 
He helped them grow and own plots.

“It was not easy. When we started off in the business, it was infested with conmen, imposters and unscrupulous people who were out to fleece others, making it very hard to work through,” explains Gakuyo.

To make it through, he allowed buyers to pay in small instalments before full acquisition, thus earning his company their trust and admiration. Through such elaborate efforts, Gakuyo was able to create so many landowners, some of whom have been lifted off the slums.

“We source, identify and develop value-based properties and services for individuals and businesses across all social and economic strata, an offer that is unmatched by our competitors.”

Gakuyo says that their success is based on their ability to broaden their options by availing to their clients, a wide range investment opportunities to suit their needs. He says that they too appreciate the constant changes in the industry and due to the emerging trends, they continually research and develop products in order to provide significant innovations that meet their customers’ growing needs.

The company procures land, subdivides it and thereafter sells it off at moderate affordable rates to the masses. With time, his company has grown and members’ investments tripled, bringing forth to the giant that is Gakuyo Real Estate Company Ltd.

It has a policy in its operational etiquette that has powered its success over the years, and that is ‘listening to people’s demands’. Rev. Gakuyo says that this is what his brand stands for, and in their push to see the many lives lifted, they have initiated numerous changes that have even been translated in the policy implementation level.

“People who invest with us no longer feel that they have been left out in their achievement of goals, but feel as being part and parcel of the larger community that can invest, even at a very small space,” says Gakuyo.

The company now has myriads of projects which now include Lanet Homes in Nakuru, the Chosen City in Kabati, Murang’a County) and Hotel Lilies in Juja and the recently launched Subukia project. 

For each of their projects, the firm builds new infrastructure— perimeter walls, boreholes, electricity connections and other amenities— and provide of title deeds.

The development of financing solutions and easy payment plans they have for the serviced plots endears the masses to their business concept of buying large tracts of land for subdivision.

“Many of those who buy from us have previously been frustrated by the banks who denied them loans due to lack of collateral for security,’ he says.

John Mwangi, a Senior Manager at the company, gives the example of a piece of land they bought near Kabati on the Nairobi-Murang’a Road. It cost buyers Sh. 100,000 per plot, but in just under three years, its value has shot to more than Sh. 1.2 million.

“This is what makes Gakuyo Real Estate a darling of the people. In this process, we rope many people in the land ownership strategy,” says Mwangi.


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