Making real-estate investing a lifestyle

Brian Gacari cuts a cake after hosting U.S musicians Dru Hill in Nairobi.

Property Reality Company disrupted the industry with a new innovation that combines agribusiness and land ownership

By Amos Wachira

Brian Gacari is familiar with both the privations of lack and the opulence of wealth. He has lived the two worlds, having had a childhood surrounded with plenty, before life took an unexpected turn later in his adulthood. This was as a result of a savings plan his parents had made with a bank that later collapsed which left them impoverished on retirement. This no doubt changed fortunes for Gacari, but on the lighter side of it, he learned from the experience.
“I vowed not to make the investment mistake that my parents made and vowed to invest in the real estate sector which tends to hold money well and reliably,” he says.
That is what fired his drive to start his own real estate firm in 2010, when he was only 25 years old. Considering that owning land or homes is a key challenge for most people, Gacari set out to establish PRC as the platform that could help many own land and property. Property Reality Company (PRC) is a real estate company unique in the industry for its provision of genuine and affordable property across the country. What makes PRC stand out from the rest is their way of doing things. When his firm opened its doors to the public in 2010, it brought a fresh way of making real estate investing a lifestyle. This means that every Kenyan can own a piece of good land at their budget. PRC disrupted the industry with a new innovation that combines agribusiness and land ownership. The company was the pioneer in adding value to countryside plots that were traditionally bought for speculation purposes, a trend that has been so successful that it has been adopted by other property businesses in Kenya.
Dubbed Kilimo Biashara, the concept sees PRC help its clients buy farm land, which the company manages on their behalf. The firm’s first project was in Naivasha.
How did Gacari make this happen? Through his firm, he bought 20 acres of land and started green house farming, growing fruits and vegetables. After floating the idea to land buyers, the youthful entrepreneur says that the concept was well received in the market, with many buyers simply buying land and mandating PRC to manage it for them.
What is even more appealing to land buyers is that PRC does not charge them any management fee for a period of one year, even though they are able to reap returns from the farm.
One of its flagship projects, Mbuni estates, sits on 76 acres within the rapidly developing Isinya area and gives buyers an opportunity to become land owners, business owners, employers, farmers or investors.
Subdivided into eighths of an acre, the whole package comes with a greenhouse and goes for Kshs950000. Mbuni estate is clearly giving real estate investors a new dimension in investing.
PRC is not yet done. According to Gacari, the firm is looking for more ways to change the perception amongst Kenyans that land should be bought for speculation purposes and instead popularize land as a noble investment that is can give buyers handsome dividends.
Recently, PRC signed a deal with Agri Green, an Israeli based company that designs, develops and implements turnkey agricultural projects, including greenhouses and open-field farms and also provides agronomical support to the projects.
The deal will see PRC boost its Agribusiness projects as it looks to give Kenyans an opportunity to invest in farming and create employment opportunities.
PRC CEO says that the company’s decision to work with Agri Green was advised by Agri Green’s expertise in Agribusiness, making them the ideal partner for the project.
“We have piloted the agribusiness plots in some of our land, and we have been successful. It is on the basis of this that we enlisted a partner whose expertise is agribusiness. Agri Green brings on board years of experience, knowledge and the technical expertise to ensure that our clients are able to make the maximum profits from their land,” remarked Gacari.
The partnership will see Agri Green be responsible for farm management, selection of cash crops to be cultivated, boreholes and storage facilities among other roles. The two partners will also provide market linkages upon harvesting.
Gacari is not exactly a greenhorn in matters to do with business. Before founding the property firm, he had to work in Ghana selling soft drinks and milk. While there, he was always thrilled by how most youthful people in that country embraced the forex market, and therefore sought to get a niche market that could target the youth back in Kenya to empower them. Coming back to the country, he saw a gap in the real estate sector as the youth were not well served by the available land buying firms. This coupled with his parents’ misfortune of losing money in the bank culminated into an idea that would grow to become one of the leading real estate firms in the country.
Six years down the line, Gacari has grown to become a leading realtor, with PRC holding property estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of shillings.
Its monumental growth was demonstrated two months ago when the youthful founder introduced a board of directors, making PRC one of the few property firms with a functional board.
What does it take to be a successful real estate operative?
“Good leadership, great team work, committed employees and our loyal clients,” says Gacari who studied marketing and business administration at Strathmore University.
Undoubtedly, his firm has built a reputation in the competitive industry. It has so far handled over 4 000 title deeds in counties like Lamu, Machakos, Laikipia and Nakuru. But this is only a product of his resilience. When starting up, Gacari struggled to meet the piling financial needs of the new business. His effort to get financing from banks bore no fruits, as they could always ask for his experience in land buying, which he clearly lacked. But he persevered and built his business to its current state, aided by his core value of satisfying the customer. For Gacari and PRC, the sky is the limit. PRC, which has three offices in Kenya, plans to expand into the region, starting with an office in Uganda.