Interactive is our new interview series where we engage business leaders in Kenya’s real estate and construction industry in searching for answers to questions about the industry.

Broll is Africa’s leading commercial property services group with headquarters in South Africa. It has established its presence in 15 African Countries. Broll Kenya was established in 2013.

Interview with Jonathan Yach, CEO, Broll Kenya.

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BuildingKE:  How would you describe Kenya’s property market?

Jonathan: Kenya is the regional leader in real estate. Its real estate sector is more sophisticated, hence its high levels of activity, making it an ideal investment location.

In Kenya, investors are comfortable with enhanced investment; they see how the broad middle class has grown over the past five years and how urbanisation has enriched and expanded cities, bringing with it the usual growth pains – traffic, congestion and frenetic road upgrades.

In terms of volatility, the level of activity and investor confidence in Kenyan real estate depends on how well the market responds to fluctuations in the market: demand and supply. Kenya’s real estate responds well to these.

Real estate investors in Kenya are positioning themselves to make the most of the retail growth opportunities.

Kenya is becoming a power house for the region, facilitating the entry into this market of more capital, investment and commitment from foreign donors. Daily, we see the benefits of this growth– better roads, faster traffic and more malls!

BuildingKE: Describe Kenya’s retail market?

Jonathan: Kenya’s retail sector is undergoing rapid and significant evolution driven by the need to satisfy customers’ needs and expectations. On top of new malls opening up across the country, the sector has seen more shops, products and services introduced to meet consumer demand, reflecting on the relative sophistication of the market

In 2015, three of the region’s largest retail real estate investments will open: Two Rivers, The Hub and Garden City; in addition, we are seeing existing malls being extended and renovated. All of this is symptomatic of a greater pan-African and global retail interest and confidence in the economies of this region by investors and retailers

BuildingKE: What is the contribution of the retail market to Kenya’s economy?

Jonathan: The retail sector is arguably the third largest employer, after Agriculture and the government, contributing approximately 28% of GDP. This figure is still rising, however, It is important to note that formal retail represents around 35% of the total retail market in Kenya due to accelerating rates of urbanisation.

As more regional and global retailers enter the market, international trade between Kenya and the rest of the world is experiencing growth. Consumer goods drawn from other countries are becoming easily available within various shopping centres as are locally produced goods.

BuildingKE: What is Broll all about?

Jonathan: Founded in 1975, Broll has become Africa´s leading commercial property services group. And thanks to our association with international partner CBRE, we bring together an unrivalled mix of local talent and global knowledge with the sole purpose of maximizing the potential of your property, wherever it is.

Apart from offices in South Africa, Broll operates in over 17 countries in Africa.

Through these strategic locations, it offers a full bouquet of property-related services, including: property management, facilities management, shopping centre management, retail consulting, office broking and office space, industrial property broking, investment property broking, corporate real estate services, valuations, its own patented Broll-Online property-management software solution and a property search function with a vast database of properties across Southern Africa.

With local expertise and global knowledge, Broll’s 1,389 staff compliment makes it the largest real estate profession employer.

If you are looking for specialised services in the property sector, Broll should be your first port of call.