Doreen Onmwong’a of KN Law has a remarkable career in the real estate industry, stumbling upon real estate by chance and pursuing it to become a leading lawyer and outstanding profession in the industry. She shares her insights and perspectives on the industry here.
1. Why did you choose to work in real estate and what do you like most about your job?
Working in real estate, was really by chance. An opportunity came along and I took it. For me the path presented itself by starting out as a conveyancing lawyer, in a law firm. This path led me to being an in-house counsel in a real estate development company and there I got exposed to real estate from planning, construction and construction contracts, financing, exit and management.
2. Is there a perception out there about what women in real estate are like?
I do not think there is any perception of how women in real estate look like, at least not now. There may have been but with technology, increased professionalism in the real estate space and women taking leadership roles in associations like AAK and IEK, there is a shift in mindset and more women are choosing real estate right from their undergraduate studies as a career path.
3. Which women inspire you the most?
Growing up I was inspired by Hillary Clinton. In my career, I have come across two women, one in capital markets and corporate finance and the other in real estate, finance and training who inspire and continue to inspire me by their ability to excel.
4.What do you think about the future of women in the real estate industry in Kenya?
It’s definitely bright. We have more women coming into the field and more women to mentor and inspire those who come after us.
5.Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Actually, yes, I am. At KN Law, we are the advisors of an Affordable Housing Project in Kilifi using 3D technology. The first unit was recently launched and it has been an exciting learning experience, just learning how technology can play a big role in achieving this dream. We are also working on a potential bond to finance an existing affordable housing project in Pangani, Nairobi as well as technology-based capital markets solution to finance affordable housing as well as provide a platform for any Kenyan looking to save for a house to do so while earning a return.
6.On international women’s day, what’s a very practical tip for women just starting their real estate careers?
Be curious. There is always something to learn.