Lizzie Costabir,
CEO BuyRentKenya

Lizzie Constabir of Buy Rent Kenya is creating a significant impact in the real estate space with her innovative spirit and passion and zeal for creating solutions in the market. Read more about her work and current projects as she shares her story and aspirations for women in the sector.

  1. Why did you choose to work in real estate and what do you like most about your job?

BuyRentKenya was at the forefront of building a vibrant Property Marketplaces in 2014 and I wanted to be part of actively driving digitalization of the real estate market to make the user journey and experience simpler, safe and convenient given Kenya’s high internet penetration and unmet demand for property.

The best part of my job is the opportunity it offers me to connect buyers and sellers who transact safely and conveniently online, so that we transform the real estate sector by creating and offering digital solutions to Kenya’s property market and being part of this journey.

I also love the versatility of being able to do a variety of tasks because in real estate, no day is the same. Having a forward-thinking, supportive company that realizes employees are their greatest asset and working collaboratively with people for successful outcomes is the cherry on the cake.

  1. Is there a perception out there about what women in real estate are like?

Yes, there is.

“That women are only good at closing house sales” but in actual fact we have women who are well represented from the boardrooms to the field e.g. structural engineers and architects. I love the fact that more women are breaking down the barriers of what is traditionally considered a “man’s world”.

Hence, I/we will continue to challenge gender stereotypes, discrimination and bias by calling out gendered actions or assumptions, forging positive visibility of women, trying to influence other’s beliefs and actions, celebrating women’s achievements and forging women’s equality by #breakingthebias.

  1. Which women inspire you the most?

There are many women in the professional world who constantly inspire me but I’ll single out 2 of them. In real estate the late Pam Golding and   Reeta Roy- CEO & President of MasterCard Foundation have been great models and a huge source of inspiration. Finally, my Mother -Hillaria Costabir, who has been my mentor, prayer master and made me everything that I am.

4.What do you think about the future of women in the real estate industry in Kenya?

Women are fast emerging as the biggest investors in mid-market real estate, both in terms of property purchase and also from the running of it from government positioning to the private sector (on and off the field) and they are incredibly resilient in it.

5.Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am currently working on upgrading the Content Management System on the back end of our site to help our Agents/Developers when it comes to their listings and leads management and much more in order to help them get more inventory, more seekers and more properties to sell or rent.

For our Users/ Front end we are currently signing various Partnerships with Ancillary Value Chain providers so that we can be the most user centric go to place and one stop shop for all things Real Estate/ Property

  1.   On international women’s day, what’s a very practical tip for women just starting their real estate careers?

The industry is growing and we have massive opportunities to venture into as entrepreneurs. You need to have a clear vision, business plan and set targets. You also need to be able to measure against what you have set out to do – that will always give you an indication of whether or not you are on the right track. It’s important to keep things simple and be willing to keep trying even when one fails.