Amanda Kimani: Meet CUTE 25-year-old CEO running 37 Airbnb in Nairobi

At the tender age of 25, Amanda Kimani has already made a significant mark in the highly competitive real estate sector, an industry she firmly asserts is not for the faint-hearted.

Amanda is the dynamic CEO and visionary founder behind Luxe Living, a firm specializing in the vibrant world of Airbnb. Currently, Luxe Living manages an impressive portfolio of 37 Airbnb units in Nairobi, while also providing invaluable consultancy and marketing services for diverse real estate spaces.

Amanda’s entrepreneurial journey was triggered by the unfortunate circumstances of losing her job as a trainee at a real estate company due to the unforeseen Covid-19 pandemic.

Navigating the aftermath of unemployment was a challenging chapter for Amanda, but her unwavering determination spurred her towards entrepreneurship. With her modest savings and a supportive contribution from her parents, she embarked on a mission to establish her own company.

“In the realm of real estate, often perceived as requiring substantial financial resources to thrive, I resolved to carve out a niche that would allow me to start small and eventually expand. This led me to focus on the Airbnb sector,” Amanda shares.

Her journey began humbly with just one unit, which she meticulously furnished and offered to clients. It took three months for the business to break even, empowering her to expand her portfolio to five units.

Soon, Amanda ventured into managing other people’s units with the assistance of a dedicated team responsible for marketing, IT, and a managing director.

“At Luxe Living, we both operate our own Airbnb units and extend our services to clients who entrust us with the management of their properties. Additionally, we offer consultancy services to those interested in entering this thriving sector,” Amanda explains.

“We guide them in identifying prime investment locations, maximizing rental returns, optimizing unit furnishings to attract clients, estimating income potential, and forecasting the timeline for profitability,” she adds.

Amanda emphasizes that excelling in real estate necessitates a strong commitment to ongoing education and the cultivation of robust networks.

Given her role in consultancy, Amanda regularly pursues courses and extensively immerses herself in real estate literature to remain at the forefront of industry knowledge. “In real estate, interpersonal connections are paramount. To thrive, you must interact with a multitude of individuals who may become potential clients and partners,” she underscores.

Nonetheless, Amanda’s journey has been far from smooth sailing. She has grappled with various challenges, including clients making bookings only to later cancel, thereby potentially denying other customers access to accommodations.

Moreover, Amanda has had to confront skepticism and discouragement, often stemming from her youthfulness. “I’ve encountered individuals who candidly expressed doubts, suggesting that I’m striving too hard and may not succeed in this competitive field. Nevertheless, I persist, and each day, our company continues to grow, consistently achieving our targets,” she reflects.

Amanda’s advice to aspiring real estate entrepreneurs is to consider tourist destinations like Nanyuki, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Naivasha, as they are less saturated compared to Nairobi. These areas hold promising opportunities for those eager to make their mark in the dynamic world of real estate.