The application of information technology in commercial property management in Nairobi
Yahya, Amina S
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In this information age, the global real property industry like other industries is adopting information technology in its various forms at a fast pace. This form of technology has brought about advantages of speed, timeliness, flexibility and increased efficiency and productivity to all sectors of business, with property management generally not being an exception. In the Kenyan context, progress of IT adoption has been rather slow considering the increased portfolio sizes and expectations in a highly competitive and globalised economy. Backwardness and slow progress in adopting information handling techniques has had a negative effect on the growth of the commercial property sector. Marketing lags behind, advanced statistical analysis is not encouraged, and efficiency in carrying out management routines is reduced. Property managers are unable to access new knowledge in management approaches, concepts and tools in a timely fashion. This study explores the international trends, innovations and best practices in the use of IT then investigates the extent of use of IT in the commercial property management of three case studies locally. These case studies represent the semi-public (parastatal) sector, the private (corporate) sector and the professional property management sector. Qualitative data is sought on the benefits, use and challenges posed by IT in commercial property management. The findings indicate that all three case studies use IT to varying extents. At a minimum, they use standard or conventional software packages which they find adequate for the daily routines. There are concerted efforts by commercial property managers to steadily increase the use of IT in their work. However, they are faced with challenges. Training, costs considerations, complexity and fast advancement of IT software must be overcome.