Meet a 25-year-old Ghanaian who started a real estate company that makes it easy to rent in Ghana
- Bill Cobbinah, 25, is paving the way for other young people by starting a real estate company that helps Ghanaians rent easily
- Speaking to YEN.com.gh, Bill said he had taken on the heavy burden of solving the housing problems in Ghana due to the urgency of the rent issue.
- The young man spoke about his experiences building a business and how the journey has been for him
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A young Ghanaian, Bill Cobbinahspoke to YEN.com.gh on how he started a real estate company called “Edanra” that helps people rent easily in a country with a housing deficit of around 2 million units.
Bill was inspired to take action after his national service program when he heard stories of how people had suffered at the hands of evil people posing as real estate agents to scam unsuspecting victims. Bill launched Edanra with two other co-founders, Alfred Asare Amoah and Jerome Cordjotse.
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What was the trip like
According to Bill, the trip was both positive and educational. He explains that Edanra started as a free platform that facilitated the process of finding decent housing in Ghana during a commission. Now the company is transitioning from a free third-party classifieds platform to a financial service that helps tenants pay monthly rent.
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Most landlords in Ghana charge one or two years’ rent in advance, making it difficult for people to afford decent housing. Therefore, the monthly rent payment will be a huge breakthrough in the rental sector in Ghana.
How resources were mobilized to launch Edanra
Bill Cobbinah said YEN.com.gh that he was lucky to have friends and family who supported his vision, as some of them were victims of housing fraud. He said:
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Due to the clarity of the solution, it struck a chord with the friends I was sharing with and it helped mobilize technical and financial resources.
He further explains that the company has a core team of six people who deal with the day-to-day running of the business.
Edanra’s impact on the housing industry in Ghana
Bill discloses exclusively to YEN.com.gh that since March 2021, Edanra has seen a cumulative unique user count of around 17,000. In August 2021, Edanra also launched its flagship initiative of providing accommodation to the significant number of NSS staff seeking accommodation in Accra and Kumasi.
The company has become the go-to place for NSS staff looking for accommodation in Ghana, with hundreds of applications received at the start of the NSS last year.
What Edanra is currently working on
Bill reveals to YEN.com.gh that his team strives to reduce the financial pressure of finding and renting properties in Africa. He explained:
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We strive to reduce the complications of intermediaries and provide a solid credit facility that will protect tenants against prepayment of rent
He added that the affordable housing projects initiative we now have would complement their vision. Bill says this will help them increase their inventory and ease pressure from tenant demand.
How people can use Edanra’s services
Bill Cobbinah explained to YEN.com.gh how their system works. He said all people had to do was visit their web app, which was accessible online. Then they can search Edanra’s available inventory of rental units, after which people can schedule the property to visit.
Bill revealed that Edanra is working on features that allow tenants to book for property viewing and apply for rental finance on their own.
The biggest challenges faced daily
Edanra’s biggest challenge, as revealed by Bill, is a supply issue. He claims they have more potential tenants than they could satisfy with properties. The two main challenges that Ghanaians face, which they are trying to solve, are paying exorbitant fees such as visitation fees or commissions to find rental accommodation and paying for one or two years of advance on the rent.
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The biggest lessons learned so far
Bill Cobbinah says people will learn a lot when they start a real estate company. For him, two lessons emerge. First, people should listen to what the market wants and not assume they know more. Second, people should not avoid making bold decisions and taking bold actions. He added that it’s also important to look for teammates who also take on the burden of vision.
Future plans and expectations
Bill says the future promises to be exciting for him. He revealed that he sees himself as a wealthy man in the foreseeable future that brings access to financial inclusion to more young people on the African continent.
Advice for young people
Bill says it’s easy for young people to complain about societal issues. However, each perceived problem provides unique opportunities for people to discover, which become solutions to problems while generating income.
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The story of “Toa House”: Meet the young Ghanaian man who builds houses from plastic waste
In an earlier story, YEN.com.gh wrote about how a young Ghanaian builds houses from plastic waste. Paul Coffie Beboru innovates in the Ghanaian real estate sector by building “Toa houses” from plastic bottles.
His plan finally came to life when he saw similar concepts being used in other African countries and beyond. As a result, Paul wants Toa House to become the premier provider of affordable housing in Ghana and across Africa.
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