It's simple. Unlimited options.
Are you trying but failing to find the perfect plan for your new home? Perhaps it's time you start looking online to the many stores providing architectural services across Africa. With all commonwealth countries having nearly identical construction regulations architects are not bound by political boundaries anymore - they are therefore taking their businesses online to reach a wider audience which in turn gives the consumer more choice.
Choosing a house plan has never been faster or more convenient.
Maramani Ltd started out as a regular architectural firm but quickly realised the potential of an online presence. "We noticed our clients requesting similar plans. Rather than manually presenting each of our plans to them we decided to upload all our plans to our website." says Melica Matheba, the company director. "This gave our client instant access to all our house plans and we were able to provide our services at a significantly reduced cost."
Most companies providing similar services provide the option customization to any plan to ensure the client gets what they want and that the building fits the site as it should.
The influence of digital and mobile payment systems
Making online payments is still in its infancy in most parts of Africa. Large corporations such as PayPal only recently started operations in a few African countries but with limited services . However, local solutions have sprung up to cater for the need for online payments. Directpay online is a payment merchant service based in Kenya which currently operates in 16 African countries and processes card payments, bank transfers, but most importantly they process mobile payments. Mobile money accounts now surpass bank accounts in the region and greater financial inclusion has benefited large swathes of the population. "The fact that clients can easily make payments from anywhere in Africa is the backbone to our business" says Melica Matheba. "With a smartphone and mobile money you do not have an excuse not to build yourself the perfect home ." she adds, laughing.
Whereas traditional architecture relies on a single architect designing and detailing your home, online stores give the client an unlimited selection from a large number of architects. Whether looking for a specific design style, construction budget or material choice you will find it all at the click of a button and at a cost well below the industry standard.
The brilliance of online stores is that you have a clear picture of exactly how the building will look like, the way it will function and how much it will cost without having to spend any money on an architect. All information is provided to you free of charge. You main job remains narrowing down your options until you find the perfect plan for you and your family.
The way forward
With most services making a move to the digital domain, the architecture business and the sales of house plans is well on its way to be a fully digitized industry within the near future. With more African architects focusing on their online presence the result is an obvious shift for both the seller and customer to a digital realm.