About Me - My Journey of Getting Into The Ethio Real Estate

About Robel Birhanu, The Founder of Online Money Spinner

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Robel Birhanu. I’m the Founder and Owner of Online Money Spinner. If you’re here because it is going to be getting to know who’s behind this big digital asset AKA website that’s dedicated specifically to the Ethiopian Real Estate Sector.

I started the Online Money Spinner blog (or call it a personal website) back in 2021 with one mission in mind: to talk about Real Estates in Ethiopia and Real Estates in Ethiopia only. Bang, that’s it!!!

Later on with more resources, we are also covering industries like Finance in Ethiopia (including bank firms in Ethiopia, insurance companies in Ethiopia, and microfinance institutions in Ethiopia), Hotels in Ethiopia, Media in Ethiopia (including ISP’s in Ethiopia, radio’s in Ethiopia, and television’s in Ethiopia), and Cars in Ethiopia.

Before moving on, if you’re someone genuinely, I mean, head to toe, want to know the invaluable knowledge that there is to know for the Ethiopian Real Estate, Banks, Hotels, and Cars (Future Plan), this is not only the right place, but it is the only place. I mean it!

Greetings! You’re about to get a thorough life journey (believe me, it’s not a bunch of fluffs) on how I got here. Filled with some twists and turns on the way, your world view of digital marketing at the national level is about to change now, and will become second nature to you.

So buckle up and have your seatbelt on (or hold on tight if you don’t got one) — as we’ll get into a resonating and fascinating stories to the pain points of finding your dream villa, apartment, a family house, an office space, or even a real estate investment opportunities in downtown Addis Ababa.

The “about me page” that you’re going to find within a second is broken down in 3 chapters. These are as follows in a structured way: 

  1. CHAPTER 1: What I Did Different During My Childhood. Does it Resonate?
  2. CHAPTER 2: My Prime College Years (Turned to a Downward Spiral. It Wasn’t Funny at all — Wait Till You Get a Load of It).
  3. CHAPTER 3: Addis Ababa, The Beginning of NEW life — With All Its Unavoided Challenges.

Chapter 1 - What I Did Different During My Childhood. Does it Resonate?

I was born and raised in Gelemso town, a small village in the west hararghe zone, Oromia region. 

Sure I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, or I’m not one of those so-called spoiled kids that have access to everything, maybe going to Mars by tomorrow. But I came from a family of one of the good earniners in the town.

My dad is one of the hardest working men I’ve ever known in life. At the same time, he’s witty, intelligent, supportive, and smart with ups and downs full of life experiences to tell. He’s my role model that I look up to to this day and age, while the life lived by Leonardo Da Vince and Isaac Newton remains as an inspiration for me to do amazing things.

As a kid, if there is a person that is able to try and do almost all the things — as sure as hell, that’s going to be “ME.” 

When I look back on starting at age 10 or so:

  • I knew all the countries’ locations with their capital cities.
  • I have known all the +190 nation presidents or prime ministers.
  • I was good at drawing and painting (I even had drawn this huge picture of Isaac Newton, and plaster it high in my studying room wall).
  • I was good at dancing (I even had once gathered my friends and taught them some aikido moves, HAHA It wasn’t shake it shake it baby though).
  • I was good at chess, and logic stuff. No one can beat me on this one.
  • I was good at bicycling. I even had a number of tragic experiences because of how reckless I was.
  • The list goes on…

I Used to Build Cars, Furniture, and Living House Using Cardboard: Was This My Early Introduction to the Real Estate Things?

When I look back on as a kid, I used to build those incredible cars, furniture, and of course houses. Ah those awesome memories. I wish I could go back in time travel and live it up for just a second.

Child Building a Car Toy

My dad owns a large properities of furniture company in the town, with over 50 employees. Not only is he a business owner though, he was also an engineer by nature while others in the nearby came as on paper.

Besides running the furniture company in three locations, my dad was very busy building warehouses for the purpose of storing finished furniture products like cabinets, desks, dressers, sofas, chairs and tables, beds, and other stuff. 

Even though there will be a dedicated engineer for that matter, the plan and all of the workflow goes as my dad said. And guess what? Every time the project is completed, the local engineers will appreciate my dad’s plan of action and credit him while they learn a thing or two new strategies along the way.

So yeah, while my dad was actually building housing projects, including G+2 villas for rent, on a large scale, at the same time, I was applying it on a small scale. Now, as you might expect, I’m genuinely following my dad’s footage as a stepping stone.

By using furniture’s workshop leftovers, wood, and other materials like nails, and so on, I had built a luxurious cabinet, sofa (that didn’t fit you, not because you’re obese, but because it was too small — after all those were my toys), and the list goes on.

As far as I can remember, from my childhood projects, however, one particular project stands out amongst the vast others. 

That project was a standalone living house that I had built by cutting cardboard and using glue to stick them together when needed.

The standalone house that I built as a child has a salon, bedroom, kitchen, and toilet room. The only downside was that it doesn’t have a roof above and beyond.

Wait what? I’m not joking. The house didn’t have a roof. That’s because besides the outdoor amenities, I want to show my family, friends, and neighborhood what’s inside or what it looked like as a bird’s eye view.

Almost every of my projects that I put my hands on, until this day, was meticulously detailed to the point of perfection. This was, and will continue to be my obsession so as to get feedback from my near and dear ones in the meantime. 

Obviously, I get positive ones — always.

I don’t care if it is going to take me forever or be turned into nightmare, I strive to the peak of perfection in everything I did, getting to know someone, exploring cities, reading e-books, riding a bicycle, designing a website, learning digital marketing, executing SEO, having fun with friends, talking sh*ts, accomplishing tasks, and of course, trying to find the best homes both for rent or sale.

While both my dad’s and mine projects were going side-by-side, there came one occasion where our oldest sister had graduated from Addis Ababa University. During that time, I got the chance to visit  Adu Genet Sheger for the first time. From then on, the rest, as they say, is history.

Addis Ababa is my #1 Bucket List

Living downtown Addis Ababa before the age of 30 then became my #1 bucket list in life. Those skyscraper buildings (please, don’t say “pal, you didn’t see Manhattan” — I just don’t like that crp), 5-star hotels, nearby taxi accesses, the nice cold weather, the abundance of business opportunities, and of course, the beautiful ladies (I know, I know, none of them are cooler than my bae — #bee!).

We got to visit Sheraton Addis, Got Filwoha Services, Explored the 6 kilo lion cage, got to the east coast of Bole International Airport — Everything was wonderful at that time, at least for me.

Robel Birhanu at Sheraton Addis Hotel

But one thing was still a burning concern even at that time — I’m talking about +12 years ago. I heard my sister talking about how difficult it is getting your hands on the best apartment you could ever find. This is still now a major problem that gotta go with Online Money Spinner website.

I’ll come back to this detail later on. Now, let’s talk to you about my college years and show you how the real estate sector looks like in regional cities beside the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

Chapter 2 - My Prime College Years (Turned to a Downward Spiral. It Wasn’t Funny at all — I'm not Kidding!).

During my high school 9th or 10 th grade years, a couple of times, I got a chance to work closely with my hero dad. And he was one of the best teachers of everything in life. And that helps me throughout my life’s peaks and valleys.

Be that as it may, when the getting gets on, after the NEAEA exam, I got my results to study engineering at Bahir Dar University (both of them was my #1 choice as I have achieved a good score right there).

A few weeks later, with 3 of my fellow countryside people, we packed our things, bought a one-way ticket to Bahir Dar, sailed the boat, and drove to hell and gone.

For you might already know this, in 2022, Bahir Dar was listed as the 20 most beautiful cities in Africa. In fact, up to date, it is the #1 most beautiful city in Ethiopia (I don’t know if it is yet outranked by The NEW Addis Ababa, or it might be my judgment).

Everything the Bahir Dar city has to offer, from the breathtaking majestic palm trees, the vast lake tana, the wide walking streets, to the endless luxurious hotels, is out of this world.

Real Estates and Hotels in Bahir Dar City

At the time, our campus was PolyTechnic College, which Kitaw Ejigu had studied and graduated with +A cumulative score. It was right in the middle of the city. So once you leave the University doorways, you’re welcomed by the wide palm tree’s shadow over your shoulder.

The first year, as a freshman with a few motivations, I was doing well but when I returned the second year, things were not going for me as I planned. I started to hate the Mechanical Engineering field despite choosing it my #1 pick.

One memorable picture when I was at Bahir Dar University Sof Omar Block Dorm #1D17:

Also, during that time, a major university conflict broke out on a national level between ethnic groups. 

So we waited for weeks outside the university in a rented apartment if things came to normal. At first, we wandered around trying to find the best apartment deal options to stay in — as we were broke students.

Once we got our rent, me and other friends of mine from Adama kept on waiting, waiting, and waiting… 

Then we found out that there was no hope of things coming to normal. My dad, who initially wanted me to stay in and live as though, called me and let me continue my college to pursue other cities of Ethiopia.

With a suggestion from my Adama Friends, I decided to enroll in Adama. So yeah, within days, I packed my stuff and left Bahir Dar once and for all — saying goodbye to my best friends from Gondar (Teme — I Miss You Bro). 

Then my dad and I met in Addis Ababa after seeing each other for a while…

Robel Birhanu and His Dad Birhanu Tadesse at Addis Ababa

Following a few wise discussions with my dad, I started my Marketing Management field at Unity University of Adama.

Real Estates in Adama, and Other Ethiopian Big Cities (What I Witnessed!)

I loved Adama at first sight. I got to get along with cool people, enjoyed a gathering in the cozy outdoors, and saw some of the best hotels. There are also nearby resorts like Sodere, and others in Bishoftu (AKA Debre Zeit) 20 minutes by taxi, which are wonderful.

Yeah life was going great in Adama…

By the first year, I was the #1 achiever of the class, followed by 2 smart girls who were my close friends (the one also outranked me by the following year). 

No one knew this deed for the first semester. However, when things got disclosed, everyone, I mean everyone in my batch, started to approach me and spy on me — giving me that RESPECT impression every time. Up until then, I didn’t know the benefits of being an intelligent student because at school, I intentionally, was lazy and compliant.

Then the second year comes. This was when Covid-19 hit it big. With an urgent follow up lockdown proclamation, after a week later, I was at home with my parents.

In a small town with only 2 kebeles and a few here and there G+2 buildings (or call it real estate in Gelemso, haha), and most of all in a single house all day long. It was like a pain in the A$$. I mean, what would you do if it was you? The thing is, surprisingly it was for everyone. I hope you have used it well. Good for you!

In a lockdown, I have tried a number of businesses, most of them have failed miserably. 

By painting portraits, I have tried to sell them. Soon I realized, it wasn’t for me as I became tight with time, and it wasn’t scalable. Plus the strategy was outdated because, in the 2020’s we have a smart digital camera or iPhone 15 Pro that took ultra definition, high resolution pictures with a blink of an eye. So I abandoned it all-in-all for good.

Finally, I came across this thing called online businesses. I’m gonna be honest, at first, I thought it was gonna be the biggest SCAM out there. But then I realized this is a real deal, and it is going to work. 

So I took what I learned from my dad’s real life experience and work ethics, and applied it to my minimal viable online biz. Guess what? The plan worked to a T! 

With a number of hard working years, with some obstacles and depressions along the way, I finally made digital marketing work for me from the comfort of my home in my pajamas.

Robel Birhanu Succeed at Digital Marketing

When it comes to making money online everyone, even my grandma, has this grand vision of making it easy peasy — sipping cocktails on the beach and clicking buttons, saying it wasn’t a real job at all. That was my challenge initially as well.

I did all I can that’s expected from an aspiring entrepreneur in his 20’s to make this thing work out in the end. Mind that at this point Covid-19 is over and everyone has settled down. I also get close to the 3rd or just past Sophomore.

When I returned to Adama after lockdowns, during my 2nd year, I had also switched my department from Marketing Management to Accounting to learn banking, credit/debit, balance sheet, and all those boring stuff because I heard somewhere someone said to me accounting is where the money is. HEHE…

By this year, my one and only brother also graduated from Hawassa University of Chemical Engineering Department with a good score. And by a stroke of luck, I got a chance to visit the wild wild south Hawassa with my dad for the first time. Let’s go!!!!!

Robel Birhanu with His Brother at Hawassa

Hawassa welcomed us with open arms. We’ve got to find clean and good-looking apartment options in the nearby Hawassa University. That comes with all the amenities also.

The nightlife of Hawassa is out of this world (I have no idea if it was because of graduation celebrations that shined the stars). The lake, the luxurious resorts, the easy to get along with southern people, the well-planned streets, life was amazing in Hawassa I thought.

Right there on the spot, I chose Hawassa to live there in the future once I established my family, and I’m looking forward to visiting it anytime soon.

We stayed there for a few days, and left as expectedly. Moving on, when I returned to Adama, I had this one mission, “to go all in DIGITAL MARKETING.”

I already launched my own blog (personal website), while everyone was chasing Facebook Pages, X tweets, Instagram Reels, Pinterest Pins, TikTok Shorts, and YouTube Videos. But soon I realized having a website alone with 4 static web pages means nothing if it is not optimized to rank on Google for a number of keywords.

That’s where I introduced SEO AKA Search Engine Optimization. Say that again, SEO. What the heck is SEO? I said.

SEO then became one of a few terms that are engrained deep inside my blood, and I don’t think I will survive in the future without saying it or calling out every waking hour. Truth has to be told.

After working on it religiously on the thing called SEO, F*cking SEO, I finally cracked the code, and started to generate $ from my rented apartment (I have told you, it wasn’t from my mom’s basement).

With the power of SEO, I reviewed and ranked United States and United Kingdom marketing tools and software like “best membership site software”. I was approached for collaboration by the biggest SAAS Companies like InEvent, Submagic, You name it!

Robel Birhanu Ranked for United States and United Kingdom Marketing Tools and Software like Membership Site Software

It doesn’t end there. One of the best Software Development Companies in Addis Ababa, got a grasp of what I’m doing and invited me to join his Geeks team as SEO Specialist.

I’m 25 years old, I have accumulated a good-know how of how marketing working in the online world, and getting to Sheger before my 30’s being my #1 bucket list in life, I said, “what’s the worst that’s going to happen?” Nothing! I have nothing to lose.

Also knowing that my garbage college papers won’t get me anywhere anytime soon, so yeah, F it, and to hell with it. 

I accepted the offer, and two weeks later I was grinding as an SEO Specialist for the biggest software development company of Sheger, on G+20 tower in downtown 22 near Bole Medhanialem, and in the best working environment. 

I felt like my dream came true. Was it? Wait, I have a story to tell.

Chapter - 3 Addis Ababa, The Beginning of NEW life — With All Its Unavoided Challenges

With my #1 achieved bucket list, and previously mentioned perks, on the surface, life seems going as planned. However, there’s still one thing that I didn’t tell you. Instead of telling you, I wish I had shown you. But anyways…

The same issue that I faced in regional cities over and over again, I faced it in Addis Ababa, too. In large!!!

Before coming to Addis Ababa, I was hustling in Adama, which is 100 km away. So to get affordable price, I do have to start my journey all the way through early in the morning and do my housing research with a broker — all physically (with Online Money Spinner, #NO_MORE from now on – rest assured!).

I did that for 4 consecutive days. You might say “There are apartments everywhere within 5 meters in Addis.” Well I got that. 

Sure my offered salary was good enough, and it is one of the highest paying ones in the city. However, that doesn’t mean, I’m gonna afford a 30K Birr house out of the gate. I mean, I don’t also want to get into a rundown apartment in the neighborhood for 3K Birr either.

Certainly, someone has to get me a sweet-spot house to get my hands on, which has to be affordable and accustomed to my lifestyle. I mean, I only want a house that’s close to the busy streets with all the necessary amenities, so that I can get everything I want within minutes if not seconds.

Anyways, after a few back and forth travels between Adama and Addis Ababa, finally, a random agent has gotten me a decent apartment in downtown 22, Lem Hotel Area — Not Piassa or Bole though.

Piassa, Churchil Avenue, Addis Abab

Guess what? He got a 40% commission cut from both sides. Amazing! But yeah, at the time, if there was a sophisticated real estate-focused platform like this one (Online Money Spinner), all these bulls*hits wouldn’t have ever happened.

Of all the best parts of Addis Ababa, however, one life-changing incident that I encountered was meeting my countryside fellow Tofik Teha.

It was in a gathering together on a holiday at my sister’s house when things got hot by the time her husband started to talk about banks of Ethiopia (as he works in the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia). That’s where I stepped in and shared my experience of the Ethiopian Real Estate sector as well.

From then on, things started to get serious. Instead of just talking about it, we have decided to take a bold action on it. That’s what we did right on the spot, making business partnerships to squeeze out of the Ethiopian, particularly Addis Ababa, digital marketing opportunity.

Tofik, which I know very well his brother from childhood in Gelemso, came to Addis Ababa a decade ago. And just like me, out of curiosity, he already knew some of the key areas of Addis Ababa, and had networked with important peoples at bay.

The best part about Tofik is that he had worked with almost all of the banks of Ethiopia, and on top of that besides knowing a thing about Real Estates of Ethiopia, he even had once worked with Ayat Real Estate and got his commission through bringing potential Ayat share buyers.

As usual, I’m doing my best by my side in the areas of maintaining the website, reviewing Ethiopian companies, and implementing badass SEO strategies. However, when it comes to sales, negotiation, and closing deals Tofik is going to be the face of it. Get to prepare for his firm hand shake then!

With day-in-and-day-out expanding team members under our hierarchy, we hope it’s going to be a bright future for all of us. Let’s get Started!!!

Coming back to the corporation employment office cubicle, and morning commuting stuff, for the first months, the team collaboration, FREE coffee’s (haha), and the environment, I really loved everything!

When a few months passed by, I was limited by what I could accomplish while living up to my full potential burning inside me. All I do is just “fire up” the laptop and stare the whole day there. I felt like I’m running out of my priceless time.

The boss wanted me to do just fine and be labeled as “we also have the best SEO services besides software development with professional experts in the field.” They won’t let  me do multiple tasks — as that comes with a whopping additional payout expenses.

The best part of this is that in the first 2 months of my position in the company, I have flooded the website traffic that I was assigned, increasing the visitors by 1400%, which was wild in the SEO world as SEO takes time. 

Accomplishing this unheard deed in the SEO world, was the key I hit a home run with. It showed me how unsaturated the online market is at the national level (Ethiopia).

Hear me out: when I say online marketing, I’m not talking about social media gibberish. I’m talking about Google-based SEO leads. 

I even talked on Fana Television, one of the popular Ethiopian TV broadcasts besides EBS, Kana, and EBC, on why Tik Tok won’t be worth your time in the 2020’s. You can use this link to WATCH the whole interview.

Robel Birhanu Talks about Tik Tok on Fana TV, one of the best television station in Ethiopia following EBS, Kana, and EBC.

I mean, no one is doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in Ethiopia. I’m saying this with full confidence. I was shocked that even for big industries like Real Estates, Banking, Hotels, Cars, etc, there is no up to date information that answers visitors queries.

Keywords for Real Estates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During that time, with my blog AKA personal website I was vying at an auction for international highly competitive, high volume keywords of +50 SEO difficulty. In our country, the competition is 0, literally!

So that’s when it hit me. If I can turn that to Ethiopia, I wonder how many people I can help. Home buyers will have a peace of mind knowing that they won’t have a hard time finding their dream home right in their phone found at their hand.

With my dad getting my back, I finally resigned and kissed goodbye to my boss, and never looked back.

Digital Marketing, especially SEO, is in its Infant Stage in Ethiopia even for those Big industries like Real Estates.

Let me be honest HER. It’s okay to be driven by financial rewards (at some level) to do things you wish you never do if you have enough of it. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

There is a saying “Nothing is free even in a freetown.” Even those charity and donation organizations need to have some source of money coming in.

I mean, you might have a family to feed. You might have cool friends and families that need your help. You might have a community to support. And most obviously, you might have a beloved homeland that needs its tortured past image to be taken down with sunshine and bright ones.

By the way, do you know that up to now still the word relates the word Ethiopia with a starved people? If you don’t know yet, please do your homework over the internet. Within minutes you came across Grant Cardone saying that with his full mouth.

Isn’t this the right time to change this? To do so, what better way is there than digital marketing? Do you also know that people believe everything that they read on Google? Yeah, SEO for the wins! 

I don’t even want to bother you with Deep Web, Dark Web, and 2 Web 3.0 NFT Tokens here because these are like a far start in the sky for us — at least for now.

To be honest, SEO is my thing that I’ll never forsake it with something else. It’s a passion that I’m gonna do the rest of my life — till hell freezes over.

Side by side, the Ethiopian real estate outdated information, undisclosed hidden price’s, unnecessary appraisal payments, high percentage commission fee, poor communications with the marketing and sales team’s, all of these issues are what I faced in downtown Addis Ababa.

So as you might expect it now, Online Money Spinner, hands down, is not only the best platform, but it is the only platform to keep up with the real estate industry of Ethiopia — from start-to-finish.

Beginning from finding a house for sale or rent in Ethiopia, starting a real estate business in Ethiopia, finding the right developer to invest in in Addis Ababa, becoming a real estate agent or broker (if you want to) in Addis Ababa, Online Money Spinner has it all.

Long before I dedicated my plan to all my cutting-edge digital marketing strategies, particularly, SEO, I only named 3 or 5 max real estate companies in Ethiopia. I was shocked that, in 2024, there are over 200 well-established real estate developers in Addis Ababa that you might have never heard of. 

One real estate developer might already be building a +20 apartment right in front of your home (Your old home that needs to be replaced with the latest one). Who knows? You might not be aware of it.

To start with, Ayat Real Estate and Noah Real Estate are doing their best from their very first establishment in the 1990’s. But what year are we now? 2024. EXACTLY! You might also need to look for modern built apartments. 

The best thing is the top real estate developers of Ethiopia in 2024 come as an affordable option because they use the latest materials and supplies that lets them build apartment’s fast and in a a massive projects

Let’s Break Down a Category of the Best Real Estate Developers in Ethiopia

Modern Project Building Real Estate Developers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

1. Century Addis.

2. Amibara.

3. Kefita.

Kefita Real Estate

On a Large-Scale Project Building Real Estate Developers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

1. DMC Real Estate.

2. Ayat Real Estate.

Ayat Real Estate

3. Ovid Group.

Ovid Group Real Estate

Bole-Area Project Building Real Estate Developers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

1. Reality Real Estate.

Reality Real Estate

2. Palm Real Estate.

3. Tajir Real Estate.

Customer-Centric Project Building Real Estate Developers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

1. Addis Empire Real Estate.

Addis Empire Real Estate

2. Abay Homes Real Estate.

3. Addis Life Real Estate.

A house is the biggest investment that you’ll ever make, my friend. You don’t have to regret it though because I’m here with all my knowledge, future-proofed team, and bada$$ real estate developer partners of 2024.

In the future, we’re also planning to expand our services to banking in Ethiopia, Hotels in Ethiopia, and Cars in Ethiopia. 

To stay-tuned, get to subscribe to our email newsletter, visit our blog posts/news very often, or it’s very appreciated to call us by +251948879335 for help related to house, villas, apartment, office space, and condominium for rent or sale in Addis Ababa.

If you stick this far, I would like to express my gratitude. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.