Tag: Cayman islands

Celebrating Our 4th International Award

There is no other word for it, resilience. The Cayman Islands and our property market have been incredibly strong throughout the pandemic – and our team is grateful to represent the thriving islands, we love so much, at the International Property Awards this month.

“Cayman is our home. We love these islands, and we work hard every day to ensure we represent them with pride in all that we do. We are driven by bringing like-minded people together to create a community around our love for Cayman, and it’s beautiful real estate.” – Stefan Prior, Property Cayman Associate Broker

The International Property Awards recognize excellence and the highest level of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry around the world. In their 27th year, the awards are the largest, most prestigious, and widely recognised programme, covering over 45 different residential and commercial categories.

At this year’s virtual red-carpet ceremony, Team Property Cayman was delighted to receive ‘Real Estate Agency Website of the Year’.

“Simply put, we love what we do. We are immensely proud to be recognized while representing Cayman in the International marketing arena and offer special thanks to Collective Design for bringing our vision to life. Redefining our approach to industry standards makes digital marketing a huge part of our business and in turn our success.” – Michael Joseph, Property Cayman Broker Owner

Judged by an independent panel of over 80 industry experts for our quality of information, community content, accessibility and overall aesthetics – our team is honoured to be recognized on such a prominent global stage. A big thanks to Collective Design for their collaboration and ongoing support.

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Property Cayman: Redefining real estate.

Innovation and community are at the core of everything we do.

A day in the life of a real estate agent in the Cayman Islands

Have you ever wondered what real estate agents do every day? It’s not an easy question to answer, because there really is no typical day for us. Real estate agents work in a fast-paced whirlwind environment, which keeps things rather interesting. We need to be quick on our feet, ready to respond and react to the incoming needs of buyers and sellers, at a moments notice. In short, no two days are alike. Each day brings its own sets of challenges and an equal share of excitements. It’s one of the things I love most about the job!

Location, Location, Location.

We are not expected to be in the office every day, as our job is first and foremost to sell properties, at the best price, in the shortest amount of time, and that can’t be done from sitting on our butt. We are running around, hopping in and out of our cars, visiting multiple properties and clients, all the while balancing endless phone calls and emails. We are professional multi-taskers and remote working pros.

Real Estate To-Do List.

Here’s a list of some of the things that we do in a “typical” day. 

  • Check CIREBA every morning for new listings that fit buyers’ criteria. 
  • Consultations with new customers
  • Set appointments to show homes 
  • Prepare purchase agreements and present offers
  • Stay on top of conditions to purchase and timelines
  • Schedule inspections 
  • Meet with valuation officers 
  • Stay in close contact with bankers for financing approvals 
  • Negotiate contracts, repairs, etc. with listing agents
  • Monitor transactions through escrow to closing
  • Analyze the market for sellers to determine the market value for their homes
  • Navigate the listing agreement with selling clients
  • Coordinate sign installations
  • Schedule photography and videography session for listings
  • Devise a marketing plan for selling clients
  • Plan, schedule and run open houses
  • Compile pro forma financial statements for income property sellers and buyers
  • Coordinate simultaneous closings for clients who require them
  • Make phone calls… lots of phone calls

Calls are a big part of our day! I mean big. Calls to and from:

  • Lenders
  • Inspectors
  • Appraisers
  • Clients/Customers 
  • Other agents
  • Repair people
  • Our administrative staff
  • Pest control companies
  • Contractors
  • New referrals

Yes, the list is long and makes for long days sometimes. But, we wouldn’t trade what we do for any other job in the world! 

Keep Calm and Stay Organized.

As a real estate agent, we are, in a sense our own “boss”. It is up to us to manage our own schedule and go about our day to day activities, to support our clients and master our to-do list. In my experience, each agent works differently. Some opt for a looser “go with the flow” schedule approach. Others have daily habits and schedules they aim to stick to, such as office work in the mornings and appointments in the afternoon. Personally, I need to plan my days the night before because, well, I like being organized, and it feels damn good to be efficient! Plus, I know I am more effective that way, and my customers appreciate it.

No such thing as 9 to 5.

One of the perks of the job is flexibility. But as you can imagine, a profession with no set office hours can also get tricky. Real estate agents need to be accommodating of the varying schedules of their clients. For example, nurses, doctors, those in the service industry, and other shift work jobs require different hours of attention. As real estate agents, we often find ourselves working very early in the mornings or very late at night, and a lot during the weekend. But it is our job to adapt to the needs and wants of those we are serving, and there is nothing more rewarding than making, what is often thought of as a stressful experience, seem effortless for a client.

Working hard, so you don’t have to.

Your real estate agent should be working hard to make things happen for you at all hours of the day. Property transactions are complex, and there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t see. There are a ton of moving parts and people involved: bankers, attorneys, estate agents, valuation officers, home inspectors, administrative staff, deposit or escrow account managers, etc. Each player and task, even if they appear minor, are crucial to the property closing, and the smallest blip could turn a deal on its head. So as a client, you are leaving a lot in the hands of your agent. Frankly, this is one of the reasons why trust is such an important aspect when choosing a real estate agent.

We are on it!

A real estate agent’s ability to be organized, multi-task, and be “on it” is essential. It is what keeps buyers and sellers coming back to us time and time again. Service is everything in this industry, and at Property Cayman, I am proud to say that we take that to heart. We are passionate about connecting good people with great places today, tomorrow and always. Loving what we do and working with fantastic people are two things we luckily get to do, every single day, at Property Cayman.

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Anyway, there you have it! No day is the same. And if you are ever looking for me, you’ll have the best chance of finding me in my car. Or at Bluestone coffee next to our office on Fort Street, grabbing my fifth (or tenth) cup of Joe for the day! 

Why People are Seeking Sun, Sea & Safety in the Cayman Islands

All it takes is one visit to the Cayman Islands to fall in love. Of course our sandy white beaches, crystal blue waters and Cayman-kind smiles take a lot of the credit, but a few more critical factors make it a place that have people coming back time and time again. Especially now!

With the inevitable increases in taxes in the, U.K., U.S and Canada, and with “working from home”, now a realistic option more than ever as, it’s no wonder we are seeing an influx of family offices and high net worth families looking to move here. There was a trend pre-COVID from Canada and whilst this is continuing the inquiries are now coming in from the US, UK, Spain and France. C’est jolie ici.

Cayman is a tax-neutral, British Overseas Territory. We are a safe and sophisticated island, with excellent infrastructure and a high standard of living. Its ease of access to and from multiple major cities, including New York, Toronto and London make it easy for many to catch direct flights back home or to attend business meetings near and far. Sure you can meet on Zoom, but the work-life balance movement is real.

We have top rated international schools, excellent medical care, first world amenities, low crime rate, a top-class and fantastic culinary scene, and of course the endless recreational activities including golf, fishing, and all the water sports you can imagine, all right in your backyard. 

Buying real estate is a simple and straightforward process in Cayman. With no restrictions on foreign ownership, nor any property taxes, the prospect of owning a second home become feasible for many.

International buyers generally start out investing in a vacation condo/rental property, however given the direct impact of COVID on the world economy, we have noticed a (not so surprising) trend over the last few months with international buyers reflecting on their quality of life. So the shift begins; making the permanent move to enjoy life in a healthy and safe environment.  Why wouldn’t you invest in that?

New and/or existing buyers are either:

a) moving into their vacation home, with the intent on staying for longer and longer stints OR,
b) buying a primary residence with the direct intent on becoming a ‘Permanent Resident’ in the Cayman Islands, declaring non-residency in their home country, without impacting their current citizenship.

Owning real estate is by law a direct means to gaining Permanent Residency, so the concept of “living where you vacation” is being realized by many, now more than ever!

In conclusion:  We feel this is a trend we are going to see more and more of; COVID has highlighted new opportunities where ‘lifestyle migration’ is building momentum. Don’t forget there’s a reason why we live here. Ever thought of asking us why?

Your safety: Our priority

The impact of Covid-19 on our industry has been unprecedented. Showing properties, which has always been core to what we do, was no longer. 

Fortunately, 90% of what we do, can be done online. We have adapted to the current reality and continue to actively offer guidance remotely and online, keeping you apprised of trends, changes and projections in the Cayman Real Estate market.

As of Monday 8th June, with Government approval and strict safety measures in place, our office is back open and we are able to show properties again. We are definitely not ‘back to normal’ but welcome you all to the new normal…😷

Scroll down for new showing protocols and FAQ ⬇

Image: “The New Normal”-
Your Property Cayman team + Pablo 🐕

Update 17th July 2020: Property showings are in full swing and all properties are able to be viewed safely. Whilst restrictions have eased, we are still taking safety precautions- wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing. Prospective buyers and sellers are no longer required to complete contact tracing forms.

Property Showing Protocols –Prospective Buyers

  • Property Access and Contact Tracing Forms to be completed and signed by every Prospective Buyer.
  • Maximum of 2 adults persons named on the PACT form shall be present at the property along with the agents.
  • Prospective Buyers will be required to meet the agent at the property and will not be driven to the property by the agent and must remain in their vehicle until called to enter the property by the Agent.
  • Everyone will wear a protective face mask(s) before entering the property.
  • Everyone will maintain 6 feet distancing at all times.
  • The viewing is contactless, and will not touch anything whilst in the property.
  • Everyone will sanitize their hands with hand sanitizer upon arrival to and departure from the property.
  • Neither the agent, nor the buyers will use the washroom facilities during access.
  • If prospective buyers should develop symptoms of the COVID‐19 virus, or are later diagnosed as having the COVID‐19 virus, they will contact the CIREBA agent immediately, so that the agent may follow the necessary procedures which could require testing and quarantine, to protect any parties that may be involved.

Property Showing Protocols –Sellers/Occupiers

  • Wherever possible, we will ask that properties are vacated for the duration of the showing.
  • If properties cannot be vacated, occupiers must stay 6 feet from the agent and Prospective Buyers at all times. The best way to achieve this is by staying in one designated room for the duration of the showing, then leaving that room when they need to view it.
  • Properties where someone is shielding, self-isolating, or has any symptoms associated with coronavirus (a fever, a new & persistent cough or flu-like symptoms) will not be shown.
  • We ask that occupiers leave all internal doors open, to minimise the need to touch any surfaces.
  • If the property is vacant the Agent is to disinfect the lockbox, all doorknobs, surfaces, light switches and counters with antibacterial/germ killing cleaners after Prospective Buyers have left.
  • A record will be kept containing the names of those who have visited the property.
Image: Property Cayman Agent Safety Kits

FAQ

I am interested in buying or renting a property, am I able to view it? 

Short answer yes, long answer below.

Viewings are only permitted on your corresponding day based on your surname. A-K being Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and L-Z on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

We also strongly encourage prospective buyers to exhaust all digital and virtual options before scheduling a viewing. There are lots of steps to buying a property, and most of these can and should be thought about before ever stepping foot in a property. Click here for a helpful list of considerations and questions that will help get you started. 

What steps must I take before viewing a property?

Contact your agent for the required forms to be signed prior to any viewing.

You must not be showing any flu like symptoms. If in doubt, stay home and reschedule the viewing for a later date. 

You will be required to find your own means for transport to the property, wear a mask and disinfect your hands prior to entering the property.

I would like to sell my property. Can I work with an agent in the current climate?

Yes. Our agents are able to meet via phone, video or in person to discuss the listing process. All documents required can be submitted digitally.

The majority of our industry has exemptions to operate so we are also able to get professional photos, videos and virtual tours done, in order to showcase your property in the best way possible. 

My house has been listed for sale/rent and I am worried about having potential buyers/tenants coming through. How do I handle the situation?

Your safety is our priority. In adherence to the Public Health Law we have implemented strict safety measures for all property showings. See details above.

We also offer virtual tours as an alternative to in person showings. The virtual tour will only require one person to enter your home to shoot the content which will then be made available to any prospective buyers or tenants. Reach out to your agent if you would like to schedule a virtual tour.

Is your office at 51 Fort Street open?

For the next few weeks, our office hours will be Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The reception door will be locked in order to control the flow of traffic in the building so please try and call ahead.

Our preference will be to schedule meetings in an open environment outside of the company’s premises.

If a meeting has been scheduled within our office,  we ask that proper hygiene and safety precautions have taken place prior to entering, masks or face coverings must be worn and social distancing must be respected.

Amidst uncertainty, we do know that this too shall pass. It may be weeks, it may be months, however, if we remain proactive to these changes, it will never be years. And know this — We are strong and able to overcome these challenges as any nation on earth.

As a final word, we say in unison, thank you, to our exceptional medical community, to those who wake up every day with the mission to be a helping hand, the people who are risking their health in providing essential services, and our political leaders at all levels, who are working tirelessly to keep us safe.  The Cayman Islands owe you all our endless gratitude.