Buying real estate – discreet – the new norm in the Cayman Islands

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Cayman Islands Real Estate

All sides of the beach offer views of San Serenity, Cayman Islands.

Current travel restrictions have not stopped ERA broker, Jeanette Totten, in the Cayman Islands. She sold her $ 8.2 million seaside property last month, the most expensive home sold by the “invisible spectacle” in Cayman Cai.

Despite local isolation from COVID-19, the Cayman Islands real estate market still managed to generate $ 77 million by the end of 2020, which is proof that the country’s real estate industry, especially in the luxury real estate sector, continues to be influential. driving force of the local economy.

To be sure, restrictions on international travel have pushed real estate professionals to develop new, creative and technological ways to market their properties to offshore clients, making video conferencing and virtual real estate tours the current norm, not the exception.

These restrictions did not scare away ERA Cayman Islands Real estate broker and first female president of the Cayman Islands Real Estate Association, Jeanette Totten. In fact, just last month, she sold a six-bedroom beach house called Sun Serenity for $ 8,200,000 – the highest-priced home sold by an “invisible spectacle” in Rum Point the area of ​​Grand Cayman (the largest of the three islands).

Described as “the essence of contemporary coastal elegance,” Sun Serenity has graced the pages of luxury magazines and design websites not only with its gorgeous architecture and impeccable design, but also with breathtaking ocean views. Working with another CIREBA agent who put the property up for sale, Jeanette was able to attract a buyer and close the deal – discreetly.

When asked how she successfully manages the marketing demands of the new norm without sacrificing personal connection with customers, Jeanette explains that this is not much different from the typical targeted and personalized services she offers, with the exception of additional media.

“I listened to what they said as I spoke to them, figuring out what they were looking for and what they were going to use the property for. Once I got a good idea of ​​their requirements, I reviewed the MLS and sent them objects that I thought would fit their needs and desires. Knowing the islands and affordable real estate, and having lived here for four decades, I chose the one that, in my opinion, would be perfect for them, ”she says.

After receiving more details (including photos, rental income and expenses), Jeanette organized a virtual view of the property using the popular video chat app. “I made a video call and had a real estate agent who is also a real estate manager and a developer in case there are questions that I cannot answer. We walked through the house and then they spoke to the builder who answered their questions. They then spoke with the manager for details on how to continue renting out the house to people on vacation. “

Satisfied with the virtual viewing and the utmost professionalism in handling their requests, the clients decided to make an offer. After short negotiations, the deal was signed, sealed and delivered. Well, practically at least.

“All of this was done without them arriving on the island,” notes Jeanette. “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they still have not been able to come to Cayman to see their new property in person. I hope they will be able to do this by the end of 2021. ”

By closely observing both the global and local real estate markets over the past four decades, Jeanette envisions how current transitions and policy changes in major global economies such as the United States (which make up the largest Cayman Islands real estate clientele) could impact the future of the country’s real estate industry. …

“As the current US administration moves towards one of the highest capital gains tax in the world, I see more Americans looking for alternative places to live,” she predicts. “If the Cayman Islands government can look further COVID-19 and blocking, and move forward towards the full opening of our borders without quarantine, then the real estate of the Cayman Islands will continue to grow. Otherwise, Americans will have no choice but to look elsewhere. “

Echoing the voices of many business leaders on the island, Jeanette supports the call to speed up border opening, especially for fully vaccinated visitors from countries with low COVID infection rates. “I certainly agree with the policy that kept the Cayman Islands safe during COVID,” she says, “but I think it’s time to fully open up.”

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