Buying or selling a home is a significant milestone. Whether it’s that first-home buyer’s exciting moment of receiving keys, or a family move to the Cayman Islands, or finally buying that dream second home on the beach, these moments have long carried immense weight and importance in people’s lives.
Yet in the current landscape, the real estate industry has dramatically changed. The pandemic has prompted major shifts in the real estate market – from the digitization of the buying or selling process, to the shifting attitudes of where and how people want to live.
The digitization of real estate
Much like many industries during the pandemic, the real estate industry has become much more digitized in the past year and a half. Almost every single buyer starts researching for real estate online. Even before the pandemic I wanted to provide as many resources as possible including virtual tours for almost every listing to aid in that process. In fact, during our lockdown, I sold properties based on the buyer just viewing photos, live video walk throughs and/or virtual tours.
Virtual tours enable people to spend as much time in a house as they’d like giving them a much better idea of how they’d see themselves living there. Buyers can go back with the click of a mouse anytime they want. In some cases, I will be speaking to a buyer who will mention that they really like a particular feature of a house but not others. This gives me a better idea of exactly what they are looking for so I can narrow down their search.
Buying property can be a time-consuming process to find exactly what you are looking for. Virtual tours also help save time for buyers. They can immediately view a property and decide if they want to take the next step of viewing the property in person.
So, if you can see all of this online why do you still need an agent?
Technology can streamline the overall process, but an experienced agent can provide essential support to their clients and customers, an understanding of the market environment, process, financial guidance and much more.
As we all have become accustomed to ultra-convenience in other areas of our lives, we are increasingly searching for time hacks and efficiencies to make any process faster, buying or selling real estate is no different. With an expansive knowledge of not only real estate but of the Cayman Islands, a proficient agent can provide you with the security and reassurance you need; a readily available rolodex filled with reliable resources to help you every step of the way from loan officers to legal help, to construction vendors to finding the best fish taco on island and everything in between.
An extensive knowledge and resources when it comes to the residency opportunities offered by purchasing real estate is also key for many buyers. The Government offers two residency options for individuals who purchase real estate in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands Government also offers the Global Citizen Concierge program where professionals and digital nomads alike can embrace a remote lifestyle and immerse themselves fully in the bespoke luxury, adventure, culture, and beauty of the Cayman Islands.
Even before the pandemic, we saw many people relocating their families to the Cayman Islands as the remote working opportunity had already become a driver. We’ve also had many foreigner buyers purchase second homes or investment properties. Unlike many agents in other parts of the world, this isn’t new to us.
We’ve helped entire families relocate to the Cayman Islands from dealing with customs and shipment of household goods to providing advice on the numerous schools on island. We have always been ambassadors not agents just doing transactions. We pride ourselves on offering resources, advice, and years of experience to make this process as smooth as possible.
From a house to a hub
While people once chose their home based on its proximity to family, workplace, or school, wider shifts in socializing and flexible working cultures are impacting the concept of home and where it is situated.
As we’ve learned during the pandemic, a house is no longer just a place to sleep and eat. Our homes have become hubs of activity from classrooms to offices and with remote working becoming even more readily available for such a large portion of society, people no longer must live close to work. In fact, people can live almost anywhere including the Cayman Islands. Approximately 57% of people have jobs that enable them to work remotely.
Where we live has become an integral part of how we want to live. It can be a country away or in a different neighbourhood just down the road. Not only have we seen people moving from different parts of the world to enjoy what Cayman has to offer, but we have helped even more people relocate to different parts of the island.
With the opportunities now afforded to many employees to work remotely some people are relocating out to East End and Rum Point to homes such as Seaview Road Beachfront Home and Pelican Point on Rum Point Drive. These districts, which are further out of town, offer quieter neighbourhoods, larger pieces of land and beachfront homes at a more reasonable price than other areas such as South Sound and Seven Mile Beach.
On a global basis, many people are moving from more densely populated cities to places with year-round warmer climates, but they don’t want to feel like they are on a deserted island. Modern-day conveniences and accessibility to services and amenities are key, which is exactly what the Cayman Islands offers.
People want to live in environments that represents their identities and are attracted to the social benefits that come from places with a strong sense of community which makes Caymankind even more important today. Whoever you are or wherever you come from, there is a piece of Cayman that will speak to you. Cayman is a melting pot of cultures. We are famous for our incredible lifestyle, stunning beaches, warm tropical waters, tax neutral status, culinary delights, friendly people, all the modern day conveniences top ranked health and school systems, and more, all located in a safe environment that’s easy to get to and from the UK, US, and Canada.
Come and experience Cayman for yourself and let our experience be your guide in finding your dream property.