Some feel that a few Real Estates Agents in the Cayman Islands do not have a glowing and favorable perception from the public. Most people think Realtors get overpaid, take the long vacation and drive Luxury cars and live in mansions.
Did you realize there are over 1 million Realtors in the United States alone, the state of California has the most Realtors 1 to more than 98 individuals? In the Cayman Islands, we have 192 CIREBA licensed Agents. That is 1 for every 338 residents in the Cayman Islands, not as many per capita but for a tiny island where everyone knows a Realtor or is related to one; it gets small.
It is hard to explain in detail what a real estate agent does. You can ask are they in the selling game or counseling people make a costly emotional decision? Are they cheerleaders or guides, should they always be positive or to point out the pitfalls? It is a delicate emotional balance.
Having been selling and involved in hundreds of real estate’s transactions in the past 25 years, I have encountered a wide range of real estate agents in different markets such as Toronto, Canada, Hollywood Florida and the Cayman Islands. Sadly, most are a flash in the pan; many agents get their real estate license, get one or two quick and easy sales and then nothing. They slowly realize it is not as easy as they thought it would be. There are quite a few long-standing CIREBA agents that have the dedication, experience and are real professionals. Like in the United States, most agents cannot earn a decent living, and they are gone within two years or they have to get a part-time job to support themselves.
So, what does a Real Estate Agent do for their client? If you believe the reality TV shows, it is all about looking gorgeous, decked out in diamonds and rocking up in a Bentley, hosting an open house by spending thousands of dollars on decorations, food, and fine wine only to sell a multimillion-dollar property at a three-hour party. I love Property Brothers on HGTV but let me warn you, you cannot and should not buy a home in 30 minutes. There are a lot more duties that are done that no one ever knows about that if you choose a Dedicated, Successful and Professional MLS Agent you will experience the effects.
Another thing I see in agents is they talk too much! They think they are helping by saying this is the kitchen and we are now going into the dining room! Sometimes I want to tell the agent to shut up! Seal the lips, who cares about your what you think; you are not the one dropping the hundreds of thousands of dollars on this house. Usually, the buyer is trying to take in the property, trying to imagine their family there, speaking with their spouse. This is a real skill; successful MLS agents know when to be quiet and when to interject with helpful advice at the proper time.
An experienced CIREBA and MLS agents will listen to their buyers and show them property that they can afford and property within their reasonable wish list. Agents at Engel & Völkers Cayman Islands we are teachers, educators and we are problem solvers for buyers and sellers.
They will not be yes people simple became they want you to sign a listing agreement. They will show you options and help them decide on what they wish to, reminding them of their primary goal and budget. Buyers can be distracted by so many choices and lose focus. That is where an agent will be useful as well. Of course, a buyer likes to dream, but we are looking at a considerable investment that will impact their lives for the next 25 years. It is probably one the most expensive personal purchases they will ever make. A professional agent will make the buyers think about the obstacles, the pros and cons and the effects of their decision both now and in the future. So, if a selfish agent talks them into buying a lousy property, the agent makes a fast commission, but he has harmed his buyer. This is serious.
One of the biggest complaints we hear in the industry is that a new agent promises anything and everything just to land a listing. Of course, our primary goal as Real Estate Agents in Cayman is to help our sellers, get the most money for their home, with the least amount of stress and as fast as possible. There is a lineup of new agents that will promise the world, give so many compliments and ignore the data, so that they get the listing. Then a few months later when they don’t get any showing requests or offers, they will blame the market when it is a bad real estate agent who was not honest.
An excellent professional MLS Cayman Islands Real Estate Agent will make glitches go away before their client gets freaked out by them. They try to anticipate problems and have solutions waiting. They are candid and utterly focused on their clients. We make the selling and closing look easy but let me tell the broker gets to hear all the speedbumps and issues along the way.
We are also counselors; I don’t care who you are, everyone and I mean everyone has either buyer’s remorse or seller’s remorse, in varying degrees. Our job as Realtors is to be the calm in the storm, to be the patient one that the buyer or our seller can vent at and rely on. We do not take it personally, as it is not as they are attacking, it is just a very stressful time, buying or selling a home in Grand Cayman. However, if the agent has a huge car payment or a massive mortgage to meet, they will react badly because they are thinking about themselves. Beware of an overleveraged Realtor. If they get stressed out quickly and you do not want them on your team.
Interview a few CIREBA agents and please include Engel & Völkers in your listing interview process, you will be surprised by our ethical and component of our agents, our global reach our professionalism.
As a Canadian living in the Cayman Islands, I have to apologize for the few bad real estate agents in Cayman, and I hope you have a positive and helpful experience with a CIREBA agent.
Heidi Kiss, Broker, License Partner and Advisor