Selling The Bahamas
Published: Aug 01, 2013
The boom years for the real estate industry that we once enjoyed is a thing of the past and with the world economy in a tailspin, hopes of a repeat do not seem promising.
We have become such fat cats believing that The Bahamas is the only place in the universe where investors have to come to and spend their money.
We have seen the departure of many of the offshore banks’ offices that have relocated to our neighbors to the south which means that they now have the final say when it comes to major financial decisions being made.
It’s time for an intervention on our part as a country if we want all industries, including real estate, to thrive and remain viable. Instead of waiting on a call from a prospective investor, possibly looking to purchase a second home, why don’t we seek out those investors now ourselves?
For instance, in countries like China, many of its citizens are fast becoming millionaires – is it so difficult if we have the disposable means to organize an investment trip and display for them the many opportunities that await them here in The Bahamas?
Rather than solely depending on government or the private sector – now may be the time when we need to take the lead and visit these countries and promote The Bahamas as a place to invest. The Bahamas Real Estate Association may want to consider partnering with other organizations and form one cohesive body, utilizing our diplomatic offices across the globe to assist in organizing fact finding or trade missions. We are the sector that benefits most from investors so it should be our intention to go after those investors and get them here. We can plan to hold trade missions twice a year. Despite how we feel about our country, particularly in light of crime being what it is, a number of persons still view this island nation as paradise.
A few weeks ago, I visited Spain, Morocco and Lisbon in a bid to promote The Bahamas. A number of persons expressed an interest in learning more about this country and the opportunities open to them.
In fact, a few of those investors I met with will be visiting The Bahamas between now and November. All we want from the government is to speed up the process by either approving or rejecting possible investors in a very timely manner.
• William Wong is president of Wong and Associates Realty. He was also a two-term president of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and The Bahamas Real Estate Association. Questions or comments can be emailed to William@wongsrealty.com.