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The over-supply of real estate in the Caribbean

The dust covers are finally coming off the Caribbean real estate market and, as a result, over-supply is creating a buyer’s market where there has never been a greater need to differentiate your project from others in the marketplace.

‘Despite the revived optimism there remains a large inventory of properties on the market across the Caribbean. Those vendors that want to sell need to price their home realistically as buyers are highly price sensitive.’ Knight Frank – Caribbean Prime Residential Insights 2014

With economic confidence growing and a focus falling once again on the Caribbean as a region, buyers are spoilt for choice as projects that ground to a halt during the Global Financial Crisis start to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and start moving again. Ensuring your real estate offer makes it onto the must-see list of these buyers requires careful consideration and planning. Realistic pricing is important but before a potential buyer asks the question ‘how much’, you need to capture their attention among a Caribbean Sea of other developments with their arms up crying ‘pick me, pick me!’ We call this positioning.

The process of positioning your offer in the marketplace is a healthy one to go through. It requires a good long look at yourself to understand what makes your offer different, who your potential buyers are and the best channels to engage with them. Most islands and projects have beautiful views across the warm crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, white sand beaches and so on – tell them something new. What is your story? What is it that makes you appealing in terms of  location, lifestyle, architecture, personality and of course return on investment?

A strong brand position and story provides focus for creativity and consistency of your unique message across all channels. This of course is true for any brand, but is rarely used effectively in real estate marketing, where much of the work takes on an almost formulaic feel. The ever-changing technology and ways in which we access information can be daunting, but for a creative marketing agency these are exciting opportunities to engage with potential buyers. Each channel has its own qualities that need to be understood and maximised: a good creative team should relish this challenge.

If you are a development that pulled the covers on during the Global Financial Crisis, don’t just start from where you left off. Things have changed, often for the better so let’s start with the first question – just what is it that makes you different? If you struggle to answer this, perhaps it’s time to bring in a fresh set of eyes and ears.

 - Kingsland Linassi

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