The Island Brokers Are Overwhelmed
Phones and emails come regularly day and night. They no longer focus on the good or the bad. Instead they focus more on fresh water and solar panels. These were not questions that he was already accustomed to.
The pilots are perplexed.
Since the coronavirus epidemic has swept across the globe, it has increased virtually every aspect of life for everyone, including the richest. Even in the niche, the global business of the island business has turned its head.
“This has been the busiest two months I’ve been selling islands,” Chris Krolow, chief executive of Private Islands Inc., said in July. The run was not long in coming, he said. The only time they were around the bulk of the question was just after the Fyre Festival at the Great Exuma, in the Bahamas, in 2017. The Krolow said they were filled, for some reason, with questions from “children hoping to start their own country.”
Prior to the epidemic, the island was a futile purchase that a wealthy customer – usually a man – could pursue once he retired, he said. The island’s virus began to strike again a few years after some high-end consumer goods began to lose weight.
“You have your boat, your plane – now you want your island,” said John Christie, president of Christie’s International Real Estate, a company based in the Bahamas.
The vendors on the island know how to take care of these customers. They were looking for a place to feel like a “boss from sea to sea,” said Christie, a small empire with no control but their own. Advertisements may be blocked by the minds of billions or famous neighbors.
But these new consumers are not just driven by the curiosity and desire to escape the virus, and the developers, like their customers, are quick to figure out survival. As a result, even after a few months, developers struggle to meet the new demands of their customers, such as having a helicopter and an oncoming helicopter.
Despite interest in the coronavirus threat, Mr. Krolow, Canada, has closed a few retailers. Like other businesses, he says most of his time has been spent on building expectations on what it takes to establish a self-sufficient island – paradise is a challenge – and how to showcase goods to those who want to shop in between travel trips.
But borrowing is not enough for some rich people. The plague has changed the way they think – for a long time – by being around other people.
“In the past, the island was a playground,” said Marcus Gondolo-Gordon, an Incognito Property executive based in England. Now customers explain the dream of “boarding a bloody boat with blood on the verge of bloodshed” to ensure that no one will board and violate their isolation, he said. They also want access to clean water, solar panels and a house ready for bed tomorrow.
Quickly establishing an island of self-reliance will be difficult, Gondolo-Gordon has to tell them. Construction on private islands takes much longer than on land or even on conventional, unpaved islands. And regulators cannot guarantee that the islands will be a safe haven from conflicts. For example, this week they looked at a beautiful island in the eastern Mediterranean – stealing for $ 7.4 million. But there are other problems in those waters, which are against Turkey and Greece.
“You should read this article,” he tells clients. They should also take into account that their coastline is affected by climate change. Unable to cope with this, they are advised to rent a supercacht.
Several buyers have refused, through their suppliers, to be asked about their experience with buying islands.
Prior to the epidemic, many helpers sold the islands as a small part of their real estate business.
Now that more retailers are said to have seen growing interest on the island, a number of retailers have said they are taking over most of their business. However, the Krolows are the easiest to rent which is the whole island, all the time.
He helped sell his original island in the late 90’s, by accident, accepting what the seller had offered to advertise on a small page of the islands he had created.
Twenty years later, Mr. Krolow is made up of hundreds of islands. Some cost less than $ 100,000, such as small, rocky coastal plains in Canada. Some reach eight to nine pages and provide airports and build shelters in the Caribbean and South Pacific waters.
One of the best things about selling islands in the midst of the plague, traders say, is that customers are changing places. British buyers who were once settled on the Greek islands are now happy to separate themselves from the Seychelles or the Irish Sea. The interest of Americans and Canadians in the South Pacific has recently lost interest in coastal areas near the Bahamas, Belize and Panama.
But sending clients to show them the islands is more difficult than ever. At one point, Mr. Krolow had several potential buyers who were ready to visit the islands in Belize, but the airports were closed. In the last six months, there have been only a few weeks when you can get in and out of the Caribbean, says Edward de Mallet Morgan, a colleague at Knight Frank, a London real estate company.
Buying a home without a first visit is one thing, he said, but “buying an island is another thing, especially if you can no longer send your advisers to see you in advance.”
The British Virgin Islands have banned visitors until December. And despite the resumption of flights to the Bahamas, visitors have to commit to setting up a mobile app and a two-week stay. That’s a lot more, some customers tell who’s changing to them.
Some buyers may find work. One of the clients of Mr. Christie’s from America had their own boatman sailing his boat to the Bahamas from Florida. The customer buyer boarded the plane privately, then boarded his boat, where he “stayed alone.”
Her guardian took her to her two possible rescues. One was Bonefish Cay, a $ 8.2 million island, a 13-acre island already established with five buildings and capable of generating its own electricity. But it was not right, the customer told Mr. Christie.
The other option was Foot’s Cay, $ 8.7 million, a 20-acre island with a large four-room house and a seasoned concrete storage house with a generator. This was a lot of fun – but by the time the customer went down the aisle, he had already gone to another buyer.