My interview with Curacao Sotheby’s International Realty
In early 2020, the year seemed to be a “normal” year for us on Curaçao. The year of new rounds and opportunities in the real estate world and therefore also for me as a professional photographer. As you may have seen and read on my website, I am a passionate real estate and interior photographer who collaborates with Sotheby’s International Realty.
After COVID-19 has also reached Curaçao, things have changed in our field. We have been faced with new challenges that have had consequences for everyone. I would like to take you through the story of Sotheby’s International Realty and how they experience this (new) situation.
What effect does the COVID-19 virus have on you as a real estate agent in the office, but also on which houses are viewed, offered and sold?
The effect of the Covid-19 virus is mainly reflected in the way of viewing homes. This is now happening more virtually than before. Viewings via video call from the home are much more common. We also use 3D virtual tours, so that homes from anywhere in the world can be viewed online and the prospective buyer can “walk” through the home. We try to keep these as short as possible during physical visits and to open as many doors as possible in advance. The viewers do not have to touch anything and we keep an appropriate distance from each other and wear protective masks and gloves if that is appreciated.
Has closing the borders as a result of the COVID-19 virus had much effect on the housing market?
This has led to fewer physical visits. It has also made many people think where they prefer to live. Especially now that people work more from home, it becomes more attractive for some to work from a home in the Caribbean than from a home in Europe, the US or Canada.
Despite the COVID-19 virus setbacks, have new opportunities or changing insights emerged?
More Zoom or other virtual meetings save a lot of time and ensure more targeted meetings. A more conscious choice of which homes people really want to visit are also a consequence. We see the new opportunities mainly with potential buyers from large (world) cities who prefer to live on a Caribbean island. Curaçao has a lot to offer in terms of living and living pleasure.
How do you see the future as a broker?
Very positive. People are more aware of their housing choice and also of their time. More efficient viewings and guidance in the buying process of a home are positive developments.