By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
PROPERTIES listed on the Bahamas Real Estate Association's (BREA) multiple listing service (MLS) will now benefit from 'global exposure' through their listing on the popular US real estate site, Realtor.com, which has 12 million hits per month.
BREA's president, Franon Wilson, said the tie-up will create added value for the MLS. He told Tribune Business: "What joining Realtor.com does is give realtors here another avenue from which their listings can be seen.
"Now you have a greater chance of real estate being sold in the Bahamas because the more people you have to see it, the more chances you have to get it sold. This is one of the ways in which we are improving the MLS by adding value." B
REA has about 653 members and some 2,000 properties listed on its MLS.
Elenore Rojas, product manager and designer of Realtor.com, said that more than 12 million visitors viewed the site each month. The site, founded in 1995, has some 4.2 million listings.
Ms Rojas said: "We are very excited to have the Bahamas content on Realtor.com. We believe the Bahamas, with its unique, beautiful landscape and properties, will be a great addition to our site and create a lot of interest from our global audience.
"We are seeing on Realtor.com that traffic from non-US countries is up as much as 50 per cent in the last two years. Twenty-eight per cent of realtors in the US are reporting working with an international client in the past year. This means that the Bahamas' content will have great exposure."
She added: "Realtor.com has a very established web presence. The site averages over 12 million unique visitors every month. The Bahamas will have exposure to global audiences."
Assessing the Bahamian real estate market, Mr Wilson noted that activity was still not at the level it was prior to the recession.
Chris Kelly, of Dupuch Real Estate, said it was not necessarily a buyers market as some suggest. He said: "I wouldn't say it's a buyer's market. I find that a lot of vendors have their properties on the market at inflated prices, and they're saying they are not going to sell their properties unless they get 'x' amount of dollars.
"Then you have buyers out there who say that they really want to find a deal. There is still activity in the market, and what it comes down to is the motivation of the sellers and the quality of the buyers. The sellers that understand that they need to sell and move on for whatever reason are willing to negotiate the price of the properties.
"The buyers that want to buy know it is going to cost, are willing to negotiate but not expecting to steal anything. Properties are being bought and sold every day, just not as much as it was four-five years go."