If you look at Silvina Andrews' workplace, you could almost become envious: The real estate agent has been marketing properties in the Bahamas for Engel & Völkers since 2018. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year and average temperatures of over 26°C, one could easily overlook the fact that the profession of real estate agent is hard work even in a paradisiacal climate. In the interview, Silvina Andrews reveals how she approaches this challenge, what makes the Bahamas real estate market unique and what role social media plays in her daily work:
Hello Mrs Andrews, when and why did you decide to work at Engel & Völkers? S.A.: E&V chose me. One of my partners, Ana Wassitsch and I were a team at another firm in Nassau. At that time, real estate agent teams were not common and through our promotions and social media we quickly became well known. E&V America approached me to discuss opening a shop in the Bahamas, not realising that the Bahamas already had one. Ana and I have known the owner of E&V Nassau for many years, so he approached us about joining as a team. It took us a year to make the decision to move to E&V as we were well established as a team with our own brand. We made the decision to re-brand ourselves and that gave us the opportunity to invite our colleague, Phillip Kemp, to join us as well. What challenges do you like most about your work? S.A.: E&V has a very different culture from other real estate firms. This is both challenging and exciting. The marketing tools are endless and very easy to learn. In the Bahamas, our largest client base is international and the E&V name is very well known globally. This is very helpful. Do you use Social Media for your work or do you have a business account? S.A.: Yes, we have a Facebook business page, and we use Instagram. Each of us also has our personal LinkedIn account. How did you come up with the idea of using social media for business? S.A.: When Ana and I established our partnership at our previous firm, we immediately turned to social media to expose our brand and share our message. This proved to be very effective and we received a lot of positive feedback. Our team loves to create and follow marketing trends. We incorporate our listings and lifestyle posts into a consistent campaign. What are your plans for the account? S.A.: We are constantly putting ideas in "drafts" and we discuss content. Sometimes there is a planned strategy and other times each of us posts spontaneously. What do you think makes the real estate market in the Bahamas so special? S.A.: The Bahamas is unique in that real estate is very diverse. We have many different islands offering different types of lifestyle choices and property values. Buyers are attracted to a lifestyle which offers a safe and relaxed environment regardless of the property type. Our listings include luxury homes and condominiums in private communities, waterfront estates and private islands. How do you think the market in the Bahamas will develop in the near future? S.A.: The market is once again taking an upward turn. There is a lot of new development throughout the country and we work very closely with their sales departments. In recent years, the Bahamas has become a very popular destination for Airbnb so that has attracted another level of clientele. Being a real estate agent consumes a lot of time – how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? S.A.: I am usually a very organised person and have daily plans. My plans usually fit well within my private life. As our clients tend to come from other countries, showing the property is usually done during regular working hours. This allows me to have a schedule that coordinates with family and friends that are not in the real estate industry. I am very serious about exercise and make a point to take 30-60 minutes out of my day for that. I find that the tools that are provided by E&V allow me to perform very efficiently. I work mostly from my home office so I don't have to account for travel time very often. When I am on the road, I take advantage of the time to make phone calls. I love Bluetooth! Would you like to learn more about the fascinating work of Silvina Andrews? Then take a look at the Engel & Völkers Bahamas website or visit Mrs Andrews and directly in the local shop. We look forward to hearing from you!