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TCI Real Estate Mentorship Programme Launched

Left to right: Blair MacPherson, REMAX; Vernica Delancy, Keller Williams; Trevor Musgrove, The Agency/TCREA Ambassador; Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Education; Jasmine Parker-Thomas, Director of Youth; Nina Siegenthaler. Sotheby’s; Dedra Gray, Keller Williams; Manfred Smith, Sotheby’s Missing from photo is Sean O’Neill, The Agency and Richard Sankar of Sotheby’s.

The Turks and Caicos Real Estate Association (TCREA) has officially launched its Mentorship Programme geared towards encouraging young Turks and Caicos Islanders to become part of the ultra-rewarding profession.

The programme, which is the brainchild of TCREA’s ambassador and President of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA), Trevor Musgrove, was launched on Thursday, April 28, at the TCREA Office in Grace Bay, Providenciales.

It will capture students between the ages of 14 to 17. Under the programme, the 10 students who will be chosen in the first year will learn the basic principles of the real estate market, what makes the market tick, and also what are the procedures for selling a property – high and low end.

They will engage in a number of real estate activities, including attending open house scenarios, to see what they entail, while occasionally getting a feel of the real estate office proceedings as well.

The programme begins in earnest at the end of May, after all the applications are vetted and the individuals chosen. Application forms, according to Musgrove, have been sent to all high schools across the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Musgrove explained that at the end of the training, students would undergo a mock exam, from which they would attain their ‘real estate license’.

Musgrove described the launch as an exciting day for him, stating that it was very personal, since he believes that mentorship is the key to developing young people.

“I believe this programme will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for high school students to experience this booming real estate industry,” he said.

I realize that Hon. (Rachel) Taylor (Minister of Education) and her team were working on similar initiatives, and they aligned with what we were trying to do here, and so I reached out to her and shared the programme with her, and she did not hesitate to give her endorsement of this programme.

In supporting the programme, Minister Taylor, stated that she welcomed the opportunity that would be given to the country’s youth, to provide them with the prospect to learn about the field of real estate from a young age.

“I am sure that many people would hear us speak about our Youth Policy that was recently passed. We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner, and the reason being is that it affords our students the opportunity to gain from the mentorship programme,” Taylor explained.

She said the programme was more that welcome because it would seek to address parts of the National Skills Audit gap.

“When we look at the National Skills Audit of 2017, it speaks to a sub-skill gap within our students. It speaks to the gap in critical thinking, team building, analytical skills, communication, customer services. And when I looked at the outline of the (TCREA Mentorship) programme I was quite pleased, and we did not hesitate (to endorse it), because definitely, it will provide our students with the opportunity (to learn the real estate field),” Taylor added.

She added: “I like the idea of this programme because tourism is indeed our number one industry, and we know that real estate is just taking off. So, to provide our students (with the opportunity) to gain the knowledge and the experience, it is more than welcome.

“It speaks to field experience where our students would be given the opportunity to go in the field with real estate agents to learn the vocabulary of real estate agents…it will be quite exciting.

“I do believe that those persons who will be selected are those students who would probably like to be enrolled in the real estate industry. So, I think this would provide an easy transition into the workforce.”

She said the Internship and Apprenticeship Police, which cabinet recently approved would provide opportunities for Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, as well as students studying overseas, to directly aligned with their skillset in the areas of study, during school breaks.

For her part, Director of Youth Affairs Jasmine Thomas, described the programme launch as timely.

“Because we want to develop not just resilient youth, but we also want to develop youth, where we are co-creating their futures in order to be productive citizens within the Turks and Caicos Islands. And I think the best way we can do that is to mentor the youth to the best of our capacity,” she said.

Blair McPherson, who is attached to Remax, and who has been in local real estate for the past 21 years, referred to the programmed as a great opportunity for him to serve Turks and Caicos Islands even more, calling it a ‘flagship programme for the youth’.

He said the programme would encourage young people to participate in what he has deemed ‘a wonderful career’ for him in the TCI.

“I would be excited to pass on my expertise and what I have learnt here in the Turks and Caicos Islands for the past 21 years, and hopefully help the youth to make it their career…I am excited about it,” he said.

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