The Turks and Caicos Real Estate Association (TCREA) staged an open house on Saturday, September 24 at the Hura Sea Villas in Long Bay, Providenciales, where its mentees under the association’s Mentorship Programme were the agents.
The four of the eight students in the programme, who participated in the day’s event, and hailed from Providemnciales and North Caicos, impressed the mock clients, who asked ultra-tough questions.
The ‘clients’ included Minister for Education Hon Rachel Taylor, Stacy Cox, CEO of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA), and life coach, HR specialist and bestselling author, Sheba Wilson.
The students who, were briefed on the product shortly before the arrival of the ‘clients’, navigated complex queries from their ‘prospective buyers’, who asked about the furniture, size of the beds, privacy, square footage etc.
Four ‘couples’ participated in the exercise, one of which was assigned to a mentee for the tour.
Trevor Musgrove, the current TCREA Ambassador, and conceptualizer of the programme said he was overly impressed with the mentees on how they articulated their sales pitch and responded to the ‘clients’.
“This is the first time that they have been out there in the field…this experience is an open house, which we do throughout the real estate profession, where we bring clients out, view a property, show and explain to them about the property. Now, the students get to also do it as a live experience as part of this, the final product that was done,” he told NewslineTCI.
Musgrove said the programme was made even more worthwhile due to the support from the Ministry of Education, led by Minister Taylor.
“Thanks to Hon. Taylor for her support on this, and being here today, and all of the other participants as well,” Musgrove said.
He said while the students were directed to TCREA website to view and make themselves familiar with the product, they were also educated on how to sell and answer the tough questions that interested clients would normally ask.
“What we do is give them the background information, like the windows and doors. If someone came to buy this property, they would want to know what type of materials were being used. Most people who buy here (Turks and Caicos Islands) it’s actually a financial investment, and they would want to know the return on their investment, what’s the percentage and all of that. And so, we give them (students) all of that information that they can then share with the clients,” Musgrove concluded.
For her part, Minister Taylor expressed gratitude to TCREA for endeavoring to equipping the students with the knowledge of the real estate market, so in the future it could come as good use to them.
“I am so grateful for TCREA and its ambassador Trevor Musgrove for taking on the opportunity of mentoring a few of our students…and the students are from Providenciales and North Caicos…so we are capitalizing on high schools for those two islands,” the minister said, noting that government would work to ensure that the programme included more students next year.
“…And definitely for next year, based on the number of students that are part of the programme, it is our intention to ensure that all students from all high schools around the Turks and Caicos Islands get an opportunity to be a part of this mentorship programme.
“With tourism being our number one industry, it is going to be critical for us to ensure that our students are aware of the various opportunities that are afforded to them through the tourism industry. I am pleased that our youth policy speaks about entrepreneurship opportunities for our young people.
“I thought it is a great opportunity for our students to get a feel of this industry, and to properly channel themselves in the right direction through the process that would be offered to them through high school.
“So, especially when it comes to form 3, they are looking at the subject areas that they want to specialize in, they can capitalize on this subject area as it relates to this. This can also be a side job for our young people, so it does not have to be a main job. But I think it is important for us to expose our young people…that is going to be critical,” the minister said.
She, too, was impressed by her ‘agent’, who she said really sold the property.
“I was very impressed with the young man. He seemed a bit timid at first, but once he got the feel of it, he was really selling this villa,” the minister pointed out.
In the meantime, Cox believes that such initiative should have been in place from a long time ago, as it introduces school-age children to this multimillion-dollar industry from a young age.
“First of all, I would like to say, well done to TCREA. This initiative, I believe, has been long overdue,” Cox said. “The kids were amazing; they were knowledgeable about the product. Yet, we still have somewhere to go, this is fundamentally where we want to be and where we want to go for the future for our kids in the Real Estate industry.
“The future is bright…amazing presentations and representations of all things Turks and Caicos, through the children, and they were able to articulate the beauty and the highlight of the product in this open house today,” Cox said.
The students are Andino Parker and Pavla Lalakova of British West Indies Collegiate, Olique Stubbs of the Raymond Gardiner High School and Shamya Missick of Maranatha Academy.
Giving their assessment of the day’s event, the student said it was a thrilling and eye-opening experience.