Paula McCartney of Diamond Properties
Born in Vancouver, Canada into a family of property developers Paula McCartney was raised in Grand Cayman from the age of 10. With a professional background that includes 15 years as a Legal Assistant and over 10 years as a real estate agent, Paula was exceptionally qualified to open Diamond Properties, a high-end real estate firm that focuses on concierge-style services and high-net-worth investors.
RL: Where did you grow up?
PM: The first 10 years of my life were spent in Canada and sailing through the Caribbean and West Coast of North America. At 10, my family and I moved to Grand Cayman and made it our forever home.
RL: What initially sparked your interest in real estate?
PM: I come from a long line of property investors and developers. I always joke that my first babysitter was a 2x4 and a piece of rope! Real estate is the family business; it runs through my veins and I love every aspect.
RL: Did any of your previous experiences impact your ability to be an effective agent?
PM: As with many children, I wanted to make a career separate from the family business and spent a year as a Concierge at the Hyatt Regency before college. This taught me an enormous amount about customer service and how to always put my clients’ needs first. After college I spent 15 years as a Legal Assistant working with many of Cayman’s top legal minds. I gained experience in contracts, the process to conveyance of land, financing procedures, research and, of course, the value of clarity to avoid misunderstanding.
RL: When did you start Diamond Properties?
PM: After working for over a decade in the business, it was time to branch out on my own and raise the bar. I set out to build a Brokerage House that brought together my concierge level customer service with my legal background and absolute passion for real estate. So, in December of 2015 Diamond Properties was born.
RL: What can a client expect when choosing Diamond Properties?
PM: Buying or selling real estate is one of the largest most personal investments anyone will ever make. What we at Diamond Properties set out to do is take anxiety out of the process and replace it with valuable research, market knowledge and a keen understanding of what makes a great investment.
RL: Why is an agent important?
PM: A fully qualified CIREBA member agent brings a wealth of historical data, knowledge of current market offerings and negotiation skills that can only be achieved from years of experience making good business happen. Agents also take care of all the advertising costs, showing times and the best of the best will assist with staging, follow up and feedback. All these ends tie together to maximise your investment return and provide tangible value, more often than not, higher than the commission fees paid.
RL: Discuss the most common pitfalls you see buyers and sellers making?
PM: Pitfalls tend to change with the market trends, but the number one issue for vendors is realistic pricing of their property. Property that is over-priced just doesn’t sell and leads to frustration. As for buyers, we are currently in a strengthening market where the best properties go really quickly. The key is for buyers to work with an agent they trust to ensure they don’t miss out on their perfect property.
RL: What should buyers look for in a hometo make sure it’s a good investment?
PM: The old adage of ‘location, location, location’ and always buy with the eventual sale in mind. The qualities that will make the property a great offering in the future is the property you want to buy today.
RL: Tell us about the Cayman real estate market. Why is it a good place to buy?
PM: The Cayman market is on fire, and for good reason. We are safe, we are sound and our proximity to the US coupled with ease of access to international gateways makes owning a Cayman property a stress-free investment. We also have zero annual property taxes so the low cost of carry is a major benefit.
RL: What do you love about the Cayman market?
PM: I love a solid investment and whether buying a private home, income producing condo or a commercial opportunity, investing in the Cayman Islands is just that – rock solid. The historical strength of investment here makes me really passionate about what I represent.
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