Blockchain and Cayman’s real estate industry

While readily admitting that I am not the world’s expert on the subject of Blockchain, I would like to acknowledge that I am starting to see a definite trend towards the employment of this software platform for digital assets within the real estate industry globally and stirrings of interest even within Cayman’s own real estate industry.

As I explore how this new technology can be incorporated into our industry, I believe it offers an exciting world of possibilities, because it delivers a completely secure environment for buyers and sellers to communicate with their agents/buyers in real time, thereby potentially speeding up the buying/selling process from start to finish immeasurably. Buyers have to undergo a specific due diligence process so that well before they click the ‘Offer now’ button they have been fully scrutinized through multiple layers to ensure eligibility and that they are genuine and legitimate. One major proponent of Blockchain within the real estate industry is a company I have been working with for a while.

This offers real estate brokers and agents the chance to provide their customers with an end to end online offer process, which allows buyers with literally a click of a button, subject to due diligence checks, to make an offer on a property and to complete an offer agreement via Blockchain smart contracts. The process is also currently being rolled out for an end to end online leasing process, with renters and landlords soon being able to complete rental agreements via Blockchain smart contracts.

Down the line later this year, there will also be the possibility of cryptocurrency payment options for security deposits, rents and service fees, which is another exciting development in this area of technology, once jurisdictions get up to speed with the necessary legislation. The first in this field to have successfully implemented a platform of smart contracts to allow the real estate process to function in this way and the first to roll this technology out to real estate brokers and agents for the benefit of their clients. I believe this is a really big step for the industry and definitely an area of technology to watch and grow over the years.

Why we need to shout louder

Last December, it was announced that Cayman Islands was not included on a list of 17 countries that the European Union deemed “uncooperative” in tax matters. But we did not get off scot-free, having been placed on a graylist of 47 countries and jurisdictions that have made written commitments to meet specific EU criteria to show we have tax transparency and “tax fairness.”

Even though this jurisdiction continues to deliver a robust and noted framework for the prevention of money laundering and other financial crime, the anti-offshore campaigns continue to come at Cayman from a variety of different angles. They are not new to Cayman and while they obviously impact the financial services industry, Cayman’s real estate industry also seems to get pulled into the discussion, as an industry that deals in the movement of funds on and off island.

I believe this is an important issue that needs to be dealt with collectively, by all offshore jurisdictions working together as a single voice, explaining the need for an offshore financial services industry and fighting the propaganda that onshore seems to promote.

Cayman’s own Cayman Finance works towards addressing this issue, but I think more needs to be done. For far too long, this playing field has been heavily leveled in favor of offshore, with places such as Delaware, Las Vegas and Colorado all creating their own offshore financial services onshore. The impact on the real estate industry is felt when people tell me they would like to invest in Cayman real estate but are afraid to, given the misconceptions about the role of offshore. Perceptions about what we do here are based upon misinformation and ignorance, so I feel it is important we do more to educate people about the value of what we do, and the fact that ordinary, everyday people in the U.S. particularly, benefit from having their pensions invested in a pension fund that invests in a Cayman Islands domiciled entity.

Simply put, we need to get across that investing in Cayman funds is a good thing, not a bad thing and why.

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James Bovell
James has been a part of the real estate industry in the Cayman Islands since 1991. Born in the Caribbean and educated in the UK, he has achieved great success in listing and selling many of Cayman’s choice homes, waterfront condominiums and developments, land parcels and investment opportunities.  James has received many of RE/MAX International’s awards including The Circle of Legends, (the highest career achievement within the RE/MAX international network with fewer than 200 inductees to date).
James Bovell
Broker/OwnerRE/ MAX Cayman Islands
PO Box 30189 Grand Cayman
KY1-1201 Cayman Islands
T: +1 (345) 945 4000 E: james@bovell.ky W: www.bovell.ky 

RE/MAX

RE/MAX, which stands for 'real estate maximums', was founded in the 1970's by Dave & Gail Liniger in the United States of America. They developed a unique franchise system that allows real estate agents to maximise their potential by having the security of a franchise and at the same time having the individual freedom to run their own business. Today the RE/MAX network comprises over 6,000 offices with around 90,000 associates in 85 countries.

RE/MAX Cayman Islands is such an independently owned and operated office within the real estate network of RE/MAX International and RE/MAX Caribbean/Central America. The office at 7 Mile Shops on West Bay Road unites 21 real estate professionals and 9 administrative staff under one roof. All our associates and administrative staff are highly experienced and constantly expand their knowledge with ongoing training. Within the office, our associates use the synergy potential. Not only synergies within the office are important but we also work closely with RE/MAX offices all over the world as part of our international referral system.

Locally and internationally we are dedicated to maintain a high degree of visibility which will benefit our highly valued customers and clients as well as our Sales Associates. A comprehensive marketing strategy across all media including print and internet ensure our consistent exposure.

We are well established in the Cayman Islands real estate market as a strong office, capable of producing outstanding results. Referrals from satisfied buyers and sellers are a proof of it as well as the many awards the office has received. 

Physical address:
Seven Mile Shops
215B West Bay Road
Grand Cayman

Mailing address:
PO Box 30189
Grand Cayman KY1-1201
Cayman Islands

www.dreamfinders.com