SHANGHAI, China — With China’s GDP growth rates skyrocketing to over 7.5%, creating new wealth not enjoyed in the Asian country in hundreds of years, more than 100 leading real estate brokers from the world’s most desirable and glamorous locations — USA, Brazil, France, Portugal, Spain, Canada, China, Australia—gathered in early December for the Luxury Property Showcase Shanghai.
Among them was the local firm of MCR showcasing waterfront properties in The Bahamas to a crowd of some 5,000 high net worth individuals – each qualifying for the by-invitation-only show. Carey’s presentation focused on the high end offerings of Ocean Club Estates, Old Fort Bay, Lyford Cay, Sandyport and private islands. The formal 15-minute presentation in Mandarin and English was complemented by a display that one attendee said “made your country look so beautiful I want to live there in my future.”
For MCR founder and president Mario Carey CRS, CIPS, CLHMS, the experience at the 6th Luxury Property Showcase December was extraordinary. It also re-affirmed his appreciation of how important relationships are in the Chinese culture.
“It was a great honour to have been selected to represent The Bahamas and an excellent opportunity for the country to be highlighted. There was so much interest in The Bahamas. We spoke to one person after another who kept saying how beautiful our country looked, including one gentleman who said it would now be his dream to live here in his future,” said Carey, one of the 5% of real estate professionals worldwide who holds a degree in real estate.
The invitation was no accident.
Carey and his team of nearly 30-strong sales associates and support staff have been cultivating the relationship with the Chinese community for the past year. The firm was the first Bahamian real estate company to sell a residence at Bahamar and have sold several since. The company’s website has been translated into Mandarin. In November, MCR hosted a farewell luncheon for the departing Chinese ambassador and members of Embassy staff. MCR also retains a Chinese consultant, Daniel Lowe, a Bahamian studying abroad, who Carey and Marketing Manager Terrinique Pennerman credited with playing a pivotal role in guiding them through the show.
“For the past year we have been building relationships and learning how important relationships are to doing business with the Chinese people,” said Carey. “They respect those who take the time to seek them out, respect their etiquette and understand what is important to them. And with our consultant’s help, we learned more about Chinese business ethics and behavior. His direction was invaluable in dealing with the Chinese luxury consumer, their culture, etiquette and expectations.”
Terrinique Pennerman, MCR Marketing Manager, agreed that having a Bahamian consultant in China to assist and having arrived with all materials translated into Mandarin added to the ability to connect with show visitors.
“As global markets shift and with interest of Asian markets escalating, we ensured that all of our informational materials were translated to Mandarin in effort to assist potential clients,” said Pennerman. “Those details made a difference in our ability to reach out and get to know people.” The show also allowed MCR to align itself with Chinese real estate affiliates.
“We learned more about this largely untapped market and they were asking specific questions about The Bahamas’ unique location, government and immigration policies,” said Carey.
Following the show, the MCR team headed to Beijing where they hosted a lunch for some 20 Bahamian students at the Bahamian Embassy. According to Pennerman, the students whose fields of study included International Trade, Economics, Finance and Engineering “were excited to discuss avenues of bridging the gap between The Bahamas and China. There was a heated debate around making The Bahamas more attractive to the Chinese consumer, and what to do to avoid the brain drain of students going abroad to study and not returning.”
Carey said Bahamians studying in China were impressive.
“We were surrounded by some of the brightest minds and I encouraged them to come home once their studies are complete,” he said. “These kids are pioneers in bridging the gap between the Bahamian and Chinese cultures and that’s important because the Chinese are coming.”
On the heels of his milestone 100th transaction in Ocean Club Estates and being the 1st Bahamian broker to secure a sale at Bahamar, Mario Carey said links with the new Chinese market were already paying off for The Bahamas.
“As affluent Chinese access greater opportunity, enjoy increased wealth and become more attuned to a changing value system, our political stability, tranquil settings, magnificent waters and stunning views will continue to become increasingly appealing,” said Carey.
Founded in 2008, MCR has risen to one of the top five real estate firms in The Bahamas and has offices or agents throughout the archipelago as well as consultants outside the country.
Photo 1: MCR represents The Bahamas in China – Mario Carey, founder and president of MCR, speaks with potential investors at the Luxury Property Showcase held in Shanghai earlier this month.
Photo 2: Showcasing The Bahamas – Some 5,000 persons attended the Luxury Property Show in Shanghai earlier this month where MCR represented Bahamian real estate opportunities. MCR founder and president Mario Carey’s presentation on The Bahamas was offered in Mandarin and English and all materials were translated into Mandarin as is MCR’s website. Interest in The Bahamas ran high among the show’s invited attendees.