New firm combines fresh energy with veteran experience

Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull sits down with Simon Watson, Director with a brand new chartered surveying practice, Charterland Ltd, to find out more about the services his company has to offer.

Please tell us a bit about your professional background.
I am a Chartered Valuation Surveyor with over twenty years professional experience, thirteen of those in the Cayman Islands. Prior to founding Charterland, I was the Director of Deloitte & Touche responsible for their Property Consulting Division in the Caribbean region. I have a broad background in property consulting but have specialised in preparing valuations for a wide gamut of properties, including residential, commercial and hotel & resort developments throughout the Caribbean and Central America. I have also advised clients on property related matters ranging from property development, property management, construction, sales and lease consulting services. I am a founding Board member and the current Vice-Chairman of RICS Caribbean, the body responsible for all the chartered surveyors practicing in the region. My business partners are Ian Barnard, a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, with similar length professional experience and good Caribbean knowledge and Stewart Connelly, a Chartered Facilities Manager. Both Ian and Stewart were also until recently employed in managerial positions with Deloitte Property Consulting Services.

How have you structured your new company to maximise your market share?
Charterland Ltd is a chartered surveying practice providing a comprehensive range of professional property services with integrity and independence, and in a timely manner; focusing on our clients’ needs, with a view to building long term relationships. With an emphasis on client reporting, we will be using the latest in technology to ensure that our clients are continually apprised, in real time, on their specific engagements and that the turn around on the production of professional reports is second to none. Clients also benefit from the assurance that, as a firm of chartered surveyors (as denoted by the lion’s head logo), Charterland are required to comply with the high ethical standards of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Code of Conduct and to carry professional indemnity insurance to protect their clients.

Charterland are associated with the Evolving Island group of companies which offer complementary property development services.

Why do you feel your firm will stand out from the crowd?
Charterland’s proven management team hold a wide range of professional property qualifications, allowing us to offer a full range of professional property services, with the appropriate expertise for the services being offered. We believe that with the energy of a start-up, but with the experience of a veteran, our established team of property professionals are well placed to become one of the premier firms of property consultants, both in the Cayman Islands and regionally, across the Caribbean.

Tell us something of the particular services you are offering.
Charterland offer a wide range of property services, backed up by the appropriate professional qualifications. Services offered include:
Valuations & appraisals: professional, impartial and independent real estate valuations, all carried out by chartered valuation surveyors;
Quantity surveying & cost management: commercial or residential, new build or fit-out, with our international qualifications and local experience we are able to advise on all aspects of the construction process;
Project management: with experience of commercial and residential development across the Caribbean, we are able to provide developers and property owners with comprehensive project management services by experienced chartered surveyors;
Property & asset management: with experience in the management of premier commercial and residential properties, we are well placed to become the provider of choice for property management services;
Agency & leasing: our commercial property qualifications provide the expertise to offer our clients sound, independent advice in the current market;
Stamp duty & compensation assessment: knowledge of the local Cayman Islands legislation on property finance; such as the payment of stamp duty and the claim of statutory compensation is an area of specialised knowledge in which we excel;
Insurance loss adjusting: with in-depth experience of hurricane and fire damage insurance claims we are able to represent our clients in all types of disasters.

Who will be your target market?
With our wide range of expertise and professional qualifications, our target clients include everyone from first time condo buyers, looking to secure bank financing to major commercial developers looking for a professional, value for money property management services.

You clearly feel that establishing a new firm during these tough economic times is worth the risk. Why is that?
We believe that the combination of an established, experienced team with a new streamlined business model, means that we are ideally positioned to offer the high-end professional services that our clients have always required, at the competitive fees they now need.



The Charterland team l-r Simon Watson, Ian Barnard, & Stewart Connelly