To add to her existing impressive line up of accolades, Kass Coleman, sales associate with RE/MAX Cayman Islands has been voted CIREBA Agent of the Year 2010. The Journal catches up with this busy real estate professional to hear how she manages to inject enthusiasm and energy into her job after many years in the business.
Sit in Kass Coleman’s office and you can pinpoint her move into real estate simply by reading the dates on the trophies and plaques that she has lining the walls: achieving the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, Platinum Club, Chairman’s Club, Top Producer and consistently placed within the top 10 in the international division of sales associates since 1997.
She’s a real estate professional who has managed to sidestep the cyclical nature of the profession and keep motivated and excited about the process of buying and selling homes for people for 17 years.
Winning the Cayman Islands Real Estate Broker Association Agent of the Year for 2010 is a particularly special accolade, as it is the culmination of voting by her peers in the industry, who have recognised Kass’s ability to work as a team and motivate others to do well themselves.
Kass, who hails from the state of Virginia in the US, says she went to college with some girls from the Cayman Islands and decided to visit them in 1986. She says she fell in love with the place and the people and thus made the Islands her home. In 1993 she moved into the real estate industry after a stint at Cayman Airways and says she threw herself whole heartedly into the profession, studying maps and listings to get a really good feel for the property that was for sale.
“I worked every day for two years but I really loved the work,” she confirms.
Kass made a success of her position almost instantaneously and says “I think it helped that my first listing was a $3 million home!”
Kass was continually at the top of her game, winning a continual succession of awards for RE/MAX for her skills.
“We list and sell 40 per cent of all listings in the Cayman Islands,” she confirms. “We are a really strong team and we’ve built up some important synergies amongst ourselves.”
Kass credits a good work ethic (“which was instilled in me,” she says) and an active faith and conviction both religious and in herself, which has helped guide her on her career path.
“I was fortunate to be born in the top 2 per cent of people in the world: I am educated, I have all my basic needs catered for and so I feel it is my duty to do something great with all that I have,” she confirms, adding that it is very important for her to be a good role model within the industry.
As far as the job itself goes, Kass says she is fortunate to be in a profession that she truly loves.
”I just love finding the right property fit for people and finding the right way to present property to prospective buyers. It’s also important for me to find the right price point for sellers and to ensure that they are pricing their property in a realistic manner,” she ventures.
Kass says that 90 per cent of her business are referrals and repeat business, so getting under the skin of her clients and finding out how they tick is essential if she is to properly understand their needs.
She therefore takes what she calls a “global approach” and spends a good deal of time getting to know her US clients, who are spread across the Eastern seaboard from north to south.
“There are two kinds of investors: those who need and look for guidance in the local market and those who simply enjoy a regular update on Cayman in general and who will make up their own minds as to whether to invest or not,” she states. “It’s important for me to understand the two types.”
Taking an innovative approach to the local market, Kass has used the medium of radio to reach out to local buyers with fun adverts that put her individual stamp on the market.
“I want people in Cayman to appreciate that I’m their real estate agent as well as acting for overseas investors,” she says. “I have lots of great properties on the market that are affordable across the board.”
Kass says she and her fellow real estate brokers at RE/MAX are cautiously optimistic about the future of the real estate market in Cayman in the next year or so and anticipate that consumer confidence will once again return.