Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Malta Regional Market Center > Blog > Working under the Caribbean sun: Interview with Silvina Andrews from Engel & Völkers Bahamas

Working under the Caribbean sun: Interview with Silvina Andrews from Engel & Völkers Bahamas

If you look at Silvina Andrews' workplace, you could almost become envious: The real estate agent has been marketing properties in the Bahamas for Engel & Völkers since 2018. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year and average temperatures of over 26°C, one could easily overlook the fact that the profession of real estate agent is hard work even in a paradisiacal climate. In the interview, Silvina Andrews reveals how she approaches this challenge, what makes the Bahamas real estate market unique and what role social media plays in her daily work:

- Working where others go on holiday: In an interview, real estate agent Silvina Andrews from Engel & Völkers Bahamas reports on her work in the Caribbean.

Hello Mrs Andrews, when and why did you decide to work at Engel & Völkers? 

S.A.: E&V chose me. One of my partners, Ana Wassitsch and I were a team at another firm in Nassau. At that time, real estate agent teams were not common and through our promotions and social media we quickly became well known. E&V America approached me to discuss opening a shop in the Bahamas, not realising that the Bahamas already had one. Ana and I have known the owner of E&V Nassau for many years, so he approached us about joining as a team. It took us a year to make the decision to move to E&V as we were well established as a team with our own brand. We made the decision to re-brand ourselves and that gave us the opportunity to invite our colleague, Phillip Kemp, to join us as well.

What challenges do you like most about your work? 

S.A.: E&V has a very different culture from other real estate firms. This is both challenging and exciting. The marketing tools are endless and very easy to learn. In the Bahamas, our largest client base is international and the E&V name is very well known globally. This is very helpful.

Do you use Social Media for your work or do you have a business account? 

S.A.: Yes, we have a Facebook business page, and we use Instagram. Each of us also has our personal LinkedIn account.

How did you come up with the idea of using social media for business? 

S.A.: When Ana and I established our partnership at our previous firm, we immediately turned to social media to expose our brand and share our message. This proved to be very effective and we received a lot of positive feedback. Our team loves to create and follow marketing trends. We incorporate our listings and lifestyle posts into a consistent campaign.

What are your plans for the account?  

S.A.: We are constantly putting ideas in "drafts" and we discuss content.  Sometimes there is a planned strategy and other times each of us posts spontaneously.  

What do you think makes the real estate market in the Bahamas so special? 

S.A.: The Bahamas is unique in that real estate is very diverse. We have many different islands offering different types of lifestyle choices and property values. Buyers are attracted to a lifestyle which offers a safe and relaxed environment regardless of the property type. Our listings include luxury homes and condominiums in private communities, waterfront estates and private islands.

How do you think the market in the Bahamas will develop in the near future?  

S.A.: The market is once again taking an upward turn. There is a lot of new development throughout the country and we work very closely with their sales departments. In recent years, the Bahamas has become a very popular destination for Airbnb so that has attracted another level of clientele. 

Being a real estate agent consumes a lot of time – how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? 

S.A.: I am usually a very organised person and have daily plans. My plans usually fit well within my private life. As our clients tend to come from other countries, showing the property is usually done during regular working hours. This allows me to have a schedule that coordinates with family and friends that are not in the real estate industry. I am very serious about exercise and make a point to take 30-60 minutes out of my day for that. I find that the tools that are provided by E&V allow me to perform very efficiently. I work mostly from my home office so I don't have to account for travel time very often. When I am on the road, I take advantage of the time to make phone calls. I love Bluetooth!

Would you like to learn more about the fascinating work of Silvina Andrews? Then take a look at the Engel & Völkers Bahamas website or visit Mrs Andrews and her team directly in the local shop. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Real Estate for Sale and To Let  with Engel & Völkers

Engel & Völkers Sara Grech is the luxury real estate agent that specialises in exclusive properties for sale and to let in Malta. With more than 30 years’ experience, we are one of Malta’s most successful real estate agencies

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a thriving cultural hub that has long been a popular destination amongst expatriates and tourists alike. Partnered with the real estate agency Engel & Völkers, finding a property for sale or rent in Malta is a breeze, and in no time at all, you'll have a spacious apartment with a view or a villa with numerous bedrooms to call your own.

Living and working in Malta

Home to more than 450,000 inhabitants, Malta is the smallest country to join the European Union in 2004. In 2008, it became part of the Eurozone. Though Malta is well-known as a popular tourist destination with plenty of recreational areas and historical monuments including nine UNESCO world heritage sites, it is not known for its luxury properties and real estate for sale and rent! Besides having first-class accommodation, Malta is home to numerous companies and industries ranging from banking and financing to construction, retail, and i-gaming. Working in Malta requires the proper permits, and those seeking employment are encouraged to find a suitable job before moving into their purchased or rented property.

A new residency scheme was launched in June 2013 which allows people to buy a high-value property and pay taxes in Malta to benefit from the residence permit. Under the new Global Residence Programme, the value of immovable property bought in Malta by foreigners has a minimum threshold of €275,000. However, when the property is in the South of Malta or on the sister island of Gozo, the minimum value is reduced to €220,000. This new scheme also allows persons eligible if they wished to rent a property and this has been lowered to €9,600 in Malta and €8750 in Gozo or the South of Malta. The minimum tax to be paid under this scheme is a minimum of €15,000 on income derived in Malta, further income arising in Malta shall be taxed at a flat rate of 35%.

Real estate and property for sale and rent in Malta

Malta has several Special Designated Areas that offer a wide variety of properties to buy or rent! Whether you are looking for a new luxury apartment with views of the Portomaso marina or an expansive villa situated in Santa Maria Estate, our team will help you find a property for rent or sale that suits your needs. From apartments with a view to villas with several, we have it all.

After you've purchased property

For such a small island, Malta is packed with amazing things to see and do. From visiting historic sites to relaxing on beautiful beaches. Visitors can take their pick of activities which will suit any mood or taste.

A selection below are the top destinations that any person should see when coming to Malta. These include Valletta; Mdina; Paceville; Blue Lagoon (Comino Island) and Gozo

Valletta recently voted the European Capital for Culture for 2018 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valletta is the hub of tourism in Malta and for good reason. It is full of historical significance, with the likes of St John’s Cathedral, forts, and museums and much more squeezed into a tiny area. As far as beautiful towns go with plenty to see, Valletta is up there with the best.

Mdina is known as the jewel in the crown of Malta and it is a fair assessment. The walled city is full of tiny alleys which you can wind your way through, stumbling across beautiful churches and museums along the way. Now effectively part of the town of Rabat, this definitely shouldn’t be left off your Maltese itinerary.

Malta has a reputation for being a destination for the older generation, but Paceville puts lie to that. This is where the youngsters come to drink and party and you can rely on having a good evening out here. It’s not just loud music for teenagers either; there are plenty of civilized bars and restaurants if you don’t want to rave into the early hours.

A beautiful area of clear blue water which is fantastic for swimming and is the perfect place for a day out at the beach. Arguably the best place for swimming in the whole Mediterranean, the Blue Lagoon is located on the island of Comino.

Just a 30-minute ferry trip away from Malta, Gozo is a beautiful, rural island which gives you a glimpse into what Malta looked like a few decades ago. Sleepy villages, rugged coastline, and beautiful countryside all make this a fantastic place to visit. But one of the main draws is the diving off the coast. Malta has been named as one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and Gozo is one of the best spots to do it.

No matter where your interests lie, Malta has you covered; with Engel & Völkers Sara Grech by your side, your home in this beautiful part of the world is also covered. Contact us today to find out more about our villas, apartments and other properties for sale and rent!

For more information on Malta and our Real Estate Services please click on the following: 

Malta the Perfect Location l Exclusive Properties l Buying a Property in Malta and Gozo l Expenses when Buying a Property l Energy Performance Certificate l First Time Buyers l The Malta Individual Investors Programme l Buy to Let l Special Designated Areas