Dominica recently welcomed a new real estate business franchise to the market, which is described as one of the highest ranking of its kind in the United States.

Local director/owner of RE/MAX Alistair Grell said the franchise started out as an architectural engineering consultant firm and is now in the process of expanding into real estate.

“RE/MAX is actually the number one in the States … We actually are in the consulting business at the moment … we do a number of various architectural engineering consulting projects and we want to expand our business into real estate,” he explained to Dominica News Online.

The story of RE/MAX begins with the company’s name, which is short for “real estate maximums.” It was founded in Denver in 1973 by Dave Liniger, who is still chairman of the board, and his wife Gail; the company began with a mission to offer higher real estate commissions to real estate agents at a time when real estate companies kept as much as half of each sale for themselves.

RE/MAX has been franchising since 1973, one year after rival Century 21 started doing so. Today, RE/MAX claims 115,000 real estate agents in its international network of 65 countries.

Apart from the media launch, Grell said a website will be launched for the local branch of the business.  He said the business facilitates the purchase of lands for its clients, and the fact that they can advise clients about the suitability of location, among other aspects is an extra selling point of the company.

Grell noted that clients may purchase land and then realize the land cannot be used for the reason they bought it, adding “We feel that we have an advantage over real estate companies because we are in the business of architectural consulting, so we can advise our clients before they purchase and that what they had planned to use the property for it can be used.”

RE/MAX entrance locally could make the market quite competitive for Century 21- also an American franchise which was launched here this year.

A reputable company

According to Grell, in a recent study of the top real estate companies in America RE/MAX came on top for the amount of estates it sold. “It’s a reputable company… it’s a company that has a reputation of quality and its credentials are really higher rated … we are really trying to offer the people of Dominica  not only working with a reputable company, but the fact that they would be able to work with a company that has a thrust,” he noted.

RE/MAX is like a one-stop shop in the real estate industry, Grell boasts. Clients will get a little more comfort, as the business aims to ensure that their clients get the right piece of land, which RE/MAX can also develop, Grell assured.

“Over the last five years if you look at areas for instance in the north like Portsmouth and north east like Calibishie and Wesley land prices in that area have more than doubled. Five years ago I remember near Ross University you could get land for eight, ten dollars a square foot, now land is being sold for ten dollars US,” he justified in response to a question whether Dominica has a lucrative market for real estate.

“Dominica is very young in terms of the real estate business … other islands like Barbados and Antigua there are quite a greater number of real estate business there and if you look at the percentage of land sold there it is much higher,” the businessman explained.

A better quality service

Nonetheless, he recognized land prices have skyrocketed since there is a great demand for it, and people are definitely looking for land to buy. “Now there is KFC and all these other businesses [in Portsmouth], so I think the future looks bright and I believe that there are certainly areas that are growing faster than others, but generally if we use Portsmouth as an example there is a potential,” he added.

While there are a number of real estate companies and agents here, RE/MAX is not looking to take over the real estate business in Dominica, Grell clarified.

“A number of clients come to us when things go wrong … we feel it’s worthwhile but I do believe that we have a valuable service to offer and I think others could learn with us, work with us and we work with them in providing a better quality service that is available,” the businessman noted.

The company can be reached at:

Millenia & RE/MAX Millenia Realty Dominica
24 Church Lane,
Pottersville,
Roseau, Dominica
PO Box 1232
Tel: 767 449-9030
Fax: 767 448-1733
Cell: 767 275 0473
E-mail: info@millenia.dm

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