February 25, 2020
The first time Stuart Halbert was named Bahamas Realty’s top performer there was no such thing as shared information among agents and online searches were still a thing of the future. That was in 2002, two years after the already-driven Halbert was first recognized for exceeding the sales requirement for a start-up associate.
Twenty years later, Halbert earned top performer rights again – this time for the 10th time and he says the Bahamas’ real estate market has never been stronger.
“It is an honour to be named number one in a dynamic company like Bahamas Realty for the 10th time in 20 years, but the real honours in real estate should go to Larry Roberts (Bahamas Realty’s former Chairman, now retired) who fought for so many years to introduce MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that revolutionized the industry as a whole,” said Halbert.
“Before MLS, associates and brokers would battle for exclusives, keeping information about a listing from being publicly viewed easily,” said Halbert.
Exclusive in today’s real estate vernacular relates to the right to marketing, staging, hosting events, but does not limit who can receive information as MLS allows all licensed firms to post residential or commercial inventory listings as quickly as they come in to one agent or broker.
“It was Roberts who, in effect, knew that the future of real estate in this country would be better served by breaking up the private clublike atmosphere of a few firms. He had to battle tooth and nail with some but today no one would turn back the clock so when I receive an award, I always think it is he who helped to make the current real estate environment in The Bahamas what it is and who helped make Bahamas Realty one of the anchors of that environment.” Bahamas Realty CEO Donnie Martinborough echoes Halbert’s sentiments about the importance of a cooperative industry where co-broking rather than hoarding a listing is the accepted way of doing business.
“It is just like Stuart to turn the attention on someone else. We are all so proud of his accomplishments,” said Martinborough. “Part of the secret of his success is hard work, but a large part is his humility. He probably did not mention that about 70% of all his transactions are clients he has worked with before who have come to trust him and won’t look anywhere else.”
According to Halbert, also named top exclusive listing agent in 2019, several factors are contributing to a bullish market.
“We are experiencing an upswing in the world’s largest economy which sits 50 miles off the shore of The Bahamas,” said Halbert. “Locally we are enjoying competitive bank rates with more liquidity in the market. Against that positive backdrop, the ability to market properties effectively with drone footage and Matterport tours is the best it has ever been. Despite the effects of Hurricane Dorian that devastated two islands severely, The Bahamas remains one of the most highly desirable places to live, work and play in the world.”
Halbert also credit Baha Mar and The Pointe developments with the revitalization of high-end residential leases and sales and says if there is any one area of real estate that is crying out for development, it’s commercial – and that at every level from warehousing to Class A office space.
Advances in real estate marketing have created a more dynamic and equitable playing field, says veteran Stuart Halbert, who just earned top performer among non-directors at Bahamas Realty for the 10th time in a 20-year career with the company that he credits with leading the way in opening the industry.