Tue | May 26, 2020

Iconic Living: Building our future

Published:Monday | August 5, 2019 | 12:14 AM

In this final feature of Iconic Living, our resident host Natalia Oh discusses the future of real estate with Andrew Issa, CEO, and Natalie Johnson, real estate associate from Coldwell Banker Jamaica Realty. The group touches trends to anticipate, as well as how it fits in with the developments of the digital age.

With more than 20 years of experience, 90 agents and three offices islandwide, there is no question about why Coldwell Banker is championing the real estate industry in Jamaica. Coldwell Banker Jamaica covers everything from small-scale residential properties to large tourism projects across Jamaica, inclusive of key areas such as Kingston, Negril and Montego Bay.

This widespread operation is aligned with the vision of the company to have an agent situated within an hour of every property, making them as available as possible to potential buyers.


“We have really embraced social media, and this has given Coldwell Banker the biggest reach … that is one of our strengths,” says Johnson.

Coldwell Banker has successfully managed to invest in the use of social media and incorporate it into their daily operations. Not only has this improved their presence on the digital market, but they have been able to appeal to a dynamic audience of millennials, who appreciate the convenience, real-time communication and efficient service.

“Technology is the future, millennials are busy… they don’t want to waste time,” is the message from CEO Issa, who is encouraging others in the industry to change their approach and improve.


“Real estate is the best return on your value long term,” says Issa. With real estate investment, one is guaranteed returns. He firmly believes that with this in mind there is more the Government can do to maximise their returns and improve the economy.

With improvements in areas such as downtown Kingston and the introduction of pilot residential and commercial properties, everyone should have an opportunity to own and occupy a piece of property. Despite real estate values trending upwards, Jamaican values are still low in comparison to the rest of the Caribbean. However, there is a lot of potential growth within the industry. Issa recommends that potential buyers “secure their first purchase, watch it appreciate in value then cash-out to move on to the next neighbourhood”.


Coldwell Banker has incorporated international best practices into their services, such as drone footage and 360 video footage of properties. This is an important development to digital marketing which allows properties to be displayed in 3D. This gives potential buyers a realistic video on the layout of the property and provides as much preliminary information as possible.

Johnson believes that though this provides a significant portion of information, buyers should still come in and engage with the physical property before finalising their purchase.


Both Issa and Johnson share the following advice to encourage young millennials and other potential homeowners:

1. Save as much as possible in order to qualify for a mortgage and be able to make their first payment towards a new home.

2. Keep active in the market, scope out locations and make the move towards their first purchase.

3. Interest rates are lowest at this time. This is the best opportunity for you to evade high rental rates and purchase a property which will prove to be more value for money.

4. Look into investment properties, such as Airbnb, to maximise your value returns with real estate property.

We hope you enjoyed this feature on ‘The Future of Real Estate’ with our guests Andrew Issa, CEO, and Natalie Johnson, associate, from Coldwell Banker Realty Jamaica. You may follow their Instagram Handles @cpjrealty, @marinatty and @876forsale.

Iconic Living is a web-based series powered by PROVEN REIT that focuses on everything real estate and more. We look forward to sharing Season Two with you in the very near future.