Malta Sotheby’s International Realty may only be a year old but its database of luxury properties is growing fast, with a selection of some of the most jaw-dropping put together in the first edition of a 100-page publication, Portfolio.
“Earlier this month, we beat other agencies who have been around for considerably longer and were given sole agency for a pair of joined apartments in Portomaso,” managing director Michael Zammit said.
“We are aspiring to become the recognised experts for this segment. We have already carved out our niche in the luxury property market – which does not only mean very expensive ones but also ones which are top quality. We cater for people who are looking for a lifestyle.”
The real estate agency, part of the CSB Group he co-owns, was the latest one in Malta to sign up with an international entity, Sotheby’s International, which has 700 offices in more than 50 countries. Its media partners include The New York Times, the Financial Times and the South China Morning Post, to name but a few.
“The network generates over 7,500 referrals a year, and in fact, one recently resulted in a €12,000 a month rental at Tigné Point,” he said.
The real estate agency, part of the CSB Group, was the latest one in Malta to sign up with an international entity, Sotheby’s International, which has 700 offices in more than 50 countries
It has been an exciting – and busy – year for the franchise. It sent representatives to an event in Taiwan last month, to the south of France a few weeks ago, to Jersey last week and to Moscow soon. Of course, the network – and events like conferences – are a very effective way to market properties overseas. But the glossy publication, supported by several high-end brands, is a great way to complement this approach.
The first edition was put together by marketing executive Diane Borg Bascetta and creative design executive Alan Cini. The intention is to publish it twice a year. It will be distributed through key channels such as the La Valette Club, the yacht club and golf club, the diplomatic corps, and even operators of private jets.
“There are many lifestyle offerings in Malta and we are targeting the publication through them,” Ms Borg Bascetta said.
An online, flip-through, interactive version is also available to ensure effective worldwide dissemination.
The next step will be to create video walk-throughs of the properties.
The glossy publication, supported by several high-end brands, is a great way to complement this approach
“Sotheby’s International has found videos to be much more effective than just photos. And of course, the video will not just feature the property itself,” Mr Cini explained.
“We will use drones to take footage of the entire area to give the whole lifestyle context. For example, if you are considering an apartment at Portomaso, imagine how much more impact it would have if you could show the marina, hotel facilities and so on.”
Just as Malta Sotheby’s International Realty benefits from its international principle, it also benefits from its links to owner CSB Group.
“The CSB Group has built up a solid reputation over the last 27 years, catering to a predominantly international client base. We are an approved agent for the Individual Investor Programme – better known as the citizenship scheme – and are able to offer complementary services like relocation and tax advice,” Mr Zammit said.
There is a buzz about the luxury property market at the moment, with Malta raising its profile on the international horizon, attracting the attention of a whole new cohort of high net worth individuals for the first time.
“The group is seeing a conversion rate of around 20 per cent, which is very encouraging,” Mr Zammit said.
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Affluent consumers more likely to purchase lifestyle property
Affluent consumers in the UK, US, Brazil and China are more likely to buy a lifestyle property now than they were five years ago – and they are more likely to make a lifestyle property their primary residence.
Sotheby’s International Realty’s report on luxury lifestyles also found that a waterfront property was the most sought-after, accounting for 42 per cent of all searches – and 48 per cent of search in Europe – followed by 21 per cent for mountain. The report also looked at the factors influencing a real estate purchase and found that 39 per cent consider family needs, 36 per cent look at location, 34 per cent take into account the return on investment and 32 per cent lifestyle. In fact, between 89 per cent and 99 per cent of them said that yielding a return on investment was a key factor.
The respondents chose ‘investor’ as they best way to describe themselves and had purchased an average of two properties in the past three years.
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