When Mario Carey opened the doors of a new real estate firm on the outskirts of downtown Nassau in 2008, the global economy was reeling from a burst in the housing bubble. He sat alone with one secretary, a history as the industry’s super salesman and a dream — that he would sell luxury properties despite the market by offering extraordinary personal service, and he would find enough time to dedicate himself to autism awareness.
It was the first chapter in a book that turned out very differently. Today MCR, Mario Carey Realty, is perhaps the fastest growing real estate firm in The Bahamas and Carey, whose son has autism, serves as the very active president of the autism support group, REACH, while taking a new approach to real estate management. It is paying off.
This week he announced the appointment of nine licensed professionals, each of whom joined in recent months and all of whom share a common title new to the industry, independent contractors.
Together, they bring the total MCR staff complement to 22, including three in the appraisal department. New agents include Raymond Antonio, Marcus Bain, Lisa Carroll, Mark Carter, Katherine Jarman-Knowles, Osano Neely, J. Brooke Phillips, Andrew Seymour and Tristan White.
“We are very excited about the energy and enthusiasm that each of these agents brings to the profession,” said Carey, CIPS, CRS, CLHMS. “We are also pleased that because of the change in the BREA (Bahamas Real Estate Association) code, we are able to draw on talent that has other interests.”
Raymond Antonio, Carey noted, comes from a background in financial services, having specialized in property lending at two of the country’s largest banks, now combining that experience with property appraisals. Marcus Bain serves in a triple role — in-house photographer, personal assistant to Carey and one of the newest licensed agents. Lisa Carroll, active in her children’s school and devoted mother, believes her early business experience followed by family helps her understand buyers’ needs. She also works as the firm’s office administrator.
“Mark Carter, for instance, has years of experience in marketing and media coming from a media empire, Carter Marketing, and his experience will add to our marketing team’s efforts,” says Carey. “Brooke, who comes from a business management background, is certified in residential staging and with her partner, Ashley Brown, also an agent with MCR, has a new and exciting staging business, Upstage Bahamas which may bring clients to MCR. Osana Neely is ambitious. At 18, he wants to be known as the youngest real estate agent in The Bahamas, believing that others who are young and perhaps looking at buying their first property will identify with him. And Andrew, who is studying Accounting at COB, also works at the nightclub Aura at Atlantis. We also have Tristan White, who is a real estate agent but is working as a social media specialist in our marketing department. Kathy Knowles, who co-heads the property management division, has been in development for 15 years and holds Certified International Project Management certification. For the past year, she served as Project manager-Administration for the new extension of the PMH Hospital for the last year.”
All the new agents, said Carey, have a common thread.
“They all understand the importance of social media and they all recognize that you can be working at real estate 24 hours, 7 days a week. We have moved past Monday-Friday with banking hours in a profession that is conducted in the first search largely online. It is a new day and I am thrilled that our MCR agents understand the importance of the Internet and personal attention. We want to ensure that every agent, whatever market they are focusing on, understands that it is all about personal service and living up to our slogan, ‘We Sell Luxury.'”
Carey’s approach is also earning accolades from the international real estate community. MCR was recently awarded the highest status by www.LuxuryRealEstate.com, becoming the youngest and one of only a few firms in The Bahamas to qualify for the prestigious Who’s Who certification benefitting those who list properties with them. Carey has called that award the ‘Oscars of the real estate industry.”
MCR is a boutique company that handles sales, leasing, appraisals, property management, relocation and vacation rentals and Carey specializes in luxury properties in Ocean Club Estates and BahaMar, the New Bahamian Riviera.
Diane Phillips & Associates
Caption: Here We Grow Again – Mario Carey Realty recently expanded its staff complement with the addition of nine agents. Pictured l-r: Raymond Antonio, Marcus Bain, Lisa Carroll, Mario Carey, founder Mario Carey Realty, Brooke Phillips, Tristan White & Andrew Seymour. Not pictured are Katherine Jarman-Knowles, Mark Carter and Osano Neely. Photo by Roland Rose for DPA.