Real estate experts are lauding an innovative move to go online with public auctions. The first online public auction will go live Friday, July 10.
Kevin Nightingale, general manager of Total Credit Services (TCS), a member company of the Jamaica National Group, predicts that this digital platform will encourage more persons to tap into the market and open the gateway for Jamaicans in the diaspora to participate.
“Over the past two years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of properties being sold at the auction. During our last financial year, we saw an increase of about 98 per cent in the number of properties we sold in our auction processes,” he informed.
“For some reason the market is really seeking to embrace the auction process and I believe that this platform will only seek to enhance that trend, which we believe that is where we are heading,” he said.
Mr Nightingale made the observation while a panelist on a webinar about “Online Property Auctions :A New Way to Invest in Jamaica’s Real Estate.”
Andrew James, president of the Realtors Association of Jamaica; and managing director of AS James & Associates Real Estate Dealer & Appraiser, said that the online platform provides convenience.
“There is no longer need for persons to go to a physical location. You can go to a place, where you can stay home and purchase a property. That is where we are going,” he informed.
He also noted that this is a good time to invest in real estate, as the interest rate is at its lowest.
“However, what we have found is that there is still not enough properties on the market for sale. Prices are not being reduced; and, therefore, properties are in demand. Now, we find a lot of persons overseas looking at investing more in Jamaica than before,” he said.
Sheldon Powe, founder and chief executive officer of Innovate 10X said that the platform will revolutionize how auctioning is done as you no longer have to go to a physical location
“Properties that have gone into distress, what we are bringing is that we can advertise the property to a larger audience including the Jamaican Diaspora worldwide and offer convenience to bid from anywhere which leads to a better chance of the owner’s property being sold at a fair price,” he said.
He also highlighted that a number of real estate developers have intentions of using the Auction Platform as a new way of generating sales, especially for pre-construction deals. This will increase the number and type of properties available on the platform and increase user participation.
Marc Ramsey, attorney-at-law and legal advisor to Innovate 10X, said the platform was long in coming. “This is not only a COVID solution, it is a solution that Jamaica needed for a long time. I want everyone to take advantage of this platform.”
He noted that the online auction is safe and legal and adheres to three pieces of legislation – the Real Estate Dealers and Developers Act; the Conveyancing Act and the Registration of Titles Act.
“Based on these primary pieces of legislation, there is nothing in any of them that prevents an online auction from taking place providing that the usual requirements are met,” he said such as having a licensed auctioneer.
Addressing the issue of data protection, Mr Powe assured that bidders’ information are secure and are only shown on a needs to know basis.
The online property can be accessed at www.jpenweb.com . To participate in the auction, persons will need to register. The registration is expected to last for six months.
The first auction took place last month. The platform allows participants to go on the platform and see the bids for properties.
Some of the features of the platform include electronic submission of required documents for entry and a real time bidder screen, which will display the offer coming in on a property.