Friday, October 9, 2020

The Island Brokers Are Overwhelmed

The wealthy want to escape the pandemic to a private, isolated paradise. The people who sell islands have to explain: It’s complicated.

Gladden Private Island in Belize has generated more interest than any other rental for one broker. But it has proved difficult to get clients there during the pandemic.Credit...Private Islands Inc.

Heather Murphy
New York Times

Calls and emails come in at all times of day and night. They no longer concern fun or prestige. Instead they focus on fresh water and solar panels. These were not the inquiries they had grown used to.

The island brokers are overwhelmed.

As the coronavirus pandemic has devastated countries around the world, it has upended nearly every aspect of life for everyone, including for those most insulated by money. Even the niche, ultrarich world of island commerce has been turned on its head.

“This has been the busiest two months I’ve had in 22 years of selling islands,” Chris Krolow, the chief executive of Private Islands Inc., said in July. The pace has not slowed since then, he said. The only time he has ever had anywhere near this quantity of inquiries was shortly after the disastrous Fyre Festival on Great Exuma, in the Bahamas, in 2017. Mr. Krolow said he was swamped, for some reason, with questions from “kids hoping to start their own country.”  Read more >>