Interviews | Exclusive Interview with Karen Thornalley: Innovating Real Estate in Mauritius with Property Finder

Interview - Karen Thornalley, Director Property Finder

1. Hello Karen. Can you tell us about the main services offered by Property Finder and what sets you apart in the Mauritian real estate market?

Property Sales: We specialize in facilitating the sale of residential and commercial properties across Mauritius, with a particular emphasis on the highly sought-after West Coast. From beachfront villas to inland estates, our extensive portfolio caters to a wide range of preferences and budgets.

Property Rentals: Whether you're in search of a long-term rental or a vacation retreat, our rental services cover an array of properties, including apartments, houses, and villas. We assist both landlords and tenants in finding the perfect rental arrangement that meets their requirements.

Property Finder stands out in the Mauritian real estate market by offering a comprehensive range of services, backed by local expertise, personalised service, exclusive access, commitment to excellence, and a passion for innovation. Whether you're buying, selling, or renting, we are your trusted partner every step of the way.

2. What's the biggest challenge you've faced since creating Property Finder, and how did you overcome it?

Property Finders biggest challenge was showing the real estate industry that we believe in building long-term relationships with our clients based on trust, transparency, and integrity. Our personalised approach ensures that each client receives individual attention and support throughout their real estate journey. Excellence is not just a goal—it's a commitment. We strive to exceed our clients' expectations at every turn, delivering exceptional service, timely communication, and results-driven solutions.

We overcame it by embracing innovation and technology to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and deliver a superior experience to our clients. By staying ahead of the curve, we ensure that our clients always receive the best possible service.

3. What are the main challenges currently facing the Mauritian real estate market, and how are you addressing them?

The real estate market in Mauritius, particularly in popular areas like the West Coast, is experiencing saturation due to a high volume of new developments. This can lead to increased competition, downward pressure on prices, and longer timeframes for property sales.
We’re also facing the lack of rental property, for foreigners coming into Mauritius and also people already living here, and the increase of rental prices.
Property Finder strives to help clients find suitable rental properties that meet their needs, preferences, and budget, despite the challenges posed by the market dynamics.

4. What is the current trend in demand for luxury goods?

The current trend in demand for luxury real estate in Mauritius is showing steady growth, fuelled by factors such as increased foreign investment, rising affluence among high-net-worth individuals, and the country's reputation as a luxury destination. Luxury properties, including beachfront villas, penthouses, and private estates, continue to attract discerning buyers seeking exclusivity, privacy, and premium amenities.

Additionally, developments offering luxury lifestyle experiences, such as integrated resorts with golf courses, spa facilities, and concierge services, are in high demand among both local and international buyers. The appeal of Mauritius as a luxury destination, coupled with its stable political environment, favourable tax policies, and high-quality infrastructure, further contributes to the demand for luxury real estate in the country.

Overall, the trend in demand for luxury goods in real estate in Mauritius remains positive, with opportunities for developers, investors, and real estate professionals to capitalise on the growing market segment and cater to the preferences of affluent buyers seeking premium properties in paradise.

5. In these difficult times for many Mauritian households, what advice would you give to those looking for a place to rent?

Set a Realistic Budget: Before beginning your search, assess your financial situation and determine how much you can afford to spend on rent each month. Consider not only the rental amount but also additional expenses such as utilities, maintenance fees, and security deposits. Setting a realistic budget will help you narrow down your options and avoid financial strain.

Prioritize Your Needs: Make a list of your must-have features and amenities in a rental property. Consider factors such as location, size, number of bedrooms, proximity to schools or workplaces, safety, and access to public transportation. Prioritizing your needs will help you focus your search and find a property that meets your requirements.

Research Thoroughly: Take the time to research available rental properties in your desired area. Explore online listings, property portals, and social media groups dedicated to rentals. Reach out to real estate agents, property managers, and landlords to inquire about available properties and schedule viewings. Be proactive in your search and consider multiple options to find the best fit for your needs.

Inspect the Property: When viewing rental properties, pay close attention to the condition of the property, including its cleanliness, maintenance, and safety features. Check for any signs of damage, pest infestations, or maintenance issues that may need to be addressed. Ask questions about the lease terms, utilities, and any additional fees or charges associated with the property.

Understand the Lease Agreement: Carefully review the terms and conditions of the lease agreement before signing. Pay attention to details such as the rental price, lease duration, security deposit requirements, pet policies, maintenance responsibilities, and termination clauses. Seek clarification on any unclear or ambiguous terms and ensure that you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant.

Seek Assistance if Needed: If you're struggling to find a rental property on your own, consider seeking assistance from a reputable real estate agency or rental agent. They can help you navigate the rental market, identify suitable properties, negotiate terms, and facilitate the rental process. While there may be associated fees for their services, the expertise and support they provide can be invaluable in finding the right rental property.

Be Flexible: In a competitive rental market, it's essential to remain flexible and open-minded in your search. Consider alternative locations, property types, or lease terms that may meet your needs while staying within your budget. Keep in mind that compromise may be necessary, but with patience and perseverance, you can find a rental property that meets your requirements and provides a comfortable living environment for you and your family.

By following these tips and taking a proactive approach to your rental search, you can navigate the challenges of finding a rental property in difficult times and secure a place to call home that meets your needs and fits your budget.

6. How do you see the Mauritian real estate market evolving over the next few years, and what opportunities might this offer?

The Mauritian real estate market is expected to continue evolving over the next few years, driven by factors such as increasing foreign investment, infrastructure development, and government initiatives to promote economic growth. Opportunities may arise in sectors such as luxury properties, sustainable developments, and niche markets catering to specific demographics or lifestyle preferences.

Additionally, emerging trends such as remote work and digital nomadism could influence demand for properties with flexible living and workspace arrangements. Overall, the evolving market presents opportunities for investors, developers, and real estate professionals to capitalize on growing demand and diversify their portfolios in the dynamic Mauritian real estate landscape.

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