Blog :: 2012

Near Tie in Golden Gates - Holiday Home Showcase

Near Golden Gates"Nearly a tie,” explained judges for the Bahamas Realty Holiday Home Showcase. “The competition was so close between the two Adderley families of Golden Gates 1 and Golden Gate 2, Nassau, that judges wished they could award a tie,” according to Showcase Co-ordinator Chandra Parker McCallum, a broker at Bahamas Realty Limited, (BRL).

“We even had to go back to the other Adderley house for a second look,” she added.In the end the top prize went to the Adderley Family of Golden Gates 2, Leeward Isles, who also won the first Home Showcase in 2011. They again win the $1000 Gift Certificate from The Builders Mall Stores and a $500 donation to the charity of their choice from Bahamas Realty. BRL President and Top Appraiser Robin Brownrigg explained the choice, “We had to go for the huge Wow! factor of the towering lighting display, featuring many scenes hand-made by the family, such as the big angels and reindeer on the roof.”

“They even had icicle lights on their antenna!” exclaimed Andrea Brownrigg, a Director and Broker at Bahamas Realty. Mrs. Brownrigg also serves as a key member of the Holiday Home Showcase Steering Committee. Returning Judge, Journalist Giovanni Stuart cited the originality, animation and colour scheme provided by the other Adderley Family, Malachi, David and Sonia Adderley, of Golden Gates 1, Entry #10. They placed second after lengthy deliberations. Brilliantly lit with purple and green lights arching around the garden, the property featured a running train complete with sound effects. The theme even continued inside the house. Second Prize is a Vacuum Cleaner from Jolly Roger and 5 Gallons of Devoe Paint from Paint Suppliers.

Placing third again are Dr. Ronald and Dr. Richelle Knowles of Eastern Road, on the Montagu Foreshore. Judges were stunned by the large area covered with decorations, with the addition of a ferris wheel for Teddy bears this year and motion in some of the lighted areas. They won a deluxe gift basket of health items from Nassau Agencies Seven Seas, a $200 gift certificate from Rocky Farms Nursery and a $100 gift certificate from A G Electric.

The other finalists were: Stephanie Bethel of #5 Village Green off Village Rd. who had falling snow reflecting off her house between two Christmas scenes and “dripping icicles;” and Timothy and Betsy Pinder of #8 Rhodope End, Woodland Subdivision, with and elegant display of white lights and hanging wreaths.

The People’s Choice category of the 2012 Bahamas Realty Holiday Home Showcase lighting competition drew 35,855 votes on Facebook. “Bahamas Realty is delighted to announce that the Aranha Family of Harbour Island, Entry #9, won the People’s Choice Award and $500 in BEC Bucks with 13,578 votes! What a lot of Ho Ho Holiday Spirit!,” reports Brian Austin, a broker at Bahamas Realty and a member of the Steering committee for the event. “The Melnechuk family of Paradise Island was the closest second with 10,428 votes, another spectacular showing,” says Mrs. Brownrigg.

The Adderley Family of Golden Gates #2, Nassau, Overall winners, also placed third in the People’s Choice category.

Judges for this community building event were: Superintendent of Police Stephen Dean and popular radio personality Gandhi Pinder of GEMS 105.9FM; Stan Burnside (Artist, Cartoonist, Educator); Elaine Pinder (Entrepreneur and CEO of Bamboo Shack & Frankie Gone Bananas); Giovanni Stuart (TV Producer, Official iReporter); Ethelyn Lundy (Landscape Architect, Interior Designer); and Robin Brownrigg (President / Chief Appraiser at Bahamas Realty).

"We are so grateful to them for taking time out of their busy holiday schedules. Their enthusiasm for this festive community building event is truly heart-warming," remarks Bahamas Realty's Holiday Home Showcase Coordinator Chandra Parker McCallum, a broker at Bahamas Realty.

Sara Parker, broker and executive producer for Bahamas Realty NOW, who created the idea of the competition last year, said, “My Santa Hat is off to Chandra for her incredible organization and execution of the event including a wonderful police escort, to the participants who devoted weeks of their lives to making it brighter for children all over the Bahamas, to the steering committee and, of course, to the sponsors who made it possible: Bahamas Realty, The Builders Mall stores, Jolly Roger and Paint Suppliers, Rocky Farms, AG Electric and Nassau Agencies Seven Seas Products and for the Facebook Peoples Choice Award, BEC!

Showcase coordinator Chandra Parker McCallum, Broker, says, “I’d like to thank each of our 14 entrants for being part of Bahamas Realty's Holiday Home Showcase. I am so pleased to see all their festive creativity. On behalf of Bahamas Realty, I thank you for making our country more magical at this most special time of year! She explains, “ Here’s how to see all the Showcase entrants, just visit www.facebook.com/bahamasrealty and then click on the People's Choice square towards the top of the page.“

“We are honored to have our esteemed and very busy judges back for the 2nd year: Stan Burnside (Artist, Cartoonist, Educator); Elaine Pinder (Entrepreneur and CEO of Bamboo Shack & Frankie Gone Bananas); Giovanni Stuart (TV Producer, Official iReporter); Ethelyn Lundy (Landscape Architect, Interior Designer); and standing in for her husband, Robin, this year is Andrea Brownrigg (Director at Bahamas Realty, Broker).”

“As Showcase Coordinator again, the best part has been hearing the story of each wonderful family y and getting to know so many of our brave men and women of the Police who came along to be part of this community event. There were a few surprises this year, including a short power outage which changed our schedule but turned out to be a blessing, as when we returned there was a busload of carolers serenading the winning home. I couldn't have planned it better," she laughs.

“This year the competition was particularly interesting. In then end it came down to originality... The first prize family use welding and woodworking skills to make new decorations each year, which over time has built up a display of impressive scale. The second prize family had so much animation and detail, so it really was difficult for the judges this year."

"Next year we hope to create additional categories to encourage more entries who won't need to compete directly with either Adderley family.”

Here’s a Tip from the Top for taking Christmas Light Photos: “Start snapping away before dusk and keep taking a digital photo every few minutes. There will come a point where the lights glow brightly but you can still make out the home.... That's the shot you'll want to use on next year’s Christmas Card!” urges Sara Parker, broker, whose idea launched the Bahamas Realty Holiday Home Showcase campaign last year, “in memory of that brilliant little house on Shirley St.”

Thousands vote overnight!

Holiday Home ShowcaseThousands of votes were cast overnight on Facebook in the People’s Choice Award category of Bahamas Realty’s 2012 Holiday Home Show Case Lighting Competition. The entry with the most Facebook votes wins $500 BEC Bucks. Showcase coordinator Chandra Parker McCallum, Broker, says, “I’d like to thank each of our 14 entrants for being part of Bahamas Realty's Holiday Home Showcase. I am so pleased to see all their festive creativity. On behalf of Bahamas Realty, I thank you for making our country more magical at this most special time of year! “The voting for the People's Choice Award on Facebook is heating up. Just last night, I saw the lead change despite one entrant being more than 200 votes ahead! So, if you are behind at the moment, don't be daunted in the least. The deadline for voting is not until 8 pm on December 18th! The Spanish Wells entrant got about 2,000 votes overnight!” She explains, “ Here’s how to vote: If you are on Facebook visit www.facebook.com/bahamasrealty and then click on the People's Choice square towards the top of the page. If you are not on Facebook, ask friends and family to do it for you. The more you vote, comment and share the better chance you have to win the prize for this category of $500 in BEC Bucks. And, remember to return to the Facebook page often!” She continued, “We have yet to select the five finalists in the main competition, but I must tell you, it will be very difficult to pick just five for the judging on Dec. 18! “

Prizes also are adding up for the popular promotion. The latest is a $200 gift certificate from Rocky Farms Nursery, just added to the 3rd prize package” says Mrs. Parker-McCallum. The Grand Prize is $1,000 gift certificate from Builder's Mall stores and a $500 donation from Bahamas Realty to the charity of the winner’s choice (from approved list). The main portion of the competition is open to Nassau and Paradise Island locations, as the top five finalists will be judged in person on the evening of December 18.

The People's Choice Award is open to the entire Bahamas and the prize of $500 in BEC Bucks has certainly gotten the ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ flying on Facebook. Vote December now through Dec. 18 at www.facebook.com/bahamasrealty,” says Mrs. Parker- McCallum “It's not a photo contest, but the People's Choice Award will be judged on Facebook by the public. It could come down to who has the most active friends on Facebook, sharing and liking their entry photo,” the realtor reports. “We are honored to have our esteemed and very busy judges back for the 2nd year: Stan Burnside (Artist, Cartoonist, Educator); Elaine Pinder (Entrepreneur and CEO of Bamboo Shack & Frankie Gone Bananas); Giovanni Stuart (TV Producer, Official iReporter); Ethelyn Lundy (Landscape Architect, Interior Designer); and standing in for her husband, Robin, this year is Andrea Brownrigg (Director at Bahamas Realty, Broker).” Recalling his judging experience last year fondly, Giovanni Stuart remarked "I was amazed at the unique Christmas creativity showcased by all the families. It was a tough call, but of course, it was Lucky 13 that won in the end! I'm looking forward to seeing much more island cheer and this year's ultimate Bahamas Winter Wonderland." “As Showcase Coordinator again, the best part will be reconnecting with the wonderful families and judges I got to know last year, and of course, anticipating the festive surprises in store for us this year. We've had visions of Christmas lights dancing in our heads for months here at Bahamas Realty, as we worked to coordinate the Holiday Home Showcase and now it's almost time to see who the finalists will be!”

Entries don't need to be elaborate, she says, “We are looking for the ‘jolly factor’ and how it makes us feel when viewed from the street. We hope this competition encourages more of us to decorate, making the Bahamas festive and magical for our children at this most special time of year.”

2012 Holiday Home Showcase sponsors are: Builders Mall stores on Wulff Rd. (Tile King, FYP and The Paint Centre, plus Liquid Courage in Palmdale); BEC, Jolly Roger and Paint Suppliers, Shirley St.; AG Electric, Jerome Ave; Seven Seas, Nassau Agencies, and Rocky Farms Nursery.

Here’s a Tip from the Top for taking Christmas Light Photos: “Start snapping away before dusk and keep taking a digital photo every few minutes. There will come a point where the lights glow brightly but you can still make out the home.... That's the shot you'll want to use on next year’s Christmas Card!” urges Sara Parker, broker, whose idea launched the campaign last year, “in memory of that brilliant little house on Shirley St. The one we all took our children to see.”

Bahamas is Open For Business

BahamasWeekly – June 6 2012 Nassau, The Bahamas – The Minister of Financial Services, the Hon. Ryan Pinder says that he wants the world to know that The Bahamas is ‘open for business.’ After noting his ‘humility’ at being entrusted with heading the reinstated ministry, Mr. Pinder said he is ready to do his part in the newly elected government’s plan to expand the economy.

These remarks were made during his contribution to the 2012/2013-budget debate currently taking place in the House of Assembly.

“I am humbled by the decision of the Right Honourable Prime Minister for selecting me to be the Minister of Financial Services. In the Prime Minister’s prior administration, it was he that had the progressive vision to create the Ministry of Financial Services – setting the way for regional competitors to mimic his method of governance. Thank you Prime Minister for the trust in continuing your legacy, I promise, I will not let you down.”

Mr. Pinder said that with the ‘reintroduction’ of the ministry, several areas will be addressed including the portfolios of 1) the financial services industry, 2) establishment of The Bahamas as an International Arbitration Sector, 3) Trade development and promotion, and 4) industrial expansion and promotion. He said that previously, the financial services industry was underserved, resulting in the ‘suffering’ of the industry. “For the last 5 reporting cycles, the Bahamas has fallen in the rankings of The Global Financial Centres Index,” said Mr. Pinder. “The Bahamas has fallen from being ranked 59, to 64, to 67, to 72 and now to 75 in the most recent report. We are listed 10 th out of the top 10 offshore centres.”

He said that the government’s current mandate will be to ensure that the financial services industry will not merely be “Better in the Bahamas” but it will be “Best in the Bahamas”. “We have a plan; we are building a great team.” Included in those plans are:

1) the development of medium and long term marketing and promotional plans for the financial services industry in The Bahamas for all sectors, including Banking, Trusts, Private Equity Funds, Investment Funds, Insurance, Registered Entities, Ship Registry, Aircraft Registry and International Arbitration;

2) The analysis of the international competitive landscape and development of a strategy position for growth and strengthening of the industry;

3). The development of an initiative focused on the rebranding of The Bahamas as a major International Financial Centre;

4). Liaising with the Attorney General’s Office for the development and improvement of existing legislative toolkit, including dialogue with and assist the Registrar General’s office on issues of operational efficiency and service.

5). To organise and participate in promotional tours and to establish and deepen relationships with international advisors in co-ordination with BFSB.

6). In coordination with the industry groups and the College of the Bahamas, to encourage and develop internationally recognised training programs to improve the quality of locally available staffing in the financial services industry, and to establish training and education to help define career paths for Bahamians in the financial services industry.

7). To advance and promote financial services in the domestic market in accordance with international standards (retail banking, insurance, credit and other financial services). This will provide the basis to assess the needs and concerns of independent service providers and to develop a programme for the promotion of entrepreneurship in the financial services industry.

“These are some of our initial plans in the Ministry of Financial Services for the development of the financial services industry, providing an expanded industry, creating employment and career development opportunities, all for the best interest of Bahamians.”

Last Night to Take Your Photo & Enter To Win!

We're counting down the last hours to submit your entries for Bahamas Realty's Holiday Home Showcase 2012! The entry deadline is 4pm Wednesday December 12th and excitement is building as more prizes continue to be announced. The latest is a $200 gift certificate from Rocky Farms Nursery, just added to the 3rd prize package.

The Grand Prize is $1,000 gift certificate from Builder's Mall and a $500 donation from Bahamas Realty to the charity of the winners choice (from approved list). The main portion of the competition is open to Nassau and Paradise Island locations, as the top 5 finalists will be judged in person on the evening of December 18th.

However, our friends in the Family Islands and Grand Bahama may enter to win The People's Choice Award. This is open to the entire Bahamas and the prize of $500 in BEC Bucks will certainly get the "Likes" and "Shares" flying on Facebook. Vote December 13th - 18th at www.facebook.com/bahamasrealty.

I encourage anyone who has decorated outside even a little, to snap one photo and send it in. It's easy! Submit entries by email to holiday@bahamasrealty.bs , drop off at Bahamas Realty's office on East Bay St. just before Waterloo and now you can enter on on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/bahamasrealty!

It's not a photo contest, but the People's Choice Award will be judged on Facebook by the public. It could come down to who has the most active friends on Facebook, sharing and liking their entry photo.

We are honoured to have our esteemed and very busy judges back for the 2nd year: Stan Burnside (Artist, Cartoonist, Educator); Elaine Pinder (Entrepreneur and CEO of Bamboo Shack & Frankie Gone Bananas); Giovanni Stuart (TV Producer, Official iReporter); Ethelyn Lundy (Landscape Architect, Interior Designer); and standing in for her husband, Robin, this year is Andrea Brownrigg (Director at Bahamas Realty, Broker).

Recalling his judging experience last year fondly, Giovanni Stuart remarked "I was amazed at the unique Christmas creativity showcased by all the families. It was a tough call, but of course, it was Lucky 13 that won in the end! I'm looking forward to seeing much more island cheer and this year's ultimate Bahamas Winter Wonderland."

As Showcase Coordinator again, the best part will be reconnecting with the wonderful families and judges I got to know last year, and of course, anticipating the festive surprises in store for us this year. We've had visions of Christmas lights dancing in our heads for months here at Bahamas Realty, as we worked to coordinate the Holiday Home Showcase and now it's almost time to get the entries up on Facebook and see who the finalists will be!

Entries don't need to be elaborate. We are looking for the "jolly factor" and how it makes us feel when viewed from the street. We hope this competition encourages more of us to decorate, making the Bahamas festive and magical for our children at this most special time of year.

Thank you to our sponsors: Builders Mall stores on Wulff Rd. (Tile King, FYP and The Paint Centre plus Liquid Courage); Jolly Roger and Paint Suppliers, Shirley St.; AG Electric, Jerome Ave; Seven Seas, Nassau Agencies, Rocky Farms Nursery and of course BEC, for The People’s Choice!

Bahamas Realty Names 2012 Top Producers & Employee of the Year

Employee of the YearSilvina Andrews is Bahamas Realty’s Overall Top Producer for 2012 with Pyper Gordon Pyper as Top Leasing Agent and Sara Parker as Top Producer for Exclusive Listings. James Bernard won the Most Improved Agent title.

Linden Moncur is the new Employee of the Year, chosen from the salaried employees of the 63-year-old company.

“We are very proud of the performance of these top agents, and Linden Moncur who has been with Bahamas Realty nearly all his working life,” says Bahamas Realty CEO Larry Roberts.

Overall Top Producer--Silvina Andrews This is the third time Mrs. Andrews, Sales Associate and a Million Dollar Broker, has won Top Producer for Bahamas Realty. She also has won Most Improved Agent. She shares insight into this market and her achievement in a difficult year: "The biggest challenge this past year was simply not having the number of clients that I would usually see through referrals and advertising. With the instability of the market, buyers have difficulty making the commitment. “In this business it’s important to work smart and not spread yourself thin. Real Estate is a service industry and clients will remember the entire experience so I take the time to step out of the box and make their experience memorable. Purchasing a home should be fun and exciting so I try very hard to take on the stress so the client doesn't have to. “During these difficult times its also been difficult for buyers to find financing. I've had a couple of experiences this year in the luxury market where financing fell through, but thankfully I have built relationships during my time in this business and with the clients' trust, we managed to make it work. Some good luck is always helpful as well!! "

Silvina, a "Million Dollar Broker”, was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she lived until she and her family moved to Canada to complete her education. She joined Bahamas Realty in 1996 and went on to receive her Broker's license in 1999.

Top Producer--Leasing, Pyper Parker Mrs. Pyper Gordon Parker, Broker and Sales Associate, credits “Referrals and relationships” for her outstanding performance. She has won Top Producer in Leasing virtually every year. In 2011 she swept the Top Producer Awards as Top Producer in Sales, Top Producer in Leasing and Most Improved Agent. She explains, “ I was just born organized. I give good service and that results in loads of referrals. With three school age daughters, I am the master of multi-tasking.”

A California native, she lived there until 1996. She began working at Bahamas Realty in 1999 and has become a consistent Top Producer in Real Estate Sales and Rentals. Pyper is a Certified Real Estate Specialist (CRS) in addition to her BRI qualification. She has also qualified as a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). She has maintained a California Real Estate License since 1998, staying current with state requirements and continuing education.

Top Producer--Most Exclusive Listings, Sara Parker Mrs. Sara S. Parker, Broker and Sales Associate, gives credit for her Top Producer of Exclusive Listings Award to “Bahamas Realty NOW,” the home and garden style TV show for which she is executive producer and host, about to start its 6th season. “The show airs twice weekly so I am now recognized just about everywhere I go. People remember my name and contact me to list their properties exclusively, which makes them eligible for the MLS and for inclusion in our show.”

Mrs. Parker is a “Million Dollar Broker.” Born in Missouri, USA, Mrs. Parker has lived in the Bahamas for more than 40 years and has worked with Bahamas Realty since 2006. She is a graduate in Journalism and Home Economics from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Married to noted Olympic Track and Field Coach Keith Holland Parker, MBE, she is a former Associate Editor of “The Bahamas Handbook”; former Real Estate Editor and Special Features Editor of “The Nassau Guardian” and a founding partner of P.S. Advertising and Public Relations.

Most Improved Agent--James C. Bernard Most Improved Agent James C. Bernard, Appraiser and Sales Associate, is a graduate of Virginia Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Real Estate Management. He worked in Washington D.C. with the largest real estate management company in the eastern USA for several years before returning to the Bahamas to continue his real estate career. An avid fisherman, James and his team represented The Bahamas at the IGFA Offshore World Championships in Cabo, Mexico, in 2010 and 2011, bringing home the second place trophy both years, competing against over 70 teams from over 30 different countries. He looks forward to participating again in the 2013 Championship for which he has qualified.

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR--Linden Moncur Employee of the Year 2012 Linden Moncur, from Cat Island, started working with Bahamas Realty in 1996 as a painter. “It’s hard to define Linden’s job. He is a mainstay of the company, always willing to go the extra mile to be helpful to our clients and other employees, “ says BRL Director Donnie Martinborough, head of the company’s very successful commercial section.

“Achieving Employee of the Year signifies someone very special, highly respected by his fellow staff members. His enthusiasm and work ethic make him a role model and I salute him,” said Bahamas Realty President Robin Brownrigg, the nation’s leading appraiser. The Bahamas Realty Employee of the Year is chosen from the salaried employees by all the employees of the company. Last year Michelle Fielder won the title.

President Brownrigg, said of the Top Producers, “ Silvina and Pyper are both consistent top achievers, leaders in the industry, exemplary in achieving the most well balanced performances of all our agents. Listings are a key component of our business and we congratulate Sara for bringing in so many. We hope other agents will follow her lead. James is a newcomer in sales and we are just amazed at his success in high end properties. I congratulate them all. “

Father James Palacious was guest speaker for BRL’s Staff Appreciation event held at The Nassau Yacht Club.

BAHAMAS REALTY’S TOP PRODUCERS 2012--It was “Ladies’ Night” at Bahamas Realty’s 2012 Staff Appreciation event with all three “Top Producers” being very busy working women. Winners and Company Directors are: (From Left) Director Gordon Wilde; perennial Top Producer --Leasing Pyper Gordon Parker, broker; Overall Top Producer Silvina Andrews, broker; CEO and Director Larry Roberts; President and Director Robin Brownrigg; Top Producer--Most Exclusive Listings Sara S. Parker, broker; and Most Improved Agent James Bernard, appraiser and sales associate.

All Systems Go for 2nd Annual Bahamas Realty Holiday Home Showcase Lighting Competition

Holiday Home“You already can see more Christmas lights than usual going up along Nassau streets. So, we are confident that our Second Annual Bahamas Realty Holiday Home Showcase lighting competition will be even more popular than last year. We want to encourage everyone to brighten the season with as much HOHO Holiday Spirit as they can,” says Robin Brownrigg, President of the 63-year old company on East Bay St., Nassau.

“What counts in this competition is the brightness of the idea and the joy it conveys to all!” says Bahamas Realty Broker Chandra Parker McCallum, who spearheads the event again this year. “It doesn’t matter whether your property is a huge estate or a small apartment… we are looking for what I dubbed the ‘Jolly Factor’ to determine the finalists and ultimately the winners. We have even more prizes this year to reward the winners for their efforts, with all the previous sponsors staying involved and others are joining in,” she reports.

“Our grand prize is another $1000 gift certificate from the stores of Builder’s Mall, Wulff Rd. and a $500 charitable donation from Bahamas Realty to the winner’s favourite charity. Other prizes include a vacuum cleaner and five gallons of Devoe Paint from Jolly Roger and Paint Suppliers, Shirley St; A super-deluxe basket of health products from Seven Seas and gift certificates from A. G. Electric on Jerome Ave., and Rocky Farms, Prince Charles Dr., and Liquid Courage, Palmdale.”

Bahamas Realty CEO Larry Roberts recalls the origin of the idea in a sales meeting last year, “We were reminiscing about the wonderful Christmas lights that used to cover that little house on Shirley St., and missing them, so we decided to try to inspire more home owners to brighten the season through a holiday lighting competition. We’re sure the thousands of dollars in prizes will help, too!”

"A sales meeting and a shared childhood memory fueled the spark that led to a flame of enthusiasm. It spread like wildfire through the office of Bahamas Realty to the streets of Nassau. In just three weeks, a team of committed agents took an idea for brightening the Bahamas at Christmas, implemented it and held an island wide Holiday Home Showcase competition, with the assistance of five passionate judges,” says Andrea Brownrigg, a Bahamas Realty director and a founding member of the steering committee for the Showcase.

Lindsey Cancino, Financial Controller for Bahamas Realty, announces, “ The deadline for entries this year is Dec.12. Remember, all you need to do to enter is fill out the short simple entry form and turn it in along with ONE photo or enter by email at: holiday@bahamasrealty.bs.” Entry forms are available now at Bahamas Realty offices in Nassau, their Port Lucaya office in Grand Bahama, on facebook and from participating sponsors.

For logistical reasons, Family Island entrants are only eligible for the People’s Choice Award, which the public can vote for by liking entry photos as they are posted on Bahamas Realty’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bahamasrealty. “This portion of the competition was really competitive last year on Facebook” says Brian Austin, one of the Bahamas Realty agents who supervised the count at the voting deadline.

Sara Parker, broker, creator and host of Bahamas Realty NOW” came up with the idea of the lighting competition “after listening to the memories of Christmas Past at our sales meeting. The sponsors of our show jumped in as prize givers. Just about everyone at Bahamas Realty quickly got involved with making the idea into reality last year.”

Look for details, tips and last years’ winners in the December Bahamas Realty Now TV show airing each Monday at 7 p.m.on JCN Cable Chanel 14 and each Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ZNS TV-13 on Cable Chanel 11.

Bahamas Realty Commercial Director Donnie Martinborough has his crew working on the company’s own new look in lights which will turn on for the first time Dec. 7 during the company’s traditional staff tree trimming party on East Bay St.

“Santa and our lights created quite a traffic jam last year. We hope to top it this year,” says Mrs. Parker-McCallum. “But, remember, Holiday Home Showcase entries don’t have to be elaborate. We just want every household to participate however they can to share the joy of the Season. If you can’t enter, pick up an entry form and encourage your neighbour to enter. ”

IRS Says Offshore Effort Tops $5 Billion, Announces New Details on the Voluntary Disclosure Program

IRS WASHINGTON – June 26 2012: The Internal Revenue Service today announced that its offshore voluntary disclosure programs have exceeded the $5 billion mark and released new details regarding the voluntary disclosure program announced in January, including tightening the eligibility requirements.

"We continue to make strong progress in our international compliance efforts that help ensure honest taxpayers are not footing the bill for those hiding assets offshore," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "People are finding it tougher and tougher to keep their assets hidden in offshore accounts."

Shulman said the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure programs have so far resulted in the collection of more than $5 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties from 33,000 voluntary disclosures made under the first two programs. In addition, another 1,500 disclosures have been made under the new program announced in January.

The voluntary disclosure programs are part of a wider effort by the IRS to stop offshore tax evasion and ensure tax compliance. This includes beefed up enforcement, criminal prosecution and implementation of third-party reporting through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

The IRS also closed a loophole that’s been used by some taxpayers with offshore accounts. Under existing law, if a taxpayer challenges in a foreign court the disclosure of tax information by that government, the taxpayer is required to notify the U.S. Justice Department of the appeal.

The IRS said that if the taxpayer fails to comply with this law and does not notify the U.S. Justice Department of the foreign appeal, the taxpayer will no longer be eligible for the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). The IRS also put taxpayers on notice that their eligibility for OVDP could be terminated once the U.S. government has taken action in connection with their specific financial institution.

Additional details of these eligibility issues are available in a new set of questions and answers released today on the current OVDP, which was announced in January (see IR-2012-5). The IRS reopened the OVDP following continued strong interest from taxpayers and tax practitioners after the closure of the 2011 and 2009 programs.

This program – which helps bring people back into the tax system -- will be open for an indefinite period until otherwise announced. The program is similar to the 2011 program in many ways, but with a few key differences. Unlike last year, there is no set deadline for people to apply. However, the terms of the program could change at any time going forward.

Under the current OVDP, the offshore penalty has been raised to 27.5 percent from 25 percent in the 2011 program. The reduced penalty categories of 5 percent and 12.5 percent are still available.

NAI Bahamas and Bahamas Realty CEO, Larry Roberts, achieves SIOR Designation from Society of Indutri

(Nassau, Bahamas) —Larry Roberts, SIOR and CEO of NAI Bahamas, the commercial division of Bahamas Realty Limited, has achieved the SIOR office designation awarded by the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®. SIOR is a Washington, DC-based international professional organization of more than 3,000 commercial real estate professionals, 2,800 of whom have earned the coveted SIOR designation.

To achieve the SIOR designation, Larry Roberts, SIOR completed at least five years of creditable experience in the highly specialized field of office real estate; met stringent education requirements; and demonstrated professional ability, competency, ethical conduct, and personal integrity. Mr. Roberts has been a licensed real estate Broker in the Bahamas for 43 years.

Individuals who hold the SIOR designation are top producers in the commercial real estate field and are represented in more than 630 cities in 29 countries around the world. SIOR enforces a strict code of ethics and required designees to complete its ethics course within their first three years of membership.

Mr. Roberts attended the SIOR Spring Conference on Miami Beach recently where he was formally introduced as an SIOR member. In addition to the SIOR designation Mr. Roberts is also a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and a member of The International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI).

In August of last year Bahamas Realty Commercial joined NAI Global as its exclusive member for The Bahamas. Bahamas Realty Commercial is now known as NAI Bahamas. NAI Global is one of the world's leading providers of commercial real estate services with a Network of 5,000 professionals and 350 offices in 55 countries. In Latin America & The Caribbean NAIGlobal is the foremost and largest Commercial Real Estate Service Provider with 33 offices in 13 countries, offering services from traditional brokerage to MAI Appraisal, Lease Administration, Portfolio Management and Audit, Investment Services, Hospitality Consulting, Logistics/Supply Chain Solutions, Project Management, Design Build and Sustainability LEED Design Consulting, among others. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR) is a global professional organization that certifies commercial real estate service providers with the exclusive SIOR designation. Individuals who earn their SIOR designation adhere to the highest levels of accountability and ethical standards. Only the industry’s top professionals qualify for the SIOR. Today, there are 3,000 SIOR members in 630 cities in 29 countries. www.sior.com