Years ago, we experienced a decentralization in publishing with the rise of the internet. Today, we’re on the verge of a new disruption with the arrival of the Blockchain. Like the internet, blockchain technology will change the way we engage one another financially, socially, and in business. But unlike the internet, blockchain will be adopted at a much faster pace than the internet was because the infrastructure of the internet has already been laid.
RATE OF ADOPTION
Internet adoption moved slowly, especially in third world areas like Roatan because the infrastructure did not exist and it had to be built. Blockchain technology will be developed, deployed, and adopted at much faster rates than the early rate of adoption of the internet.
An infrastructure had to be built to support the internet. For this reason, early adopters of the internet were countries who had the resources to build out their infrastructure. Unlike the internet, however, the adoption of blockchain technologies is likely to adopted by third world countries first; where financial volatility and monetary devaluation is highest. Countries with currency volatility are already leading the way in adopting blockchain technology.
A majority of all residents on Roatan already own and operate a web-enabled phone connected to the internet. In other words, a majority of all residents, who currently cannot open up a bank account, who live too far away from a bank, and who have little ability to transact in fiat currency, will be able to do so by being early adaptors to this new technology.
Changes in Business Design
Industries with predictable sales cycles (like the real estate industry) will be early adopters of digital ledgers where transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly.
New blockchain technology has the ability to guarantee a clear title to foreign investors. This is especially important in rural Roatan areas where “generation land” (land owned by multiple family members because of undivided interest practices) has been tied up in title disputes for decades. Blockchain technology will bring new land inventory to the market while boosting and attracting investor confidence.
It is almost certain that MLS databases will fade away as they are recorded on the blockchain and as real-estate transactions become more automated through smart digital contracts. A peer to peer sales model will emerge in the real estate industry. Business models with the strongest referral and peer to peer engagement will likely come out ahead and traditional brokerage firms will be a thing of the past.
SUPPLY & DEMAND
An influx of new investors and the limited supply of land on Roatan will naturally drive up real estate prices. It is important for Roatan to develop high-end real estate agents who can meet the increasing demand for premium real estate transactions.
Current Real Estate Leaders
REAL ESTATE FIRMS
There are no significant competitive advantages among existing real estate firms on Roatan. There are marginal differences in the strength of their branding as a few firms have made an investment for the rights to use a known brokerage name.
What follows are the most prominent real estate firms names on Roatan:
About Roatan Real Estate
Roatan Preferred Properties
ReMax Bay Islands
Pristine Bay Realty
ZeUs Roatan Real Estate
Margo & Matt Real Estate
Roatan Executive Realty
Roatan Best Properties
Wendy Roatan Realty
One Stop Roatan Real Estate
Roatan Life Real Estate
One of Roatan’s charm is the lack of massive hotel chains. Most hotels and resorts on Roatan are built with mini-split air conditioner units in mind and not a central cooling system. Historically it's been too expensive to install and absorb the cost of large central cooling units. And there is a good reason why central cooling units are not the norm on Roatan. The cost of electricity is too high.
Roatan Electric Company (RECO) has been the sole provider of electric power on Roatan. For years, RECO produced electricity exclusively via diesel generators, and as such, the cost of electricity on Roatan has been higher than competing markets.
In recent years, RECO has installed natural gas turbines, and a wind farm. Alongside this, solar panels are becoming less costly and more effective. Together, the cost of electricity on Roatan has become more palatable. This, along with an influx of new visitors each year, may result in the adoption of larger developments and structures cooled by central cooling systems.
Robust Online Strategy
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released new Top Level Domains (TLDs) which expand the functionality of web URLs beyond the tradition ".com," ".org," or ".net," domain extension.
Today, new TLD such as ".online," and ".dog," have created new opportunities for entire industries to be indexed and organized online by a common interest. For this reason, we began purchasing critical TLDs related to Roatan’s tourism industry a few years ago when these new TLDs first became available.
We now have just over two years of developing content and a web presence on new TLDs like “Roatan.Online” which is not ranked 13th for the Google keyword search “Roatan.” We’ve also secured the “Tourism Bureau” URLs for Roatan, Guanaja, and Utila. Collectively our tourism websites receive upwards of 50K searches each month.
There is no doubt that Honduras as a whole is behind the times. Nowhere is this more evident than in its general sophistication for content creation, online marketing, web development, photography, video creation, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In the 2015 Traveler’s Choice Awards by TripAdvisor, voted Roatan the #3 island in the entire world.
In 2015, more direct international flights were added to the regular line-up, bringing tourists from Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Toronto, Montreal, San Salvador, and Belize City all directly to our island.
CNN named Honduras one of its Top 16 Destinations for 2016, calling it one of the hottest destinations in Central America according to travel industry insiders.
Expansion to Roatan: It will turn the island of Roatan into one of the main cruise ship destination in the world. Welcoming about 400 cruises a year and more then 1.3M visitors, The Port will have commercial, cultural, artistic but also eco-tourism and conservation activities.
What follows is a short list of secondary reasons why we believe Roatan is worthy of continued investment consideration.
Roatan is a direct flight away from California, Texas, Florida, New Orleans, and New York. Further still, there are direct flights from Canada and Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Unlike the mainland of Honduras, Roatan enjoys low crime against foreigners and a stable democracy.
While the rest of Honduras speaks Spanish, Roatan is mostly bilingual with most of the local islanders being fluent in English.
Trading in Dollars is common. High-end homes are priced, bought and sold, in US Dollars. US currency is widely accepted in Roatan.
There is a low "cost to carry" a property on Roatan. Low property taxes make holding and keeping ownership of a property feasible over time.
Roatan offers year-round mild temperatures thanks to the Gulf Stream and seasonal trade winds during the winter. The average daytime highs 88 degrees with lows of 77 degrees.
Swimming and water-sports are delightful on Roatan, with ocean temperatures ranging from 74 degrees F. to 84 degrees F.
There are hundreds of miles of available oceanfront as well as mountaintop property for sale.
Real estate investing in Roatan is more informal than the U.S., but the real estate transactions are nearly the same.