In the past week I've been called 'negative' twice by different property development companies involved in the Med-Saidia resort. You know who you are, and I'd like to respond.
What disturbed me most about these accusations is the unrealistic mind frames evident in the accusers point of view. One person's view of 'negative' is another persons 'realistic' behaviour. I am nothing if not realistic - always have been. I think what they're really trying to say is - 'stop telling the people the whole truth'. 'Stop letting people know all the "real" issues on the resort'. Well, sorry folks, in my book 'forearmed is forewarned'. Bad, ugly and good, and yes, in addition to the 'negatives', there are a whole host of 'goods' here too, and they are getting better each day, as they should. It is a huge resort, it is going to take time, we're all aware of that - but be honest.
What really gets me about my accusers is that they don't (to my knowledge) even own anything on the resort (except for maybe a piece of paper saying they have the right to the land). They have no personal long term commitment to this project. Is there anything more positive/optimitic than to buy a property on the Med-Saidia resort, as I have? I wonder why do they not put THEIR money where their mouths are? Ask your developer's salesperson which property is his - just out of curiosity ... ask where they do own properties, you might be surprised. At the end of the day, they are estate agents, and I never really liked the stereotype for estate agents previously, but actions speak louder than stereotypes.
Many people whom I have met in the last 2 years since I started publishing the blog, have thanked me for being "a source of hope". I have heard that exact expression many times - verbally and in writing. If someone else was to be passing on this honest, unbiased information, it would save the time & energy, that to be perfectly honest, I would put into working on my garden! So, by all means 'property developers' if you think you can advise people honestly and overtly of things that are happening here in Med-Saidia, please let me know and I will pass the reigns to you and get on with my gardening. Just remember though, it is better to 'under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver'.
I do step back periodically to gain a sense of perspective about what has happened on this resort since it began. What was a huge forest populated by tortoises and birds a little more than 5 years ago, is blossoming to become a fully-fledged holiday resort populated by workers and holidaymakers alike. Less than a year ago there was no post office, no banks, no supermarket, no shops and only a few restaurants on site. Today these facilities are all there and used daily by hundreds of people. It's bringing life to the entire area. We now have two huge supermarkets and a furniture shop, as well as a new lighting outlet within an hour's drive. The airport is being expanded, we have two McDonalds's restaurants that have opened nearby and more & more businesses setting up daily. Resorts of this size take time.
What frustrates me is the performance AND attitude of some of the property developers. Yes, the resort is new. Yes, the people with the necessary skills are in short supply. Yes, there is a global credit crisis happening. Yes, banks have not delivered promised and needed funds to property developers. But...
This is absolutely no excuse for appallingly bad customer service. This is no excuse for not answering customer's emails or phone calls. This is no excuse for constantly building up customer's expectations and then have them come crashing down because what was promised is not delivered. This is no excuse for failing to please your customers who have given you large amounts of money.
Out of the busy Summer season, there is a constant trickle of people who come to the stay on the resort to see for themselves what is going on. Some of the simple things that might make them believe a little more in the resort as an investment are:
1. Having the resort clean all the time, not just when someone important is coming to visit. Those people that live here now joke that such & such will get fixed or cleaned not in a number of weeks, but by who is coming to visit! What about all the investors? Should it not look good for them too? First impressions last.
2. I'll say it again. Do not over-promise and under-deliver. If you are telling people that a site will be ready for them to stay on holiday this year or in the near future - at cut rate prices, they are going to believe you ... why disappoint people like that? Tell them the truth - it's not really likely it is going to be ready this year is it!?
3. The self catering properties that are available for rental while the hotels are closed should automatically have TV and lighting in the entry stairs. This is a basic that should be made available year round, not just in the summer months. There are investors here year round, help them believe in the product. Would you want to stay in a place that doesn't have the basics available because there isn't a syndicate in place as yet?
4. If a developer has taken vast amounts of funds in deposits over the past few years for various sites within the resort, why are they not able to spend some of that money to get at least one site up & running & making an income for some of their investors at least?
5. Make things easier, not harder for people. If someone agrees with you via e-mail that they would like assistance from someone on the resort, let that be enough. Stop making things so complicated when they do not need to be, and haven't been in the past. Simple.
6. Fix peoples snags. Do not promise to do this and then never finish them. Someone has to take responsibility for this. The issues are there because of bad workmanship. It is not the fault of the purchaser. These need to be fixed in a timely manner - not left for years as has been the case for many people to date.
The Med-Saidia resort is growing in strength daily. Soon it will have an economic momentum of its own that can not be stopped. This resort will succeed, but not because of the property developers who have come and gone like drifters in a Spaghetti Western, but despite them.