Q. What do you believe to be your (or your organization’s) biggest contribution/accolade as it relates to the South Florida real estate industry or physical landscape?
A. After relocating to Miami in the early 1990’s, and spending several years immersed within the South Florida real estate culture, my partner and I opened Premier, a builder sales and marketing firm targeted at developers and projects that sought to emulate the sophistication and luxury of successful, cutting-edge New York City condos. With the underlying resort character of South Florida, this quickly evolved into a focus on internationally-branded condo hotel and hotel-serviced residential condominiums. Our first venture into this sub-market was the Starwood-branded Atlantic Hotel, which we would argue was the model to generations of luxury condo-hotel offspring that dominate the luxury condominium landscape today.
Q. Who has had the most profound impact on you, personally and professionally?
A. Professionally, I would consider Louise Sunshine of the Sunshine Group to be my mentor, constantly reminding me that successful sales and marketing is driven by managing the many different personalities and objectives of successful developers, capital sources, advertising and PR agencies, and ultimately buyers. Personally, my inspiration comes from my three nieces who seemingly excel at every social, sporting, academic and professional challenge they take on.
Q. What is your single most important professional guiding principle?
A. Everyone is a potential client, an avenue to a successful transaction, and a foundation to a long-term relationship.
Q. What does South Florida do best as a real estate market?
A. There is no meaningful real estate aristocracy in South Florida, so as a market it is best at attracting youthful developers with innovative visions of developing cities and neighborhoods of tomorrow.
Q. Where do you believe South Florida exists in its evolution as a leading market for either residential or commercial investment? What’s the next step?
A. To the extent that means a “24/7 city”, the world is chock full of such places for both residential and commercial investment. South Florida is no longer a junior varsity player on the world stage, but to qualify for the pro league, it needs to be internationally-recognized as a destination for entrepreneurial, financial and cultural investment. To accomplish this, the next steps in its evolution to the world marketplace is to expand education, housing and transportation infrastructure, and make all these factors more accessible, affordable and productive.
Q. Which Dade or Broward sub-market is most undervalued?
A. All are undervalued from a long-term perspective. On a current basis, just identify sub-markets with supply increases that exceed absorption, where incentives are increasing and projects are being canceled. Geo-fence these and subtract them from the larger market, and you’ll have a clear indication of undervalued – or perhaps underappreciated – sub-markets.
Q. What is the biggest opportunity for general economic growth in South Florida?
A. I am naturally biased toward the prospect for above average residential growth to propel the South Florida economy. While South Florida has attractive growth metrics in specific and narrowly-defined markets, the big arc of demographics in the U.S. is shaped by a maturing population with relatively large savings. South Florida has three compelling narratives that resonate with this huge population bulge: an active year-round lifestyle that fosters wellness and longevity, low taxes that benefit capital preservation and affordability, and a predictable continuing population growth that underpins residential investment as a financial planning tool. Whether younger or older, forces are shaping a shift to Florida as a place to live. These transplants may or may not bring their work with them, but they all will need a roof over their head.
Q. How do you believe the Brightline will impact the residential and commercial markets?
A. I believe it will have a positive, albeit limited, impact. If the comparatively well-developed mass transit system of the northeast U.S. serves as an example of how mass transit influences the desirability of residential or commercial development, I would argue its benefit is not in how it impacts value along the Brightline tracks, but proximate to the Brightline stations. Simply calculated, far more residential and commercial development density lies outside the Brightline corridor. There will always be a market for someone who wants “point A to B” convenience, but to have sustainable value along the tracks, Brightline needs to be proven as a successful network of transportation infrastructure. I believe that is many years off and faces some very real challenges. Brightline’s ultimate benefit is to relieve the public from the burden of commuting by car. In that sense, self-driving cars may transform commuters into armies of workers with private travelling home offices, something Brightline cannot offer.
Q. Which are you more personally more passionate about, technological advancement or the arts as it relates to South Florida’s growth?
A. That’s like asking which of your two children you like better. Both have the potential of changing the world. Q. What would be your best advice for those beginning their real estate careers in South Florida? A. Find a mentor, be passionate and committed 24/7. Real estate is not coding. To be successful you need more than a computer and a couple cans of Red Bull. You need contacts and credibility. That takes introductions and recommendations. If you’re passionate and fully committed, customers will respond to you likewise.