Ocean Drive - - Contents July/august 2017 - BY ROBYN A. FRIED­MAN

Mi­ami real es­tate bro­kers—sell­ing ev­ery­thing from six-fig­ure con­dos in Edge­wa­ter to Tommy Hil­figer’s $27.5 mil­lion Golden Beach man­sion—have adapted their ways to 2017’s mar­ket.

Ask 10 real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als about the state of the mar­ket right now, and you’ll likely get 10 dif­fer­ent an­swers. That’s be­cause the Greater Mi­ami mar­ket is hy­per-lo­cal. Lux­ury water­front con­do­mini­ums in Sofi may be all the rage, for ex­am­ple, while far­ther north, sales might be more chal­leng­ing.

“The mar­ket is do­ing much bet­ter than 2016,” says Dora Puig, bro­ker/owner of Luxe Liv­ing Realty in Mi­ami Beach (do­ra­puig .com). “But I find it to be a con­fus­ing mar­ket. You have a record sale like the one I just did, and then you have peo­ple slash­ing prices and sell­ing low.”

Puig sold a tear­down on a 13,408-square-foot lot on West Dilido Drive for $10 mil­lion that set a record for a land sale in the Vene­tian Is­lands. Her buyer plans to build a 7,600-square-foot home on the site and is work­ing with in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned South African ar­chi­tec­ture firm SAOTA to de­sign it.

But real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als re­port that 2017 is al­ready siz­ing up to be bet­ter than last year. One rea­son is that sell­ers are ad­just­ing prices—cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for buy­ers. “As soon as a seller

be­comes flex­i­ble, we see move­ment,” says Eddy Martinez, CEO of World­wide Prop­er­ties (world­wide­prop­er­ “But there has to be a nice price break for the buyer to make a move.”

Martinez re­cently sold a condo at Mu­rano at Portofino that had been on the mar­ket for eight months at $2.9 mil­lion, but ul­ti­mately went at a dis­count of $300,000. “Once the sell­ers started be­ing not so firm on their price, it traded,” he says.

Mon­ica Be­tan­court, a real es­tate agent with EWM Realty In­ter­na­tional (mon­i­ca­betan­, re­ports that prop­er­ties in good con­di­tion priced at $600,000 or be­low are sell­ing quickly, many with mul­ti­ple of­fers, be­cause there’s lit­tle in­ven­tory and pent-up de­mand. But lux­ury homes are an­other story, since many are over­priced, she notes. Be­tan­court re­cently sold a spec­tac­u­lar home in Pinecrest for $3.3 mil­lion in only four months—af­ter it


had lan­guished for over a year with an­other bro­ker­age at $4.2 mil­lion.

Con­dos are sell­ing as well—when they are priced com­pet­i­tively. Nancy Batch­e­lor, a se­nior vice pres­i­dent with EWM (nancy batch­e­, agrees. “A neigh­bor­hood is hot if buy­ers can get good deals,” Batch­e­lor says. “Brick­ell is strong, and we’re sell­ing a lot in Edge­wa­ter now. Young pro­fes­sion­als are at­tracted to that area, and it’s been a good op­por­tu­nity.”

Other ar­eas draw­ing buy­ers are Surf­side, Bal Har­bour, and Sunny Isles, says Bryan Sereny, se­nior di­rec­tor of lux­ury sales for Dou­glas El­li­man (bil­land­bryan­team.el­li­ “That stretch has a num­ber of brand-new build­ings and some fan­tas­tic val­ues,” he says.

Buy­ers are a mix of Amer­i­cans—many of whom are re­lo­cat­ing for tax pur­poses—and for­eign­ers, who are be­gin­ning to re-en­ter the mar­ket. “For­eign buy­ers pop up from all over the world, whether it’s for a fa­vor­able ex­change rate, a de­sire to re­lo­cate to the US for safety or sta­bil­ity or cap­i­tal flight,” says Jill Hertzberg of The Jills team at Cold­well Banker (the­ She and her part­ner, Jill Eber, closed $103 mil­lion in sales through the be­gin­ning of May and are cur­rently mar­ket­ing the $27.5 mil­lion Golden Beach es­tate owned by fash­ion mogul Tommy Hil­figer and his wife, Dee. To ac­com­mo­date the in­flux of in­ter­na­tional buy­ers, re­port­edly some 81 condo tow­ers in Mi­ami-dade with over 8,000 units have gone up in the last six years east of I-95, ac­cord­ing to cranespot­

Still, in such a vari­able en­vi­ron­ment, mar­ket­ing can pose a chal­lenge. Peggy Fucci, CEO of Oneworld Prop­er­ties (ow­p­bro­, is cre­at­ing pro­fes­sional life­style videos to show­case her projects. “There’s a sto­ry­line, al­most like a com­mer­cial,” she says. “We find that peo­ple con­nect a lot more by watch­ing in­stead of read­ing.”

An­other pop­u­lar sales strat­egy: food. Su­san Rind­ley, an agent with One Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty (su­san­rind­, prides her­self on the cui­sine she of­fers at bro­kers’ open houses to show­case her list­ings. “I have my per­sonal caterer do a white-glove lux­ury af­fair—al­most like a wed­ding,” she says. “That’s what our clients ex­pect.”

Of course in a mar­ket where cash trans­ac­tions were al­most 40 per­cent of all April sales (nearly dou­ble the na­tional av­er­age), the prop­er­ties, the weather, and the Sunshine State of mind cer­tainly are the most im­por­tant as­sets a bro­ker has.

Noth­ing screams Mi­ami like a boat dock, swimming pool, tennis court, and palm trees—all in your back­yard. above: Hil­figerds home is filled with the cou­pleds col­lec­tion of Pop and post-pop art.

Floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows let the Mi­ami sun shine bright in this Sofi bed­room.

Tommy Hil­figerds Golden Beach man­sion, at 605 Ocean Boule­vard, is on the mar­ket for $27.5 mil­lion.

An all-white façade pops against the aqua blue of the pool. above: Bo­hemian vibes abound at this breezy 1021 North Vene­tian Drive property.

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