Relocating from NYC to Miami? Know this Before You Take the Leap

  Shane Neman is a forward-thinking problem solver, consummate optimist and serial entrepreneur. A prototypical businessman of our modern era, his experience and expertise in business spans numerous industries, from technology and telecommunications to real estate and hospitality.   In 2014, Shane relocated his family from Manhattan to South Florida. In this episode of the Miami Real Estate Podcast by Cervera Real Estate, he provides a detailed account of what the process entails legally, emotionally and financially. Shane breaks down what other New Yorkers need to know before making the leap and answers the big question: was it worth it?   We also spoke about the importance of having a diversified real estate portfolio as an investor, new opportunity zones that savvy South Florida real estate investors should keep their eyes on and advice for would-be entrepreneurs looking to start a new venture.   About Shane: After leaving NYU Medical School early, Shane started three industry-shifting tech startups (two of them – EZ Texting and JoonBug – acquired) with hundreds of employees and tens of thousands of customers. As an insightful startup backer, Shane’s portfolio includes companies such as Convoy, Prose, Impossible Foods, Universal Standard, Apostrophe, MeetMindful, MapAnything, VinePair and Smylen. Shane is also a prolific real estate developer and investor. From commercial shopping and industrial centers to residential buildings, he owns more than two dozen large-scale properties across the U.S.   He holds a degree in Computer Science from New York University, where he received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater scholarship and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.   You can read more about Shane’s transition from New York to Miami in his blog “Know this before relocating to Florida from New York City.

Guide to EB-5 Foreign Investor Visas w/ legal expert, Julian Montero [Podcast]

The United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, created in 1990 by the Immigration Act of 1990, provides a method for eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents. In this episode, EB-5 legal expert Julian Montero explains how the program works, who qualifies, and what the process entails.   About Julian: Julian Montero is a Partner with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP and Vice-Chair of the Business and Finance Department and the Global Immigration & Foreign Investment Practice Group. Julian has substantial experience structuring EB5 projects and advising clients seeking to raise EB5 capital, as well as foreign investor participating in the EB5 program. Julian regularly advises foreign investors on strategies for successfully acquiring or establishing businesses in the United States and represents domestic and foreign businesses with their general corporate and transactional matters, including corporate structuring, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions and finance matters. Julian frequently counsels the Chilean Foreign Ministry and Chilean Consulate General in Miami with a variety of U.S. related legal matters. Connect w/ Julian: ph. 305.428.4546 e. w. About Us: The Miami Real Estate Podcast is made possible by the Cervera Newsroom, a sub-division of the in-house marketing department at the Miami-based brokerage firm Cervera Real Estate. In the Cervera Newsroom, we complement five decades of experience selling Miami real estate with talent and technology for today’s marketplace.  From expertise in traditional and digital media, industry leading creative talent, and South Florida’s largest social media presence to innovative technology resources, our in-house brand marketing platform is designed to ensure that every client and associate we service succeeds in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven, competitive environment.  To listen to more episodes, visit from your browser or click below to find us on the Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify smartphone app.                             Brought to you by

5 Reasons Why Miami is the Most Attractive Real Estate Market on Earth

There's a saying in Miami: if you haven't been to Miami lately, you haven't been to Miami at all. Today, Miami is recognized as one of the top global cities for business, trade, commerce, finance, technology, education, healthcare, entertainment, sports, fashion, the arts, and real estate. Long known as an exceptional vacation destination, the city currently is the 2nd largest foreign banking center in the U.S.A., and has been labeled as the Wall Street of the South for its business and commerce reach into South and Central America, the Caribbean and beyond. Here are five reasons Why Miami is the most attractive real estate market on earth right now.   1. Thriving Financial Center Largest concentration of international banks south of New York: 87 financial institutions and 33 foreign bank agencies Gateway to Latin America: Home to 1400 multinational corporations Top 20 Worldwide city in Gross Metropolitan Product Ranked 9th Worldwide for economic activity 2. Connectivity Miami International Airport: 150 Global Destinations PortMiami: #1 passenger port globally and China’s largest trade partner. Global HQ for five leading cruise lines. BrightLine (medium speed rail): Connecting connect Miami to Tampa. Represents $6.4 billion USD in direct economic impact to Florida’s economy over the next eight years. America’s top tourist destination: 4.25 million visitors in Q1 2015 (Source: Smith Travel Research – April 2015) Miami International Airport Photography courtesy of Miami-Dade Aviation Department (C)2016 3. ​World Class Lifestyle Healthcare: 33 hospitals. Baptist Hospital of Miami ranked as one of the highest performing hospital systems in the country. Baskin Palmer Eye Institute ranked #1 in the U.S.   Education: University of Miami ranked top 150 worldwide. Florida Int. University College of Business ranked top 10 in USA / Top 15 in Int. Real Estate Arts & Entertainment: downtown Miami has the highest concentration of cultural institutions in the Southeast U.S. Home to Art Basel Miami Beach Miami is one of the only citites in the U.S. to house all five major sports teams. Beaches: 84 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, 15-miles of world-famous beaches. Miami is the only major “subtropical” city in continental U.S.; average temperature 75 F/ 23 C 4. Population Growth Only a few cities in the world can claim the same rapid growth, sustainability, and rise to global recognition as Miami… and indicators point to its continued growth. The city is a tropical waterfront paradise where people from around the world choose to meet, entrepreneurs gather, and is known as the capitol of South and Central America. 5. Value Proposition $1M USD buys you how many square feet of prime property across the world: Miami = 850 SF Beijing = 624 SF London = 323 SF New York = 280 SF Hong Kong = 215 SF 

Veronica Cervera Goeseke Speaks About Mexican Real Estate Investment in South Florida Amid Mexican Presidential Race

In the last two months, Diego Arnaud of Aventura-based DA Luxury Realty has spotted a noticeable increase in sales activity among his clients from Mexico, who account for nearly all of his business. Several have just purchased multimillion-dollar units at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles Beach and at Prive at Island Estates in Aventura, the broker-owner said. And one Mexican investor is under contract to acquire three Walgreens-leased properties for nearly $20 million. The buyer’s reason? “He believes the populist government [in Mexico] will win the election and that will generate volatility,” Arnaud said. That uncertainty surrounding Mexico’s upcoming presidential election — which is still months away — has contributed to an increase in overall real estate investments into South Florida, industry experts say. More is likely to come. Any major political race in Latin America typically leads to a flurry of deals in Miami and its neighboring counties, as investors turn to the American markets for more stability, brokers say. But the July presidential election has stirred particular anxiety, and with it more acquisitions in South Florida from those investors. As of last week, leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had an eight-point lead over his closest rival, Ricardo Anaya of the conservative National Action party, according to Reuters. “People with money in Mexico have real money, and they are looking for places they can put it,” said Bruce Bagley, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami. If Lopez Obrador wins, Bagley said more wealthy Mexicans could move their money to the U.S. “South Florida is looking awfully good for a lot of people to hedge their bets with investment properties,” he added. Widespread corruption and violent crime — there were 25,000 homicides recorded in Mexico last year — have increased under President Enrique Peña Nieto’s six years in office. Presidents are limited to a single term. That has further destabilized the economy, experts say. “There is no hope on the horizon that it will get better soon,” Bagley said. Mexican buyers on the hunt Developer Rodrigo Azpurua has seen a significant uptick in interest from Mexican buyers looking to put their capital to work on his projects. Azpurua, CEO of Riviera Point Development Group, said about 60 percent of the calls he’s received over the last month or so have been from Latin America, including 30 percent from Mexico. That’s far above what he would ordinarily handle in the same time frame. Many calls have also come from Colombia, which remains unstable despite a recent ceasefire between the government and rebel forces; and Venezuela, where conditions have become desperate for much of the population. Riviera Point, which develops office property and hotels in Miami and Orlando using EB-5 funding, is seeking $6 million from 12 investors to build a La Quinta Inn & Suites in Orlando. The firm has signed on more Mexican investors since January, Azpurua said. And out of the 20 investors funding a Radisson RED near Miami International Airport, six are from Mexico, a marked increase from prior years. Intending to seize on that buying interest, Riviera Point will increase the number of seminars it organizes in Mexico City in March through May, to attract more Mexican investors for its U.S. projects. “Political turmoil is always a motivation in South America to [leave] to the United States,” Azpurua said. “When they’re facing a presidential election, they’re facing a whole world of changes and uncertainty.” In the U.S., Mexican investors have traditionally done much of their business in Texas, California, and Florida, states with substantial Mexican populations. In Florida, Mexico is the 10th biggest foreign investor. It peaked in 2008 and 2009 at 2.4 percent, before falling to 0.5 percent in 2013. It was back up to 2.1 percent last year, according to Florida Realtors. Last year, Mexican citizens purchased $284 million of South Florida homes, about 4 percent of all foreign investment in the region, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. “They want to keep having the same lifestyle as living in Mexico with the security of living in the U.S.,” Arnaud said. The cycle of instability has led his buyers to “have one foot out of Mexico in case something happens.” Still, others don’t believe the coming presidential election will have a lasting impact on investment in the region. Antonio Hanna Grayeb, a longtime real estate broker in Mexico, said there may be a slight increase in sales activity flowing into South Florida, but “investment is the same every election cycle.” Grayeb is also president of FIABCI-Americas, a federation of international real estate associations. Though Mexicans have been turned off by President Trump’s rhetoric, they have for the most part moved on, he said. Veronica Cervera Goeseke, CEO of Cervera Real Estate, added that the real estate investment shift to Miami has been two decades in the making. Goeseke spoke earlier this month from Mexico, where she was selling the luxury condo tower Elysee Miami in Edgewater. Miami may have long been considered a safe haven for Mexico’s real estate-buying elite, but what’s happening now is different, Arnaud maintained. If the leftist candidate wins the presidency, Arnaud added, those investors will jump into the market. “Everyone is trying to pull the trigger,” he said. “If Lopez Obrador gets elected, we will see a lot of buyers from Mexico.” This article originally appeared in The Real Deal. 

Perla Machaen And Mitzi Burns of Cervera Named Miami Agent Magazine Top Producers

To real estate agents, “top producer” can mean a certain level of success, a yearly award added to the trophy shelf or validation for years of hard work. To some consumers, the phrase can indicate the level of experience and expertise of an agent, while some consider it a confusing marketing ploy. There is no standard definition of a top producer, and in Miami, a city with 40,000 agents, there is no shortage of agents who qualify as such. But one thing is sure — being labeled a top producer can mean great things for one’s business, as it can build confidence and perhaps open new doors. Being unprepared for the challenge, however, can be just as bad as failing to reach that level in the first place. Top producer awards are usually handed out by individual brokerages, and their standard for a top producer can vary. It can be awarded for sales volume or number of units sold. But for most, being labeled a top producer is a validation of hard work. “It’s someone who’s constantly working,” said Maria Cuadra, broker-owner of the Cuadra Group, which she opened with her husband a year ago. “To constantly be producing, turning in contracts. You have to feed off the success but be humble enough to keep producing in the same way.” How to get started While “top producer” hints at a certain level of success and status, everyone’s path to becoming a top producer is different. For most, it takes a few years before making it to the top level of the field. Before becoming a top producer, Mitzi Mitchell Burns, sales director for Cervera Real Estate in Coconut Grove, got her start in pre-construction sales. She worked on developing a client base and turned that hard work into a successful career in the industry. Mitchell has been a member of Cervera’s top producers’ circle every year since its inception. “I would contribute it to hard work and persistence,” she said. “Starting every day at zero. No matter how big a sale or how little, I get up and start at zero. I think, ‘I have no money in the bank and nothing in the pipeline,’ and that’s how I go about every day. I think anyone can be a top producer if they’re willing to work hard.” There are, of course, overnight successes. Then there’s those — like Perla Machaen — who, on their second try in real estate, become something of an overnight success. Machaen’s first attempt in the business didn’t go as planned, so she scrapped it and went into TV production, where one of her shows got picked up by E! Entertainment’s Latin channel. In one of the episodes of the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”-type show, Machaen showcased expensive homes. After that, she began getting calls asking if she was selling the properties shown on the TV show — so she decided to give real estate a second chance. That was six years ago. “Year after year for five years, I’ve been a top producer,” Machaen said. “I said, ‘If I’m a Realtor, I going to be No. 1.’” Cuadra began her career in real estate working part time as she raised two kids. Once she decided to go full time, Cuadra got her master’s degree in international real estate and reached top producer status “almost immediately afterwards.” But that was eight years after she first started as a part-time agent, full-time young mother. “How I got here is by a lot of work, a lot of nights without sleeping,” she said. “I went through a lot of bumps in the road. Being driven is everything. If you’re not driven, you’re not producing.” What changes? New clients, confidence and career opportunities can come with being labeled a top producer. For one, it can afford a level of independence. Cuadra opened her own brokerage last year after years of cultivating an all-referral business. “I didn’t need a big name to bring in clients,” she said of the goal she’d been working toward for years. “(Being a top producer) means you’re setting goals. You’re going to be a Realtor, but are you going to be a CEO Realtor?” Being labeled a top producer can also bring a newfound confidence and swagger, which can easily translate to more sales and success. “You do feel some pride from having the results,” Cuadra said. “I believe that helps you. It gives you momentum. It’s easier to talk to executives. You’re not intimidated. Being insecure in this business, it will set you up for failure.” For Mitchell, being a top producer has more easily opened the door to clients who are looking at expensive homes and want a top-notch agent. “It has boosted my confidence level,” she said of being a top producer. “Confidence translates to your clients. When you’re dealing with someone in the luxury level, they want to work with someone who knows what they’re doing and is confident about it.” That confidence not only comes from the success, but from the knowledge and experience of handling a high volume of deals. “A top producer tells clients that you’ve done contracts, you’ve overcome obstacles before,” Cuadra said. “It comes with more credibility.” Success can impact people differently. If that hunger that fueled an agent’s first years in the business is gone after reaching a certain point, then that agent may end up back at square one, Mitchell said. “There is a tendency in agents,” she said. “You can sell a $5 million home and then it’s not uncommon for Realtors to take a break or rest on their laurels.” Being a top producer might mean getting a chance to represent more exclusive clients, but that experience will only go well if an agent is prepared for it. The job isn’t easier as a top producer, but it is different — and it likely means proving yourself in front of a new circle. “You have to work harder, but you have that incentive to maintain it,” Cuadra said. “As you approach more top executives, those elites, now you have to be a top producer all over again in a different market.” Traits of a top producer Being a top producer hints at a certain level of expertise, but that expertise has to be gained through experience. There is a way, however, to fast-track that expertise, and that’s to have an area of concentration, which could mean specializing in a certain area or a certain client or home type. Focusing on one area can help quickly build knowledge and experience, especially if the alternative is to cast the widest net. “If you can specialize in something specific, that helps,” Mitchell said. “It will help you to gain traction. Once you build traction, then you can spread out. Of course you can move out of that zone if people refer you.” Machaen was named Cervera’s 2011 rookie of the year by finding her concentration early on. After her exposure on the TV show, Machaen decided to emigrate from Mexico to Miami and focus on selling to Mexicans looking to buy in the states. “I was the first one to work in Mexico,” she said. “It brings me more clients because I’m known for that.” Machaen said she also makes sure to smartly market herself to the demographics she serves and is sure to include her status as a top producer and expert in international real estate in her marketing materials. And though she relishes her top producer status, Machaen said customer service is still a priority of hers. “I don’t focus on my commissions — I focus on my clients and their needs,” she said. Cuadra agreed that client care is the best way to have success in the business. She also said agents should seek to learn as much as possible and not be afraid to ask questions. Then, you have to set goals. “To set goals and meet those goals, that’s how you become a top producer,” Cuadra said. “You have to learn to do everything at once, marketing, contracts, doing leases, doing purchases. “If you can do a little bit of everything, you’re almost there.” This article originally appeared on Miami Agent Magazine.

The Ocean Resort Residences at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach now open

The word around town these days: Ft. Lauderdale is trending. Miami's little sister to the North recently ranked as the 6th Most Investable Real Estate market on PWC's "2017 Emerging Trends in Real Estate" study (jumping ahead 29 spots from 2016). Among the factors, Ft. Lauderdale scored positive sentiments regarding multi-family, industrial and single-family, investory demand, local economy, and capital availability. There's no sign of slowing down, with several new luxury high-rise living options sprouting up in and around the city's downtown core and beachfront. Among those include The Ocean Resort Residences, offering luxury resort hotel living at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, which recently held its grand opening. The ultra-upscale project features 290 fully furnished Oceanfront Residences offering junior, one, two or three-bedroom suites beautifully designed with sprawling balconies and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway. The residences and resort condominium units are designed by leading international architect Michael Graves, and feature interior design by the iconic designer Carlo Colombo, and the renowned Urbano, whose designer Gabriela Lino has proven herself as a global trendsetter in interior design concepts over the past 25 years. Much of the furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the public areas were sourced at Kom Furniture and Accessories, a chic and tasteful store operated by Luis Morales in the heart of the Miami Design District. Residence and resort condominium prices start in the $500,000s. The Oceanfront Resort Residences are spacious year-round homes. All residences boast finished flooring, painted walls, and installed lighting. The exquisite vacation homes that owners can place into the resort program allow for additional generated revenue. They feature regular housekeeping other resort services, operated by Hilton’s Conrad Hotels & Resorts. Amenities include residents’ option to revel in the 20,000-square foot Sky Deck, which includes a fresh-water heated pool with views of the Atlantic, a whirlpool, sunbathing areas, and a poolside restaurant and bar. Additional amenities include food and beverage service with dedicated attendants on the pool deck, private beach concierge services and complimentary chaise lounges on Fort Lauderdale Beach, signature restaurant and lounge overlooking the Atlantic, Conrad Concierge, 4,000-square foot fitness center, Conrad Spa, 24-hour valet, and much more. The Ocean Resort Residences is located at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. The on-site sales gallery is located on the 24th floor, penthouse. Exclusive sales and marketing handled by Cervera. For more information, click here or call (954) 749-7200.

Alicia Cervera Talks about Current State of Real Estate Market

Miami has seen a recent boom in not only condominium construction and sales but also resales. While many buildings are still in the pre-construction or construction stages, there is always a demand for units in existing buildings, observers say. Of the 50 most expensive, prices range from $13.9 million for a 6,120-square-foot unit on Fisher Island to $55 million for a penthouse at Faena at 3315 Collins Ave. on Miami Beach. The five-bedroom, five-bath unit features 8,273 square feet of living space. Though sellers of single-family homes priced at more than $1.5 million have had to drop their prices an average of 3.8%, condo prices were reduced by only 1.1%, according to the Multiple Listing Service. “The top of the market is stable,” said Alicia Cervera, managing partner and principal of Cervera Real Estate. “It’s not a raging market – which everybody prefers – but it’s not in freefall, either.” There’s no shortage of buyers, but different factors motivate them to buy, she said. “The reality is, you’re selling to a very small pond, maybe 5% of the population. People at this level have the cash; it just depends on when they want to pull the trigger.” Cervera Real Estate advertises both locally and in targeted luxury publications. “The big shift is that you don’t market geographically, but to other demographic factors: where they go, what luxury items they consume. What appeals to them? Is it the boat show, is it Art Basel, is it the Miami 500 races? We advertise in our own backyard, too, because we know wealthy people from around the world come here.” In Miami, luxury condo buyers want to be on the water, near upscale restaurants and luxury shopping, Ms. Cervera said. Edgewater, where Cervera Real Estate is marketing Elysee Miami and Biscayne Beach, is near the Design District, as is Aria on the Bay; Aston Martin Residences is downtown, close to Zuma and DB Moderne restaurants, she added. Other properties the group represents are The Grove at Grand Bay and The Markers in Coconut Grove and The Bond and Smart Brickell in Brickell. Demand for the buildings is driven by high occupancy overall (97%) and “rents going through the roof,” Ms. Cervera said. “It takes two or three years for a building to deliver, so it’s good that we have all of these units coming on the market. Otherwise, it would have stifled the city.” It’s also fortunate that the buildings are proceeding at different schedules, to accommodate those who want to move in right away, as well as those who can wait, she added. “It’s good to have some that are close to finishing; Aria on the Bay will be finished in January. We sold it out, and people want to move in. Biscayne Beach is finished. Life changes quickly, and it’s hard to know where you’ll be in four years.” A major change in this building boom is that more people will occupy their units, even if on a part-time basis, she said. “Someone has to call it home, even if it’s one week or one month a year, so it’s not idle. In Miami, that hasn’t been an issue. In fact, we have buildings being occupied very quickly.” “It’s the definition of luxury,” said Chad Carroll of Douglas Elliman, describing the $39 million penthouse on which the company has an exclusive listing in the Regalia in Sunny Isles Beach. With nearly 17,000 square feet, it is the second most expensive condominium unit for sale in Miami-Dade County. The two-story penthouse at Regalia comprises 10,700 square feet (at $3,600 per square foot) with a 7,000-square-foot rooftop terrace and private pool reached by glass elevator, dual master bedrooms, a great room, movie theater, game and family rooms, private spa, wine cellar and guest room with its own living space. Finishes include Nikzad wood and Blanco Sevilla stone flooring, Kreon designer lighting, custom speakers and millwork, Falma Italian closets, and programmable controls for lighting, shades, temperature and music. “No expense was spared,” Mr. Carroll said. Designed by Arquitectonica’s Bernardo Fort-Brescia, the building itself offers only 39 units, he said, with unit prices starting from $8 million. They have 360-degree wrap-around terraces that offer unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, Golden Beach, the Intracoastal Waterway and the skylines of Miami, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Another listing in the Regalia is a six-bedroom, six-bath “beach house” comprising 10,515 square feet, with a private pool, sauna, steam room and spa. It is listed for $29 million, he said. “We have had interest from hedge fund managers, European families, Brazilians. It’s a very diverse group,” Mr. Carroll said. “The ultra-wealthy just love the building because it makes them feel at home. We’ve been very active.” This article originally appeared in Miami Today

Cervera's Jesse Otley: Asian Real Estate Buyers Increasingly Eye Miami

Miami has clearly evolved into a thriving financial center, global gateway, hub for world class arts and culture, destination for education and healthcare, tourism juggernaut, and wellspring of prime waterfront residential real estate ... and yet, until recently, the city’s relationship with the Asian market has been limited. The reasons for this include regional unfamiliarity with Miami, lingering misconceptions of the “Miami Vice” era and the absence of direct flights from South Florida to East Asia. However, key factors indicate the dawn of a sweeping Asian-influenced era in South Florida. How did we arrive here? And more important, what does it mean for South Florida and Miami’s economic growth? MORE THAN CHINA Despite measures by its government to curb capital outflow, China is still dominating the global real estate scene. A look at the numbers shows that investment in Florida real estate by Chinese buyers increased by 1 percent year-over-year from 2015 to 2016, according to the Florida Association of Realtors. “Interest from Chinese buyers and investors continues to grow in South Florida,” Teresa Kinney, president of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS, told me at the close of the three-day Global Luxury Summit in April. “For the first time in 2016, Chinese buyers ranked in the top tier of foreign purchasers in South Florida. Like other foreign investors, they are attracted to the desirability of our location, profitability of investment, safety, climate, clean air, shopping venues, and our institutions of higher learning.” Other Asian markets, including Japan, have also begun to take interest in South Florida. The $220 million purchase of the iconic Miami Tower by the U.S. arm of Japanese trade conglomerate Sumitorro Corporation was one of our city’s biggest investment deals this year, as well as a surprising display of optimism from a company that has only a handful of marquee properties stateside. Asian American Pacific Islanders are also becoming more active in the U.S. mortgage market, even as they are already the top minority participant in terms of both loans secured and total dollar volume since 2010. In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Boca Raton to meet with President Donald Trump. His visit to Mar-a-Lago cast a giant spotlight on Florida and is perhaps our state’s biggest curtain call for the Asian market. Jinping’s presence has been known to generate a “golden goose” ripple effect — if he puts his stamp of approval on something, Chinese buyers will typically follow. (For example, within seven months of Jinping’s 2015 visit to Seattle, it became the No. 1 destination for Chinese buyers of U.S. real estate.) The second major event to take place in April, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable housing in the U.S. for Asian American Pacific Islanders, for which I serve as the Miami chapter president) held its annual Global Luxury Summit in this city. More than 730 people attended this major conference, representing chapters across North America, and over a dozen countries. This was the largest gathering of Asian-American real estate practitioners and business professionals in the history of Miami and gave us an extraordinary platform to showcase our city — especially to many who had never been here, or had little knowledge of how dramatically our city has evolved. “We chose Miami because, over the last decade or so, this city has absolutely exploded onto the international business and real estate scenes,” said Angie Lee, 2017 AREAA national president, told me at the summit. “The Asian-American population in Miami is beginning to surge, Asian capital is beginning to flood into the market, and our Miami chapter is actually the fastest growing in our entire organization; everything about this city is on the rise.” COMING SOON: DIRECT FLIGHTS   Direct flights between Miami and the Chinese mainland — a critical piece of the puzzle — are on the horizon. While speaking on a panel at the AREAA conference, Greg Owens from Miami International Airport affirmed that MIA is ready and eager to finalize a new route agreement with Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, and expects it to happen within 24 months. (The airline is a subsidiary of China’s Swire Group, whose stakes in South Florida include Brickell Key and Brickell City Centre.) “We look at direct flights to determine who will be buying in our market, as buyers are more likely to purchase in markets they can access via nonstop travel,” Kinney said. “We are confident that direct flights from China will further generate significant investment in our market.” Have we reached a “tipping point,” where Miami becomes a primary investment, relocation, and tourism destination for Asians? Time will tell, but the twin impacts of the Jinping visit and the historic AREAA conference cannot be overstated. As my colleague Tom Truong of the AREAA Boston Chapter said after the Global Luxury Summit, “Miami is open for business and geared up for tremendous growth now and in years to come.” This article originally appeared in The Miami Herald 

Living on Brickell Key, Miami

Brickell Key, Miami is an exclusive island with a variety of condos and amenities. With so much to offer, the island is sure to appeal to today's most discerning condo buyer. Consider some of the factors that make this a prime location for a condo investment. Condominiums are the primary component of Brickell Key real estate. Some of the most famous condos include Carbonell, Courvoisier Courts, and Three Tequesta Point. These buildings were constructed in the 1990s, have twenty to thirty floors, and feature nearly three hundred total units. The size of a unit can vary depending on which floor it is on, the developer's floor plans, and development location. Ample distance between each building ensures a peaceful, private environment. Some developments such as the Tequesta condos are connected, which leads to a larger complex with additional features. Newer condos include Asia, Isola, and St Louis.  No matter which development you choose on Brickell Key, you are sure to be pleased with bountiful amenities, facilitating both work and play. Catering to residents' physical and athletic needs, many buildings feature pools, gyms, squash courts, tennis courts, racquetball courts, and more. For convenience and security, developments often feature below-ground parking structures. Conference rooms and banquet halls are ideal for gatherings, movies, and presentations.  Residents in Brickell Key condominium developments often have complimentary access to all of these amenities. Additional amenities such as massages, spa services, and onsite dining are offered by many buildings, but typically have fees associated. Residents can register guests at the front desk for overnight periods to secure parking passes. When you are looking for a condo, make sure to consider which amenities are critical to your goals and lifestyle.  Does it sound like a property on Brickell Key may be ideal for you? Contact us today to discuss what features would make a condo "home" for you.