New construction for luxury condos continues to sprout up all over Miami, but who’s buying and why?
The Miami real estate market remains a top destination for new development, but what is the luxury buyer looking for and are developers delivering? We asked Silvio Sulichin, real estate advisor and co-owner of Trillionaire magazine, his perspective on the past, present, and future of Miami’s luxury development.
TM: It seems as if, lately, there has been another boom in new development and building in Miami. What do you believe fueled the current boom and has it peaked or will it continue?
SS: This is not a real-estate boom; it’s a city-wide boom, where Miami is growing across the board. South Florida is a privileged, geographic area, which makes people want to live, do business here, invest, and grow here. The real-estate boom is a factor that accompanies the city-wide growth. Miami’s a new city — it’s just starting to grow.
TM: The very exclusive condo market seems secure because it is driven by buyers looking for second or third homes on the water. Just last month, a buyer paid $60 million for a waterfront condo, smashing the previous sales record for residential real estate in Miami. How does someone reach this kind of buyer?
SS: The key right now is to target emerging markets, as well as the Forbes 400 CEOs, WealthX, and to network with the right audience. Having worked in the luxury industry and having the advantage of developing a database over the years, I have found this is how to build relationships with CEOs, luxury decision-makers, and buyers of that stature.
In the 20th century, South Florida was a second home to domestic and foreign buyers; in the 21st century, it’s a second life. The luxury of living in a geographic area where the privileged can drive their Bentley convertibles — top down, 365 days a year — is what makes South Florida attractive to a unique buyer. There’s a sense of freedom, too, and security that many foreign investors are attracted to.
TM: What do you think is the right strategy for a developer in this environment to create a property that will lure a luxury buyer?
SS: Today, the strategy requires more than just a name endorsement; it requires creating added value for the buyer. For example, many of the new developments include nanny’s quarters, which is standard in South America and Europe. To create added value, developers need to understand their buyers’ needs. One of the things I do, personally, for added value is reimburse my buyer for their airfare cost at the closing. It’s not so much about the money, but about the gesture.
TM: We have seen so many “starchitects” coming to Miami. Do you think that an investor is looking to add a project that borders more on a work of art than just a place to live? What kind of value do these starchitects add to a property, if any?
SS: What they offer is uniqueness to a project, and they move the needle of the project into a category of timelessness — as a work of art is timeless. Having architects of this caliber can also enhance the resale value of units in the building.
TM: We also know that real estate for the ultra-wealthy buyer is a top luxury product, currently. Can you talk about why that is?
SS: For many, real estate is a “bricks-and-mortar” investment. They look for geographic areas with growth opportunity and international appeal.
TM: You really know the buyers of these kinds of properties. They are Trillionaire readers. Tell me how Trillionaire is viewed as a reference for luxury and luxury real estate?
SS: Trillionaire is like a private club. We select our members carefully and communicate with them regularly. We go to great lengths to maintain the standards of our editorial content and quality of the magazine at the highest level. The Real Estate Portfolio in Trillionaire is where we showcase the top luxury real-estate projects and those that we choose to share with our prospective clients. Over the years, you gain credibility and become a reference for luxury.
TM: Recently, a Manhattan CEO mentioned he was able to find out about the luxury real-estate market in Miami through Trillionaire. Can you tell me more about the kinds of people like this individual that the magazine reaches and how the magazine acts as a window into the world of luxury?
SS: Trillionaire opens doors everywhere, for us and for our partners. A third of our circulation goes into Manhattan, which generates a regular stream of communication between us and New York residents who are interested in South Florida real estate. It also helps that we created a good network of business acquaintances while we were living in Manhattan a few years back.
TM: The magazine has a global reach, too. Do you find that the reach currently is through print or through a digital portal?
SS: The global reach is attributed to our travels, international clients, friends, and acquaintances from around the world. This year, we had projects take us to New Dehli, Madrid, Barcelona, Lima, Buenos Aires, Mexico, and Monte Carlo. Our digital portal is the way we stay connected and grow our international audience of followers.
TM: Back to real estate. Where do you think the luxury real-estate market is heading?
SS: Next will be a return to the classic, old-world style. We still see a lot of units with mass-produced finishes. We still haven’t seen developers create projects with artisanal finishes and attention to hand-crafted details. That’s what future buyers will want.
TM: Will Miami continue to be the top draw for South Florida luxury-real-estate investors? We’ve recently seen Palm Beach starting to vie for a segment of the pre-construction condo luxury buyer. Or is Miami still the place for location, location, location?
SS: Absolutely. Miami will continue to grow as a city. Palm Beach is where the money has always been — it’s old money. Established. The question is whether Palm Beach will shift from a seasonal to a year-round destination, as Miami has done.
For real estate sales inquires, contact Silvio Sulichin via email at email@example.com or call +1 (305) 934-9742.