The Miami Herald reported this week that Douglas Elliman Realty, a New York-based real estate brokerage, has extended their offices in the Miami Beach area this month in hopes of capitalizing on the Miami market.
Douglas Elliman Realty has been around in New York for the past 100 years and is hoping that they can expand their brand in the South Florida area. They are also hoping that they will be able to attract some New York residents to purchase property in Miami because of the bargain prices.
“You can see that New Yorkers make up a higher percentage of Miami’s real estate deals,” Vanessa Grout, president of Douglas Elliman Florida told The Herald. “And Douglas Elliman is a name they know and a name they trust.”
Douglas Elliman Realty dominates a large portion of the New York residential real estate market and is at the top when it comes to being one of the largest brokerages. They are hoping to duplicate that same kind of existence in Miami Beach.
They have opened an office in the 1111 Lincoln Road building along with two other outlets that will be able to house 300 agents. That is two times the number of employees at Douglas Elliman today.
Pietro Belmonte, executive vice president of Douglas Elliman Florida, is confident that New Yorkers are regenerating interest in Miami and with the home prices down by as much as 50 percent Miami is a contender for New York’s second-home purchases. “In less time than it takes you to drive from Manhattan to the Hamptons, you can be on a flight from LaGuardia and landing in Miami,” he told The Herald, describing Miami as “a suburb of New York.”
Even with their connections Douglas Elliman is entering a very competitive real estate market in Miami. The Keyes Company, who has an office on Lincoln Road also, and 1,800 agents throughout South Florida will be a competitor.
Coldwell Banker and ONE Sotheby’s are also other competitors in the luxury real estate market in Miami.
According to the Miami Association of Realtors in January condo sales in the Miami-Dade area were up 134 percent. Much of the sales increase in the past year can be attributed to investors and home purchasers from outside the South Florida area.
Homes prices in South Florida have continued to drop in the last year, making it more of a gamble for investment properties, but Grout is looking to persuade New Yorkers that Miami Beach is the place to buy second get-a-away homes. This may pose a few problems for Douglas Elliman.
Belmonte believes it can be a daunting task getting Northerners to comprehend the real estate market in South Florida.
Another potential problem that may arise for Douglas Elliman is that the local firms have spent years making contacts that spread from South Florida to South America with the hopes of drawing in international homebuyers.
Grout told The Herald they have been working to recruit South American agents and have also teamed up with a New York based international brokerage to attempt to dive into the international buyers market in South Florida.