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Q&A: Prestige’s Broker Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche Strives to Be Different and Finds Success

Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, co-founder and managing broker of Prestige Realty Group, sat down with SPACiO Design Build to discuss today’s luxury real estate market in Miami. The boutique brokerage firm focuses on luxury homes and high-rise condominium sales. As a Miami native, Tony has seen the transformation of Miami from a beachside destination into a bustling and sprawling metropolis attracting buyers from all over the world.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BROKERAGE FIRM?

My business partner Christopher Hodgson and I wanted to create more of a boutique real estate firm, offering clients personalized services that the larger firms don’t offer. When someone hires Prestige Realty, they are hiring our entire team of over 23 agents that are available 24/7 to serve our clients. We also wanted to create a firm with an international reach. My partner is from London and I’m from Miami so we really have a global reach. Our approach seems to be working. Last year, we sold more than $50 million in real estate and I was recognized by Real Trends and the Wall Street Journal as one of the America’s best Realtors.

WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS KNOW ABOUT MIAMI’S REAL ESTATE MARKET?

People always ask me how the market is doing and I always ask which one. Most real estate consumers assume Miami- Dade County is one market but in reality it’s composed of many different markets, all of which have their own character. I take a neighborhood approach to real estate, mostly focusing on single-family luxury homes and condominiums in Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, downtown, South Miami and Miami Beach. Every market is its own special ecosystem. One may be booming while the other is down. Overall, in the submarkets I focus on, the market hasn’t slowed down significantly. It’s a healthy slow-down with plenty of inventory available. People need to realize that the pre-construction condos are different from single-family homes and a slow-down in that particular sector is not an indicator of the overall housing market. Miami’s luxury real estate is very dynamic and can’t be generalized. For example, we have noticed that demand for Mediterranean style homes has decreased while modern and turnkey homes remain hot with buyers.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SELLERS?

The most important piece of advice for sellers is to hire a brokerage firm that’s tech savvy and will invest in their listings. You don’t want a realtor who is taking photos of your property with an iPhone. At Prestige Realty Group, we hire professional photographers and videographers who often use drones to get the best visuals possible for our listings. We want prospective buyers to have a 360-degree view of the property they will want to purchase. Sellers should also work with brokers who are advanced on social media. Technology is a major part of our lives now and should be an integral component to any realtor’s strategy for marketing and selling a home.

Another important piece of advice for sellers is to keep their homes clean and free of clutter when it’s on the market for sale.  Many underestimate the power of staging, which is not the same as decorating. You need to stage your home into a place that potential buyers can envision living in. Remove all your personal items including family photos, books and other items that may distract your potential buyer. You want your house to be known as the one with the beautiful kitchen, not the one with the overbearing collection of crystal figurines.

Q&A Guest Contributor: Michael Internoscia Talks About Marina Palms Yacht Club and What Makes It Different

What advice would you give condo sellers seeking to re-sell their newly purchased units in such a competitive condo market?

I would suggest finishing out their condo with flooring, baseboards, paint and build-out closets to show off the unit. It is easier to show an apartment with finishes when the competition has only concrete floors and primer on the walls. Most buyers want to occupy the unit or rent it out right away instead of waiting weeks or months to build-out the space. This strategy can give sellers a competitive edge.

What makes Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences stand out from many of the other new condo developments in South Florida?

Clearly our marina. We offer amenities for boaters and watersport fans that are hard to find in many other luxury projects in South Florida. Marina Palms offers 40-foot to 100-foot boat slips and plenty of aquatic activities, including jet skis, kayaks, water skiing, windsurfing and snorkeling. We have it all and everything is fully managed. By the way, the 112-slip private marina provides open ocean access for boaters via Haulover Inlet just 20 minutes away. Another unique feature of Marina Palms is the size of the units. The condos are either two or three bedrooms and range in size from 1,821 to 2,500 square feet, providing a mix of luxury and value.

How would you describe the profile of Marina Palms buyers?

Our buyers come from different regions of the world, including South America, Canada and the US. What they all have in common is an affinity for water-based activates and the boating lifestyle.

Swarovski Hires SPACiO to Build-Out Store in Brickell City Centre

SPACiO Design Build has been retained to build-out high-end jewelry retailer Swarovski’s new home in Brickell City Centre. Founded 1895 in Austria, Swarovski designs, creates, and markets high-quality crystal product collections such as jewelry, accessories, ornaments, figurines and decorative items for the home. The luxurious design of the new 520-square-foot store is a significant addition to one of South Florida’s most spectacular mixed-use projects developed by Swire Properties. We look forward to completing the build-out by mid-August.

We are honored to play a role in the evolution of Brickell City Centre, which opened last year and continues to welcome high-end retail tenants. The 150,000-square-foot mixed-use development includes retail, residential and office space strategically located in the Brickell area. The retail component is home to restaurants, luxury retailers, an Italian food hall and Cinemex movie theatre. The new Swarovski store will serve the growing number of residents moving into the new luxury condos in Miami’s urban core. Many more towers are currently planned or under construction as the Brickell area continues to evolve into a world-class destination.

Swarovski adds another international brand to our portfolio of international clients/designs. That includes working with the Nobu Hospitality brand (hotel and restaurant) and building the sales center of Armani/Casa Residences. As a general contractor, we are the artisans behind the scenes turning design into reality. It is rewarding to be closely involved in projects that highlight Miami’s international appeal, unique architecture and design sophistication.

Getting Up Close and Personal with The Jills

Source: South Florida Business Journal

It is almost impossible to talk about Miami’s luxury real estate market without mentioning Realtors Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber. Mansions Global recently got up close and personal with the two Coldwell Banker agents and SPACiO couldn’t pass the opportunity to share some of their insights with you. As a general contractor of luxury custom homes and condos, we recognize the hard work and commitment these brokers have made to reach the top of their profession.

Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.

Jill Hertzberg: My dream property would be in an amazing location—it would be on Miami Beach on the wide-open bay or Golden Beach directly on the ocean. I love rooms that have views of gardens or water, a smart home that makes everyday life easy, furniture that is comfortable and somewhere that you feel you are living in a true treasure.

MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?

Jill Eber: Sure, we have those in our shopping cart. You cannot get them all. But there is plenty for everyone so you love the one you’re with!

MG: What does luxury mean to you?

JH: Luxury is a feeling. It is a combination of multiple factors, which include high-end brands, quality material and finishes and décor that really stand out and make the total look and feel very high end.

Whether it is jewelry, a car, a property or even clothing, the attention to detail and materials is readily apparent.

MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?

JE: Fort Lauderdale is really coming on strong for both affordability and lifestyle. With so much water from the intercostal to the ocean, it gives a lot of opportunity for upgrading existing housing and taking advantage of the beautiful views.

MG: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?

JH: Luxury real estate keeps evolving; from condos with private pools to custom items on the property such as a sound studio or off-the-charts media rooms. As properties continue to have smart home elements incorporated and possible “bots” that can perform duties, there is really no limit to what an owner may choose to add to their homes.

MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?

JE: The best homes are here in Miami Beach. I have traveled around the world and constantly get amazed at beautiful properties with breathtaking views and unbelievable amenities. But I always return home with an appreciation for all we have here on the Beach. It’s not just the grand estate and palatial amenities that make the area so special, it is the “you can have it all” splendor of our area. We have culture, dining, sports, entertainment, celebrity, fashion, world class events, boating and the list goes on. Very often, it is within walking distance or a short hop from where you live. We truly have it all.

MG: What is your favorite part of your home?

JE: It has to be the outdoor living. We seamlessly combine our indoor space with our outdoor space and the balcony of my condo on Fisher Island is just a tropical extension of my property. I never tire of the beautiful water, open sky and the healthy ocean air steps from every room in my home.

MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?

JE: I love finishes and have the most extraordinary stone in various places in my home. In addition, I have high-quality personally crafted furnishings that were done by my father. I think you can describe my property as personal elegance. It has a private personal feel surrounded by wonderful finishings and loving memories of my dad.

MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?

JE: Well…that would be my husband and my two doggies! Aside from them, it is the personal crafted furniture that was created and built by my father.

MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?

JH: Bathrooms and kitchens are always the key. You can have a beautiful foyer, grand entrance and staircase, upscale finishes but lose the interest with a buyer due to outdated bathrooms and kitchen.

MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?

JH: Make sure your real estate professional demonstrates their expertise and knowledge of the local market. Nothing replaces knowing everything that has sold, did not sell, sold years ago, been updated/renovated and the movement in the neighborhood. It’s not just about the house itself; it is also important to know everything that has gone on or will be going on around the property. You cannot underestimate the value of a realtor who knows the inventory extremely well, both on and off the market. If you’re a buyer, you don’t want to find out you missed the best property and if you are a seller, you want to get the best price obtainable.

MG: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?

JE: The new administration in the White House, of course. Policies that are made can affect real estate: the stock market (which affects real estate), immigration, foreign investment, EB-5’s and the list goes on. Everything in the U.S. is affected by real estate and so much that goes on that impacts consumer outlook affects our business.

What area currently has the best resale value?

JH: Waterfront is always your best bet. Some views are just priceless and if you can get one of those on a good piece of land, you will always be in a good position.

BRAVO’S MILLION DOLLAR LISTING BROKER CHAD CARROLL DISCUSSES 2017 TRENDS AND TIPS ON FIXER UPPERS

Chad Carroll Broker

Guest contributor broker Chad Carroll, who starred on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Miami and is one of Douglas Elliman’s Top Producing Agents in South Florida, sat down with SPACiO for a Q&A on trends we will see in the luxury residential market in 2017 and tips on fixer-upper homes in exclusive neighborhoods.

How do you expect buyers to react to the economic environment as it shapes up for 2017?

Buyers are going to be more cautious with their purchases. Interest rates are on the rise and a slowdown of foreign capital will definitely affect pricing. Sellers are going to have to adjust their prices to the new market conditions. Inventory levels are high and demand is relatively low compared to a year or 2 ago.

In terms of home decorating and renovation, what are some of the interior design trends your high-end clients are gravitating towards?

While they continue to prefer the modern interior design, they are increasingly introducing a touch of ‘home’ by incorporating different shades of warmer colors and finishes. Before, it was all about glass and white throughout the house but that style can feel a little stark. Now, I am seeing a lot more woods / artificial woods used alongside fabrics to soften everything up. Many of my high-end clients want their houses/condos to be a combination of ‘art’ and ‘home’.

Based on your years of experience selling homes in Coral Gables, the Brickell area and Miami Beach, what tips can you give us about buying a fixer upper?

Buyers need to be cautious that the house doesn’t have structural or roof issues. Often buyers don’t look into those things well enough and after closing problems appear and dip into their profit. Buyers also need to hire architects and general contractors who have experience working with similar types of properties. A house is not just a house. There are many types of construction and each requires a specific set of skills. Doing due diligence is key to the success of the project.
 

 

Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach Miami

THE MAKING OF A “BEACH CHIC” SOUTH BEACH HOTEL

Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach MiamiWith the conclusion of the Marriott Stanton South Beach renovation, hotel guests will now experience the confluence of historical and modern casual.  As the general contractor, renovating and repositioning the oceanfront hotel has been one of our favorite projects.

The main goal was to change the feel of the hotel to offer a modern take on beach chic. In order to remain competitive, hotels reposition themselves every few years to meet the guests’ evolving preferences and demands.

To refresh the hotel’s ambiance, Marriott Stanton used a lot of wood and natural products including bamboo, rattan, reclaimed wood, stone and tile with beach colors such as greens, blues, yellows and pinks.

The renovations transformed the hotel’s meeting room, two pools and decks, the main deck overlooking the pool, main lobby and check-in area, entry and driveway and the spa and gym. We replaced several ground-floor rooms to bring new amenities to the hotel, including three concept-driven restaurants.

A small section of the hotel has been designated historic so we are diligently working with the City of Miami Beach to protect the historic façade while converting the structure from wood to steel and concrete. That part of the hotel will house, once again, Starbucks. The work has been challenging but rewarding as we are honored to play a small part in helping protect and preserve a piece of Miami Beach’s history.

Working at Marriott Stanton isn’t new to us. Back in 2013, we renovated 224 rooms and the corridors from floors 4 to 11. We are looking forward to the opening of the additional restaurants that we are currently building out. Stay tuned for more information.

Nobu Restaurant Miami

BEHIND THE SCENES OF BUILDING OUT NOBU MIAMI

Nobu Miami at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach celebrates its first-year anniversary this month. Under the leadership of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, SPACiO was fortunate to be part of the team that made it happen.

In retrospect, we can proudly say that building out Nobu was one of our Top-10 projects in terms of complexity and sophistication.  One part of the design, for example, involved converting a previous outdoor dining space into an exquisite indoor dining area.  This included fabricating and installing curved wood screens that would separate areas of the restaurant, then installing a complex system of 10-foot wide wood-and-glass doors that open and stack to provide an inside/outside feel to the dining room. Now, when the wood-and-glass doors open, Nobu Miami becomes the largest Nobu restaurant in the world.

Chef Matsuhisa sought the “best of the best” to build out the space.  For example, the stone flooring was imported from Italy, the oak flooring from Denmark and many other finishes are derived from around the world. Nobu truly adds an extra level of sophistication to the iconic Eden Roc.

If you haven’t done so already, we suggest that you visit Nobu to enjoy the exclusive Teppan Room and signature dishes such as Yellowtail and Jalapeno and Black Cod Miso.  We are positive that the superb cuisine and ambiance will create an unforgettable dining experience for you and your guests.

Grove Condominiums at Grand Bay

DECONSTRUCTING THE STARCHITECT’S VISION BEHIND THE GROVE AT GRAND BAY

Congratulations to the iconic Grove at Grand Bay, which has closed on most of its luxury units. The innovative project, in the heart of Miami’s Coconut Grove, highlights the evolution of Miami as a global real estate market. Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels is the designer behind the twin towers built by developer Terra Group.

Recently Ingels told The Real Deal New York “the design is a combination of ‘rational Scandinavian’ meets Miami. He said the latter favors a ‘Caribbean interpretation of modernism,’ which he described as rounded, feminine architecture that puts a premium on balconies with impressive ocean views. The project also features a lush landscape — designed, no kidding, by a landscape architect named Raymond Jungles — and a canopy that winds ‘like an umbilical cord’ between the two buildings. “

As SPACiO completes the build-out of one of the Grove at Grand Bay condos, we are fortunate to experience this unique development on a daily basis. One high point is the opportunity to  incorporate Bjarke Ingels’ vision in the finishes we select for our client.

It is astounding to see how far Miami has progressed in less than a decade. Grove at Grand Bay has 98 magnificent units ranged from $2.95 million to $25 million, working out to an average of $1,100 per square foot. The last remaining unit — the penthouse — is currently on the market for $28 million, according to The Real Deal.