Turyap, the oldest and largest real estate firm in Turkey, has opened its first franchise in the United States in Miami, as Turkish demand for South Florida property grows.
Hilal Borque, who is originally from Turkey, has opened Turyap Miami Realty LLC in the Dupont Building at 169 East Flagler Street, she told The Real Deal. Borque holds the franchise rights to the United States and said she plans to expand franchising throughout the country.
“I want to start creating the brand name recognition here,” she said. “My main goalis to service both markets where I can get clients from Turkey to buy here and get clients from here to go over there to buy. I have 400 [Turyap] offices with a click of button who can service them.”
Turyap, founded 30 years ago in Istanbul, is owned by Azmi Saribay. The CEO, Mehmet Onur Saribay, the owner’s son, is a friend of Borque’s. She said he often chided her about opening a Turyap office in Miami.
Finally, Borque, an insurance claims professional, got her real estate license in 2012, and worked for Global Luxury Realty in Miami part-time before getting her broker’s license and opening the Turyap franchise. She also continues to own Appraisal Umpire Consulting Services by Hilal LLC.
“I became a Realtor because I know wealthy people, politicians, sports people, movie stars from my country,” she said. And it beats going to disaster zones like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, she said.
“I can dress pretty and focus on this, why not?” said Borque, who plans to expand her staff with Realtors of various nationalities.
With political uncertainty in Turkey and nearby countries, she said interest in investing in South Florida is accelerating. Turkish Airlines now flies non-stop between Miami and Istanbul, and Turkey has established a consulate in Miami.
“People who are famous can’t walk on the street comfortably [in Turkey],” she said. “They want to get away… and because of the instability, they want to have more here, to educate their kids or start a business… Everything in dollars is an investment.”
Among high-profile Turkish investments in South Florida is Island Gardens on Watson Island, developed by Mehmet Bayraktar‘s Flagstone Property Group. Also, the Turkish conglomerate Suzer Group, in joint venture with Israel-based ASRR Capital Ltd. last year paid $40 million for an oceanfront building in Surfside. Together with Turkish businesswoman Ozlem Onal, the group plans to build an ultra-high end hotel and condos. Onal’s family owns the Turkish luxury hotel chain Dedeman Hotels & Resorts, which operates 16 hotels in Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan.