Icon sales strong after building-wide price cuts

By Alexander Britell | October 12, 2010 06:00PM

Icon Brickell

The sales have come from a variety of sources — from high-end
parties with partners like Versace
to real estate fairs in South
America to — yes, an iPad app. But Icon Brickell, the massive project
at the edge of Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami, has seen strong sales
after taking
over marketing from Related Cervera Realty,
and slashing prices
earlier this summer.

More than three months after it took over in-house
sales at two Icon Brickell towers that had been deeded back to HSBC by
developer Related, Fortune International has sold 236 units for a total
of $105 million in sales. There are now around 550 units left at towers 1
and 2 of the three-tower Complex On Brickell Avenue.

“Fortune International has been able to benefit from a price cut that HSBC implemented once they took back the property,” said Peter Zalewski, founder of Condo Vultures. “The product is going to move itself — but you need somebody who can manage and move it correctly.”

Related Cervera’s Alicia Cervera said the price cuts at the project have benefited Fortune.

“I know when they took over initially, they reshuffled their prices — they adjusted the pricing so it was more consistent throughout the building,” she said.

Related Cervera is now handling sales at the Viceroy Tower, which is the only tower still owned by Related, and Cervera said there was now a waitlist for inventory at the building.

According to Zalewski, when he checked Icon’s sales in mid-September, there had been 154 closed sales since the marketing shift. 

“We really tried to identify who our buyers were, and tried to figure out the profile of the buyer,” said Edgardo DeFortuna, president of Fortune. “There are a lot of foreign buyers, but [the profile] is really a professional buyer that is technologically savvy, technologically oriented.”

With a heavy influx of buyers from abroad, especially Latin America, DeFortuna said the firm has been focusing on Latin America. This approach includes attending real estate fairs in places like Colombia and trips to Brazil.

“I just got back from Brazil,” DeFortuna said. “We’re really farming and getting people to understand the value of the product [there].”

Daniel Ickowicz is one of the outside brokers who have co-brokered with Fortune.

Ickowicz, who works for Elite International Realty, deals extensively with Brazilian buyers. He said Icon was now doing joint marketing at events in Brazil, along with hosting events for the Brazilian market.

“I have a corporation agreement with TAM [the Brazilian airline], whereby if someone buys a property at Icon, I give them 60,000 miles, which is good for round-trip business class tickets so they can come to the closing,” he said.

Targeting Brazilian buyers has become a strong trend for South Florida’s high-end residential market. The Capri condo in South Beach has been focusing on buyers from Brazil, and Trump Towers in Sunny Isles recently partnered with Brazilian furniture company Artefacto to help sell the project’s Sunny Isles Beach units in Brazilian stores.
 
As for technology-oriented buyers, Fortune says its iPad/iPhone app is the first for marketing a high-rise luxury condo in the U.S. The app, which will be available on iTunes in mid-October, will feature a video of the project and be in English and Spanish.