The Real Deal Miami

Miami’s condo king offers billionaire real estate advice

By Robyn A. Friedman | June 19, 2008 04:54PM

Jorge Pérez has been many things to many people. Real estate developer, philanthropist, art collector and movie producer are just a few of the labels he’s worn proudly. And last month, Miami’s so-called “Condo King” added a new moniker: author.

“I wish I could say I had a long-burning desire to write a book,” says Pérez, 58, the founder, chairman and CEO of The Related Group, Florida’s top multifamily developer and the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United
States. “A guy from Penguin Books got me on my portable phone and said we would like to write a book about you, and my first thought was, ‘Who the hell wants to read a book about me?'”

First approached to write an autobiography, Pérez refused. “I didn’t feel I was old enough,” he says. But when the publisher suggested a book about why he’s successful at business, his interest was piqued.

The result is “Powerhouse Principles: The Billionaire Blueprint for Real Estate Success.” Intended for both novice investors and seasoned veterans, the book marks the first time Pérez is sharing his principles for achieving success in the market. While he says that anyone can do what he did—start with $2 in his pocket and turn it into $1 million in a year—he emphasizes the importance of total dedication, research, hard work and passion, laying out his key business philosophies, insider methods and advice on how to manage and grow investments over the long term.

Why write a book? Pérez says he was convinced by friends. “They said I’m sort of professorial, and it would be good to jot down for future generations of developers—particularly people of Hispanic descent—how somebody coming with no money at all to the United States became successful in business,” he says. “That prompted me to do this as a way of sort of giving back.”

And why now, when the South Florida real estate market is, to put it kindly, faltering and financing is tough to come by? “I think it’s the best time, actually,” says Pérez. “We’re close to the bottom of a down market, and it’s really the best time for one to start thinking about real estate investments.”

Next up for Pérez is some travel to promote the book. Bookings have included CNBC, and he might even do talk shows such as Larry King. Says Pérez: “Maybe I’ll become the next Trump, right?”