The Real Deal Miami

Miami will be fourth worst, says Fortune

By Jennifer LeClaire | January 08, 2009 05:32PM

Finding your way onto Fortune magazine lists can be a boon, but not all
publicity is good for a city. Miami real estate brokers certainly
didn’t welcome the magazine’s latest prediction.

Miami will have the fourth worst real estate market in 2009, Fortune
said. Los Angeles, Stockton and Riverside, California, hold the dubious
honor of the top three spots.

According to the magazine, “Miami will be nursing the hangover from its
epic building boom for years to come. After falling 22 percent in 2008,
prices are predicted to plunge another 23 percent” in 2009.

How are brokers preparing for the storm ahead? Some said they’ll hold
fast to tried and true strategies despite the doom and gloom. Others
have been preparing for the flood of foreclosures since this time last
year. Still others are diversifying their revenue streams in hopes of
spreading the risk.

Janice Leis, an associate broker at Prudential Real Estate in Boca Raton, isn’t planning to do anything different in 2009.

“Referrals only has been my business practice for 20 years and
hopefully it will be for 20 more good years,” Leis said. “I work with
highly qualified, motivated buyers and sellers — all repeat business or
referrals from the core group.”

Leis will continue to distribute newsletters, make phone calls and send
e-mails to her faithful clientele each month. She expects her
advice-based approach to serve her well in an uncertain market.

Scott Coloney, head of the Coloney Group of Re/Max in Fort Lauderdale, has been preparing for the worst for nearly a year.

Coloney created his foreclosure response team in early 2008 to
facilitate the process short sale and loan modification transactions
for participating realtors, distressed property owners, and qualified
buyers.

“Every broker we have been in contact with is looking for ways to cut overhead,” Coloney said. “Many agents are focusing on foreclosure and
short sale listings in order to offer a listing that has a chance of
selling.”

Coloney is also seeing more agents taking “cram training courses” to
learn how to adapt to the current downturn. That’s given them special
designations in real estate-owned properties and short sales.

Although some brokers are looking for the new skills Coloney mentioned,
others are sticking with basics. Bill Kerdyk, president and CEO of
Kerdyk Real Estate in Coral Gables, is proactively contacting clients,
dealing with other brokers on a one-on-one basis and soliciting in new
markets.

“As a brokerage business, Kerdyk Real Estate is seeking out different
venues and concentrating our efforts on our property management
division and our special assets division,” Kerdyk said. “We launched a
bankruptcy and foreclosure division to assist the special assets
divisions of local banks as it is clear that there will be much
inventory over the next few years.”