Already preparing for a new Miami construction boom, Related Chairman and CEO Jorge Perez announced the formation of an exclusive sales and marketing company with global real estate sales firm International Sales Group.
The partnership, Related ISG, is aiming heavily at the Latin American market, which Perez said would be a major driver in the next phase of Miami real estate development.
“What this deal means is that we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Perez told The Real Deal at Related’s Miami headquarters. “We have been blessed in Miami by having a very, very strong Latin American market. We think that those chances of new construction are going to be geared toward the Latin American and the Canadian market, because the local market and national market is still suffering through the recession.”
Perez said his strategy going forward would be targeting Latin American buyers for all-cash, largely up-front transactions.
“The big difference from now and [before the downturn] is that we’re not taking 10 or 20 percent deposits, and saying, come and pay us empty-handed,” he said. “We’re going to get the majority of the money during the construction period. The existing sales structure is going to be one that has to go to buyers that are already used to this method of buying.”
Perez has been very active of late, with an entity he controls launching reconstruction sales last month at Apogee Beach in Hollywood, and Related’s purchase of the note on the Omni mall in downtown Miami.
International Sales Group, which was formed 20 years ago in Miami Beach and now has offices in Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Panama, was selected from a list of firms in large part due to its ties to the Latin American market.
The firm’s sellouts and recent projects include Trump Ocean Club in Panama and downtown Miami’s Vizcayne and Marina Blue complexes.
“We’ve developed strategic partnerships [in Latin America],” said Craig Studnicky, president of ISG. “Twenty years ago, it was dominated by Argentina and Brazil; 10 years ago it was dominated by Colombia and Venezuela. Along the way, we’ve developed relationships with brokers in every one of those countries, including Mexico, which has always been good for a solid, 10 to 15 percent of our sales year in and year out.”
In addition to its Latin American office in Panama, ISG has affiliates in Mexico City, Bogota, Caracas, Sao Paolo, Santiago and Buenos Aires.
Philip Spiegelman, co-principal at ISG, said the firm, like Perez, was already looking ahead toward the next cycle.
“When we sat back in this apocalypse that we lived through, we talked about where we could see ourselves in the next cycle,” he said. “We know that for the next cycle, whether it’s 10 years or eight years, or 12 years, whatever that is, that Jorge Perez is going to be leading that development cycle.”