Sales fueled by broker’s ‘desire to be no. 1’

May.May 28, 2013 10:00 AM

As Douglas Elliman’s top producing broker in Miami, Chad Carroll is also his clients’ unofficial cultural attaché to the city, a guide to not only top-flight penthouses and sprawling, single-family homes, but also to the region’s best restaurants and hottest nightclubs.

The 28-year-old Columbus, Ohio native is riding the tide of a Miami-area real estate revival, where demand for luxury units has pushed up prices to record levels. “There was a ton of cash on the sidelines for three years but now there’s the confidence and market assurance to put money back into real estate,” he said.

Carroll’s clientele include a professional basketball player and other pro athletes; chief executives of Fortune 500 companies; hedge fund managers and investment bankers; and some of Brazil’s and Russia’s wealthiest citizens, all, he says, high net worth individuals in the market for “trophy” properties.

He is currently listing a unit for $8.1 million and another for $11.9 million in the St. Regis Resort and Residences, across from Bal Harbour Shops, and has one client looking only at properties listed at $25 million or higher.

As director of the region’s luxury sales and investment properties at Douglas Elliman, Carroll has closed over $100 million in sales since 2011, and was named Miami’s top broker in 2012 for grossing the highest commission. He aims to double 2012 sales this year.

“He has a very determined approach,” said Vanessa Grout, Douglas Elliman’s top executive in Florida. “He doesn’t stop until the deal is closed.”

Raised in a family of medical professionals, Carroll takes no exception to answering clients’ calls in the middle of the night. He even hopped on a plane to Bogotá once to have a contract signed. He will soon begin traveling to Buenos Aires at least once a quarter to court Argentine buyers.

“They’re my first priority. My life is their life,” he said of his clients between bites of spicy tuna roll at a trendy, DJ-owned sushi place in South Beach. He describes what he does as “full-service real estate.”

In an open-collared shirt, a close shave and short, meticulously styled hair, Carroll still possesses the preppy good looks of the university golfer he once was at Florida Southern University, a Division II school in Lakeland, Fla.

After deciding against pursuing a professional golf career, Carroll transferred to Hofstra University, where he studied finance and marketing and graduated with a business degree in 2007.

After a stint in New York in the marketing department of an aerospace and defense company, Carroll took a leap of faith and headed into the quagmire of South Florida’s collapsing real estate market. In five years, he has emerged at the top, also penetrating the circle of the top one percent of brokers nationwide.

His personal faith in Miami seems clear by where he has chosen to live — after years of revitalization efforts, Midtown Miami seems poised to become one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods. His client, New York investor Sam Tawfik, purchased 27 Midtown units last month for $16.61 million.

“I have this huge desire to be number one. I always want more,” he said.

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