Condo boom resonates with Miami young adults

Project Facebook pages get traction with 25-to-34-year-olds
By Peter Zalewski | February 04, 2014 12:45PM

Peter Zalewski

South Florida’s latest preconstruction condo boom appears to be resonating mostly with individuals between 25 and 34 years old who are located in Miami.

At least, that is the finding of an informal study I completed Monday on the demographics behind the total “Likes” on the Facebook pages created for many of the nearly 190 newly proposed condo towers in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Remember, social media moves at breakneck speed, so the number of “Likes” can quickly change, especially if developers or real estate brokerages use some of the black market services available to instantaneously – and artificially – boost online support for their projects.

Such tactics are used to bolster online support by “small and mid-sized social media agencies” in the increasingly competitive online market, where “statistics and quantifiable data” is so important, according to a recent Huffington Post column by Miami contributor Grant Stern.

Fake followers aside, social media experts suggest the brand name products with the most online support, including “Likes” on Facebook, “Followers” on Twitter, “Circles” on Google Plus and “Connections” on LinkedIn, are most likely to have success with consumers.

Under this premise, the number of “Likes” – and the demographics behind the clicks – was reviewed for all of the proposed South Florida condo towers with Facebook pages. The survey did not include other social media sites.

Overall, more than 400,000 “Likes” were tallied on about 60 Facebook pages for the proposed condo towers totaling nearly 25,000 units in the tri-county region.

The age range of 25-to-34 totaled the most clicks on the “Like” button for a proposed South Florida condo project. That group clicked “Like” on 23 business pages for proposed South Florida condos.

The next most popular age group clicking the “Like” button on 11 business pages is “unknown” to Facebook. Coming in third with nine pages clicked is the age range of 35-to-44.

As for the locations of the website visitors, the most popular city for Facebook “Likes” was Miami with 15 and Caracas with two. Three other cities, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach and Buenos Aires, each ranked first on one Facebook page. An additional 37 pages did not specify a most popular city.

The overall number of “Likes” for South Florida condo towers works out to an average of more than 7,000 “Likes” per page. The top 10 most popular pages for proposed condo projects account for 64 percent, or more than 261,000, of the total “Likes.”

The Related Group, South Florida’s most prolific vertical residential developer, has the three most visited Facebook pages and five of the top 10. Related’s Beachwalk condo-hotel project under construction in Hallandale Beach has attracted the greatest number of “Likes” with 44,850. The most popular age for the Beachwalk “Likes” is 25 to-34 years old, and the most popular city is Buenos Aires.

Related’s Baltus House under construction on Biscayne Boulevard north of Greater Downtown Miami ranks second in South Florida, with 40,624 “Likes.” The most popular age for that page is 25-to-34 years old, and the most popular city is Caracas.

Meanwhile, some of the most expensive proposed condo projects in South Florida are struggling the most on Facebook.

Near the bottom of the rankings of South Florida’s most popular projects on Facebook are a pair of oceanfront Miami Beach projects: Faena House, with less than 50 “Likes,” and 321 Ocean, with 67 “Likes.” The pricey Oceana Bal Harbour totaled less than 10 “Likes.”

Going forward, it remains to be seen how social media strategies translate to preconstruction condo sales during the latest building boom.

Peter Zalewski is real estate columnist for The Real Deal who founded Condo Vultures LLC, a consultancy and publishing company, as well as Condo Vultures Realty LLC and CVR Realty brokerages and the Condo Ratings Agency, an analytics firm. The Condo Ratings Agency operates, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.