To find buyers, luxury brokers ditch the crowds during Art Basel

Top resi agents are showcasing their listings at smaller events

From left: Oren Alexander, Bill Hernandez, Bryan Sereny, Danny Hertzberg and Julian Johnston, and Miami Beach (Credit: Wikimedia)
From left: Oren Alexander, Bill Hernandez, Bryan Sereny, Danny Hertzberg and Julian Johnston, and Miami Beach (Credit: Wikimedia)

For what is arguably Miami’s highest-profile week, some of the city’s top luxury agents are avoiding the crowds and instead hosting more intimate cocktail parties at their properties.

The events began days before Art Basel, Art Miami and offshoot art shows opened their doors. Coldwell Banker’s The Jills team used the opportunity to target high-net-worth art collectors who arrived early by hosting a launch party for the penthouse at 1111 Lincoln Road on Friday, Dec. 1. “By the time the main Basel events happen, most of them have already left,” The Jills’ Hillary Hertzberg said.

Residential agents are banking on the buzz created by Miami Art Week to sell multimillion-dollar homes in what has been a very slow year. “We’ve had more showings and more offers than we’ve had in [all of] 2017,” The Jills’ Danny Hertzberg noted. “You feel it in the traffic, in the momentum.”

Between 50 and 75 people attended the 1111 Lincoln event, a stark difference from the thousands that typically flood blowout parties like Haute Living and Hublot’s annual Art Basel kickoff. The Jills showcased developer Robert Wennett’s 7,700-square-foot condo, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Herzog & de Meuron, with landscaping by Raymond Jungles. Wennett also has part of his art collection throughout the penthouse, Danny Hertzberg said. It hit the market a week ago for $34 million.

Julian Johnston, broker and owner of Calibre International Realty, said he’s hosting and attending smaller events to reach buyers. He’s planning a brokers’ open house at 15 Palm Avenue in Miami Beach, which is on the market for $22.5 million.

In addition to going to shows like Scope Miami, Johnston attended InList’s Art Basel party celebrating Moishe Mana’s birthday – an annual event – to connect with current and potential clients.

Bill Hernandez and Bryan Sereny of Douglas Elliman are hosting a three-hour preview party with an art gallery on Saturday night at Murano at Portofino in South Beach.

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They’re also inviting brokers and their clients to check out two units in particular: Setai PHVC, which is on the market for $12.15 million, and St. Regis unit 705N, which is listed for $3.1 million, plus $400,000 worth of art – a Chinese collection that includes works by Yu Han Xi, Li Gang and Yang Tao. For the Setai unit, the artwork is negotiable.

Elliman’s Oren Alexander is also taking the opportunity to show off one of his listings. The Alexander Team is hosting a lunch on Friday for top clients at 252 Bal Bay Drive, which is on the market for $33 million. He expects most of the 15 guests to arrive by boat.

Last year, he hosted a similar lunch aboard a yacht to showcase his team’s waterfront properties, capping it off with a helicopter ride.

Alexander has been attending smaller events all week, including one at Faena House with art collector and gallery owner Larry Gagosian.

“Most of the high-caliber events are pretty much over,” Alexander said. “Now it’s mostly just parties.”

On Wenesday, Cervera Real Estate hosted the opening night preview party of Red Dot Miami and Spectrum Miami, two sister shows in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District.

And on Friday, Elliman is closing out its Basel activities with the launch of its fourth-annual art issue of Elliman Magazine at Delano South Beach. Tony Okungbowa, former resident DJ of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” will be providing the music.