One Sotheby’s acquires brokerage with Brazilian reach

17-agent firm closed about 600 deals in the last three years

André Duek and Carolina Lara with Daniel de la Vega
André Duek and Carolina Lara with Daniel de la Vega

One Sotheby’s International Realty closed on the acquisition of Duek Realty, a boutique firm focused on Brazilian buyers, The Real Deal has learned.

Duek Realty, owned by André Duek and Carolina Lara, will become the Duek Lara Group by One Sotheby’s and will work out of the Aventura and Boca Raton offices, said One Sothey’s President Daniel de la Vega. Duek’s office at 12000 Biscayne Boulevard, near North Miami, will close.

The acquisition adds 17 agents to One Sotheby’s, and comes about three months after the brokerage acquired the 100-agent Treasure Coast Sotheby’s, active in the Vero Beach and Melbourne markets.

Duek Realty was founded in 2012 and has closed about 1,500 deals in total. One Sotheby’s has worked with Duek Realty as the co-broker on a number of new development sales, de la Vega said.

“Brazilians love [new development] because it gives them an opportunity to put money little by little, [with] time to plan, and a selection of what to pick from,” Lara said.

While Latin American investment in Miami real estate has slowed in recent years, Brazil ranked as the top country buying South Florida homes in 2018, representing 12 percent of all foreign purchases of homes in the tri-county region that year, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

According to Duek, the firm has closed about 200 deals per year in the last three years, with an average price of about $800,000, depending on the market. Both Duek and Lara are from Brazil, but they said they provide “full service” for foreign nationals, resulting in repeat business from clients.

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“They need way more than just purchasing the property, from buying the cellphone to opening a new business,” Lara said.

Brazilians are buying more condos now and fewer vacation homes than before, she said, with many families looking to relocate permanently to South Florida in markets like Pembroke Pines and Boca Raton. Duek handles deals in the tri-county area, de la Vega said.

The firm was approached by two other brokerages but only negotiated with One Sotheby’s, according to Duek. Seth Kaufman, managing broker of One Sotheby’s, first reached out to Duek about a year ago.

De la Vega said that while there are opportunities for more acquisitions, “we’ve turned down many acquisitions where we believed that the ownership group was not right for One Sotheby’s.”

In TRD’s most recent ranking of residential brokerages in Miami-Dade, released in September, One Sotheby’s ranked No. 1, closing $1.46 billion in sales volume between mid-2018 and mid-2019.

The firm has bought seven companies in the last two years, and de la Vega said that growth via acquisition is “one of the main reasons we’ve been able to be competitive.”