Movers & Shakers: Compass’ Ari Afshar to launch Miami team

Plus: Starwood Capital hires managing director Matt Smith

Compass’ Ari Afshar to Launch Miami Team
Rodrigo Calderon, Tristan Alexander, Ari Afshar and Thomas Kresse (Transwestern Real Estate Services, Lee & Associates, Compass)

In the latest roundup of South Florida real estate hiring news, one of the top agents in Los Angeles is expanding his team to Miami. 

Compass agent Ari Afshar is launching a division of his Voyage team in Miami, he confirmed. Afshar has partnered with Tristan Alexander, a fellow Compass agent already based in Miami, to kickstart the expansion. Alexander will be joined by four other agents by the end of the year, Afshar said. 

“We don’t want more than five quality agents. We’re not trying to grow to become a 100, 200 person team out there, that’s not our business model,” he said. 

Afshar’s Voyage currently has 20 agents working in Los Angeles. They placed 17th in The Real Deal’s 2023 ranking of top residential brokers in L.A. County with $202.3 million in deals closed. 

Also in Miami, Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group hired Matt Smith as managing director and head of U.S. residential asset management, a press release shows. In his new role, Smith will oversee Starwood’s 107,000-unit market rate and affordable housing multifamily portfolio and the firm’s property management affiliate Highmark Residential.

Smith was previously a managing partner with Brookfield’s Real Estate Group for six years, and prior to that was an executive vice president at Related Companies, according to a press release. 

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Transwestern Real Estate Services promoted Thomas Kresse to executive managing director of industrial services in Miami, according to a press release. Kresse has been with the firm’s South Florida industrial team for 17 years, and will continue his practice with large industrial institutional owners in South Florida. 

In another Miami promotion, commercial brokerage Lee & Associates elevated Rodrigo Calderon to vice president, the firm announced. Rodrigo specializes in industrial sales and leasing, particularly vacant industrial land and industrial outdoor storage, the release shows. 

Calderon joined the brokerage in 2021. He was previously an international trade consultant for the Trade Commission of Peru 

The law firm Polsinelli added Michelle Bernstein as a shareholder in its commercial litigation practices in both Miami and New York, according to a press release. Bernstein’s practice focuses on complex financial products litigation, contractual disputes, commercial real estate, joint venture and partnership disputes.

Polsinelli also added Jennifer S. O’Connor to its real estate finance practice in May. 

The Keyes Company promoted Aileen Guzman to district sales manager in its Miami — The Falls office, according to an announcement. Guzman has been with Keyes since 2001, according to LinkedIn. In her new role, she will lead the sales team covering South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.