Friday, May 12, 2017

Governments change, economies shake and Miami remains solid

2017 is a year full of expectations for some, doubts for others, especially when it comes to investing in Real Estate. But as history has shown us, markets go up and down, but they ultimately stabilize. That’s not the case for South Florida; apparently, this region of America is somehow “bullet-proof”. Maybe we are exaggerating, but what we can say for sure is that all the employment policies and immigrant matters will not negatively affect the housing market in this region; governments change, economies shake and Miami remains solid.

In 2016, many experts predicted an implosion of the Real Estate market in Miami, and by the end of the year, it turned out to be just a slowdown. Of course, this might discourage some new investors, but after all the growth that this town has seen in the last years, a slowdown isn’t much of a problem for most investors. Experts suspect this slowdown happened because of the November elections, and it’s just the beginning of an upward cycle; in other words, the market took a deep breath last year.
On the other hand, 2017 is not going to be the year for constructors, since financing has become harder than in the past. Still, this is no reason to worry; there’s still plenty of choices for investors looking to put their money on Real Estate in Miami. Last year, many sellers paused their properties and decided to rent only, while investors held their breath until the election was over. Now, at the beginning of the second quarter of the year, the foggy expectations are starting to look bright once more.

Talking about immigrants, we all know South Florida has one of the highest immigrant populations in America, especially latinos. Illegal immigrants are quite a topic nowadays, and there’s a lot of speculation about this, but the truth is, this matters don’t apply (at least not directly) to the Real Estate market. Many investors in Miami and its surroundings come from Central and South America, but most of these people are buying their second home. This means they are looking for legal ways to get American Citizenship (if they actually want it at all). While immigrant policies might affect the economy in other ways, the Real Estate market doesn’t shake to this matter.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tell me where you want to invest and I’ll tell you which type of person you are

After many years in the Real Estate business, with a growing client list and a constantly changing market, we can now say with some accuracy which is the average profile (or stereotype) of an investor here in South Florida. We can tell a lot about the type of person you are just by knowing where and how you want to invest!

Let’s take Coral Gables, for example, and make a quick review. It’s a city made with great taste, it has a solid history (Spanish ancestors and Spanish architecture), it features sophistication, luxury and a relaxing atmosphere. Now let’s talk about numbers. Population: over 50,000. Median household income: $93,000. Median age: 41 years old.  95% of Coral Gables population has a high school degree and 61% has a bachelor degree, which is one of the highest rates in the area. This is just some great stuff about this city but there’s plenty more.

Most people investing in Coral Gables nowadays are doing it for profit, or simply getting a second home at a beautiful place (one that looks like a vacation spot). Many immigrants put their minds in this city, and what most of them have in common is that they are looking for a legal immigration status (if they are looking for it at all), and a high percentage of these investors are business men and women with a high level of education. In the particular case of Coral Gables, a place where the median age goes around 40 years old, people who come to live here are men and women with families (married with children).

The profile for the type of person who wants to invest in this area is starting to look quite sharp, and this is just a glance. To conclude this statement, let’s separate the people who want to invest in Coral Gables from the ones preferring Miami. The profile is actually quite similar, with one particular difference. Coral Gables is more of a retiring city. This doesn’t mean people don’t work there; it means it’s a quieter area with a slower pace, where people with a very stable financial situation can go and enjoy all the comforts of a beautiful city. On the other hand, people who prefer Miami tend to be younger (a little bit), and with the one goal in mind of making money and start settling the bases of their future. A high percentage of them are single or recently married but with no children. Miami has a faster pace and it features more business opportunities for people anxious to learn, grow and have fun all at the same time.

Of course these are all stereotypes, these are not absolutes, and at the end of the day, every person is different, but it’s important to recognize patterns when you are working in the Real Estate business, and you, as a client (or a potential client), should know what you are going to find where you want to live or invest.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Altamira Libros in Coral Gables

Just across the street from Barnes & Nobles, and behind Books and Books, Altamira Libros has come to Miracle Mile, in Coral Gables, to stay. This amazing Venezuelan bookshop has arrived to Miami to provide all Latinos with the best spanish written books. From Borges, Cortázar and Vargas Llosa, to Gabriel García Márquez, Rómulo Gallegos, Bolaño, and any other Spanish writer you can imagine, you’ll find them all in Altamira Libros.
            If you are one of those Miamians who enjoy a nice reading afternoon and who loves to stay all Sunday with an open book, then Altamira Libros will definitely fit your needs. You just need to go and choose your next adventure. You’ll find novels, poetry, essays, and even kids’ books for the youngest members of your family!
            This is a great initiative to incorporate the Latino culture among the South Floridian society. And there’s no better way to do so than by offering good Literature to its citizens. The best thing is that all editions are in their original language: Spanish. So, if you’re looking forward to feed your library with more Spanish-written literature, then Altamira Libros is the place to visit.
You can contact them by calling: (786) 534-8433 and ask if the book you’re looking for is available. Also, remember to follow them on their social networks as @AltamiraLibros on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Altamira Libros is located at:
219 Miracle Mille
Coral Gables

FL 33134.

Photo credit: Isabella Saturno. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Five Reasons to Rent in Coral Gables

Moving into a new town can be a very stressful thing to do, especially if you are arriving somewhere you know nothing about. The good thing about South Florida is that its citizens are very friendly and always willing to help you. Still, if you’re deciding among Florida cities to move in, then here are five reasons why you should consider Coral Gables as your next destination, especially if you’re looking forward to renting a home.

1)     If you’re looking for comfort, then Coral Gables is your best option. You’ll find infinite amenities that will adapt to any lifestyle. It has one of the most unique public pools: the Venetian Pool. You’ll also find gyms, clubhouse facilities, bars, sports courts, a shopping district, all kinds of restaurants, libraries, and so much more.
2)     The Marina at Coral Gables is always an extra plus. If you’re a boat and sea lover, then you’ll find peace of mind at the Marina.
3)     If you have a family, education is always an important factor you need to think about. In Coral Gables you have excellent schools for your kids to study, and you also have the University of Miami for more advanced studies (which, by the way, was envisioned by the developers of Coral Gables).
4)     If you’re moving with your family, Coral Gables is perfect since it’s a very safe area for your kids. Also, Coral Gables offers big houses, with lots of rooms and bathrooms for your comfort. You have a great variety to choose from.
5)     Right now, there are lots of great rental deals. You can rent a home at Coral Gables for less than $1,400 a month. There are even 2-bed/2-bath units available for a family of three or even four members.

Check Gables Riches’ website for all the great rental deals Coral Gables has to offer: You can also contact us and we’ll take care of finding your dream home!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Local Residents and US Citizens are back in the Market!

The real estate market is continuously changing. A few years ago, it seemed to slow down, and most of the main investors were immigrants that were looking for a second vacation home. However, the market had seemed to turn upside down, and since 2016 and 2017, local residents and U.S. citizens are coming back for real estate investments.

            The Miami real estate market seems to be one of the favorite for the upcoming years. The weather, coziness, and investment stability in this city is dragging investors every day. The most interesting part is that those investors come from every generation.

            Ten years since the housing crisis, middle-aged people have fixed their credit offer. This is offering them the opportunity to reinvest their money back in the market. They seem to be buying second homes and also investing in properties as a way to gain future profits (either by reselling or renting). And due to the great deals in Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, this seems to be an amazing opportunity for this generation.

            Regarding the Baby Boomer generation, they’re downsizing or buying second homes. People from this generation already own a property, and are settled in life. But real estate is pretty attractive to them since it’s the safest way to use and keep your money, while making a profit. However, most of them are just investing in real estate to purchase a second home to spend their vacations. And there’s no destination like Miami to do so. So, you can figure out that this is a great move for South Florida’s real estate market.

            Last, there’s the Millennial generation. This is the youngest generation to have the economic opportunity to invest in real estate. Since they are tired of paying rent, the Millennials have done some great work at saving money, and now have enough to get into the market and buy a property of their own. This is a generation mostly made up of single families and full-time local residents, so this will help the Coral Gables and Coconut Grove housing market, since the properties here meet the needs of these types of investors.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Monday, March 13, 2017

Best Deals in Coconut Grove

When planning your next investment, the real estate market should always come to mind. It’s the safest way to use your money! If you’re also looking to move in to a new neighborhood with your family –or only purchase a second home to go on vacation, then Coconut Grove, in Miami, Florida, is a great option. Right now, Coconut Grove is offering the best deals in the real estate market.

            One of the best things about Coconut Grove is that it’s the perfect neighborhood for your family, especially if you have small kids. Here you’ll find great schools, amazing medical attention, a great variety of entertainment options, retail, food, and so much more. Remember, real estate is all about LOCATION!

            Gables Riches is currently offering some great deals on gorgeous properties that will probably suit you and your family’s dream home. This one over here is a single-family home, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1 half bath. This 1361 sqft house is located in the heart of Coral Gables, near the Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center, the library, high school, Publix, Barnes and Noble, and so many food places such as: Season 52, Graziano’s in the Gables, California Pizza Kitchen, and so much more... You can buy it for only $560,000 (cash only).

            If you’re looking for a smaller place, then this 936 sqft property will provide you with the most comfortable and cozy environment. At only $530,000, this 1-bed/1-bath house can become your home! It was built in 2002 and it’s located at walking distance from the beach. Nearby, you’ll find Greenstreet Café, Lulu in the Grove, Jaguar, Bombay Darbar, The Fresh Market, Grove Key Marina, Regatta Park, Peacock Park, The Barnacle Historic State Park, and more.

            This last property is the perfect combination of luxury and coziness. With 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, this is a great home for a family with one child. Why? Because of its location. The property is near Coral Gables Hospital, Pediatric Dental Center, and Digestive Medicine Associates. Also, it’s very close to Esc. Ivet Dade School, and it’s very near the beach. This is a great area for your kids to grow up, since you have it all nearby: health, education, and entertainment. It’s a great deal when it comes to Coconut Grove. You can buy it for $489,000.

So, if you’re planning on moving or investing in Miami, then you should consider Coconut Grove as a great destination. These properties are in constant movement, so if you’re interested in purchasing one of them, but they’ve already been sold, the Gables Riches team can help you find another similar, perhaps even better deal.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Communications from a business standpoint

When I started in the real estate business our main avenue to reach clients was word of mouth. At the beginning this was enough. We were able to sell real estate investments to most of the people we knew. This strategy worked up to the point where we had sold to everyone we knew because obviously family and friends are a limited resource. You can argue you can make friends fast, but earning their trust is way more complex and it takes time.

Trust is a very important factor in almost all businesses and especially in real estate. If people do not trust you, it is going to be extremely hard to close deals. When you start working in any business, the people who already trust you, usually family and friends, are the first ones to do business with you. But how do you do when you need to grow your business outside of your circle of family and friends?

In our case, we grew organically up to a point where we did not have time to speak to more clients but we still needed to keep growing. It reminds me of a friend of mine, owner of a pizza restaurant, who told me once that he was very frustrated with his business while we were having dinner and all the tables were full.  I was puzzled and did not understand. He explained that he could no longer grow his business; that he had reached his maximum and could not grow anymore.

One of the best ways to slowly earn people’s trust is to be in constant contact with them. Therefore, communication is essential to earning somebody’s trust, especially at the beginning of the business relationship. We try to be in touch with our clients frequently via either meetings or phone calls. This allows us to slowly earn their trust. This model does not scale, as time is a limited resource. I needed to talk to more people to be able to close more deals. Our rule of thumb is that you have to talk to 100 people so that 10 listen to you and you close 1 deal. Therefore, the challenge lies in reaching the maximum number of qualified prospects using channels that allow you to grab their attention while slowly building trust.

For these reasons we started experimenting with social networks because the entry cost was very low, almost zero, and more and more people use them everyday. We were able to attract a lot of followers but were not able to attract new qualified prospects. We realized we needed a well-defined communications strategy to maximize the number of qualified people we could reach and ultimately gain their trust. Consequently, it is more than just hiring a community manager; you need to hire somebody who can define a realistic communications strategy that allows you to grow.

It is very challenging and costly for small businesses to hire a full-time communications expert, let alone a communications team. Therefore, most small businesses decide to hire an outside communications consultant or firm. This is a very important step, as this consultant must understand your business and your goals. They will not understand your goals –or it will be very difficult– if they have not worked in your line of business before.

After we hired an outside communications firm and defined a strategy, we started getting calls from qualified prospects. Moreover, we were able to train more salespeople to understand how to communicate the right message to prospects and how to slowly earn their trust. As a result, our team started to grow and our business started to expand. We meet regularly with our outside communications team to tweak our communications strategy and to learn from mistakes. The more they get involved to understand the intricacies of the business, the better the results. This is a very important point. I have heard a lot of people in the real estate business saying we hired a consultant who used to manage our communications and it did not work out so we stopped the service. And when you ask them how often you met to go over the strategy, most of the time they say we only met at the beginning.

Every business is different regarding communicating through social media. In some businesses you can produce a sale using social media directly. It is still really hard to sell real estate through social media, but you need a strong message to be able to catch the attention of qualified prospects and bring them knocking on your door.
It is still important to keep in touch with prospects and clients through phone calls and meetings, but if we had not hired an outside communications consultant, we would not have been able to grow our business and make more clients happy and satisfied with our service.

Carlos E. Rojas – Lic. Real Estate Broker, America Riches

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

IMAGO: “Art in Action” in Coral Gables

A city is not only a place to have a house and do your grocery shopping, it’s also about enjoying its surroundings and keeping yourself entertained. If you’re one of those who need art to keep life interesting, then IMAGO will definitely fit your lifestyle.

This is a new cultural space in Coral Gables that offers an artistic experience that overcomes the concept of a normal gallery. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy literature, visual arts and the fine arts. IMAGO is divided into four main areas: The Gallery, The Library, The Workshops, and The Designer-Objects Store.

There are permanent events for South Floridians to enjoy, such as art exhibitions, gallery talks, classes, cinema forums, and much more. Imago Art in Action opened on April 6, 2017, and its first exhibition was provided by a group of renowned Venezuelan artists, such as: Sigfredo Chacón, Isabel Cisneros, Rafael Rangel, Patricia Van Dalen, and so many others.

This amazing project allows citizens and visitors of Miami to expand their cultural experience and enjoy the city to its fullest. Not only is it a project for entertainment, but it’s a soul feeder. Art is always a plus in any city!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Brickell City Centre: The New Attraction

Photo: Courtesy of Brickell City Center
We thought Miami already had it all, but Brickell City Centre has proved us wrong. This mixed-use space is just what the city was missing. This project, which we can all enjoy now, is made up of two residential towers, two office buildings, and the Miami Hotel. So, either if you’re a tourist or a resident, BrickellCity Centre will suit your needs.

Moreover, at Brickell City Centre you’ll find the perfect combination of artistry and innovation. Its modern architecture will be a delight for your eyes. In its 4.9 million-square-feet, you’ll have a unique fashion and gastronomic experience distributed among three city blocks.

If you’re a shopping lover, then Brickell City Centre is the latest attraction for you. You’ll find world-class retails such as: Armani, Boss, Coach, Pandora, Saks Fifth Avenue, and so many more. Also, there are some upcoming stores that are soon to be opened, such as: 100% Capri, Apple Store, Bruno Magli, IRO, Nars Cosmetics, etc…

However, if you’re more into work than entertainment, the Brickell City Centre is also the right place for you. Its location at the center of the Financial District, and its two office buildings are the best choice for you if you’re looking for a more developing working place. Best of all: you get to enjoy Brickell City Centre on your breaks!

Doesn’t Miami sound like the greatest city in the world?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Real Estate Market on 2017-2018

The real estate market is the most stable one. It’s a fact that a real estate investment is a safe investment. But in order to make it safe, you have to make it right. From some time now there has been a lot of talk about a global economic recession estimated for 2017-2018. By that time, Miami Dade will be completing a lot of new buildings that are great investing opportunities.

So, you might be wondering how to act knowing about this possible recession. Well, prices are going down in all of Miami Dade County, so there will probably be a lot of good opportunities for investors by 2018 in the high-end market as the prices start to adjust and it’s prudent to wait and buy then. However, for 2017, we recommend investors to make small investments and buy $150K units, which they should rent with a long-term mindset.

A low income unit is a wise investment if there is a recession since these cheaper units may not go down in demand. In case of a recession, there may be more demand for rental if people are making less money in the next 3 years, which is why they’ll look for cheaper residences to live and renting is always more accessible than buying with a lower salary.

Therefore, be wise and invest wisely. The real estate market is a safe one if you play your cards well. Gables Riches offers all kind of assessment in this kind of matters. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re looking forward to go ahead on time and make right decisions for your money.

Monday, December 19, 2016

WeWork Station in Brickell City Centre

Brickell is one of those places where everyone feels comfortable, while living a luxury lifestyle. Not only for its exclusiveness, but also for the wide variety of accommodations the city has to offer. Brickell City Centre is just one of those projects that exemplify Brickell’s lifestyle. This project features not only residences, retails, and hotels, but also offices and work spaces.

Imagine yourself working in an office located just steps away from the ocean’s immensity. Brickell City Centre offers that and more through the recently opened WeWork Stations in the building. Have an attractive working experience in the second tower of Brickell City Centre. Rent an elegant, private, and modernly designed working space from $400 to $4000 monthly.

WeWork offers workers a private patio where to relax and enjoy the view and the Miami River. On your spare time you can also visit the mall or give yourself a treat in an exquisite restaurant. It’s an excellent place to be productive, while enjoying yourself.

In WeWork offices you can rent a hot desk or a private office: you’ll find a great variety of space options depending on how many people your company needs to shelter. A hot desk is excellent for those users who need a 24/7 available working space, without having the need of renting an entirely private office. Private offices are directed to those businesses that need complete privacy for their employees. You can rent offices for up to nine people, but you can contact them if you’re sheltering even more workers.

For either kind of rented work space, the amenities offered by WeWork are: communication team, cleaning, phone cabins, meeting rooms, printers, high-speed internet, coffee, weekly events (workshops, classes, happy hours, etc.), and common areas.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Christmas in Coming!

The most wonderful time of the year is almost here and Miami likes to celebrate it big time. In the city you’ll find a bunch of activities and places to visit with your family and spend time with them. Fill your soul and theirs with the Christmas spirit! Here’s a list of the most attractive activities of our city:

·      Santa’s Enchanted Forest: If you’re a fan of Christmas trees and lights, then this is the right place for you! In this enormous Christmas-themed amusement park you’ll find a 92” Christmas tree and over 3 million lights. Enjoy many live shows, games, magic acts, mazes, rides, and carnival food. It’s an excellent place to visit with the whole family, especially with the younger kids for its variety. Santa’s Enchanted Forest will be open untill January 8.

·      Christmas Tree Lighting at Bayfront Park: The day just after Thanksgiving (November 25, this year) is the first official day of Christmas. This day, Bayfront Park will unveil its 50-feet-tall tree covered with lots of glittering lights. The idea is to spend the night waiting for the tree lighting while enjoying holiday music and food trucks.

·      Winterfest Boat Parade: If you’re a parade person, then you can’t miss this one in Ft. Lauderdale on December 10. You’ll enjoy thousands of lights and the Christmas spirit sailing the intercostal waters. Anything can be expected from the sailboats, yachts, barges, gondolas, and kayaks that will be lighting the night.

The Annual Living Nativity: Every year, at Miami Shores Presbyterian Church, a live, open-aired reenactment of the origins of Christmas is organized. Not only are the characters represented by real actors, but you’ll also see live camels, donkeys, goats and sheep, along with digital and live-action characters, and of course: an amazing choir. It’s a great place to spend the night with your kids and teach them about the origins of this holiday.
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