The National Association of Realtors recently released a survey that found Realtor sales of homes to foreign nationals leveling off. Don’t tell that to Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, CEO of Miami-based Related Cervera Realty Services (RCRS), a three-year-old company specializing in luxury condos and high-rises. More than one-third of her clientele maintains their primary residence outside of the United States. Half of her company is owned by Jorge Perez, CEO of Miami developer and builder The Related Group. RCRS handles most of The Related Group’s retail sales in the U.S. and also works with other Florida developers and investors such as The Athena Group.
RCRS caters to second- and even third-home buyers and reaches them predominantly through broker networks, particularly in Central and South America. It has hosted trade shows in countries there, where it presents information about the homes it handles, financing, the Miami market, and so forth. “We’ve attracted up to 300 people at these,” Cervera Lamadrid says. RCRS also gets involved in scheduled meetings with clients, often in brokers’ offices. But the best time to see foreign buyers about a house “is when they are in Miami,” she says.
Foreign nationals look for homes in the U.S. for various reasons, Cervera Lamadrid explains: Venezuelans “because that country is in such a mess”; Colombians because that country’s economy “is improving.” She notes, however, that RCRS’s business with Brazilians has fallen off because there’s more residential construction going on there, which presents buyers with other choices closer to home. She adds that The Related Group itself has developments in the works in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Panama. In some of these countries, citizenship comes with real estate ownership.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Miami, FL.