I first started selling real estate in Miami back in 2002, soon after I arrived to South Beach from Cleveland, Ohio. My career as a Miami real estate agent got its start with a small South Florida boutique real estate brokerage called Majestic Properties, which was located in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood in South Beach, years before it became the trendy place that it is today. At the time, Majestic Properties was bes known for the trendy new constuction Miami projects in reshaping South Beach.
When I first started my career, the Miami real estate market was very strong. We were still in the aftermath of 9/11, but people wanted to spend money again and people saw Miami Beach as a great place to invest in real estate. With no experience and little clue on what I should be doing, I went to the office everyday and observed what other agents were doing. I vividly remember watching all these experienced real estate professionals close deals and they made selling Miami condos look so easy. Most of these agents had been in the business for years and had years of expertise and knowledge about the market. These brokers and agents were the original OG’s of the Miami real estate market.
As a newly licensed Realtor one of the first things I noticed was how few Miami real estate agents had websites, let alone any sort of internet marketing. Back then, running ads in the local paper, sending out postcards, sitting at open houses and making cold calls was the only way you got deals done. Websites like Zillow and Trulia didn’t exist for another 10 years.
Being a Successful Miami Realtor is Not Easy
Prior to getting into the real estate business, I was running a popular boat listings website and had learned a great deal about digital marketing and generating leads. I was working with high net worth individuals. So while most other Miami realtors were focusing on marketing the old fashioned way, I was in the process of working on my new website, focusing on buying and selling real estate. I can still picture my first Miami real estate agent website perfectly and I still use the same URL today, joshsteinrealtor.com.
Lately it seems that everyone I talk to wants to become a Realtor or do real estate sales as a side hustle. Whenever the real estate market is red hot, getting into real estate seems like the easiest way to make money and earn large commissions. After all, who wouldn’t want to sell a $20 million home in Miami and earn a $600k commission?
This past month, I’ve had two different friends call me asking if I think they should get their Miami real estate license. The same thing happened in 2004 and then again in 2015. Whenever the market is booming, having a real estate license seems like a great idea. Usually my friends will say something like, “Hey Josh, you know if you want to partner up, I can help show the homes for you and we just split it 50/50”, haha. But selling real estate is a tough business and to get to the top requires hard work, dedication and providing excellent services.
Miami Realtors must not only have a solid understanding of the local communities and markets, but they need to have a lot of patience. And let me tell you, selling real estate in South Florida is definitely not what you see on the Reality TV shows like Million Dollar Listing. The most successful real estate professionals in Miami FL have spent years and years building up their business and are experts in their craft and have stellar real estate reviews from their clients. The Realtors that are selling the multi-million dollar homes are hustling more than you can imagine and have a deep understanding of local market data and homes list report services.
The Reality of The Miami Real Estate Market
Everyday in the news, there seems to be record breaking properties sold or realtors selling for record prices in a neighborhood. But there is so much more behind the scenes that happens. Let me give you a quick look inside what really happens. In the past few months, I’ve had four news clients reach out to me saying they are interested in buying a house or condo in the city of Miami. Out of all of these four clients, we had dozens of showings, email exchanges, phone calls, etc. And as of now, not a single one of them turned into a sale. Here’s a breakdown of why.
One couple I was working with from the Northeast wanted me to help them find and search for a small Art Deco condo in South Beach. They had a budget up to $350k and we showed them more than 10 places, a few of which they really liked and said were perfect. Rather than writing up an offer, the client emailed me and said he was afraid that South Beach had become too dangerous and as he had put it, “South Beach ain’t what it used to be.” So just like that, they moved on. Perhaps if they would have checked out the incredible new Five Park South Beach new construction condos that would have changed thier mind.
Another client that we showed some perfect places to got outbid on two different occasions, both in the Midtown Miami FL area. This client was paying all cash and even offered full asking price, which is something that rarely happens in the Miami market. After the second time of getting their offer rejected, they decided enough is enough and put their search on hold for the time being. I know that it had nothing to do with us as the agents or the property, it was just that they felt the timing was off. Next time they are in town, I want to show them the Aria Reserve Miami new construction condos which is being built down the street. This might be a great new construction project for them since they can select the perfect unit and lock in today’s prices.
On another occasion, I had a very wealthy tech guy that said he was moving to Miami from Europe with his family. His budget was up to $10 million and he wanted to find a home in the Coral Gables or Coconut Grove area. These would be the perfect areas for him to search since he wanted to send his kids to private school. A lot of planning goes into this sort of a high end buyer and I even hired a private driver and black SUV. We spent the entire day with him showing him some incredible properties and made sure the day was perfect. At the end of the day, we dropped him off at his hotel and he said thanks so much for the time and that was pretty much it. That was more or less the last time I heard from him.
So the moral of the story is being successful in real estate takes time and working with buyers and sellers requires a lot of patience. Whenever I see these massive closed sales that Miami real estate agents do, I always remind myself how much time and effort went in behind the scenes.