People Behind the Scenes: Miami’s Top Innovators

Edward De Valle

Americas Media Group (AMG)
“The Dealmaker”

President and CEO of the Miami-based Americas Media Group (AMG), whose catchy slogan is “Any Moment, Any Market, Any Media,” Edward de Valle takes time away from his busy life of buying and selling to answer a few of our questions about Miami’s current real estate market.

HL What attracted you to real estate?
EV I was attracted to real estate because my father was a developer himself, so I grew up learning the ins and the outs of the business. When I left my former employer (Conde Nast International), I decided to mix media with what I grew up learning, which was Real Estate. This fit together beautifully, and none of my local competitors had neither the excellent media experiences I had from working at the best publisher in the world nor the development background that I grew up with. I know this business inside and out, from planning a sales strategy to what construction costs are likely to be at time of building. I love real estate and my career would not be complete without it.

HL What does your position entail?
EV AMG was created and built to last. What I mean by this is that we are currently the largest fully outsource-able marketing and planning agency for developers around the world. It does not matter which market we are in, we service developers from around the globe, and that allows us to constantly benchmark buyer patterns from Miami to Hong Kong. We first meet with clients to define the basic planning tools he or she will need, then we work hand in hand with their other team members, which can include the brokers, creative agencies, architects, and designers. Our job is to help the developer put their message out there and reach the correct demographics. In other words, everyone on our team is working to build a package to offer, which we then promote with correct placements and bridge programs to help the project sell out.

HL Who is your favorite Artist?
EV Mark Rothko! He was born Marcus Rothkowitz in Dvinsk, Russia (today Daugavpils, Latvia). Rothko attended Yale University in 1921, where he studied English, French, European history, elementary mathematics, physics, biology, and economics, the history of philosophy, and general psychology. His initial intention was to become an engineer or an attorney. Rothko gave up his studies in the fall of 1923 and moved to New York City.

HL What has been your favorite use of art in real estate development?
EV I love the use of different materials to complete the exterior look of buildings or homes. My favorite work of architecture to date is the combination of wood, rock, steel, and cement at Los Altos in Casa De Camp in the Dominican Republic. This is a project by Willy Bermello.

HL What has Art Basel’s impact been on the Miami Community?
EV Art Basel brings a lot of people together, fits in perfectly with the holiday season, and overall adds a lot of life to a district that is designed to entertain. I think it has helped Miami connect with many of the important artists from around the globe.

HL Most important role you play for the developer?
EV We are the developer’s decision maker in reference to media. In other words, we lay out the best media strategies for the developer based on the many offers they get for media placement. We are the people who help the developers keep their marketing budgets in line and in place. It is easy to get out of control spending and spending. We make sure that every dollar and/or Euro they spend is accompanied with added value and real discounts.

HL Your firm is the developer’s choice, because?
EV We make media planning/buying and public relations easy. We offer the best rates in the market bundled with our added values: We offer credit, we go to bat for our clients when they run into financial issues, and we truly take care of everything from A to Z for developers who have no time to deal with an international marketing team. We have relationships that are unmatchable with Conde Nast, Forbes, Business Week, Citibank, etc. Finally, a lot of developers are left jaded after working with small local planning firms that worry about their numbers and not the developer’s business and best interest. We often have clients come to us to help them fix all the media issues they have from working with what they thought was a small and inexpensive firm.

HL Outlook for 2007 Luxury Market?
EV Amazing. I know today many people are speaking of the down market, but I have to say that there are so many developments around the world and in Miami/NYC that are just fantastic. People with real money (not speculative monies) do see the value in these properties. There are many ways to find buyers, and if people just gave it a real shot at working hard to find the real buyers, they would. All of our projects sell well– Some may be slower than others but they all sell. I have to say, the teams I have been working with during the last two years are getting better every day, so for 2007, I say let’s rock and roll!