People Behind the Scenes: Miami’s Top Innovators

Amy Zakarin

Zakarin Public Relations
“The Power Broker”

As the president of Zakarin Public Relations (a boutique firm with a strong focus on all things luxurious), Amy Zakarin is a staple in Miami’s world of real estate PR. Here she tells us about how PR and the Real Estate market blend into one hot illustrious industry.

HL What attracted you to real estate?
AZ While any lifestyle-oriented business has its affects and influences, the real estate industry shapes how we live and defines cities. Working with developers, architects and designers, we get the opportunity to interact directly with the visionaries who are essentially creating our future, and with them, we are helping to define a city’s character and style. It’s exciting to be a part of that process.

HL What does your position entail?
AZ My firm’s sole purpose is to define and effectively reach target consumer audiences. We work closely with our clients to understand their business goals, and then develop editorial and creative marketing strategies to generate industry attention and build their brand.

HL Who is your favorite artist?
AZ I’m by no means a sophisticated collector, but I love supporting local artists. There’s a gallery on Lincoln Road that always displays amazing new artists. One of my favorites is Robert Flynn. I have his palm tree series in my office that shows palms against a blue-sky background that makes you feel like you’re looking out the perfect window to Miami – predictably gorgeous, but also different from every angle, and full of movement.

HL What has been your favorite use of art in real estate development?
AZ There are several outstanding artists responsible for elaborate artful environments. The most notable to me might be Jose Bedia at Apogee, commissioned by Jorge Perez. Bringing in an artist of that level for the lobby automatically raises the standard for the entire property. However, I feel the interior designs for some developments are the grandest expressions – some feel more like art installations than domestic settings. For example, David Rockwell created a palette for Canyon Ranch Living that evokes a soothing, contemporary response, while Kelly Wearstler is bringing playful chic designs to Viceroy South Beach. The latest coup is the #1 international designer, Marcel Wanders, who was engaged for Mondrian South Beach.

HL What has Art Basel’s impact been on the Miami Community?
AZ One of Art Basel’s greatest effects on this city is that it recognized us internationally as a source of vibrant creativity and gave us a new level of credibility. It challenged us to live up to that expectation, and drives culture to thrive here year round. It also gives Miami the opportunity to welcome some of the world’s most influential and dynamic people.

HL What are you doing to help promote the arts in our community?
With the anticipation of Art Basel and desire for us to be an art-minded community – not to mention the increased excitement that comes with Basel events – we are finding synergy between the arts and our clients. Sometimes that means hosting private parties and exhibitions, other times it’s more media focused by working with select writers in the industry to ensure they fully understand how Miami is evolving and adapting more of a sophisticated approach to design.

HL Most important role you play for the developer?
AZ Putting the emphasis on lifestyle rather than location. It helps shift the focus from square footage to who’s buying.

HL Your firm is the developers choice, because?
AZ This business is all about speaking to the affluent and marketing a promise before a shovel even goes in the ground. There’s a growing demand for properties that reflect and nurture buyer profiles. It takes experience to do that effectively without losing momentum. Our campaigns span the life of a project, which can be 3-5 years, from pre-sales to completion.

HL Outlook for 2007 Luxury Market?
AZ In many cases, the luxury market initiates trends and motivates behavior. The affluent customer does more than spend money – they drive and position a way of life that ultimately is emulated by the mass market in some form. When you look at the spectrum of lifestyles developers conceive, you see a national standard emerging and realize that most style trends move in cycles, but it is the luxury sector that always brings them back to the forefront.