Inside Man

Harris, who grew up in the neighborhood, has the true insider’s guide to Miami Beach properties. “I know almost all of the owners of the waterfront homes or at least have a contact to reach out to them if a client expresses interest in a particular home.
But I only focus on homes I know we’ll have a decent shot at getting. I know what’s going to be realistic and what won’t. I wouldn’t lead my client on if I knew it wouldn’t work out.” And his biggest asset is always staying ahead of the game. “When a property becomes listed, you’re behind. You’re way behind,” he says. “I know about properties eight months to a year before they are listed.”

He grew up on North Bay Road, which greatly aided in his success of closing his biggest deal to date—the Bee Gee House that went for $16.75 million, the second biggest sale in 2008. “I had a relationship with the family growing up on North Bay Road. The Gibbs deal was difficult because I had to convince the family who have owned this trophy property since 1985 that it was time to sell. Home owners here in South Beach are very attached to their waterfront homes. But once both sides agreed on the price, the deal was consummated quickly.”

At the other end, Harris had a buyer looking for a waterfront home on the Venetian Island for a year. Within six months of negotiations, he sold a home on the island for merely $1.75 million, the lowest price per square foot on the Venetian Island in the last 10 years. “Most of my deals are off market where I represent both the buyer and seller,“ he says. “This can be challenging as you want to make sure the buyer and seller both feel they  are getting a great deal. Anyone can sell a property that is listed, but there are more than $100 million of off-market inventory in town right now. I have been pursuing these waterfront properties for years for various clients.”

If you’re looking, act fast because the good ones are going. The crash in 2009 had everybody scared and the capital market on a standstill, but the market is picking up, he insists.

Harris is wrapping things up at 70 Palm Avenue and making sure everything is absolutely perfect for its new owner. The Villa Rockstar was like the frontline of a war zone for many months with more than 100 people coming in and out daily to paint, rip, strip, design, and install. But gradually the grotesque mansion transformed into a brighter, sophisticated South Florida grandeur, thanks to the architectural vision of designer Charlotte Dunagan at Atmosphere Creations, who directed the structural changes, ceiling details, additional shelving units, modern, cleaner lines, and much more. So after almost a year of negotiating and six more months of renovations and sweat, the Villa Rockstar is ready for its rock star. And Harris is in negotiation for his next big deal—a $20 million off-market property “that no one knows about.”

If you’re interested in letting Harris land you your dream home in paradise, go to or call 305.764.9401.