Recap: International Brokers Panel At 2020 Real Estate Summit

The International Power Brokers panel at the Haute Residence 2020 Luxury Miami Real Estate Summit featured brokers that execute hundreds of millions of dollars in luxury real estate transactions year in and year out. It followed the Developer panel that started the Summit earlier in the day.

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Sue Nickason, Ben Bacal, Dolly Lenz, Jenny Lenz, Mary Ann Osborn, Richard Steinberg, Cody Vichinsky, Olivia Hsu Decker, Jay Parker, Michael Goldstein

Photo Credit: Romain Maurice

Each was asked and spoke of their success by Moderator Alex Vidal, President of RelatedISG International Realty. Most importantly for the industry insiders, brokers and agents in attendance that filled the event space to capacity, the panelists gave their tips on how to market and engage higher-priced listings and clients that come with it.

real estate summit - int'l brokers panel recap 2Photo Credit: Romain Maurice

Queen of New York real estate Dolly Lenz emphasized how important it is to know and relate to a high net worth client, saying, “Read The Wall Street Journal. Know what’s going on in politics; in business; where the pitfalls are, so you can share that with them. I think that’s key.” Her daughter, Jenny Lenz, joined her mother four years ago at Dolly Lenz Real Estate, learning about the best from the best, and brought that knowledge into the panel.

Cody Vichinsky, Founding Partner at Bespoke Real Estate, focuses his company on $10+ million listings only with an in-house team of agents and staff that tailor their listings’ marketing, such as Burnt Point in The Hamptons. “We look at the market very focused in the high luxury market. We have no independent agents, so our model is entirely different from a conventional brokerage business. It’s more dynamic.”

Olivia Hsu Decker, Co-owner of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, which encompasses over two dozen offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, hit the target as she described the luxury real estate world. “Our business is a people business,” she said.

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Mary Ann Osborn speaking at Haute Residence 2020 Luxury Miami Real Estate Summit

Photo Credit: Romain Maurice

Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Florida Brokerage, addressed the luxury market in Miami compared to other cosmopolitan cities. “You look at luxury (real estate) in other cities compared to Miami and you find that our price points (in Miami) are pretty attractive”.

Michael Goldstein, President of The Trump Group, highlighted the migration to South Florida from the north as he oversees sales of The Estates at Acqualina. ” 75% of our business is coming from New York,” he said.

Ben Bacal, a leader in the Los Angeles real estate and creator of the Rila app, gave his expertise on the LA market. “Since 2017-2018, properties in Hillcrest have gone down in price to where they need to be. We see an uptick in international buyers. I want to teach my agents to be powerhouses in each of their market and become power agents in those areas. “

One of New York’s most successful brokers of apartments and townhouses, Richard Steinberg held nothing back as he compared and contrasted the buyers and sellers in the lower-priced and higher-priced markets. “Every seller thinks they charge too little. Every buyer thinks they pay too much,” he said. “But they buy it because they want it. My advice to people (brokers) is to go for the big stuff because it’s much harder to sell the small stuff,” encouraging the live audience and those that watched the live stream on Instagram to reach higher.

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April Donelson, Seth Semilof, Olivia Hsu Decker, Alex Vidal, Sue Nickason

Photo Credit: Romain Maurice

Sue Nickason, based in the Cayman Islands and Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Dart Real Estate, had a unique insight on the small island “tax haven”. “Our sweet spot is beach, beach, beach,” she said. “We have a brokerage that did the most sales in the Cayman Islands last year, just shy of $100 million.”

On the influence of technology in the luxury real estate market, Dolly Lenz said, “I think it’s playing a small role. I find it to be hyped at the moment. In five years, applications will really change how we do business.”

Mary Ann Osborn, Leading Broker at Century City, followed on that, “The older people come in through signage on the property and require you to hand-hold them through the process,” about the extra personal touch that comes when selling luxury real estate, particularly to people that are not as engaged with technology as younger generations.

A long round of applause was given to the panelists at the end, many who had traveled from far to participate in the Summit.