Digital technology is a very powerful tool these days when precautions against coronavirus require social distancing.

By writing MiamiDiario

Large real estate companies, especially in the luxury condo sector in downtown Miami, are focusing on online sales and presentations to reach their customers, most abroad. They also offer tours that allow prospective buyers to tour apartments over 3,000 square feet, overlooking Biscayne Bay and costing millions of dollars.

“We have activated the virtual presentation system and we rely on platforms such as Zoom, which we have been using for a year. As we have so many clients in Latin America and Europe, this tool has given us results”said Jesse Ottley, president of the Development Division of Cervera Real Estate, one of the oldest companies in Miami with 50 years in the industry.

Cervera Real Estate focuses on luxury pre-construction projects such as Aston Martin Residences, Natiivo Miami, in downtown, and The Conrad, on the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

The executive indicated that they have two ways to make presentations: some are group with access to more clients, and others with one or two people, which are interactive because the client can ask questions.

The day before, they shot a video for clients about Natiivo Miami, a 51-story tower designed by the firm Arquitectonica, from which more than half of the project's 412 apartments and studios have been sold, but there is still an important part to sell.

The company's offices were still open on Thursday, but with very few sales agents and at the same time low customer traffic.

“During this crisis the most difficult thing is show real estate. Some buildings are closed and others do not allow to enter to show the houses,” said Ottley, indicating that this was going to be a challenge especially for the secondary market, that is, the houses and apartments for resale.

For her part, Karen Elmir, executive president of the Elmir Group, which sells apartments in Brickell, downtown Miami and Coconut Grove, with prices between $300,000 and $15 million, tHe also highlighted the use of digital resources to reach customers.

“We take videos of the properties that they are empty and we send them to the clients. We FaceTime, chat with them, and show them the details of the properties,” said Elmir, one of Miami's star salespeople.


With a recession looming and job losses in key South Florida sectors like services and tourism, many are wonderingn whether the real estate industry will face a crisis.

For Ottley the situations are different, because he perceives the coronavirus epidemic as a matter of weeks or months.

"It's important that investors stay interested in the United States," he said, "satisfied with how President Trump is managing the situation, giving the responsibility to each state and city to manage the funds”.

He stressed that there are no structural problems that impede economic recovery, and considers that it is necessary to manage the "panic" in the markets, which is affecting the stock market.

"When everything happens, the strength of this country will return, which is what investors are interested in,” he predicted.

At the same time, Ottley recalled that during the 2008 crisis, apartments in Miami continued to be sold, and that most of the transactions were in cash because investors recognized the opportunities.

Both Ottley and Elmir they are not worried about the sales figures so far, because the digital strategy keeps them connected with the clientele.

“In every crisis there are opportunities, banks they are giving the best interests and facilitating the loansElmir said.

On March 15, the Federal Reserve cut the interest rate to almost zero to offset the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. The clipping makes it cheaper to borrow money for a mortgage.

Note of El Nuevo Herald

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