Cervera Real Estate is riding the rising Miami condo wave.
One of the original condominium sales and marketing firms in Miami, the company was founded by Alicia Cervera Sr. in 1969. After more than 30 years, the firm is going strong. Cervera’s daughters, Veronica Cervera Goeseke, CEO, and Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner, have since joined Cervera Sr., who is chairman, at the firm.
“We were the first to recognize that developers needed to hire professional sales people to sell,” says Cervera Lamadrid. “Up to then, developers managed their own sales programs.” Cervera Lamadrid says that the developers that her mother convinced included New York’s Harry Helmsley who listened to the recommendation that he would be able to sell his properties better by hiring a professional sales and marketing firm.
Right now, Cervera Real Estate is enjoying what is commonly referred to as a rebounding Miami condo market. In fact, the company has announced it is initiating a multimillion dollar expansion to “strategically broaden its reach and services in the tri-county area.”
Cervera Real Estate has added five new offices in Miami-Dade‑two in the city of Miami, and one each in South Beach, Hallandale in Broward County, and West Palm Beach in Palm Beach County. Its sales team will be doubled to more than 250 agents, who work exclusively for the company. And to assist with an expanded business focus and an increasing South Florida luxury real estate portfolio, says the company, Cervera Lamadrid was appointed her present title and will run the general real estate efforts at all locations.
Since 1969, Cervera Real Estate, which today has 20 fulltime employees on top of its army of sales agents, has sold and closed more than 63,300 units in 62 condominium projects. Currently, it is the exclusive listing broker for several luxury condominium properties including St. Regis in Bal Harbour, Epic in downtown Miami, Ocean House properties in South Beach, Marquis Residences in downtown Miami, City Place south tower in West Palm Beach, 1607 Ponce de Leon in Coral Gables, Bella Casa in Fort Myers and The 900 in downtown Miami.
The services that Cervera Real Estate offers condo developers include residential and retail sales and marketing, as well as leasing. The company will fully staff the sales office on a turnkey basis. Consulting services extend to identifying sites, and determining unit mix and floor plans, selecting the public relations firm, pricing, and setting up sales offices. “Our preference is to be involved from day one,” says Cervera Lamadrid, but she adds the firm is ready to step in at any stage of the development depending on the developer’s needs, including participate in turnarounds.
What distinguishes Cervera Real Estate and accounts for its success may be its personalized and hands on service, which may be a rarity in this increasingly corporate world. “When you hire the company, you hire the principals. You can call me seven days a week at any time and I will pick up,” says Cervera Lamadrid. An empowered, fully trained, sales staff—the company has also developed special training programs for agents‑and a constantly refined database that reaches customers and brokers nationally and internationally are also distinct advantages, says Cervera Lamadrid.
Cervera Lamadrid characterizes the Miami market currently as “red hot,” fueled, she says, by foreign investors, especially from South America and Euro Europe. These buyers find the condominiums a bargain because of their countries’ stronger currencies combined and the marked-down condo prices. “This is like a double discount for them,” says Cervera Lamadrid, who has just returned from a sales presentation in Brazil. “The Miami condo market is heavily filled by foreign buyers. They have an ongoing love affair with Miami,” she adds.
“The condo market in Miami has been exceptionally active. There was a tremendous inventory in 2009 with the economic crash. It was speculated that it would take 10-15 years to work through,” says Cervera Lamadrid. But developers have sold through those units faster than expected, she notes. “We are very, very busy. The market is selling through its existing inventory. There has been no real downtime.”