Thriving in a Downturn

As co-founder and president of Miami-based Related Cervera Realty Services (RCRS), Alicia Cervera Lamadrid has helped her company grow. Projects in her company’s resume include W, St. Regis and Icon in Miami. Her emphasis on education, international networking and professional development has enabled her firm to survive in a market experiencing a slowdown. In fact, RCRS says it sold over $112 million to date this year alone. With 25 years in the business, Lamadrid has ridden the waves of several real estate cycles and keeps her finger on the pulse of the market. Keat Foong, executive editor of MHN, speaks to Lamadrid for some insights into the south Florida market and real estate cycles. MHN: Can you tell us about the Florida multifamily market at this time? When do you think it will recover? Lamadrid: The market is going through one of its cyclical corrections. Real estate is about a constant, steady increase of value over time. It has highs and lows in the short term. We’re coming off the highest sales volume in recorded history. Logically, the pace has slowed, but the market continues to show strength and viability. If it didn’t, RCRS wouldn’t have closed over 600 units in downtown in 10 weeks.MHN: Your company has sold over $112 million in real estate this year. How were you able to do that in a down cycle?Lamadrid: RCRS prides itself on providing excellent service for an excellent product. The key to any long-term success is persistence and consistency. Being knowledgeable about the areas we represent allows us to maintain strong relationships with our customers and the brokers we work with. Our associates take a personal interest in the properties they represent and in our customers. Often, associates live or maintain a residence in the properties they represent in order to give well-researched answers to any and all questions. We also encourage associates to enhance their professional education by participating in trade shows and training.MHN: Where do you think the opportunities for multifamily investments lie currently? Lamadrid: Miami is an excellent location to purchase a condo. With an urban renewal in full swing, a global reputation as the Gateway to the Americas and universal appeal as a vacation destination, Miami’s continued growth and expansion is inevitable. Since we have gone from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market, the time to buy is now. MHN: Why is this a great time for foreign buyers to invest in our real estate? Lamadrid: Foreign currency is performing very well against the dollar right now. International buyers can take advantage of the favorable market and exchange rates to purchase what, only three years ago, would have been twice as much. To comment on the article, contact Keat Foong at