Nancy Batchelor, Senior Vice President of EWM Realty International, shares insight on Miami real estate trends and why she predicts more Northerners will head to South Florida ahead of the new tax law.
What’s the hottest trend in Miami Beach real estate right now?
Nancy Batchelor: Well, for young people it’s getting chic condos around trending areas like Sunset Harbor. Millennials love the walkability of the area, its proximity to the water, and the fact that they have access to so much of what they need right outside of their building.
What results are you seeing from the new tax reform on the Miami Beach real estate market, and how is it motivating domestic buyers?
NB: We’re seeing a lot of activity from North-Easterners who are concerned about how this new tax law is going to affect them. Many are trying to establish domicile here in South Florida so that they can essentially prevent double taxation on their income.
“Florida doesn’t have state income tax, which is what makes it so attractive.”
Miami, and Miami Beach in particular, is such a logical place for them. They see it as an opportunity to live the urban lifestyle they are used to right on the sand. They are loving our oceanfront condos. Some are still drawn to single-family homes, but there is a tightening supply of those here on Miami Beach. They’re smart buyers though, so they educate themselves on the market and make sure they don’t overpay.
What is the best part about living in Miami Beach?
NB: The people. This is such a dynamic place. It has its own beat and you meet so many people from all over. It’s a lot like New York in the sense that you’re free to be yourself and blend right in. That’s another reason why so many New Yorkers love it down here.
What effect, if any, do you predict the Millennial generation might have on the Miami Beach market and why?
NB: Millennials are in their prime right now, so they are all looking to attain a lifestyle that fits with their goals. They’re also smart and typically don’t like to overpay, but on occasion you do see some engaging in a completely emotion driven purchase. But in the end, they are all about the lifestyle. They want to make sure that they can walk everywhere and the condo lifestyle in dense areas make a lot of sense given what they are typically looking for. They want social spaces and Miami Beach has been evolving to make more of that like in South of Fifth, The Faena District and Sunset Harbor. They are going to make Miami Beach continue to evolve and I can’t wait to see what it will look like in five or even ten years.
Miami, historically known for its tourism and real estate economy, is in the midst of a transformation into a hub for entrepreneurship. How should Miami Beach real estate build on this momentum?
NB: Miami Beach needs more trendy workspaces. Just as Millennials like to have social spaces around where they live, they also don’t like to work too far either.
“Miami Beach needs some development in its commercial zones to provide space for entrepreneurial-type firms as well as tech companies.”
It’s amazing to see what is happening with the tech industry down here through companies like Wyncode, Venture Hive and eMerge Americas. Silicon Valley is having issues with the younger generation employees wanting to move to San Francisco for the walkability and nightlife. The same thing would happen here. Young people will want to live on Miami Beach for the lifestyle. Miami Beach needs to work on making that more attractive by allowing developers and businesses to create more of those workspaces.
How have you overcome the typical challenges associated with scaling your services so quickly?
NB: Take a step back and look at things objectively. I get bombarded daily with calls from vendors wanting to sell me products that can help me market my listings more effectively. Some are good, some are not. To help me weed them out I try to pay more attention to overarching trends. The world seems to be headed more towards video, so any vendor that reaches out to me with a marketing solution for videos they catch my attention. The ones reaching out to me about automated email newsletters get less of my attention. It’s just not as important nowadays and I feel like my in-house team does it better than if I were to send it out. It’s so hard to stay focused in this business, but you have to pick three things that are paramount and work diligently towards achieving those. If not, you’ll be distracted, and your business will suffer as a result.
Your name continuously stands at the forefront of Miami real estate, what has been the key to that success?
NB: Connections and marketing. I’m so grateful to be counted among Miami’s philanthropic families. Many of these people are my close friends, and through events I get to meet people, a lot of people. This helps me create awareness about myself in a very passive sense, but my marketing is what really keeps my name out there. People will see me in person, and then they’ll see my marketing around town.
“The key is to stay visible so that you stay top of mind.”
What is your proudest career moment?
NB: Paying someone to empty and prepare a house for sale, hiring an attorney, moving, making a deposit on a new living space and securing senior services are expenses that not everyone can cover up front. We realize that many of today’s seniors, and their heirs, are asset rich and cash poor, with little money in the bank to pay for much-needed transitional services. In many cases, we can finance these important services and more as part of the sale of the house or other assets. We have worked with individuals and professionals on a wide range of bridge financing situations. We do what it takes to support families in a critical time of need. We may be able to clean out and sell your property at no up-front costs to your family. Even if you have little or no savings, you may have sufficient home equity or a significant collection of items with enough value for us to extend financing.