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Posts Tagged ‘Luxury Real Estate’

The Crown Jewel of Ft. Lauderdale

July 19th, 2019

Just Listed! This 15,017sf home sits on one acre and boasts room for a 280ft Yacht and a 12 car garage. This is at great opportunity to live the South Florida Luxury Waterfront Lifestyle as it should be lived!

SOLD! 19251 Fisher Island Drive

August 4th, 2018

The Block Team did it again we listed and more importantly we SOLD!

This is the third Keyes Sale in Fisher Island in the past month.

Three Great South of 5th Buildings

January 25th, 2018

Call us to find out more about any of these great, but different types of buildings located in the South of 5th Neighborhood of South Beach. 

The Block Team Stays in the News

January 18th, 2018

By   –  Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal

Global Payments CEO Jeffrey S. Sloan acquired a condo in the Fendi Chateau Residences in Surfside for $7.98 million.

Chateau Ocean Unit 706 LLC, managed by Christian D. Curtis on behalf of a Bahamian company, sold the 4,664-square-foot condo at 9349 Collins Ave. to Sloan. Mark Block of the Keyes Co. represented Sloan while Matias Alem of BRG International represented the seller.

Sloan has been CEO of Atlanta-based Global Payments (NYSE: GPN) since 2013. His total compensation in 2016 was $8.2 million, according to SEC filings.

The price equated to $1,710 per square foot. The condo was completed in 2016 and acquired from the developer the same year for $6.86 million. So it gained about $1.1 million in value in a year and a half.

The condo has three bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

“It is thrilling to be part of the first completed resale at the first Fendi-branded building,” Block said. “This transaction shows that the ultra-luxury market in Miami remains strong, particularly along the coastline.”

The Block Team in the News!

January 17th, 2018

The week in luxury: A map of Miami-Dade’s priciest condo sales

Closing prices in the top 10 deals ranged from $745K to $8M

The week in luxury: A map of Miami-Dade’s priciest condo sales

The second week of 2018 wasn’t much better than the first for the Miami-Dade condominium market.

Nearly 90 units sold for a total of $35 million last week, up slightly from the previous week’s $34 million sales volume on 55 units. Condos last week sold for an average price of about $392,000, or nearly $280 per square foot.

The priciest sale was at Fendi Chateau Residences in Surfside. Unit 706 sold for nearly $8 million after 441 days on the market. The luxury condo was listed with Matias Alem, and Mark Block represented the buyer. The three-bedroom, 4,660-square-foot condo traded hands for about $1,710 per square foot.

The second most expensive deal was at the recently completed Biltmore Parc development in Coral Gables. Unit 502 traded hands for $1.41 million after nearly a year on the market. Daniel Guerra represented both sides.

Closing prices in the top 10 deals ranged from $745,000 to $8 million.

Here’s a breakdown of the data from Jan. 7 to Jan. 13. Click on the map for more information:


Most expensive
Fendi Chateau #706, Surfside | 441 days on market | $8M | $1,710 psf | Listing agent: Matias Alem | Buyer’s agent: Mark Block

Least expensive
Marquis #6005, Miami | 70 days on market | $745k | $452 psf | Listing agent: Priscilla Rivas | Buyer’s agent: Olivier Brion

Most days on market
Fendi Chateau #706, Surfside | 441 days on market | $8M | $1,241 psf | Listing agent: Matias Alem | Buyer’s agent: Mark Block

Fewest days on market
Isabella #3034, Coral Gables | 7 days on market | $750k | $319 psf | Listing agent: Jill Penman | Buyer’s agent: Jill Penman

Keyes Recognized For Excellence for Quality of Serivce!

July 27th, 2017

SOURCE: Quality Service Certification, Inc.

Quality Service Certification, Inc.

July 25, 2017 09:30 ET

Top 35 Real Estate Firms for Service Excellence Announced

Companies Honored with QE Award for Verified “Extraordinary Customer Service” — an Industry First

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 25, 2017) –  America’s Top 35 real estate firms based on service excellence are being honored for exceptional customer service satisfaction with an industry first — a QE Award (pronounced “Quie”) — “that measures and independently verifies excellence in the delivery of the highest levels of customer satisfaction and service quality in real estate in North America,” according to Quality Service Certification, Inc. (QSC), creators of the award.

The 2017 QE Award recognizes the Top 5 Large Companies, the Top 10 Midsize Companies and the Top 20 Small Companies, spanning 22 states, from Florida to California and Minnesota to Texas, and includes some of the most respected independent and well-known national and regional brand names.

“There is no greater honor than earning the highest ratings from our customers for the hard work of our agents touching all the bases and bringing home a fantastic service experience for every one of our clients,” said Mike Pappas, President and CEO at Keyes Real Estate in South Florida. “That’s why winning a QE Award from Quality Service Certification is the best award any brokerage in real estate can receive,” he added.

The 2017 QE Award is based upon the results of an independent survey limited solely to buyers and sellers who were in a real estate transaction that actually closed with participating real estate companies from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Quality Service Certification, Inc. and Leading Research Corporation, San Juan Capistrano, CA administer the survey process to ensure that every past customer is surveyed, preventing agents or the company from interference or influence in any way.

The 2017 QE Award winners for the Top 5 Large Companies include:

  • Charles Rutenberg Realty, Greater Chicagoland Area
  • BHHS Drysdale Properties, Northern California and Nevada
  • Harry Norman, REALTORS®, Atlanta, GA
  • The Keyes Company, South Florida
  • RE/MAX of Reading, Reading, PA

The 2017 QE Award winners for the Top 10 Medium Companies include:

  • Real Living Messina & Associates, Inc., Duluth, MN
  • Kinlin Grover Real Estate, Osterville, MA
  • RE/MAX Estate Properties, Los Angeles, CA
  • Real Living Kee Realty, Rochester/Clinton MI
  • Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Tomie Raines REALTORS®, East Lansing, MI
  • Real Living Realty Professionals, MA
  • CJR Carol Jones Realtors, A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate, Springfield, MO 
  • RE/MAX Allegiance, Alexandria, VA 
  • Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty, Burlington, VT
  • Keller Williams Classic Realty, Coon Rapids, MN

The 2017 QE Award winners for the Top 20 Small Companies include:

  • The Berkshire Group, REALTORS®, Denver, CO 
  • Home Realty, Inc., Owensboro, KY 
  • Real Living Property For You, Peoria, AZ 
  • Real Living 1st Choice Realty, Coral Springs, FL 
  • Real Living Capital City Realty, Atlanta, GA 
  • BOWES Real Estate Real Living, Arlington, MA 
  • Real Living CO Properties, Denver, CO 
  • Real Living Palm West Home Realty, Inc., Palm Coast, FL 
  • RE/MAX Select, Oviedo, FL 
  • Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio, New Haven, CT 
  • Real Living Northwest REALTORS, Bothell, WA 
  • MikkiMoves Real Estate, Inc., Eureka, CA 
  • Real Living Cypress Realty, Inc., Fort Myers, FL 
  • Real Living Volpini Realty Group, Youngstown, OH 
  • Real Living Karapasha Realty, Katy, TX 
  • ERA Martin Associates, Salisbury, MD 
  • Real Living Realty Group, Franklin, MA 
  • Golden Real Estate, Inc., Golden, CO 
  • Real Living Gateway Realtors, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 
  • First Colorado Realty, Inc., Estes Park, CO 

“At a time when consumer are seeking transparency, greater accountability, and trusted information to help them make better, more informed decisions and choices, hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of their service professionals are now electing to participate in service assessment and feedback following every transaction, which is setting a new and better standard for excellence,” said Kevin C. Romito, President, Quality Service Certification, Inc.

“They’re not just raising the bar for customer service; they’ve committed to a whole new standard knowing consumers are tired of seeing meaningless perfect reviews where every agent has a 5-star rating,” Romito adds. “We believe that in a consumer-centric world the higher standard for gauging excellence in professional services should authentically measure how well each customer is served not just how much business is done.”

Larry Romito, Chairman, CEO sees the new QE Award as motivation for change. “We hope the prestigious recognition of the QE Award for measurable excellence in service and satisfaction will launch a viral movement toward better customer service, transparency and accountability, where every real past customer is surveyed and all surveys are unedited. That’s what QSC and the new QE Award are all about. A complete, reliable picture of customer feedback, from real past customers on issues important to prospective consumers,” he added.

Romito notes that the QE Award is based upon the aggregated overall Customer Satisfaction Rating of all returned surveys of real customers where every past customer has been surveyed without selectivity, editing, deletion, cleansing or manipulation. “No other system exists in the real estate industry that can legitimately make that claim,” he said, noting that “accurate, reliable, independently validated survey results of individual agents” can be accessed by visiting

Quality Service Certification, Inc. created the QE Award to foster, encourage and recognize the highest levels of service quality and customer satisfaction. QSC with its sister company Leading Research Corporation assures the careful measurement and independent validation of service and satisfaction results. 

Eligibility for the 2017 QE Award requires a minimum number of surveys sent and returned, which may be adjusted from year to year based upon market conditions and the number of participants. More than 30,000 real estate agents and 750 companies elected to participate in the customer satisfaction assessment survey process in 2016 for the 2017 QE Award.

About Quality Service Certification 
Quality Service Certification, Inc., based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, provides the most accurate and valuable customer service measurement service for the real estate industry, having conducted more than 2 million customer satisfaction surveys of real estate agents. QSC offers consumers the only complete, reliable and unbiased picture of participating agents’ overall and detailed customer service satisfaction history. QSC provides real estate agents the timely and detailed feedback they need to both improve and maintain their highest levels of professional service. For brokerages, QSC offers a Performance Management Platform that helps firms better influence, manage and control professional activities that they can otherwise not see — resulting in measurably better, more satisfying and a more valued customer service experience. Founded in 2000, accurate, reliable, independently validated survey results of individual agents from QSC can be accessed by visiting



Feds crack down on secret real estate deals in Miami-Dade and New York

January 13th, 2016


Federal authorities on Wednesday announced a temporary, anti-money-laundering crackdown on pricey homes bought secretly with cash in Miami-Dade County and New York City.

The new policy will require title insurance companies to identify the true owners of shell companies that pay $1 million or more in cash for homes in Miami-Dade and $3 million or more for homes in New York City. Insurers will then have to report the names of the buyers to the U.S. Treasury Department.

The move reflects concerns that dirty money from abroad is helping fuel the local residential real estate boom. Wealthy buyers in South Florida often use a network of domestic and offshore companies to prevent their names becoming public. Using a limited liability company to buy property also offers owners legal benefits such as liability protection and tax breaks.

South Florida real estate brokers expressed concerns that the crackdown could have a chilling effect on the luxury market.

Multi-million cash home sales represent a big business locally.

In Miami-Dade, buyers paid cash for more than 1,150 homes priced at $1 million or more last year, according to EWM Realty International. That means cash deals accounted for 60 percent of home sales valued at more than $1 million.

The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued the so-called “geographic targeting order,” which will remain in effect from March 1. to Aug. 27. If the policy uncovers serious evidence of money laundering, it could be extended across the country.

“We are seeking to understand the risk that corrupt foreign officials, or transnational criminals, may be using premium U.S. real estate to safely and secretly invest millions in dirty money,” FinCEN director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said in a statement. “Over the years, our rules have evolved to make the standard mortgage market more transparent and less hospitable to fraud and money laundering. But cash purchases present a more complex gap that we seek to address.”

Accused Spanish drug lord Alvaro López Tardón was sentenced to 150 years in prison two years ago for laundering millions of dollars through waterfront condos and exotic cars.

Under the new rules, title insurance companies will now have to investigate who is behind the shell companies that spend big on Miami real estate. That information must be reported to federal authorities so they can investigate the buyers for possible money laundering. Buyers’ identities will not be revealed to the public.

Ron Shuffield, CEO of EWM, said legitimate buyers might still be wary of handing their names over to the government.

“There are going to be some people who have nothing to hide, no criminal activity, but who value their privacy,” Shuffield said. “Actors and athletes and politicians who don’t want the whole world potentially camping out on their front step.”

The new rules are in some sense bringing banking compliance regulations into real estate. Banks must perform due diligence on clients moving money into the U.S. in order to ensure that they’re not connected to terrorism, drug smuggling, corruption or other crimes.

“This is the regulatory world of today,” said Alan Lipps, an accountant at Gerson Preston. “More information, more disclosure … bringing in the title insurance companies is kind of a second step in the process of making sure the money is clean and legitimate.”

Lipps said even law-abiding buyers have reasons to remain private.

“You see a lot of safety concerns with people from Brazil or Argentina, for example,” he said. “They don’t want people from their home country to go and look on the Internet and see that they paid a lot of money for a house and become a target for kidnapping.”

Foreign buyers will also be nervous about the prospect of Treasury officials contacting their governments, said Jeff Rubinger, an attorney at Bilzin Sumberg who specializes in international tax law. Information sharing could expose them to more tax liabilities.

“From a tax perspective alone, this is definitely going to scare people,” Rubinger said.

Secret sales

Eye-popping home sales to secret buyers have brought national attention to Miami’s real estate market.

On Monday the buyer of a $47 million Key Biscayne mansion was revealed to be an untraceable Delaware shell company. Last month, a secret trust spent $19.5 million on a luxe Miami Beach home. Country records don’t show mortgages being recorded on either deal, meaning the buyers may have paid cash.

Federal agencies have targeted South Florida for special attention in the past. The area is known as a hotspot for money laundering.

Over the summer FinCEN said that check-cashing stores in Miami-Dade and Broward would need to record more information about customers cashing tax refunds of more than $1,000. The two counties have the highest rates of identity theft and tax-refund fraud in the country.

In April, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ordered 700 electronic export businesses in Miami-Dade, many of them in Doral, to file reports to the federal government every time they receive more than $3,000. The feds suspected drug and other illicit money may have been flowing through the companies.

Nicholas Nehamas: 305-376-3745, @NickNehamas
Read more here:


Keyes & The Block Team Define Luxury Real Estate

May 28th, 2015


On global scale, Miami luxury home prices puny

May 14th, 2014

Miami Today

Written by  on May 14, 2014

On global scale, Miami luxury home prices puny

Miami is officially a first-class place to live now that it was named for the second consecutive year in Christie’s International Real Estate report detailing the top 10 luxury properties in the world for 2013.

And the company this city keeps is certainly impressive, featured along with Cote d’Azur, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney and Toronto.

Yet realtors say Miami stands out on this list because its luxury properties have attributes second to none.

Homebuyers get more for their money in Miami with prices per square foot so much lower than the other luxury markets, said Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of EWM Realty International.

For example, Miami’s average square foot price for luxury homes was $559 in 2013 compared with $4,683 in London (the highest on the list) and $829 in San Francisco (the lowest of the ten markets profiled).

“Several things distinguish Miami from the other markets: our cultural offerings, the beautiful weather and the values we offer,” Mr. Shuffield said.

Luxury properties – defined by most Miami realtors at $2 million and higher – are aligned in value similar to fine art and high-end collectibles as opposed to the general housing market, he said.

Last year, EWM International sold a $1-million-plus condo or single-family home on average every 17 hours (totaling 532 properties), Mr. Shuffield said.

Miami is a multi-cultural community on a gorgeous coastline with beautiful weather year-round, said Adam G. Kutner, broker and co-owner of Grove Town Properties. “It is home to the best nightlife, beaches, sport teams and restaurants in the world, and we have no state income taxes. These factors appeal to individuals to live here and companies to headquarter here.”

Luxury residential homes in Miami (defined in Christie’s report as starting at $1 million) sold at a faster pace in 2013 than in 2011 and 2012.

In 2011, such properties were on the market 213 days, 175 in 2012 and 130 in 2013.

The people who are buying such luxurious housing are coming from Latin America as well as other parts of the US, Mr. Shuffield said, adding that people who can afford to live anywhere are coming to Miami.

“There are a growing number of people who want to be here because of our lifestyle, economic uncertainty in their countries and the strength of our currency and educational system,” he said. “The American buyer is returning to Miami for a number of reasons including our tax structure.”

Mr. Shuffield pointed out that Florida is one of only seven US states that do not levy income taxes.

It’s highly likely that Miami will continue to be one of the world’s top luxury residential markets, said realtor Riley Smith, president and founder of the Riley Smith Group.

“We are still growing into our own and on the upswing with our increased culture,” he said. “This trend will continue, especially as Miami is now on a radar as a luxury market on the coast rather than just a tourist destination.”

A life-long resident of Coconut Grove and residential realtor since 2002, Mr. Smith said his company sees prospective buyers from every country as well as up and down the East Coast who want to move to Miami.

“Our clients can’t believe what they can get for their money here,” he said in reference to Miami’s relatively low price per square foot for luxury residences.

At this point, Mr. Smith said there aren’t enough luxury condos and single-family homes to satisfy the demand.

“In the last boom, the condos that came on the market were not as high [quality] as what we’re seeing now, and there’s very little land available to build more luxury houses,” he said. “Until recently, Miami was not on the radar as a luxury market but was seen more as a tourist destination.”

He said he does not anticipate that prices will be forced up should there be more money than available property, resulting in a bubble.

Liquidity drove the market last time, whereas buyers in the luxury market now are predominantly paying with cash, he said.

Historically, the real estate market ebbs and flows, Mr. Smith said.

“There will always be dips here and there,” he said.

Roughly 1,000 single-family homes and 1,300 condos/townhouses for sale in Miami-Dade County are priced over $1 million, said Mr. Kutner.

“In Miami, we have the luxury of building huge high-rises and skyscrapers overlooking our oceans and bays,” he said. “As long as Miami continues to be an international destination city, developers will continue to satisfy the demand.”

Mr. Kutner sees the Miami market continuing to challenge the rest of the international cities on Christie’s list. “In North Miami Beach they are building a building that you can literally drive your car into an elevator that takes you directly into your living room,” he said. “How cool is that?”

Mr. Kutner said many the New York and other big city developers see Miami as a prime real estate market with plenty of growth to continue to entice the international buyer.

According to Christie’s report, the market momentum “can be attributed partially to substantial wealth creation in 2013, fueled by an improving global economy and surging stock market prices, resulting in more billionaires and millionaires than ever.”

As for the large number of people who don’t have $1 million – or more – to spend on housing, Mr. Kutner said appropriate residences are available for them.

“There is a great misconception that Miami is only for the rich and famous,” he said. “Miami is a very diverse city with many neighborhoods that offer plenty of wonderful communities for the middle- and modest-income American family to live.”

Read More:

Hadid condo could reshape downtown Miami skyline with 1000 Museum

March 31st, 2013

If you are interested in getting into this project before the sales office opens and prices go up. Contact the Block Team for Details Now!

A rendering of a proposed condo tower for downtown Miami by superstar architect Zaha Hadid. Zaha Hadid Architects



The world’s only female superstar architect, Zaha Hadid, unveiled an undulating, spider-like design for a new luxury condo tower on Biscayne Boulevard — her first residential project in the United States — that boldly looks to raise the design ante for Miami’s skyline.

The developers of the proposed 1000 Museum, Gregg Covin and Louis Birdman, also hope to capitalize on the location and the big design name to break through the price ceiling for a downtown Miami condo. They are angling for a stratospheric minimum of $4 million for the cheapest units, and a Miami Beach-like $30 million and up for penthouses. That means pricing would start at about $900 per square foot, an amount that’s already roughly double the price of the typical new downtown condo.

The 61-story tower would squeeze in among the so-called Four Horsemen high-rise condos across from Biscayne Bay and the emergent Museum Park, taking over a prime spot now occupied by a gas station, which Covin and Birdman have a contract to buy. The pawn shop property behind it on Northeast Second Avenue is not, for now, part of the $300 million project.

The futuristic design by Hadid’s London-based firm features an interlacing concrete exoskeleton, a bulging midsection and a set of rib-like lower balconies that has prompted comparisons by some local bloggers to a spider, a bug and an alien spaceship.

“We love Miami, and we feel we can create a beautiful addition to the skyline that will define the skyline in a new way,’’ Zaha Hadid Architects director Patrik Schumacher said. “I think it will have a new kind of appeal.’’

The Iraqi-born, London-schooled Hadid, whose firm has also designed a swooping new Miami Beach city parking garage, is known for flowing, curvaceous buildings that sometimes appear to melt. In the past decade, she has gone from experimental-minded iconoclast to sought-after designer, achieving the kind of popular recognition usually reserved for celebrity male architects like Frank Gehry. Her well-publicized struggles to be taken seriously in the notoriously male-dominated profession also made her a kind of feminist icon.

She has a residence on South Beach and was known to have long been seeking a signature local project. Previously, her only Miami work was a sculptural installation in the atrium of a Design District building.