Episode 315: 05-07-15
This week’s show focuses on doing business in Brazil, helping Brazilians do business in the U.S., and the benefits of CCIM designation.
Robert Macaulay, a shareholder at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, is practice leader representing U.S. and international firms in business transactions.
We discuss opportunities and strategies to make money and limit mistakes for U.S. investors doing business in Brazil and for Brazilian investors seeking to do business in the U.S.
Jose Maria Serrano, CCIM, is Owner/Broker at New Miami Realty. He is also Miami Association of Realtors RPAC Chairman and Commercial Realtor of the Year for 2013.
We discuss the benefits of CCIM designation, how being a CCIM can help you build a commercial real estate business and his views on the South Florida commercial real estate market.
Episode 315: 05-07-15 (To download, right-click and select “Save Link As”.)
Announcer: The following program is sponsored by James Fried.
Announcer: 880AM The Biz. South Florida’s only all business station. Welcomes you to Fried on Business. He grew up in South Florida. Has been in business here since the early 1990s and has closed over one billion dollars in deals. He’s seen it all. He always has an opinion and he’s always ready to share it. Informed, entertaining, and connected. He has his finger on the throbbing pulse of South Florida’s business community. He’s Jim Fried exclusively on 880AM The Biz. To talk to Jim and his guest call 305-541-2350. That’s 305-541-2350. Now here’s your host Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright, it’s Thursday. It’s six o’clock. That means it’s time to go live with Fried on Business. We got a great show. Wanda’s here flying… Hey, Wanda is helping me out today. Wanda Miles. Hey, Wanda!
Wanda Miles: You got your finger on what?
Jim Fried: Oh hey now slow down there. The pulse of business in Miami.
Wanda Miles: That’s what it is. I got it.
Jim Fried: Yeah. I wrote that a number of years ago. Hey, we got a great show today. We got Jose Maria Serrano. He’s our CCIM voice today. We’ve got Robert Macaulay. Great. One of those interesting names. He’s with Carlton Fields and we’re going to talk about doing business in and from Brazil and then of course, Terek Maddox will close out the show in the fourth quarter talking about how to stay fit this summer. I know we got a call. Wanda, give me the call in. Who do we got on the line there?
Alan: Jim, it’s Alan with the Marlins Foundation. How you doing?
Jim Fried: Hey, Alan. Hey! I’m doing great. How you doing?
Alan: Doing well. Wanted to call in and share some exciting news about our upcoming events.
Jim Fried: Oh yeah!
Alan: The tournament on May 21st here at Marlin’s park.
Jim Fried: Oh yeah. I talked over you, but we’re talking about fish and chips. It’s going out May 21st at Marlins Park. What time in the evening is that?
Alan: This year’s event is at 6:30 and similar to last year. It is built with Marlin’s players alumni. Casino games and a variety of different activities going on that evening.
Jim Fried: Oh listen. I love it. Last year I went I made a mistake. I didn’t bring my autograph ball. I’m bringing it this year. I spend at least a half hour talking with Mike Redman. What a great back guy. Spoke to some of the young pitchers. Some of the alumni. It was just a great event. David Sampson, I got to tell him how much I was enjoying everything. Enjoyed the ballpark so, it’s a great time for people to meet the team, meet the executives, meet people you read and hear about, but more that, it’s a great way to give money to the community through the Marlins Foundation. What do you guys do?
Alan: Definitely. As you know, we focus in the areas of education here at the baseball. This event is primarily focused and raises money for RBI. Which is Revive Baseball in the Inner Cities. That’s the youth program offering children ages 13-18 offering to play baseball, so every dollar based that this event goes towards raise money for that program.
Jim Fried: Well, you phone’s a little choppy, so let me summarize. So this is helping raise funds specifically for our reviving baseball in the inner cities and gosh that’s important down here. Seeing as though we bring such great people to major league baseball from our area all the time and how is this helping you reach the kids?
Alan: This event allows us to continue the programming. Last year our guy team made it the world series. As a result, our program has grown exponentially and so grant additional funds, so we could be able to draw this partner.
Jim Fried: Well, listen. I’m looking forward, again it’s Thursday the 21st, so that’s two weeks. People still have time to buy tickets. I guess they can buy tickets at Marlins.com?
Alan: Correct. Marlins.com/fishandchips or they can call in at 305-480-2550.
Jim Fried: You got to go a little slower because your phone was breaking up and I need you to speak slower because we have some Mets fans that listen to this show. You need to go slower for them.
Alan: Sure. Marlins.com/fishandchips or 305-480-2550.
Jim Fried: Hey, I really want to thank you for calling in. I’m looking forward to going to the event. It’s my favorite thing you guys do every year other than winning ball games, of course. It really proud to be helping baseball and our community, so thank you so much for calling in. Looking forward to seeing you out there and I’m buying my ticket as soon as I get off the phone.
Alan: Awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys.
Jim Fried: Alright. Thank you so much for calling in. Will be right back after this short break. We got our CCIM voice Jose Maria Serrano. We’re going to talk about why you need to use and be a CCIM. Let’s make business. Right after this.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guest call 305-541-2350. That’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright. We are back. We are back with Fried on Business. It is always the first of Thursday of the month. Brings us our CCIM voice and a high five to Frank Rodriguez for putting that title out there. I really enjoy it and that’s one that we’re going to embrace and use. This weeks CCIM voice is Jose Maria Serrano CCIM. He’s the owner and broker of the new Miami Realty. He’s with the Miami Association of Realtor. Our packed chairman. He’s also the commercial realtor of the year and 2013. I guess that they gave you that because you gave some deals.
Jose Maria Serrano: And not only that, not only that they gave me that for doing some deals, they gave me that for giving back to the community and working with other realtors and the Miami Association families, CCIM family.
Jim Fried: Well, that’s what it’s all about. Wanda’s cheering you. Wanda’s giving you the high five.
Jose Maria Serrano: Thank you Wanda.
Jim Fried: Now, Jose let’s talk a little about the CCIM, New Miami Realty is the independent office?
Jose Maria Serrano: Yes. It is an independent office. We own it with my brother. We’ve been in business for 15 years and we got into the business just because we got a license. And then after we got the license we decided, what are we going to do with this license? We got some friends and start doing some deals and everything that we did we came a commercial deal more than a residential deal. So we decided not to go into the painting and the colors and the walls, and how beautiful it is, and schooling, but also mostly in what the returns are. How people are investing? How people want to do this? We did a lot of land deals in Calle Ocho back in the days and we were recognized and we made some mistakes like everybody else and we’re here.
Jim Fried: Well, it sounds to me like the real reason you joined and got your CCIM because it helped you break through and get away from the people that were worried about what color the drapes were and get you talking about business people doing commercial deals, although if you’re doing some lease representation we have to talk about drapes.
Jose Maria Serrano: Yes, not only that, but also I tell you, one of the biggest things that I’ve found in CCIM is education. But why the education? I’m an instructor Florida instructor and the instructor of Florida realtors too. One of the things that I always thing is that when you are educating yourself, you don’t need to just learn the skills of the trade, but how to explain them in layman terms, so people can understand them. It’s not because people are dumb or people don’t want to understand, it is just how you do it and how you explain a cap rate or an internal rate or a return. What does it mean for you and that’s what CCIM gave me.
Jim Fried: Yeah, you see the most important thing is, that we live here in Miami where we’re all just call it, multilingual is that real estate is all about the language. The most difficult and important part of real estate is learning the language. When I have a young person that starts with me at my firm, I was telling the first thing that they need to learn is the terminology because you can say one thing to one person and another thing to another person, so you really need to understand the terminology. Like I said that’s what you’re talking about.
Jose Maria Serrano: Yes, exactly that is what I’m talking about. You cannot say yes SMBC or whatever term that you use if you don’t explain it maybe somebodies taking it wrong. Maybe somebodies taking it the wrong way.
Jim Fried: So, you found then that CCIM helps you build your business?
Jose Maria Serrano: Yes, it helped me a lot to build my business by giving me a plain field to work with the bigger guys in the market. Only by the education, but also by the networking. Now I can talk to a lot of people that I was not able to reach as being an independent broker without CCIM.
Jim Fried: One of the things that I love about the CCIM’s, and you touched about it, is being be part of that network because the CCIM’s they have I don’t want to say internal pocket deals, but they’re certain websites that CCIM’s have that you can go to that you can trade ideas and trade deals. I’ve always found out to be a great, a great advantage to be a CCIM.
Jose Maria Serrano: Yeah, one of the good things about CCIM is that we are an open family. So like in our board of directors it is open for anybody to come, but yes those deals are there. And yes you’re going to work with people that talk the same language. Same language. I’m very happy to able to talk to people who understand my same language, but if they don’t get it or if they don’t understand it, I’m very happy to explain it to them. That’s what CCIM gives you.
Jim Fried: Now, we talked a little about the CCIM, let’s talk just a couple of minutes about how you see the market. What do you think is going on the market? I’m not talking condos or commercial, I’m just talking in general, what’s your finger on the polls tell you?
Jose Maria Serrano: Well, my finger on the polls is I’ve been reading a lot in this couple of days because a lot of news have come to the market and the news feed lately. One of the things that I see is that even though unemployment is very low, interest rates are low, a lot of things of trading. Banks are begging us to do deals, so the market is hot, but are they good deals in the market? That’s where it is very difficult to analyze right now. There are some properties in the market that are not giving you the return that people are looking for.
Jim Fried: So, but you said to me that the keyword that you said and what you said was analyzed and I’m going to go back to the CCIM because the CCIM gives you that brief case tool so that you can analyze the deal and tell people what’s good and what may not really fit their desires.
Jose Maria Serrano: The tools that we have are the best tools in the market, really because once you put your numbers, you fit your numbers in our technology and our tools they’re going to speed something that you can really explain to people and that you really give good ideas of how you’re going to invest. We’re not telling people you have to invest in that. This is, what we’re giving is the certain direction the market is going. This is the direction where our projections are going to be on the market, so those tools are very important for us to be able to analyze and be able to understand the market and make people understand the market.
Jim Fried: Now, I want to talk just for about a minute. We only got a couple of minutes left. I want to talk about your role and your relationship with the Miami Board of Realtors, the Miami Association of Realtors. Tell me a little bit about that.
Jose Maria Serrano: I’ve been a member of the Miami Association of Realtors for a very long time. I was in the Board of Governors for like five, four years and right now I’m the RPAC Chairman. What’s RPAC? It’s all political of the association. What do we do is we defend our business. We defend the way of conducting business. A couple of things that had happened in the past that few months is the sales of the lease, commercial lease, sales stock and commercial leases. One of the things that we’re the only state in the nation that still have it and we’re been fighting for this. The other thing that just happen is then they want exchanges. It’s a little bit in debt, but we’re defending that anyone want to exchange that you have more money to be able to do your investments and pay less taxes or not pay the taxes. Now I just defer the taxes, so talk to a CCIM. Call them. Call one of us. You can go to flccim.com and find one of us and we will be able to talk about all these things in more detail. I know that time in radio is very quick. I was prepared for like two hours of talking and I’m realizing that we’re running out of time.
Jim Fried: How do people find you if they want to hear about the other thoughts that you had to share.
Jose Maria Serrano: Listen, the best way to contact me is to call me in my cell number. It’s 305-283-0492.
Jim Fried: Hold on, hold on. Go slower. Because remember we’ve got Jets fans out there listening too.
Jose Maria Serrano: Okay. It is 305-283-0492 or you can go to my website it’s very easy. It’s www.newmiamirealty.com. That’s newmiamirealty.com.
Jim Fried: Now, you like how I didn’t say Mets fans, right?
Jose Maria Serrano: Yeah. It’s a little bit.
Jim Fried: Alright, well listen I really appreciate having you here on the show. We really love having the CCIM’s. They provide a public service to our listening audience. They provide a business service to the community and like you said, part of it’s all about being part of their social network and their business network. I want to thank you so much, Jose Serrano for coming in today and giving us your feedback and input on what is CCIM can do for somebody in the real estate business.
Jose Maria Serrano: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Jim Fried: It’s my pleasure. Hey, Wanda it’s all yours. Will be right back after this short break. We’re going to talk about business in Brazil with Carlton Fields. Shareholder Robert Macaulay back after this.
Alright, Wanda you’re trailing be out. Does that mean your time for me to do my Warren Henry?
Jim Fried: Okay. Well, we’re going to do that then. Hey! When you’re looking to buy or lease a car you want to get every advantage that you can. That’s why you have to check out Warren Henry Land Rover, Range Rover, Infiniti, and Jaguar they’re all exceptional cars and they all come with the Warren Henry advantage. That means complimentary dent repair, key replacement, first service, and a personal assistant that you can call for anything anytime for four years. It’s always the best price. Always the best service, always Warren Henry.
Announcer: South Florida’s only all business station.
Female Announcer: Part of the Wall Street Business Network.
Announcer: 880AM. The Biz. Welcomes you to Fried on Business. You’re listening to Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guest call 305-541-2350. That’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright. We are back. We’re still waiting for Bob Macaulay to get here, so Jose’s been really terrific. He’s going to stick around and talk a little bit about Little Havana, but before I do, I want to give a big shout out to my friend Jim up in Fort Lauderdale sending me a text. I want to thank you Jim for sending me a text. You’re a terrific dude. Keep on texting. Keep on listening. I think…
Wanda: Wait, wait. What did the text say?
Jim Fried: It said, “I really enjoyed the CCIM’s. Keep having them on. I love their information.
Jim Fried: That’s right, Wanda. You didn’t say anything about you. Sorry. Alright Jose, so let’s do it. You gave me a little tip there. You talk about how you broker some deals out on Calle Ocho. I was over at the ball in chain just the other night for the ULI event. High five to Jason Katts for putting that all together and I took all these great… I really did. I these great pictures of Little Havana at sunset. I got to tell you what’s going on there is an absolute miracle. Well, not really a miracle if you follow how Miami grows, but it’s really a great thing to be a part of. Okay Wanda you’re a babe. Jim just texted me. Wanda you’re a babe.
Wanda: Thanks Jim.
Jim Fried: Okay, now Jose tell what’s going on in Little Havana because it seems to me like the deals maybe done there and unless they up sale on it, there’s nothing left to do.
Jose Maria Serrano: Well, listen let’s go back a little bit in history. What we did is we assemble a lot of land and back like seven years ago it was very difficult to assemble land because nobody wanted to sale. Nobody wanted to do anything. Then the market started going crazy and prices went up to a $100 dollars square foot, $150 square foot. We realize that was going to be a very crazy things. So we assemble a lot land never build. Now when we go to Little Havana we see these buildings coming up like 19 and 20. They’re building like 160 units. Now you go down and on the left hand side on 13 and 8, there’s something that a Venezuelan, a group bought from us, now they’re going to build probably a hotel. Now the 22nd, Henry Torres built…
Jim Fried: I want to buy from you. Stop telling everybody about the deal. I want to buy from you.
Jose Maria Serrano: The question is this I set a deal there in Little Havana to do today. Yes, if you have money. We’re not as crazy as Wynwood and we’re not as crazy as the other parts in Little Havana. But there are a lot surprising increases. They can increase by the hour.
Jim Fried: Well, all I could say is that I love Little Havana. I said this summer, Little Havana is the next Brickell. The next Biscayne. The next everything. I think Little Havana’s got some great opportunities. The thing I like most about Little Havana is that there is the availability to really live a wonderful lifestyle, but be three minutes from your job in downtown Miami and do it at a price that’s still somewhat still can make sense but that’s starting to change too.
Jose Maria Serrano: Yes. Indeed.
Jim Fried: So what I want to do, I actually want them to keep the way the zoning is and when it stays pretty much the same, you can go high in some places. Not so high in others. I want them to keep the character. If that means that you can’t tear down your fourplex and build 22 units, so be it. Charge me. Charge the people who live there. There’s like 22 units and you’ll still become South Beach. I really think that that’s going to start looking more like South Beach in the next few years.
Jose Maria Serrano: I believe so. There are a lot of groups trying to do a lot of things, but good things. You got to keep certain character and things like accents. You cannot take care of your accents or get rid of your accents. You have to have your accent. Otherwise you’re not defining who you are and that’s what I think Little Havana is going to be forever. It’s going to be a place with accent. A good accent.
Jim Fried: I love it. I mean, every major city has its closed in neighborhoods that are special and we need ours. Orlando has Winter Park. We have… Wanda likes Winter Park. Wanda likes Winter Park. It’s Hyde Park in Tampa. Jacksonville has the south side of the river. I forget what they call it. Five Points in Atlanta. Buckhead in Atlanta. Dallas I think it’s Highland Park. So Brooklyn and New York, every place has its nice historic neighborhoods. They’re all being redeveloped and I think that you need to, as you said Jose, keep the character there. Jose, what do you think that the is missing in Little Havana? That somebody needs to bring?
Jose Maria Serrano: What I think is missing in Little Havana is to finish the projects that were not done.
Jim Fried: The last cycle.
Jose Maria Serrano: The last cycle and once that happens, security is going to come with it. More income is going to come to it. So a lot of more, this character that is built there is going to have more economic impact on the whole city, so I think that what we need is to finish the projects.
Jim Fried: Yeah. I agree with you. I drive up and down there and I look at the holes in the ground. The scraped off lots. I want to say my heart breaks because I know what could potentially go there and I really think that if done the right way by people like Astor and other developers that are out there right now, that it really can be a Western gateway to the city and if you sit there in the middle of Flaggler or A Street and look into the downtown Miami as the sun goes down, you can’t help, but have your breath taken away. Really the street to do it on is Calle Ocho. You stand there and you go to the Ball in Chain. Heck, I’ll give them a plug all day. Ball in Chain, it’s right across from the Domino Park. You go in there. It’s right across from the beautiful theater they have on there. What is it? The Beacon Theater?
Jose Maria Serrano: There are a lot of good dynamics like the restaurants in Little Havana. There is some in Calle Ocho especially. We have 19 and… Right in front of the project that we’re talking about 19 and 8. There is one of the best Mexican restaurants in town. There’s next to it, there’s another very dynamic restaurant that is like oriental type of restaurant. They just opened like a new bar, very bohemic bar. Very nice. Very nice place. So there’s a place to hang out without being in the Brickell area. A little out of the Brickell area. It’s very common.
Jim Fried: It’s more street level. It’s more…you can touch and feel this area and the thing that I really liked about it was that you walk up and there’s real art galleries. Real art galleries with real artists that are there active. They were painting when I walked by. Beautiful stuff. It’s not just Little Havana centric. It’s really Florida and I think that where this people are coming from…I know where they’re coming from. They’re coming from Wynwood. They came from the design district. They went to Wynwood. They got priced out of Wynwood. They wanted to go up to Little River. They found out Little River wasn’t necessarily for them. They wanted a more Latin feel. So they went over here.
Jose Maria Serrano: Yes.
Jim Fried: And it’s beautiful! There’s beautiful bones in that neighborhood.
Jose Maria Serrano: If you go around they’re beautiful homes. Still beautiful, beautiful.
Jim Fried: Oh my goodness! People don’t realize the homes that are back there between the roads and Little Havana, right off of Calle Ocho are some of the nicest homes in Miami. Just think that if you were Mr. Big and you had an office downtown Miami, your home was either north up in the Morning Side area or west here in what we now term as Little Havana. It’s just amazing.
Jose Maria Serrano: It is. It is amazing. A lot of I think is between 12 and 13 and avenues and all I’m going to say like 8 and 9, there are million dollar houses.
Jim Fried: Oh yeah.
Jose Maria Serrano: They’re like very, very nice. Very well kept, very beautiful neighborhoods.
Jim Fried: The thing I like most of all is that they’ve got that mature foliage, the big trees, the big shade trees. The all the great stuff that’s back there. It’s shaded. It’s got personality. It’s got dynamism. It’s growing. There’s trend behind it now. In fact, while I was at the Ball in Chain, there were people driving by asking, “What was going on?” There are band. Which that indicates to me, those are tourists? Tourists. Walking up and down. They walked up and down. They were drinking. They were eating. They had bags. They were shopping.
Jose Maria Serrano: Now going back to my CCIM, walkability. Walkability is fantastic. I mean, it’s very difficult to recreate walk ability because you have the path ways to walk. You have a lot of good things. We need a little bit more security. We need a little bit more people coming to this event, but you can walk anywhere. You can park your car around and just walk. That’s are very nice feel.
Jim Fried: You know, you were saying you need more security. I don’t know. I think it’s pretty secure right now. I felt safe the whole time and I saw the police up and down the street on both on walking and driving and right next to Ball in Chain the people were coming up and the police weren’t doing their job on this. They were parking on the no parking zone. They were doing that because they wanted to get the guys ice cream. There’s like a great ice cream store were there. There was like five people waiting when I pulled up.
Jose Maria Serrano: Absolutely, absolutely. And like I said there’s good vibrant economy coming to Little Havana.
Jim Fried: Alright, will listen I want to thank Jose Marie Serrano. Since you got that Latin surname in the middle. It always throws me. Jose I want to thank you for sticking around and doing an extra segment with us. We were going to talk about business in Brazil. The attorney from Carlton Fields has not been able to join us, but after the spin around the dial, I’m going to talk little bit about what I’m seeing in the market and as the markets changing, what you’re going to see, what you’re going to look for. Will talk condos, will talk retail, will talk office, will talk industrial, will talk residential. Will do all that talking right after I’m done talking now and handing it over to Wanda and say Wanda it’s all yours. Jose Serrano, thanks so much for coming in today and representing the CCIM strong.
Jose Maria Serrano: Thank you so much again.
Jim Fried: Alright. Back after this. Wanda it’s yours.[Commercial break]
Hey, I want to give a shout out to Robert Dean Fairness. Thanks so much for giving us a high five on LinkedIn, Robert. Hey, when you’re looking to buy or lease a car you want to get every advantage that you can. That’s why you have to check out Warren Henry Land Rover, Range Rover, Infiniti, and Jaguar they’re all exceptional cars and they all come with the Warren Henry advantage. That means complimentary dent repair, key replacement, first service, and a personal assistant that you can call for anything anytime for four years. It’s always the best price. Always the best service, always Warren Henry.[Commercial break]
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Female Announcer: This is the Wall Street Business Network.
Announcer: South Florida’s only all business station. 880 AM. The Biz. You’re listening to Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guest call 305-541-2350. That’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright. We’re back. Wanda, you did not give me the signal, so I didn’t know it was time to start. But I’ll start now because I got the signal. Hey, you know UHealth is the University of Miami Health System. They bring us the brightest minds and best care right here in South Florida and everyone knows by now UHealth is Big. It includes more than 300 specialty doctors and dozens of locations from Miami to Palm Beach Gardens and now UHealth is in Plantation.
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Alright, I feel good and I feel nice. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get our guys gone from Carlton Fields. Will reschedule with them and that it will work out. Hey, what does that mean? That means you get all Jim now. And all Jim. That’s always entertaining. So I want to talk a little about what I see is going on in the market place today and why don’t we start with Office space.
Office space is hot. I see a lot of people now they’re moving their offices out of Brickell to places like Corral Gables and Coconut Grove. Why? Because Brickell is now becoming what Mike Fay’s calling a donut. You stay there, you do everything there. You can’t really go out, you can’t really go back in and most of our neighborhoods are starting to turn it to donuts like this, so the really solution is the people that are the partners, the law firms, looking and finding accounting firms and every other type of business that’s on Brickell. They’re moving closer to where they live. In fact, everybody’s moving closer to their office, closer to where they work. So the big trend is that Brickell may finally start getting more offices. Bigger offices and the people in Brickell will start living near their office, working near their office, playing near their office, buying food and groceries, and just doing everything near their office. Gosh! You got all those great hotels coming too. Their going to provide an amazing lifestyle fo the people who live there.
Now, so we understand what’s going on. With office there’s not office, you can’t build office right because you still can’t make the numbers work, so what does that mean? That means it’s time to renew your lease. Because if you don’t renew your lease now, prices are just going to go up and it will be tougher and tougher for you to find space that manages your needs. If you’re looking for office space, make sure you go out and renegotiate your lease or get a new lease. You get it done now. If you need some help doing that you can give me a call at 305… For the Jets fans I’ll do it again. 305-938-8639 and I’m happy to… That’s my direct dial at the office and I’m happy to refer you to my friends that do the office, tenant rep stuff. Now’s the time.
Get off the bench. If you’re going to do a lease, if you only got about a year, year and a half left, lock it in now because rates are only going to go up, so if you’re in office space, looking for office space, you want to buy office space, now’s the time to move, and if you’re a developer good luck to find a site to build office space because I’ve been looking for one in South Florida and a couple of good markets that I want to build in for almost a year. I just can’t find one that makes the numbers work. I guess I’m going to fight the bullet and see if I can do a deal where I got to get $100 a foot and reach over on the ground floor.
So let’s talk about that for a minute. You know retails is really happening. Retail’s really hot. The guys and gals that are doing the ground floor and leasing the areas like Brickell and Windwood while they do what’s going on. They know markets only getting hotter and that where people used to say that the ground floor retail on all these condos and office buildings was an after thought and not something that they want to be a part of because it’s not their perfect configuration, well, heck that’s out the window now. They don’t care. They just want to be there. They want to be where their customers are and the high end customers are coming into all these neighborhoods and you’re seeing complete re-positioning, a complete redevelopment, and a complete evolution of what’s going on here at South Florida and the best indication of that is they didn’t even think that the first public’s on Brickell Avenue would ever make sense. Well, ha ha! to that. You couldn’t go through there. You couldn’t go through their areas, so hold on a second.
We have our folks from Carlton Fields. They just showed up. Jose you’re out of here. Let’s bring on, let’s bring on our friends from Carlton Fields. Are they back there? Yeah. Is he out there? How long has he been sitting out there, Wanda? Bob Macaulay, nobody told me you were out there. Sid down. Let’s go.
Wanda: Sorry about that.
Jim Fried: Alright. Well, Wanda…
Wanda : I got wrapped up in the show in here.
Jim Fried: Alright, alright. Well, we got Bob Macaulay. He’s a shareholder with Carlton Fields Jordan and Burt. He’s the practicing leader representing the U. S. and international firms doing business transactions right here in Florida. Bob, welcome to the show.
Robert Macaulay: Okay, glad to be here. Sorry about the confusion. I checked in and I got wrapped up in work waiting for the call to come in.
Jim Fried: I hope that you’re billing at least three people at that time.
Robert Macaulay: One at a time. No problem.
Jim Fried: Alright, so Bob let’s just start right away and Wanda will just put Terrick on again next time. Will do Bob a couple of times right here. So folks that were looking to hear Terek Maddox on how to work out the server. We’ll have Terek next week. Bob so tell me a little bit about what’s going on. We all know the Brazilians have been coming for years. I’ve seen them walking around with their shopping bags. What’s changed?
Robert Macaulay: Well, Miami has now, I think moved to the next level of being a world class 1st tier city, so that while you have plenty of Brazilians coming to shop, you have more and more buying higher end properties moving here to live, investing and folks in the good old days are very wealthy business people investors that would not have wanted to be in Miami if they’re in the high society in Sau Paulo they would want to say, “Well, I’m in New York, I’m in London, or Paris. Those level cities, Miami is now considered within Brazil to be a top tier city and if you got a nice apartment in Miami, your are somebody. So that’s the big change. When I came to Miami in 1983 when there were two tall buildings downtown and a couple of condos in Brickell from the good old days, that was it. Back then the serious Brazilians would go to New York and Miami was just a sunbelt city with some Cubans and of course Miami has been completely transformed and the head of the capital of Latin America and the Brazilians are the biggest factor.
Jim Fried: Now, what is a Brazilian that’s coming to Miami need to look out for because I know in our firm we don’t even do business outside the country because we want to know the ground the rules and we don’t want to spend years learning them. How do Brazilians come to Miami and feel comfortable?
Robert Macaulay: Well, right now they have to find someone that they can talk to that can help them and of course, that’s one of the things we specialize in something I’ve been doing, for me the years and but you need to have someone that knows the rules and how things work and my specialty is to be basically the gatekeeper, the quarterback, the manager for relationships when people come here. My personal specialty is corporate securities law investment structures and that sort of thing, but it’s evolve into real estate. I supervised a lot of major real estate projects, although the needy gritty of the title polices and checking out the boiler plate of agreements. It’s condo docs and that sort of thing. We have experts in our firm that handle that. I handle more of the big pictures,but you need someone that can basically tell people, “Here’s what you need.” You need to have the quarterback to run the show, to get all the players on the team. A team for an investor from Brazil would need really someone to handle the real estate work, immigration, if someone wants to actually move here, taxes, critical if you do the right tax structure you can save a lot money and there’s a lot of benefits that foreigners can get when they invest the right way. You also have to watch out for the pitfalls of the tax side because the U.S. estate tax is horrendous and America gets a 5.4 million dollar exemption per person. 10.8 million for a married couple, but a foreigner gets $60,000, so you need to put your real estate investments in a corporate form. It will protect you.
Jim Fried: Now, the dollar strength against a lot of currencies in Latin America that’s kind of put a damper on it, so is some currency repatriation or export rules, so what are you seeing the impact as the stronger dollar doing with I’d say here in America or also must create opportunities in Brazil.
Robert Macaulay: Right. The amount of Brazilian investment coming to the United States is lowering just because the exchange rate is about 3 to 1. 3 reais for $1 dollar whereas, back when our market was in the dumps in 2009-2010, it was about 1.61, .7. The dollars was almost twice as strong as it was at that time and a lot of savvy Brazilians bought up properties with cash when they were riding high and they bought some properties at very low dollar prices plus the dollar now is more reais, but right now there are opportunities to invest into Brazil if you have the stomach for evaluating the risk and figuring what’s going on because down in Brazil if you’re an investor you have to worry about things you don’t worry about here given the tax rules are extremely complex down there. You have infrastructure issues, you have corruption issues, a legal system they you can’t trust as well as you can here. If you really do your homework and deal with reputable people, you can do well down there.
Jim Fried: Well, if I’m Brazilian and I’m coming to Miami and I’m looking for a quarterback, you said you could fill that role. Does you firms offer somebody that plays quarterback down in Brazil?
Robert Macaulay: Yup. Well, actually we do. I’ve done a little of that, but we now have a new Brazilian attorney Giovanni Biscardi who was the managing partner of Machado Meyers, Rio Office Machado Meyers. One of the big top firms in Brazil and Giovanni used to work with when he was an associate he got LLM at George Washington and he’s now member of the New York Bar and I do admire someone that can pass the New York Bar at an second language. That’s a pretty strong accomplishment. Certain Americans have a hard time with the New York Bar which is a lot harder than the Florida Bar. Anyway, Gio worked as a young associate with Dennis Sully, the head of our group for many years ago, went back to Brazil and became a top dog with bilingual, knows both legal systems. As I said New York Bar, U. S. lawyer, Brazilian lawyer, and he’s handle a lot big M&A deals and investment deals in Brazil representing primarily foreigners investing in Brazil/U.S. funds, Chinese funds, and companies, and he came to realize that he can do the same thing that he’s doing down there, but from a much higher quality of life in Miami, and so he’s right next door to me on the 40th floor in the Miami Tower and we work together on what we call the Brazil desk and he’s more from here to there. I’m more from there to here, but we’re both do similar things and work together.
Jim Field: Alright. Will be right back after this short break. We’re going to talk to Bob the visa shareholder at Carlton Fields Jordan Burt. Anybody who’s waiting to hear Terek we’re going to roll Terek back a little because we had a little bit of scheduling glitch today. Bob can you stay with us a little longer?
Robert Macaulay: Sure, sure.
Jim Field: Alright, will be right back after this we’re going to talk about some of the deals that Bob has worked on that are examples of some of the pit falls that you can prevent when you’re doing business in Brazil and Brazil doing business here. Back after this.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guest call 305-541-2350. That’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright, we are back. Wanda has nodded which means my mike is live again. We’re here with Bob Macaulay, Bob is it Robert, Bob, Rob?
Robert Macaulay: Bob.
Jim Fried: Bob, you like that?
Robert Macaulay: Yeah. Or Roberto as they say it in Portuguese. That’s fine.
Jim Fried: You like that. I like that. You like that. You speak a little Portuguese? You sure don’t look like that you speak Portuguese.
Robert Macaulay: I get by okay. Yeah. It’s very helpful. Portugues and Spanish are my two…
Jim Fried: How’s it going on down there with the Olympics coming right? That must throw some real good business opportunities?
Robert Macaulay: Well, there are some, although there sort of still a hang over from the World Cup and the Brazilians, the people are not that animated about the Olympics. It’s something that they have to do.
Jim Fried: Are they going to fix water?
Robert Macaulay: The water? I don’t know. I saw the dead fish on TV in Brazil last week. They’ll find a way to pull it together. They know how to put on a party and it’s not going to be perfect, but they will find a way, but the people much more concerned about the overall economy and inflation, and lack of growth and it’s just…
Jim Fried: It doesn’t sound like your painting a real good picture for doing business there.
Robert Macaulay: Well, but you know when the dollar is at 3 to 1 and you can buy up properties really cheaply. Brazil’s an agricultural power house. One of the big things that, one of the things that really is going on there, the clients of mine that are real still in a good mood are those in agricultural businesses. Exporting beef, exporting soy beans because they’ve got huge resources, huge production and they sell in dollars, so they can export to the U.S. and Euros are also stronger. Certainly than the Real though, Euros gone down a bit so. Brazil is not all bad.
Jim Fried: How about political stability? A lot of people like to invest in the United States. There’s money that comes out in Latin America. We don’t pick a particular country that comes up here because they like the stability of America and a lot of other reasons which may not be regular apparent well at least openly discussed. What about the political stability in Brazil? Do you see that there’s ups and downs there.
Robert Macaulay: Yeah, no the president was reelected under dubious terms basically if what she had done was done as a CEO she be in jail for fraud when it comes to all the artificial measures done to keep prices down…
Jim Fried: They’re socialist aren’t they?
Robert Macaulay: Yeah. They’re hard core. They’re hard core down there.
Jim Fried: She was like a revolutionary, right?
Robert Macaulay: To do the analogy, they just don’t want to give in too much politics here, but…
Jim Fried: We don’t talk politics. This does frame the business.
Robert Macaulay: To frame it we had the weather man and the SDS here back in the day she was a leader of the Brazilian Armor that she spend in time in jail. They robbed banks and kidnapped people. She was on the Bill Ayers team in Brazil.
Jim Fried: Wow!
Robert Macaulay: She claims to reformed. But still it’s hard to… She may have the mental, but Brazil is just a big diverse of country. Venezuela you could control the oil industry. You got it covered. In Brazil you can’t do that. There’s too much power in too many different regions. Too many industries and there are institutions that push back the congress right now. It’s pushing back, but Brazil is going to be always I think, a big partner for Miami. Coming and going they do poorly. They do well, we’re going to do well working with them.
Jim Fried: So more Brazilian amount of planning, I’ve got my money or reliability to transfer money to the Unites States legally and above board. I land here. I don’t want to buy a condo, what do I look at next?
Robert Macaulay: Well, if you want to do do business or invest here…
Jim Fried: Companies?
Robert Macaulay: There are companies to buy. There are a lot of Brazilians at technology, inventors, investors, people, they have people from Brazil are very lot of educated people. They can get a job at a company here. They can start their own business. The first thing to do though, besides finding a place to live, if you want to do business you need to talk to a lawyer and I’m am example of those who can sort of orient you. One of the things they love is how easy it is to set up a business, set up a company. In Brazil you got to get a notary bells and witnesses, and register in 30 days to get a stamp for this and a stamp for that.
Jim Fried: You got to pay double for that?
Robert Macaulay: More and it’s half of here. They want a company, I’ll sign for you. I’ll put it up on the internet today. The ease of avoiding the bureaucracy is something that continues. I think there’s got to be a catch. How can you do it so easily. No problem. We can get it done and one of the things that helps us also is that over the years foreigners that invest or do business on an infinity basis, the German that comes to do business with the German and the French and the French, I’ve seen that on investments situations where people got burned. In over time I think it’s an advantage to be an American working at a solid traditional firm like Carlton Fields. It’s been around since 1901 and from the former governor way back in Tampa, so the idea for the Brazilians they they’re dealing with are real reputable American law firm and not just a countryman that talks the language, and talks a good game. We’ve got the language covered, we’ve got the culture covered, but we can show that we have serious pros in each of the areas that they need.
Jim Fried: Wasn’t Jay Stieman an original team in Tampa?
Robert Macaulay: In Tampa? I don’t know. Jay was been around since the day he turned has I have practicing real estate law and he and his real estate team are valuable members on all the things we do with the Brazilians and they know that will have the top quality work done for them and that they’ll get state of the art agreements and protection. I didn’t used to be that way. There’s been cases in the past where Brazilians went to the local Brazilian American lawyer they referred to and things didn’t work out that well or the Brazilian real estate broker that didn’t always take care of them. It’s not just a Brazilian thing, again I’ve seen bad examples with Germans with French and possibly with other or other countries.
Jim Fried: Yeah, but Brazil kicks a good soccer ball. So we’re talking about there. So the Germans do too. But we do too. We do talk about sports. Wanda? How much more time do I have in the show today? I guess it’s two minutes. Two minutes Dos minutos. I want to thank. No, I want to thank you so much for coming in. Bob Macaulay shareholder at Carlton Fields. Bob, people want to get in touch with you, how do they find you and go slow Jets fans listen.
Robert Macaulay: Right, the email is rmacaulay. r m a c a u l a firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s the best way to reach me. That’s email@example.com. You just go on the cfblaw.com website. You can find the bio and find out all about the firm and I just enjoy helping foreigners navigate through the waters here and what’s fun is that to do the marketing here, just do a good job for one they give you a referral to another and with the internet you’re just one click away from another good referral.
Jim Fried: Well, Bob I want to thank you for putting up with our scheduling difficulty today. Wanda you got to go out there and see when people are out there next time Miss.
Robert Macaulay: No problem.
Jim Fried: That’s all you’re going to say today here now.
Jim Fried: I want to thank Bob and the folks a the Carlton Fields for coming on the show today. I want to thank Jose Serrano. Our CCIM voice. Eric, I’m going to thank you even though you didn’t get on the show. We’re going have to tear it back in the next week or two talking about how we’re going to work out and stay fit this.
I want to thank South Florida Business and Wealth Magazine. Kind Snacks our sponsors at Kind Snacks. Terek Maddox, UHealth, the CCIMs, of course, Warren Henry, the NFL Alumni, The Miami Marlins, Lauren’s Kids, the Aztec Group, Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Florida, UHealth. Thank you of course to our listeners because without you I got no show.
Please go to our Facebook page, like the show and tell your friends. If you missed today’s show it’s going to be up on our web page www.Friedonbusiness.com. This is Jim Fried for Fried on Business. Look for us on 880AM next Thursday at 6. Why? Because I love doing this. We’re going to have a reprise of our show talking about ETrade. Talking about Emerge. Emerge will be on. Javier will be on. Will have the folks from Early Shares. Also the Night Foundation and UHealth. That’s next week. Remember this is not a rehearsal. This is your life. A person that wants to do something finds a way, the other finds an excuse. Now go out there and make it happen.