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South Florida Condo Market Update, Build Your Brand with Content Marketing

Episode 325: 07-16-15

On this week’s show, we discuss the South Florida condo market with the president of condominium development for the Related Group, Carlos Rosso, and we sit with social media and email marketing guru Sandi Abbott and learn how you can build your brand with content marketing.

South Florida Condo Market Update

Carlos Rosso is president of condominium development for The Related Group. Since joining the company in 2002, Rosso has been responsible for a broad range of activities. He directed all aspects of residential development in Florida, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.

Throughout his career Carlos Rosso has developed more than 20 properties with over 6,000 units. He graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires with a master’s degree in architecture. He also earned a master’s degree in Real Estate Development and Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The strong dollar, slowing international sales/pick up in sales to locals, the Related Group’s expansion into Broward and much more as we will discuss the South Florida condo market.

Build Your Brand with Content Marketing

Sandi Abbott is owner of Xpresso Content Café and helps brands and small businesses CAFFEINATE their sales!

Xpresso Content Cafe is a digital marketing agency specializing in developing interactive online and onsite marketing campaigns for brands and small business clients.

Sandi will be sharing some tips on email tracking and marketing and discussing Jim Fried’s new email template redesign.

Episode 325: 07-16-15 (To download, right-click and select “Save Link As”.


Jim Fried: Alright we’ve got a great show today. We’ve got the South Florida Condo update with Carlos Rosso, The Related Groups condo market president here in South Florida and then we’ve also got Sandi Abbott from Xpresso Content Cafe. We’re going to talk about how to monetize your content with constant contact, so we’ll be right back after this. The start might be coming up a little bit but today it’s all condos and constant contact. We’ll be back after this.

[commercial break]

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[commercial break]

Jim Fried: Alright well you know when you’re looking to buy or lease a car you wanna get every advantage you can that’s why you have to check out Warren Henry Land Rover, Range Rover, Infinity and Jaguar; they’re all exceptional cars and they all come with the Warren Henry advantage. That means complimentary dent repair, key replacement, fair service. Heck, you even get a Personal Assistant that you can call for anything, anytime for four years. Always the best price, always the best service so join me as a member of the Warren Henry family because it’s always Warren Henry.

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: Alright, we are back and we are having Social Media, you’re gonna like this Sandi…coffee talk.

Sandi Abbott: [laughs]

Jim Fried: [laughs] So we’re having social media coffee talk with my favorite Xpresso Content Cafe. That’s Sandi Abbott. She’s the Queen of contact/marketing contact management. She’s the Queen of Constant Contact. I finally got it right. Sandi, welcome back.

Sandi Abbott: Thank you for having me on the show again.

Jim Fried: Oh it’s my pleasure! Now, we’re gonna get personal today. We’re gonna talk about what Sandi’s’ been doing with my website and we’re gonna use that as an example of how you can maximize your returns with constant contact. So Sandi, first let me say thanks for redesigning the website, and I got e-mails and I guess that opens and stuff up to what happened with that?

Sandi Abbott: Well we redesigned the template so that it was mobile friendly, it’s easier to read. We gave it a brand new look. It looks like your website and it should really look very nice on the phone. I test it out before I sent it every time and I love the way it’s looking.

Jim Fried: Just to let you know I proof it on my phone.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah, yeah.

Jim Fried: Just to let you know I proof it on my phone, not even on the iPad any more.

Sandi Abbott: And do you wear your reading glasses when you do it? I do! [laughs]

Jim Fried: Yeah I do, I do and I wanna give a high five to Hayes Insurance for providing me with my cheap giveaway sunglasses. So high five to you Joanie Levenshaw out there and I’m actually gonna make sure you hear that too. But thanks to Hayes, they give me these plastic glasses, I love reading. But Sandi, so I’m reading my Constant Contact and it goes out…it goes out twice.

Sandi Abbott: Yes.

Jim Fried: And we’ll talk about the implication with that, and then the next day I get statistics. So tell me what all of this stuff means because it comes to me in a big box. I open it up, I look at it and then I forget what it says and what it means and I don’t take action, I don’t know what any of that means, sorry about that D I… just hit the mic.

Sandi Abbott: Well that’s ok because I do look at it.

Jim Fried: Ok.

Sandi Abbott: And I pay attention for you.

Jim Fried: Thank you.

Sandi Abbott: But everybody likes to talk about the things that are nice you know. The graphics, the front end of an e-mail when it goes out, the subject and all that is sexy. E-mail tracking doesn’t sound so sexy, but that’s really where it’s at.

Jim Fried: It’s the most important thing! I wanna know what I’m doing!

Sandi Abbott: It’s the first thing that really sold me on e—mail marketing. It’s one of the things that I love to talk about because that’s really that’s where it’s at. You can send out e-mails all day long but if you’re not getting the tracking, you don’t really know how effective things are being. So once an e-mail campaign goes out, you should wait at least 24 hours, ideally 2 days to really look at the results.

Jim Fried: Well that’s different for me because I’m a call to action at a time specific thing.

Sandi Abbott: Right.

Jim Fried: So somebody in general that sends out “hey come go to my restaurant” or “come buy my product,” or “come stay at my Hotel,” they should look/wait for 2 days to see unless it’s a specific call for action?

Sandi Abbott: Well you can look at it right away.

Jim Fried: Ok.

Sandi Abbott: What I’m saying is that to get the full results of everything that comes in, if you want to wait for the stragglers that are gonna come in, then you wait 2 days to get the full results. You can tell pretty much within a few hours of the e-mail going out the impact it has. I have clients that know exactly when I sent the e-mail because they start getting phone calls or they start getting hits on their online store.

Jim Fried: I was actually in a meeting today and my phone started popping because everybody was on vacation so it was all the auto replies that they weren’t there. So yeah, I mean I love it. And when I’m at an event and it’s 10:05 or whatever it is and my phone starts to explode and people are looking at theirs, they all start cracking up! It’s great!

Sandi Abbott: Yeah, actually I have a client who used to like for me to send the e-mails during their monthly meetings because then they could talk about it at the meeting and just say you got the e-mail right now.

Jim Fried: That’s a great idea! Open it up, check it out and let’s roll.

Sandi Abbott: Exactly, exactly. So when I look at the tracking there’s two things that are important. One is the open rate, and that basically tells you how many people opened your e-mail.

Jim Fried: Ok.

Sandi Abbott: And when you send…there’s people that are still believe it or not, using Gmail or Yahoo or something like that to send e-mails that don’t really know how effective it is. But I can see the open rate. I can see exactly how many people clicked and exactly who clicked on the e-mail. So if you really wanna know who your friends are, you should really pay attention to those….to the open rate and see who’s opening your e-mails.

Jim Fried: I do, and I gotta tell ya I get my jollies that way sometimes!

Sandi Abbott: [laughs]

Jim Fried: Oh my God, that big shot is actually opening up my e-mail!!! And sometimes when I get the auto replies that the persons out, it really makes me feel good cos’ I know the person hasn’t opted out. And so I don’t mind that they’re on vacation, they’re saying hello to me!

Sandi Abbott: You know the ones I love the most that almost brings the tears to my eyes when they respond with their new e-mail address, cos they wanna make sure they continue getting your e-mails when they changed.

Jim Fried: Jesus.

Sandi Abbott: That makes me cry. [laughs]

Jim Fried: Oh my goodness, oh my goodness I…did anybody see me blush on the radio just now?

Sandi Abbott: [laughs]

Jim Fried: I love that too. In fact though the thing I love the most, the thing that about all the e-mails that I love the most was when you changed the template and a guy from Alabama e-mailed me and said that he liked it.

Sandi Abbott: I know and thanks for sharing that with me, I love that. That was very nice.

Jim Fried: That’s my pleasure sweetheart, it’s my pleasure. So we’ve talked about open rate and I’ll out myself, how am I doing with that?

Sandi Abbott: You are doing very good. You have about fifteen per cent. The industry average of you are in communications is roughly around eighteen. But, you send twice a day and that’s an important thing because the more often you send, the lower your open rate goes, right? So if you’re sending once a month, you might be getting twenty five per cent or maybe even higher depending on your industry because it really varies by industry. But if you send…

Jim Fried: Hold on a second, some guy named Dr Vionus retweeted me. I wonder who that might be? Anyway, go ahead. Dr Vionus, thank you so much.

Sandi Abbott: [laughs] So I erm.

Jim Fried: [laughs] He’s sitting right here, it’s Roddy.

Sandi Abbott: Now you see now I lost my train of thought, where was I?

Jim Fried: You were talking about somebody opens it, you send it a couple of times and the opening goes down…

Sandi Abbott: Yeah exactly!!

Jim Fried: Somebody was listening to you Sandy!

Sandi Abbott: I wasn’t I was too busy talking, but anyhow…

Jim Fried: Well that’s great advertising.

Sandi Abbott: So here’s the thing; the more often you send the lower your open rate. But at the end of the day, it’s a numbers game so if you’re sending eight times a day…

Jim Fried: You mean gross open versus percentage open?

Sandi Abbott: Yes, exactly. So the fact that your percentage is going down and you’re still getting more eyeballs because you’re sending that e-mail out eight times.

Jim Fried: I love eyeballs.

Sandi Abbott: So, exactly!

Jim Fried: Almost as much as I love fingers!

Sandi Abbott: [laughs] And the same thing happens with the click through rate. So the open rate tells you how many people are opening your e-mails, ok? The click through rate tells you how many people are clicking on your links.

Jim Fried: You know I just realized why I get double reports, cos I sent twice. [laughs]

Sandi Abbott: Yes [laughs]

Jim Fried: I’m such a jerk! Thank God somebody’s watching!

Sandi Abbott: So the click through rate basically tells you how many people are clicking on links. And in your case, a lot of people are listening on the radio so it’s a little lower than it would be for a retail outlet. It’s actually expecting click throughs to a website. So those are the two things you wanna to look at. The open rate and the click through rate. How often you send is gonna impact how many people…

Jim Fried: How about the time that you sent, the time of day? Because, I send at 10:00 and I send at 18:00 but I guess that’s really what I’d have to do because of what we’ve got here.

Sandi Abbott: Yes exactly. So here’s the thing, you get more opens in the afternoon than you do in the morning.

Jim Fried: Well yeah, but everybody knows that it’s gonna come again in the afternoon so they can just wait.

Sandi Abbott: Exactly.

Jim Fried: But it’s still a heads up though. Do they get to see it even if they didn’t open it?

Sandi Abbott: Yes, and that’s the thing sometimes. People get frustrated and they say “well if somebody hasn’t been opening my e-mails should I delete them from my email list?” The truth is that not everyone’s gonna open your e-mail every time. Maybe that time they know that they’re not gonna be able to listen on the radio so they may not open that e-mail.

Jim Fried: And oh by the way that doesn’t matter because you can always listen later online.

Sandi Abbott: Exactly, so they can open the e-mail whenever it’s important to them. Whenever they’re ready to deal with it. So you get a better open rate in the afternoon, that’s something you should look at. When I send e-mails for clients, I pay attention to the time of day and the day of the week that gets the best open rate. And depending on what kind of business you’re in, you might have people open more in the afternoons, in the mornings, in the evenings. If it’s consumers I e-mail on weekends, if it’s business to business I e-mail sometimes at six in the morning on Monday Morning. Could you believe that’s a good open, that’s a good time to send an e-mail?

Jim Fried: Well it depends, it depends. (Sandi Laughs) You can either be me and just look through and clear everything, or you can look and open and go through deliberately. On Monday morning I’m a blow through kind of guy, but that’s just me and I can tell you as if it’s something I’m gonna open I’m gonna open it all the time. If it’s something I blow through, I blow through it all the time. I’m very brand loyal or very I guess brand unloyal.

Sandi Abbott: Mmmmm.

Jim Fried: But one thing I really am is a creature of habit and I guess that’s what content marketing is all about. It’s learning the habits of your audience and I’m gonna use a bad word ‘exploiting it’.

Sandi Abbott: That’s right, I mean that’s the reason you have the tracking. It’s really not even… don’t even think of it as exploiting. You’re serving up what they want when they want it most.

Jim Fried: Oh, so the way to think of it is that what you’re doing is that they’re teaching me how to speak to them the way they want me to speak with them?

Sandi Abbott: You’re catering to them, you’re not exploiting them.

Jim Fried: Whatever you mean it’s all about them? Bruce Turkel, Bruce Turkel alert. At Bruce Turkel it’s all about them. (Sandi Laughs) You liked that didn’t you?

Sandi Abbott: Yeah.

Jim Fried: I’m gonna have to let Bruce know that. I’m gonna have to hit him with that. Anyway, so Sandi what are we going to talk about? You can stick with me for another segment because I know that D is running up against the break here. What have we got D, another minute or so? Another minute which is long enough for people to find out how they can find you Sandi and go slow, there’s lots of Jets fans that listen.

Sandi Abbott: Ok. You can find me online at www.xpressocc on Twitter and on Facebook and it’s Xpressocc and also my website is the same, it’s

Jim Fried: Ok and you know, one of the things that Bruce would be really upset with me about is if that I used the word ‘exploit’, which can be misinterpreted.

Sandi Abbott: Mmmm Hmm.

Jim Fried: And what I meant was not to take advantage, but just simply to execute on that.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah.

Jim Fried: And again, it makes it that you have to really think about the people that you’re marketing to and they tell you with their wallet, with their finger, with their click throughs, right?

Sandi Abbott: Exactly, exactly.

Jim Fried: Alright! Well with that we’re gonna be back after this with more Xpresso Marketing on the other side of the break. D, take it away.

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: Alright, we are back. We are back with Sandi Abbot. Sandi is also Xpresso Content Cafe. She’s the Constant Contact Queen of South Florida; she’ll help you caffeinate your e-mail marketing. Sandi, welcome back.

Sandi Abbott: Thank you.

Jim Fried: Now Sandi has beefed up my e-mail campaigns. The e-mail numbers have gone up, the open rates gone up, the gross number of opens has gone up. The e-mail template gets all kinds of comments now from people, it’s a great way for me to monetize my content and my contacts. So Sandi, what else can we learn from some of the statistics on the back end? The front end being the e-mail, the back end being the statistics.

Sandi Abbott: Exactly. So here’s one way that people can close the loop. So some businesses have a retail setup. Some businesses have a retail setup where they’re getting clicks on the website; they’re getting sales online so that’s one way to do it. But if you have a business to business type of setup and you say “well I’m not really selling stuff online that way,” here’s what you can do. You can take the click through information. You can find out not only what the people are clicking on your links, you can find out what links they’re clicking on and know exactly what e-mail address is clicking on that link. So if you’ve got your contact information and constant contact phone number/name of customer; you can actually export that list and do follow up calls. Nobody likes to do cold calling, right? You don’t have to do cold calling, you can do warm calling.

Jim Fried: “I saw that you were listening to my information,” or “I saw that you had opened up our teaser about our sale, would you like some more information? Perhaps I can coach you through and help you understand how you can save.”

Sandi Abbott: Well sometimes people don’t like to know that you know what they’ve done.

Jim Fried: Oh ok.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah, cos that makes it feel like Big Brother.

Jim Fried: Big Brother?

Sandi Abbott: Yeah, right.

Jim Fried: I don’t like that show that much.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah but what you can do is call and say “hey we sent an email, just wanted to know if you received it, if you had a chance to look at it. This is a special that we have going on or we have a special seminar,” or whatever the case is. But by… instead of having your sales team do cold calls, work on your list that you already have. Work on the clicks if it’s a small outfit and if it’s a big enough outfit, you can work on your opens, because it really depends on the size of your list.

Jim Fried: Wow, now what other ideas come from the statistics page?

Sandi Abbott: Well there…the fun, the warm and fuzzy statistics are the opens and the clicks. That’s the fun part, but you also find out who opted out of your list.

Jim Fried: Yeah, yeah I always do that too but a lot of people get my information that I send via e-mail by other channels too. And sometimes I believe the opt outs are merely clearing up my access.

Sandi Abbott: That’s a very positive way to look at it Jim.

Jim Fried: Yeah, you mean you’re making me read between the lines?

Sandi Abbott: [laughs] No actually you have a very, very low opt out rate.

Jim Fried: Ok, you made me feel good with that. Thank you.

Sandi Abbott: Less important than one per cent so it’s really not an issue. But, you can also see who’s opted out and in the beginning I used to look at that and go to the house and TP it or egg it, but I stopped doing that because I got in trouble so.

Jim Fried: That’s a good thing.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah. So, I don’t do that anymore.[laughs]

Jim Fried: Can I tell you what I take away that’s positive?

Sandi Abbott: What?

Jim Fried: When, I’ll just make it up. A certain local Billionaire opts out after he’s been getting the e-mail for 5 years. I really don’t feel that bad at that point.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah.

Jim Fried: ‘Cause he knows who I am at that point cos this is all about branding. And if he really doesn’t want to hear the information, that’s ok but again I’ll tell you he’s usually getting it from 2 or 3 other sources.

Sandi Abbott: And the thing is sometimes people do go through e-mail fatigue. They freak out, they unsubscribe and then they’ll call back and say “why am I not getting your e-mails?” [laughs]

Jim Fried: Oh I love that one! “Jim, Jim how come I’m not getting the e-mail? What happened? You’re not off the air are you?”

Sandi Abbott: Exactly, so then they have to opt into the list. So you can find out the opt outs and opt ins and that’s culture and there’s just a certain amount of people that are gonna opt out. It’s usually higher for retail businesses and for those that are sent frequently but in your case you really don’t have an issue with that. There’s also spam, that you can find out if people were reporting you with spam you don’t get any of that.

Jim Fried: It happened I think once in all of the thousands and thousands of e-mails that we sent.

Sandi Abbott: Exactly, and it’s not unusual to get one or two spam reports. The average should be no more than one or two per thousand. If you get more than that constant contact and just about any other service provider will tweak you and ask you “hey you know how come you’re getting so many spam reports?” But, if you have a permission based list you are really ok.

Jim Fried: And I think we should take a minute to talk about how I build my list because we’re throwing a lot of things out there but it’s very…my e-mail list is a lot different than most peoples. So the way I build my e-mail list is whenever I go out and first of all I had 2,500 when I started or 3,000, and what I do is whenever I go out and network, I bring back as many cards as I can. I give my card, I say “thank you for yours and would you mind if I kept in touch with you with my weekly e-mail? It’s about my radio show, it helps us keep in touch.” NOBODY has said no, nobody. Excuse me. And if I see somebody has opted out, most of the time it’s on their first receipt of the e-mail. And so I believe that’s why my e-mail list is clean and when somebody has a clean e-mail list, that’s valuable isn’t it?

Sandi Abbott: Very valuable.

Jim Fried: I was fishing.

Sandi Abbott: Also very valuable for sponsors. [laughs]

Jim Fried: Yeah I know, I know. We got a couple that signed up today. In fact we had two sponsors in the studio today taping ads so you’ll be listening for that in the future. It really is an exciting time for us because sponsors are realizing the value of the sponsored content that we provide and remarket with our e-mail blasts.

Sandi Abbott: And social.

Jim Fried: And social. But that’s another thing that you added, is that the radio show lives another week. Because on the e-mail blast that you redesigned you put “hey if you missed it!”

Sandi Abbott: Exactly.

Jim Fried: And you don’t even have to put what it was about and they have to listen to the whole show. They can just listen to the episode.

Sandi Abbott: Yes.

Jim Fried: How’s that working?

Sandi Abbott: We broke it down by episodes and you are getting clicks on that. I think that that is an excellent tool because people do want to know what’s going on. They may not have had time to listen to it. They’ve got a second chance and you’ve get a second hit to touch them with that content.

Jim Fried: Yeah, it’s really cool and we do repurpose the content regularly. We also work with Johnny Mahoney at Social Media 305 to put the content out a lot. A lot of our content is not time sensitive and so we can broadcast it over and over again and it really is cool. We’ll talk about that more with Johnny on how that gets you traction and each time I repurpose it, I get new followers. Sandi we’ve only got a few minutes left, what are some tips that people should have that you can give em because I…have we gone through most of the back end stuff?

Sandi Abbott: Yeah, Yeah.

Jim Fried: Ok, so let’s give people a couple of good easy takeaways. Let’s make believe it’s your next Xpresso CC event and you’ve got them coming up; we’ll talk about that in a second. What’s two good takeaways that you can give to people? Maybe they haven’t listened to our shows before so you can be basic if you like.

Sandi Abbott: Well the one thing that I would say is and I talked about this before, mobile is super important. More than fifty per cent of your e-mails are opened on mobiles. So make sure that the template that you’re using for e-mail is mobile friendly. It should be 11pt size for type and at least 16pt for headlines. Test it, look at it on your phone before you send it out to make sure that it’s looking right.

Jim Fried: Gosh I do all the right things by accident it’s hilarious! (Both Laugh) Now we’ve got a couple more minutes Sandi. Let’s talk about….have you got your next workshop plan?

Sandi Abbott: Actually I am taking a little bit of a break for Summer because so many people are on vacation. Late August I’m gonna start back up. I’m gonna be doing mobile marketing, social media promotions on Facebook. I’m gonna be talking a lot about Facebook social campaigns which is a great way to grow your e-mail list.

Jim Fried: Well I have just started doing that and so…oh that’s another thing you did as you said, “hey if you wanna be on my e-mail list click here.” You put that on my signature.

Sandi Abbott: Yeah.

Jim Fried: So yeah, I want to talk offline also about Facebook marketing. Johnny was on last week, I’d just started Facebook marketing this week. I saw a one thousand per cent increase in my reach which makes sense since that’s what they’re trying to get me to spend big money on. And also, I started to do Twitter. I saw something about that work today too. But yeah, let’s work together to see if we can build the list with some of those tricks and then talk about that on our shows in the future.

Sandi Abbott: I think we have a social campaign brewing for you next.

Jim Fried: Whooo I’m getting social!! Oooh yes yes yes yes yes. I’m very excited about that. I’m getting um what do they call them? The little guys that are yellow? I’m getting one of them little guys.

Sandi Abbott: The Minions.

Jim Fried: I’m a Minion!! I’m a Minion. Hello Minion.

Sandi Abbott: I just saw it I love it.

Jim Fried: (In a Minion Voice) Hello I’m a Minion, I love you my Wife. (Sandi Laughs) So Sandi quick, how do people find you? Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn, you’re everywhere! Sounds like the end of my show.

Sandi Abbott: Well, it’s all at Xpressocc.;whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram…it’s all Xpressocc and so is the website.

Jim Fried: Alright Sandi, we’ve got a minute left so I’m gonna have to spend it on ya. I hope you really don’t mind. Let’s wrap it all up. What are things that people should look for on their statistics? Give ‘em one good thing.

Sandi Abbott: Look at when people are opening your e-mails. Check to see if you sent it at different times when you’re getting a better open rate, and that’s the time you want to send. Look at what they’re clicking on and make sure that you follow up with them. So if you have a lot of people clicking on a certain product or service, do an e-mail that’s focused on that one product or service and send it to those people.

Jim Fried: You should all use Sandi and I’m about to tell you why. Sandi you sent me this massive e-mail talking about all this and all it’s implications and what we needed to do. Can you just have a phone call with me and then just do it please? (Both Laugh) I love you! Sandi Abbott, Xpresso CC Marketing, the top constant contact person in South Florida, use her! Alright, stick with us cos now we’ve got coming up Carlos Rosso, President of Condo Division for The Related Group. This is gonna be some awesome content. If you wanna know about the Condo Market in South Florida stick with us, we’ll be right back after this. D take it away!!

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: Alright I’m the Fried and it’s rocking! What happens on Fried on Business? Business is done! Sandi got a client while she was sitting here. Fist bump for that one Sandi, ouch! Alright, hey you know when you’re looking to buy or lease a car you wanna get every advantage you can, that was just great stuff you did Sandi. That’s why you have to check out Warren Henry Land Rover, Range Rover, Infinity and Jaguar; they’re all exceptional cars and they all come with the Warren Henry advantage. That means complimentary dent repair, key replacement, fair service and a Personal Assistant that you can call for anything, anytime for four years. Always the best price, always the best service so join me as a member of the Warren Henry family, always Warren Henry.

[commercial break]

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[commercial break]

Jim Fried: Alright we are back and we are back with one of our favorite guests, a good friend of the show Carlos Rosso. He’s the President of Development over at Related Condos. Carlos, what’s your title over there?

Carlos Rosso: President of the Condominium Division. Good morning Jim.

Jim Fried: Hey, thanks for being on the show Carlos really do appreciate it. There’s big things happening on the condo market. Big things are afoot; you guys are making a big push in the Broward and Palm Beach County but that’s not the only story you’ve got. Mid town building, Brickell going… where do you wanna start?

Carlos Rosso: Oh we are working. We are the leaders in development in South Florida and we are working in every county and obviously more localized here in Miami Dade, but also moving to Broward, and maybe one day you know we’ll start doing some condos in Palm Beach again. But right now, our main focus is Miami Dade.

Jim Fried: Now you’ve delivered Millicento I know that the Icon on Biscayne Bays’ delivering. Hows it going with your closings on those deals?

Carlos Rosso: Very well. You know we’ve started closings on both Icon Bay and Baltos this Monday and the buildings look fantastic and people are super happy and everybody’s closing. They happen in Millecento. People are closing and I think that people are realizing the value that Miami represents.

Jim Fried: Now what are the people after they close…what are they using the condos for? Are they homesteading them or are they leasing them out? Are they using em as second homes? I know it’s a little early but what are some of the things that you’re hearing from your brokers?

Carlos Rosso: A lot of people are… a lot Latin Americans have bought them as theirs to rent them out you know. Rents in Brickell particularly are growing at a huge pace and people really prefer to put their money into condos than in the bank you know? The returns that they get are probably four to five times what they get in the bank so it’s a good sort of investment for some of these buyers and Latin Americans love it and they had bad experiences with banks so you know, they’re buying, they’re renting them out. Some of them are using them to live as theirs. And again I think people are realizing the value that Miami has particularly in Brickell. When they see what Brickell and the center is going to become. And when you’re going to have 11 cinemas and 500 square feet of retail, restaurants, a Sachs Fifth Avenue, and all the shops that before you had to jump on a car to go to, now they’re going to be at your doorstep in Brickell. So you’ll probably realize that these are great buys and they know that it will take time to continue growing and they’re very positive, so are we.

Jim Fried: You know it sounds to me like you’re capitalizing on the trend that’s going on across the country and has been for years around the world. The re-urbanization of all the urban quarters. They’re re becoming vertically integrated with office, retail, entertainment venues, and it sounds like you’re really approaching the different market sectors as though they’re almost different small cities you know. Are you seeing the same kind of impact up in the Edgewater area? On Baltos and Icon?

Carlos Rosso: Yeah again I think people realize particularly in the case of Edgewater where it’s more pricey in Miami it’s actually water views. And to get those water views in Brickell you know you have to pay top dollar today you know over $1,000 a square foot. And when you can look at the things that we’re doing in Paraiso for example you know which is really a new neighborhood that we’re creating with 1400 units where probably 5,000 people and families are going to believing around closer 2 acres of parks with a Michael Swartz Restaurant and all surrounded by art. And they can buy with private elevators. New buildings are going to be delivered two years from now at you know close to half of what Brickell costs for similar properties. They realize that there is value and that’s what we try to do all the time you know. At Related we are always trying to pass on that value to the buyers.

Jim Fried: Now I …

Carlos Rosso: And …

Jim Fried: Yep? I’m sorry Carlos, go ahead.

Carlos Rosso: No no no.

Jim Fried: You know I noticed that you guys are also doing other projects in Fort Lauderdale. How is the reception going on in Fort Lauderdale?

Carlos Rosso: Again the same premises you know, the same sort of theory; trying to find value for buyers. Fort Lauderdale has the same beach, the same sand, the same ocean as South Beach or even Sunny Isles and we try to … we found the best site in Fort Lauderdale, you know which was the Islands inside. It’s five acres on the ocean. It’s a site that today in South Beach would be impossible to find and we are only building 171 units on 5 acres.

Jim Fried: Wow.

Carlos Rosso: And part of the luxury is the slow density that we have designed the project with and people are responding very, very well. The first hours 80% sold and we demolished the buildings and are going to start construction very soon and hopefully launch the other two also very soon.

Jim Fried: I love that location.

Carlos Rosso: Again adding value. If they were in South Beach they would be five times that you know? So we are setting up a $1,000 a foot. Similar properties in South Beach you know; luxury condominiums on the sand in projects like additional fine are probably five times the price.

Jim Fried: Yeah but you’re also offering an in town experience again. Even in the Fort Lauderdale location it’s close to food shopping, close to restaurants. I mean the beachfront location is obviously beachfront and as you said a 5 acre site in lets call it anywhere south of the Broward county line just isn’t available on the sand anymore.

Carlos Rosso: Yep no and on this particular project we brought the best in the hospitality you know. Auberge is a brand that is well known particularly on the West Coast. We’re building here a fantastic Spa and a beautiful restaurant that are going to be incredible amenities for people that live in a condo but that they feel they get treated and they get the services around them.

Jim Fried: You know that I’m gonna talk a little bit about the buyers. I’m gonna talk a little bit about the evolution of the market and the evolution of your product type. I only have about a minute left in this segment Carlos so can you stick with me for another segment and maybe give a little information right now about what your website is so people can go take a look at some of the properties?

Carlos Rosso: Sure, our website is and our phone number here at the office is 305-460-9900. We have projects in all the counties and will be glad to continue talking with you.

Jim Fried: Alright, well Carlos if you can stay with us we’re gonna hand it over to big D. We’re gonna do some commercials, sell some ads, pay for some time and then we’ll come right back and talk to you a little bit more about the changes afoot and how related is addressing the changes in the market. We’ll be back with Carlos Rosso, the man for condos at Related Group after this short break. D, take it away!

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: Alright we are back and we are having a great segment today. We’ve got our second segment actually, talking with Carlos Rosso. He’s the head of Condo at the Related Group. Carlos thanks for hanging out and doing a second segment with us today.

Carlos Rosso: My pleasure.

Jim Fried: Now we talked little bit about how you’re delivering all kinds of different product up and down the coast in Daytona, Broward and also a little bit off the coast in some of the areas like Brickell and Edgewater, but the markets starting to change. International buyers in Miami, Daytona, Broward are they looking…I mean Miami and Daytona. Are they looking in Broward? Are you seeing different buyers in Broward? Perhaps maybe some of the folks that are now empty nesters are from Parkland and Western moving out to the coast. What are you seeing?

Carlos Rosso: We are seeing a little bit of everything. Obviously, you know with the dollar growing in value we’ve seen a little bit of a slowdown in the Latin American buyers but they’re still the number one buyer group. But we’ve seen also a growth, I mean an incredible growth actually in the American buyers. You know the local buyers, either in projects like for example in Coconut Grove or in Auberge in Fort Lauderdale. most of our buyers are locals. You know, the economy in the US has rebounded from where it was in 2008 and we start to see more and more buyers. Even in jumps in Brickell where you know buyers from Chicago or from the North East come and buy condos that are in the middle of Brickell. And people again are I think realizing the value that we propose, and they’re seeing the changes. And for people in Chicago and New York, it’s not difficult to imagine how a new urban Miami is going to look like when you have Cinemas, Restaurants, Shopping Centers and more office development all being spoken for and planned for Brickell and downtown. So we are starting to see more and more of the American buyer buying and choosing Real Estate as a way to put their savings on, and I think it’s very positive you know.

Jim Fried: You know Related Group has always been very famous for discovering and reinventing neighborhoods and now we see that going on with your joint venture with Terra Group down in Coconut Grove. What’s going on in Coconut Grove? Can you tell me a little about how you see Coconut Grove evolving over the next couple of years?

Carlos Rosso: Well Coconut Grove is one of the most luxurious in neighborhoods that Miami Bay has. It’s obviously one of the wealthiest. You know the wealth in Miami has always concentrated around Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and the Pinecrest area, and we see a lot of buyers that are empty nesters; parents whose kids are moving away to college and are deciding that instead of living in a 10,000 square foot home, they would love to move into 4,000 square foot condo. And it’s a lifestyle change, and we still want to offer the same luxuries as a home but in a condo. And we’ve picked one of the best architects in the world to design the project. We brought in world-class art. And the interiors are being designed right now by Meyer Davis, a company from New York that has done some phenomenal work in terms of design. So all that together with again a fantastic property close to 5 acres you know in Coconut Grove with very low density. A site where we could have built close to 800 units, we are only building less than half of that. So people are realizing again that luxury sometimes is having green space. And it’s a fantastic opportunity to own you know a home as we call them a home in the air. A mansion in the air actually in front of a beautiful park that is being rebuilt by the city the Regatta Park and surrounded by the best art and the best architecture.

Jim Fried: Hey, you forgot about the great access to the airports and all the CBD businesses, I mean …

Carlos Rosso: And surrounded by the best schools. You know for people who want to live there all the best Private Schools are in that area. And we are seeing a huge rebirth in Coconut Grove itself in terms of business. So I think it’s very positive

Jim Fried: Oh yeah they’re redoing the roads free for you and everything and that is why I was late to the studio today because they were redoing 27. So Carlos, we talked about some of the markets you’re building in now, some of the markets that you’ve built in. We’ve talked about where you are in delivering product. How about where you guys are going? I know you’ve got some chips out on the table in Palm Beach County, what do you see going on up in Palm Beach County?

Carlos Rosso: In Palm Beach County we are mainly focusing on rentals right now and we are doing a rezoning of a large job in North Palm Beach and hopefully that will one day pan out as a condo project. So we are mainly active in Broward and Miami Bay on the condo side. On the rentals we are also doing stuff in Palm Beach and obviously outside Miami in Atlanta we have an office and we are very active also in that market.

Jim Fried: Well just only got a couple of minutes left. So we talked about a lot of different things. What is the last thing that you’d like to make sure that our listeners know about where Related is today and where Related is going tomorrow?

Carlos Rosso: Oh Related you know we are the leaders of development. In terms of condominium rentals and affordable housing, we build in every asset class. We are strong believers that Miami needs to improve with housing for everybody and we are strong believers in the future of Miami itself. We think that Miami attracts an incredible amount of foreign investor attention, and I think that’s very positive. I don’t think there is another city in the US where like last year we sold 2,500 condos to 92 different nationalities.

Jim Fried: Ooooh.

Carlos Rosso: So I think that’s the beauty of Miami, that it has this international appeal and that’s the beauty that I think a lot of buyers from the North East or second home buyers also see in Miami that eventually they buy a condo in Miami but they can sell it to the world. And Miami sells itself to the world very, very well and that what’s we try to do all the time. All the time what we are actually doing is promoting this beautiful city where we are also lucky to live in. You know we promote everything that Miami has. We think that Miami has made incredible changes in its cultural offerings with the present museum opening two years ago and hopefully the science museum opening this year. Again on the retail side, it’s an incredible moment for South Florida. We have Brickell City Center, Miami World Center, the Design District all being developed at the same time. And we see that with those offerings and those projects actually happening together with all on board the train going from Orlando/coming from Orlando to Miami and a new Convention Center in downtown Miami we are seeing incredible potential for Miami. Miami’s a very young city. It’s a city of 2 generations or 3 generations. When we do our presentations we ask people how many actually have Grandparents in Miami or Parents in Miami or whatever from Miami and you would be surprised a few hands that rise up, because it’s a new city and that I think the beauty of Miami. We can all make it great and related we are trying to do our best part of it.

Jim Fried: Well Carlos I don’t know how you ended up at just the place where I wanted to pick up but I want to thank you and George and the rest of your team for really building our community and not just coming and going, but staying here planting roots and actually really investing in our cultural infrastructure. You know George and the rest of your team; I wanna thank you guys for coming to town and I want to thank you for changing the face of Miami and making it look really special. Giving it a real beautiful face to our entire international community. Carlos, thanks so much for coming on the show today. Look forward to having you on again real soon.

Carlos Rosso: Thank you Jim, thank you Jim.

Jim Fried: Alright, we’ll be back after this break with more Fried on Business. D, it’s all yours.

Jim Fried: Alright alright, got to change your evil ways, change your evil ways. Well Related’s trying to do that in Miami, building some beautiful product. I wanna thank Carlos for taking time out and coming on the show talking about how Miami is a young, new city and how there it’s strong and market strong and they believe in it. They see the US buyers coming. The buyers from Chicago or New York could certainly see how Miami’s gonna look as it builds out its urban core and my gosh, it’s going to be prettier than any of those cities. Hey, I wanna thank our sponsors KIND Snacks, South Florida Business and Wealth Magazine, the CCIMs, Terek Maddox, UHealth. I wanna thank Warren Henry, the NFL Alumni Association. The Miami Dolphins and The Miami Marlins. Social Media 305 and Lauren’s Kids. I wanna thank the Aztec Group, The Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at The University of Florida. Again UHealth. Our University of Miami Medical Center. I wanna thank most of all you our listeners because without our listeners, we wouldn’t have a show.

So please go to our Facebook page, like our show, tell your friends. Join our community. Give us feedback, comment; tell us who you wanna hear from. You can tweet at me Jim Fried or at Fried on Business. I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. And the websites, well the clicks there keep on going up. If you missed todays show it’ll be up on our website probably by Saturday morning and then I tweet it out on Sunday Morning.

So around Sunday at 10:00 we go live with everything in front of everybody, but we are on the web at about 9:00 on Saturday. Hey it’s Jim Fried for Fried on Business. Look for us on 88am next Thursday at 6. Why? ‘Cause I love doing this!! Remember, this is not a rehearsal this is your life. The person that wants to do something finds a way…now go out there and do it! Thank you, thank you, thank you we’ve done it ourselves!



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