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Alicia Cervera Goes Whale Hunting

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Realtor Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, grand dame of Miami real estate, knows a thing or two about how her city works, and how to snag a whale of a buyer.

By Alicia Cervera Lamadrid

Throughout my career I have worked with many whales; in fact, I'd like to think it's one of my specialties. Interestingly, profiles of whale buyers are quite similar to those of actual whales, from the Killer Whales who negotiate ferociously with no concern for others to the Pacific Whale, an amiable species who negotiates an equally good deal but manages to befriend everyone in the process. For the most part, whales are incredibly engaging (even the Killer Whales) and often enjoy sharing their abundance and high levels of success with friends and family. Miami is the perfect city for the whale seeking a premier location that offers a fabulous and exciting city along with cutting-edge real estate development that provides a unique selling proposition. I find a common attraction amongst whales is exceptional design, such as:

· The state-of-the-art parking and automobile elevator at The Porsche Towers
· Grove at Grand Bay's innovative "starchitecture" led by Bjarke Ingels,
· The "limited edition" unit count in Ocean House
Miami has its share of whale-sightings, from the famous superstars to the unrecognizable multi-billionaire entrepreneurs. We will continue to attract more as the city creates additional nests to encourage migration. Right now, there is a shortage of accommodations for the whales. For instance, Miami is missing a "good whale " building in Downtown - this will hopefully change with the new generation of development. I anticipate Miami seeing a completed "whale building" to coincide with our beautiful Science Museum scheduled to publically open in 2015/16

Certainly our team always has great whale stories to share. Just recently, without disclosing any names, we at Cervera Real Estate had a Killer Whale experience at one of our Miami Beach projects. Ironically both in nature and in real estate, the Killer Whale often loses. In this case, the Killer Whale wanted to push past the close without realizing he wasn't the only whale in the sea - there was a pod right behind him. The Killer Whale was attacked by a second whale, who signed the deal, and to keep it interesting, a third whale came in to offer half a million more to the second whale. The Killer whale ended up being stuck on the sidelines without the unit he wanted. And, just last week, one of our associates lured in a Mexican Whale who purchased two developer units for $18MM in just a few hours.

So, the question is, how does one bait a whale? The bottom line is that it all boils down to service and relationships. Whales need a lot of attention and require a considerable amount of time to foster a trusting rapport. This type of bond goes well past real estate into a friendship and should turn into a lifelong journey. There's no gimmick to providing great service; at a minimum there must be an unwavering commitment to provide personalized attention. Also, make sure your schedule is prepared to accommodate (and even better) incorporate whales into the fiber of the activities you engage. From the gym to your favorite restaurant or your dearest charity; it's all part of the sale. The whale either buys your package or someone else's. And, chances are if you can't take the whale to a restaurant that he loves (and preferably would not have found without you) then you won't be selling the whale his home. Good luck and happy whale hunting!
· Whale Week 2013 [Curbed Miami]

[Image from Moby Dick]