For Enzo Rosani of BARNES International Realty, working with clients from overseas is an easy feat.
Rosani was born and raised in Paris and moved to Miami in 2017, following his career as a professional athlete. Speaking three languages including English, French and Italian has helped Rosani’s field of work in the Miami area with a vast amount of European traffic coming in and out of the city.
The 25-year old is now the youngest partner and director at BARNES International Realty in Miami, proving himself to his clients with each and every sale. Like many in the real estate field, Rosani has experienced an amazing surge of both residents and wealth to the Miami area over the last year.
We sat down with Rosani to catch up on the last year of business, dealing with clients during the border closures and what to expect in the season to come.
How has the last year and a half or so affected your scope of work?
Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel bans, my team and I were able to frequently close deals on a remote basis. A lot of New Yorkers made the move down, so business has been busy. It made people take Miami seriously, as more than just a "party destination.” People in tech and finance could now live and work down here, too.
However, as Europeans have had restricted access to Miami and to the US, we mostly have been working with sellers looking to benefit from Miami's “hot market”. So far this year, sellers represented over 80% of our transactions compared to 40% last year. As the borders are re-opening to Europeans, I suspect the amount of foreign buyers to drastically increase as many of them will come to Miami with the intent to buy real estate.
You mentioned that you deal with a lot of European clients, are these clients looking for something different than your North American clients?
European clients are very specific when it comes to real estate. Indeed, one of the biggest differences is that Europeans are very sensitive to finishes and good quality work. They pay attention to the smallest details that are not necessarily expensive but make a true difference that gives them the feeling of a complete home. Such details can be a smart and logical layout, quality doors or A/C vents, faucets and thermostats that don’t look purchased straight from Home Depot. Another important difference is that Europeans appreciate more boutique condos whereas American clients enjoy the high rises with amenities or buildings associated with a famous luxury brand name.
In Europe, the smaller the building, the more luxurious. For condos, Europeans prefer low floors whereas most Americans would rather be in the highest floors. Also, Europeans don’t care about the size of the bedrooms and would rather have a big living room and smaller bedrooms than the opposite.
As a European yourself, how do you feel that sets you apart from other realtors?
In an international market such as Miami, my background has definitely given me an edge and set me apart from other realtors. Understanding both your clients' lifestyle and culture in today’s market is vital and coming from Europe has tremendously helped me build stronger relationships with my clients. With over 95 offices in the world, I always find common interests with clients whether we spend the summer/winter in the same places or go to the same sports events. Europeans travel a lot.
As real estate practices vary from country to country, especially in Europe (legal, tax advice, purchase/sell process), it is also important to be educated and be able to provide your clients with personalized answers, which helped me gain their trust. Now, my clients reach out to me no matter where their next real estate project(s) is/are located.
When you deal with international clients are they mostly looking to buy or rent?
Most of the Europeans I represent are looking to buy unless they already live in the US (NY-LA) and are relocating to Miami. They usually rent first for a period of 6-12months then end up buying. The top reason is that compared to other cities in Europe and in the world, real estate in Miami is reasonably priced compared to cities such as Monaco or London.
In Miami, $1 million can net homebuyers 85 square meters of prime property, according to Knight Frank’s 2021 The Wealth Report. Monaco (15 square meters), Hong Kong (23), London (31), New York (34) and Geneva (35) and others offer significantly less for $1 million.
Most Europeans are buying properties they feel will increase in value or at least hold value while they come out for vacations a couple of times a year. Miami is always being spoken of very highly in Europe. People love to be here. Another reason that attracts buyers is the fantastic weather in Miami. Wealthy Europeans look to Miami when they want to get away from the cold winter in their homeland. There are obviously many other reasons such as the interesting exchange rate (euro to dollars) or tax benefits in Florida.
Is there one specific area you see a lot of Europeans gravitate towards?
Areas are very diverse as each buyer has a different project, profile and budget. The pre-construction market remains very attractive for European buyers in Miami. Indeed, it allows investors to position themselves in growing neighborhoods, and to take advantage of the latest creations from talented architects and designers from around the world to bring their contribution. Edgewater has many projects and Europeans are loving them such as Missoni, Paraiso, Aria Reserve.
For those looking for a condominium, Brickell/Downtown or Miami Beach as these are traditionally the most sought-after areas.
Relocating families or those looking for a second home often opts for areas such as Coconut Grove, Coral Gables or North Miami Beach. These are not necessarily the areas that appreciate the most each year, but they exhibit good stability. This is also where the best schools are found and family-friendly.
Miami has a reputation for exceptionally lavish houses, designed in various architectural styles which is often the ultimate dream for many Europeans. For those looking for luxury waterfront homes, the lifestyle of the Venetians, La Gorce, Allison Island, or prestigious gated communities like Bay Point, Cocoplum and Gables Estates is often what they are looking for.
Do you have any stand-out properties right now?
Yes, I have a true one-of-a-kind two-story 8,958 sqft Estate in the heart of the Gables priced at $9,800,000. However, as the market is very dynamic and the inventory is limited, it will probably be sold by the time this article is released. I also have access to many off-market deals ranging from simple apartments, penthouses, to luxurious waterfront properties.
Waldorf Astoria is also standing out to other upcoming projects in my opinion and I recently sold a couple of units to Europeans.
What would be your one piece of advice to give someone who is looking to buy in Miami right now?
Miami is a relatively young city and I believe that it has immense potential to continue its growth. This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the low mortgage rates, which are continuing to drive momentum for real estate transactions in 2021. There is a strong demand, coupled with a limited supply that is driving price appreciation in Miami-Dade county.
What are you expecting to see this “high” season?
I expect that there will be an increase in sales. Miami is re-opening to Europeans, “snowbirds” and residents from New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Boston, and other states flock to Miami to escape the tough winters back home and enjoy the sunny 70-80 degree weather in Miami. The demand in South Florida area has only been increasing since the pandemic and it will be soon the opportunity for those that couldn’t come to Miami to enjoy the many faces of this beautiful city. Miami will most likely come out on top, once again.
Photography by: Courtesy Barnes International Realty