Brazil, land of the future, becomes target of present
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
With Brazil hogging the spotlight in Latin America, a local realty firm is vamping its courtship of this emerging market to get more Brazilians to invest their reais in Miami real estate.
Edgardo Defortuna, president of Fortune International Realty, recently flew to the Portuguese-speaking country to educate business and realty groups in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte on the competitively priced condos Miami's paradise has to offer.
"We were able to present to important groups of people the beauty and great real estate opportunities in Miami today," Mr. Defortuna said, "not only from a real estate point of view but from a business point of view."
The firm took a trip a week ago to Belo Horizonte — a lesser-known Brazilian city with a strengthening economy and growing population of more than 4 million — focused solely on promoting condo projects the firm represents in Miami-Dade.
The condominiums discussed were Icon Brickell, Jade Ocean in Sunny Isles Beach, Artech Residences at Aventura and Hyatt Miami at the Blue in Doral.
Mr. Defortuna took along five agents who specialize on each of those projects.
Three presentations were made to audiences of business professionals, some of whom already own properties here and are considering buying more and others looking to diversify their investments, he said.
One presentations was made to the heads of 20 brokerage firms, he noted, which led to seven additional presentations requested by some of those firm owners for their own teams.
Their efforts are paying off already as two sales have been completed, Mr. Defortuna said, one at Icon Brickell and the second at Jade Ocean.
In a second expedition, Fortune along with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Beacon Council, the county's business development arm, and the Downtown Development Authority, among other groups, travelled to Rio de Janeiro to discuss business opportunities and the country's preparation for two major sports events to take place. Brazil is to host the 2014 Soccer World Cup as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Some of the questions and concerns voiced by the business groups with which they met were regarding steps in completing a sale, local market conditions and price stabilization.
During the trips, Mr. Defortuna said, he noticed that Brazilians are more interested now in a condo's quality and amenities rather than an over-the-top look.
Although at the beginning of this year Brazilians were not buying as many condos in Miami-Dade as buyers from other Latin American nationalities, Mr. Defortuna said that's starting to change.
For example, Brazilians have been more active at Jade Ocean, he said, where in the past six months they have accounted for 30% of the sales.
"It is how much you cater to them or to a specific market that brings the results," he said.
Fortune, which has offices in major metropolitan areas throughout Latin America, opened its first Brazilian office in Sao Paulo two months ago.
"We are really going to make a big effort to foster those relationships," Mr. Defortuna said, "because we feel in the next few years Brazil is going to be the dominant country in Latin America."