Property Grunt

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Desperate Developers in Miami

Last night, the Grunt accepted the invitation to join a gaggle of brokers for a presentation by a Miami developer. Located at a posh hotel, all of the lambs, I mean brokers, were corralled into a room with two open bars and display tables featuring the development which was fine. But what was really disappointing was the scant amount of food. I mean, for the love of mike, an army runs on their stomachs and brokers are no different. All they had were waiters walking around with crumbs of chicken skewers, cheese on toast, deep fried asparagus and crab cakes. It was a night of disgrace for the hors d'oeuvre.

This is a word of advice to all the developers out there who want to drum up business in Manhattan. DON’T BE CHEAP WITH THE FOOD! Even if it is the greasy, overcooked, micro waved crap that they put out last night, as long as there is plenty of it to go around everyone will be happy. Brokers do not live on alcohol alone. A group of brokers nearly mauled a waiter when he came out with the crab cakes. When you skimp on food it is just a sign that you are in the red. If you can’t afford the high end sh*t, then you can get more bang with a bucket of Pluck U. Everyone loves wings and it goes well with alcohol.

Another bad sign was when the multimedia portion of the presentation went dead. Next time raid the AV department at Aviation High School and for 50 bucks your multimedia presentation will be flawless. But that didn’t stop the presenter who began his carny shtick talking about their luxury development in the Everglades. Apparently they still have units leftover and this is a last chance for buyers to do the Miami dance.

While accompanied by a blank blue screen the presenter droned on the following points to an inebriated and hungry audience.

Miami is a booming that is the last chance to buy great luxury apartments in the area.
The Everglades is like Park Ave.
The developer is the Donald Trump of South America
For a limited time the sales team will meet with brokers and their buyers but they better hurry up since they are overwhelmed with appointments.
The funniest part was when the guy denied that there was a bubble and Miami was bubble proof.

He also went down a list of incentives including:
A 5% referral fee for brokers for bringing in a registered client
Buyers earn 7% interest on their entire down payment
Guaranteed lease back
Buyers will be credited up to $2500 for traveling expenses if they come to the
Miami Sales Center.

First of all when I think of the Everglades, I think of hordes of mosquitoes, alligators, drug deals, Miami Vice gun battles, swamps and lots and lots of humidity. I do not think of luxury. I suspect what happened was that when the boom kicked in, the developer bought up some cheap swampland that had a Miami zip code and went to work to build up a condo in order to cash in. Two years ago, people would throw bales of money for something that farted Miami, but that’s not the case now since local buyers have dried up which is probably the reason why this developer has come rolling into Manhattan trying to find some rubes to unload their turkeys.

This developer’s timing is waaay off. Even before they broke ground they should have went on a campaign to pre-sell as many units as possible and should have brought their barnstorming act to New York before they even called their contractors.