Happy for the opportunity to have shared my insights and experiences through this column for The South Florida Agent Magazine, as the 2023 Chairman of The Board for The Miami Association of REALTORS. This role has been a highlight of my career and cannot say enough about the staff and volunteer leaders that worked tirelessly and selflessly all year to make a difference. Alongside my work as managing partner of Avanti Way Realty and The Miamism Sales Team, writing for South Florida Agent Magazine has allowed me to explore and highlight the multifaceted aspects and achievements of Miami REALTORS, reflecting on our goals and the progress we’ve made throughout the year.
South Florida real estate in 2023: A year in review
Incredible strides in Miami’s real estate market continued throughout 2023, defying national trends. While other markets struggled, Miami thrived, bolstered by its status as a true global city, characterized by culture, diversity and magnetic allure. As Chairman of The Board for Miami REALTORS, I’ve witnessed this remarkable journey firsthand, and I’m excited to share our accomplishments. Miami REALTORS represents more than 60,000 members in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
A year of forward-thinking and empowerment
Our year was framed by the theme “Forward Thinking.” We recognized that in the dynamic real estate landscape, innovation is not an option but a necessity. Challenges have emerged, emphasizing the need to redefine the Realtor value, provide cutting-edge education and nurture collaborations.
Empowering our members
Empowering our members with accurate data, comprehensive legal insights and a positive market narrative has been a key focus in our commitment to member success. The invaluable contributions of our Chief Economist Gay Cororaton and Chris Umpierre, our vice president of communications, have been central to this mission. Their collaboration in providing regular, insightful updates on economic trends that drive Miami’s real estate market – population, migration and the wealth inflow, to name a few – has been crucial in informing our market strategy.
More importantly, their efforts in crafting and controlling the narrative around Miami’s real estate market with data-driven analysis continue to empower our members with the correct storyline of Miami’s resilience and dynamism amid a challenging economic environment.
Additionally, the expertise of our Chief Legal Counsel Evian White De Leon, in keeping our members abreast of the latest legal developments and fair housing regulations, cannot be overstated. This direct access to up-to-date legal knowledge equips our members with the power to navigate the complexities of the real estate industry confidently, ensuring they are always a step ahead in their professional endeavors.
City spotlights and global partnerships
Our “City Spotlights” initiative allowed members to engage directly with local officials, gaining insights into micro-markets. This initiative provided a competitive edge in understanding and serving local markets effectively.
Internationally, we continued to strengthen our alliances, showcasing Miami’s global prominence through events like the first-ever FIABCI Global Congress hosted by Miami REALTORS and the upcoming YPN Global Congresses in Dubai and Valencia. These events not only bolster our global presence but also redefine industry standards.
Empowering the commercial sector
Our commercial resources, including the largest commercial association in Florida and our Commercial MLS, continue to empower our members to excel in the commercial real estate sector. Miami’s commercial real estate market is robust, and we remain committed to providing the tools and resources needed for our members to succeed in this dynamic field.
Advocacy That Defines Our Commitment
Advocacy remains the cornerstone of our mission at Miami REALTORS, where we tirelessly champion the rights of our profession and property owners.
Our notable achievements, including designating real estate as essential during COVID-19, securing significant local election wins and enacting pivotal housing legislation like the “Live Local Act,” underscore our commitment to the industry.
The introduction of the statewide ban on rent control, the reduction of Business Rent Tax, the allocation of $1.1 billion for the Everglades and water quality, and the push for enhanced property insurer accountability reflect our unwavering dedication, commitment and success.
This year, we also hosted our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Summit, showcasing Miami’s deep commitment to fostering a real estate environment that embraces and champions diversity and inclusivity.
Looking ahead to 2024
Reflecting on the past year, it’s evident that Miami REALTORS has not only embraced forward-thinking but has also made significant strides in empowering our members. Our commitment to defining Realtor value, providing essential data and legal expertise, fostering both local and global partnerships, supporting the commercial sector and advocating for our industry has been steadfast.
In the face of challenges, we’ve found opportunities for growth and innovation. As we enter 2024, Miami REALTORS will continue to empower our members, helping our real estate community to not just survive but thrive, adapt and seize new opportunities, reinforcing Miami’s status as a global real estate powerhouse.
As I step into my new role as the 2024 Chair of Miami’s PAC (Political Action Committee), our advocacy efforts will remain at the forefront. I encourage all members to actively participate in RPAC, contributing to support candidates and policies that protect property rights, foster homeownership and elevate our profession, thereby shaping the future of Miami’s real estate landscape.
In conclusion, the year 2023 has been a landmark of innovation, empowerment and unwavering commitment. Looking forward to 2024, we eagerly anticipate the grand opening of our new world-class global headquarters and continuing our leadership in advocacy, marking new milestones in our journey.
Thank you for your steadfast support and dedication. Together, we will continue to empower our members and strengthen our profession. Here’s to a 2024 filled with prosperity, impactful achievements, collaboration and continued advocacy.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia is the chairman of the board for Miami REALTORS.