• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

    From Vacations to Successful Ventures: Developers Follow Wealthy Buyers to New Markets

    ByJames Forsyth

    Feb 10, 2024
    From Vacations to Successful Ventures: Developers Follow Wealthy Buyers to New Markets

    Robert Lavine, founder of RAL Companies, is no stranger to turning vacations into business opportunities. While skiing at The Peaks Resort & Spa in Telluride, Colorado in 1995, Lavine spotted an undeveloped parcel of land near the slopes. Unable to resist his entrepreneurial instincts, he decided to turn it into a mixed-use development known as The Inn at Lost Creek.

    Lavine’s success in Telluride has not gone unnoticed, as other developers are now venturing into the same market. Fort Partners and Merrimac Ventures, two Florida-based developers, are making their foray into the frosty mountain market, solidifying Lavine’s insight about building in new markets for wealthy clientele. These developers are following the footsteps of their potential buyers who are seeking fresh powder, sunshine, and a social life throughout the year.

    The real estate market has seen significant appreciation, attracting numerous billionaires and hundred-millionaires as prospective buyers. Tal Alexander, co-founder of Official, highlighted the exponential growth in the luxury market since 2010 and the increasing number of clients seeking high-end properties. Official, a top team at Douglas Elliman, is expanding its presence to include Aspen, Miami, and New York—dubbed the “platinum triangle” in the luxury market. However, their reach extends beyond these locations, with operations also encompassing Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Hamptons.

    While the impulse to build for this affluent group has its risks, developers recognize the importance of local knowledge and expertise. Ophir Sternberg and Ricardo Dunin faced significant losses when attempting to establish a luxury resort in Nicaragua, while Yair Levy had to sell his Miami property after defaulting on a construction loan. According to Bryan Cho, executive vice president at Related Companies, successful execution in the real estate business requires years of building relationships and local presence.

    RAL Companies, in contrast, has cultivated strong relationships with local communities and possesses a deep understanding of their markets. Lavine emphasizes the importance of studying tourists’ origins and ease of travel when deciding where to develop luxury properties. Sometimes, even a destination’s isolation can enhance its value, as is the case with Telluride.

    For real estate agents, staying ahead of emerging markets is crucial. Tal Alexander, determined to provide the best services to his clients, spent time in St. Tropez scouting out the local market. While having boots on the ground is valuable, the internet has also made it easier to research distant markets and make informed decisions.

    Establishing a foothold in new markets comes down to word-of-mouth referrals and building relationships. Developers and agents must embrace the same lifestyle as their clients to truly understand their needs and desires. As Alexander aptly puts it, “My clients are like my friends. The way I live my life socially and professionally…it revolves around my business.”

    In conclusion, developers are increasingly venturing into new markets to cater to the wealthy buyers who seek luxury properties in picturesque locations. Building successful projects requires a deep understanding of local markets, strong relationships, and an ability to align with the lifestyle of the target clientele. By following these principles, developers are turning their vacations into fruitful business ventures.

    An FAQ based on the main topics and information presented in the article:

    1. Who is Robert Lavine?
    Robert Lavine is the founder of RAL Companies and is known for turning vacations into business opportunities, particularly in the real estate sector.

    2. What development did Lavine create in Telluride, Colorado?
    Lavine turned an undeveloped parcel of land near the slopes of The Peaks Resort & Spa in Telluride into a mixed-use development known as The Inn at Lost Creek.

    3. Are other developers following Lavine’s footsteps in the market?
    Yes, other developers, such as Fort Partners and Merrimac Ventures, are now venturing into the same market, attracted by the potential for wealthy clientele seeking luxury properties in picturesque locations.

    4. How has the luxury real estate market grown in recent years?
    According to Tal Alexander, co-founder of Official, the luxury market has seen significant growth since 2010, attracting numerous billionaires and hundred-millionaires as prospective buyers.

    5. What locations are considered the “platinum triangle” in the luxury market?
    Aspen, Miami, and New York are considered the “platinum triangle” in the luxury market, where Official, a top team at Douglas Elliman, is expanding its presence.

    6. What do developers need to consider when venturing into new markets?
    Developers need to recognize the importance of local knowledge and expertise. Building successful projects requires years of building relationships and a local presence, according to Bryan Cho, executive vice president at Related Companies.

    7. What is the importance of studying tourists’ origins and ease of travel when developing luxury properties?
    Robert Lavine emphasizes the importance of understanding tourists’ origins and ease of travel when deciding where to develop luxury properties. Sometimes, even a destination’s isolation can enhance its value.

    8. How can real estate agents stay ahead of emerging markets?
    Real estate agents can stay ahead of emerging markets through a combination of boots-on-the-ground research and utilizing the resources available online to research distant markets and make informed decisions.

    9. What is the key to establishing a foothold in new markets?
    Establishing a foothold in new markets comes down to word-of-mouth referrals and building relationships. Developers and agents must embrace the same lifestyle as their clients to truly understand their needs and desires.

    10. What are developers turning their vacations into?
    Developers are turning their vacations into fruitful business ventures by venturing into new markets and building successful luxury properties in picturesque locations.

    Definitions for key terms:
    – Mixed-use development: A development that combines multiple land uses, such as residential, commercial, and recreational, within a single project.
    – Luxury market: Refers to the segment of the real estate market that caters to high-net-worth individuals and offers high-end properties with premium amenities and features.
    – Foothold: A secure position from which further progress may be made.

    Suggested related links:
    Official – Official’s website showcasing their luxury real estate services.
    Douglas Elliman – The official website of Douglas Elliman, a leading real estate brokerage firm.
    Related Companies – The official website of Related Companies, a real estate development and investment firm.