In this episode, Carlos talks with Arno De Vos, a Miami luxury condo specialist who has sold some of South Florida’s most desirable new-construction condominium projects. Arno has been active in the residential real estate industry since 2011. With a primary focus on South Florida’s luxury condominium market and new construction developments, he has worked directly with a number of South Florida’s most respected real estate developers. From his experience working with developers from Miami Beach to Palm Beach, Arno has gained an immense amount of knowledge, enabling him to provide an unrivaled level of guidance when serving his clientele within the luxury condominium market.
As a member of the Master Brokers Forum (an invitation-only industry group comprised of South Florida’s top residential real estate professionals based on their sales volume and ethical conduct), Arno prides himself on delivering an exceptional level of service to his clients.
Carlos: Today, I’m very excited to have one of our partners and friend, Arno De Vos. His website is https://devospresents.com/, and you’re gonna be able to see a lot of his videos after this one. So I can’t wait to see what he has to share with us today. Welcome, Arno. Please tell us a little bit about you.
Arno: Sure. Well, I think when you’re in your childhood you don’t even realize what sticks in your mind. Now that I’m not a child anymore, I look back and realize that even though I grew up in South Africa, Miami was definitely from TV shows and things like that were in my mind.
So it definitely made sense that I ended up in Miami real estate. I came from a finance background, so I love looking at the numbers and things like that, which, when you’re dealing with high net worth people, they are kind of analytical. That’s who I enjoy working with.
I’ve spent 11 or 12 years in real working for various developers, launching beautiful luxury condominium projects, and on obviously active on the general side as well. Miami is a very dynamic market, we’re really fortunate as brokers to work in this market. Not just because it’s a beautiful place, but the developers here, I think with like nobody else unity has is, is unrivaled. And it’s not just my opinion.
When you speak with these brokers, like from other big markets, whether it’s New York, whether it’s Chicago, whether it’s LA, they’re always amazed at our new development landscape at not just the product, but also how to are provided to out there. And I think it speaks volumes to this broker community and this real estate community at large. So yeah, I love South Florida real estate, and it’s exciting to be able to represent it and share it with people because it’s a unique story on a global scale.
Sometimes we forget that,. We do these showings to pay attention to your client when they’re walking in and to see it on their faces, where they’ve seen the world, they can be anywhere and they walk in, they go “My God, this is really special”. And then you go “It is special, isn’t it?” You know, even though it’s Monday,
Carlos: What were some of your main challenges in the real estate industry with new development, and new real estate business?
Arno: Like anything when you’re new in there, you don’t have the relationships with brokers that some of your colleagues may have. So, you know, it’s really being able to effectively introduce yourself to the broker community, I think is so important because whenever somebody brings their client into the sales gallery, they may only have them once or twice a year.
So it’s a bigger hand. So if they’re bringing you a buyer into the sales gallery, they’re entrusting you. So if you’re a new person in the new development space and you have three or four fantastic colleagues on the team with you, in reality, they’re almost competing with you. So it’s not also rotation. So again, to answer your question. It was really how do I let that as a comfort level, I can speak their client’s language. I can close them. And there are certain things that I did, I think effectively, to put myself in front of the broker community and let them know I exist, and I know how to do videos and things like that.
Carlos: How do you stay in front of the people that you wanna work with? What are the best practices of Arno in that approach?
Arno: I’d say the last three or four years, a big learning curve has been, can’t do everything right? There are so many fantastic avenues that we have and that we can utilize on the marketing side, and for a while, they’re always trying to, if you’re doing videos, if you’re diving into social media, if you’re doing direct mail, and you point you’re going to be not spending in following up with new clients, etc. So I think it makes sense to automate certain things, certainly on the lead generation side, whenever possible, because if you are gonna be spending time and actually investing your physical own personal time, you want to make sure that it makes sense.
So certainly at the offset automation in place they can at least demonstrate you some real interest, right? So I love the fact that we’re in this age, able to reach individuals through technology, that are very well qualified, but at the same time, because of that, no matter how good the technology is, you’re gonna have leads that aren’t as well qualified that come in as well.
And you don’t wanna be wasting time on those leads. So whether it is with email drip campaigns or text automated responses, and doing things like I like to do some real estate videos. And what’s about videos besides the SEO action that gets you organically, besides the exposure that it gets you for people that typing in those keywords and looking for that information, once you create a video and it’s out there, whether it’s on YouTube or Vimeo or social media, it lives on. So you could be at dinner, or a reunion wherever you are, those videos are out there. And what never ceases to amaze me is I will be sitting with my wife, and I’ll get a WhatsApp message from a gentleman in XYZ country saying, “Hey, I just watched this video of yours”. You know, “If that’s not available, what else do you have?”. That’s similar. And that blows my mind, cause I did that video six months ago. Right. So as far as the lead generation, you know, I think that video is really, really important. And certainly, as I said, don’t try and do everything. You can’t be the king of TikTok and Instagram and Facebook and all these things.
So for me personally, yes, I’d still do somewhat on Facebook, but Instagram I think is very important and it’s really just picking that platform and focusing on it and the way in which you’re doing it, you know what I mean? Whether it is “Am I gonna really try and do organic engagement” or “I’m just gonna use this platform for lead generation”, which is the route that I’ve taken. So I create content, I put things out there, but I’ve been more strategic, and using those social media platforms for lead generation and putting myself in front of people that have already engaged with me previously. It’s amazing how effective it can be.
Carlos: When was that moment for you when you realized in your career “Oh, a website may be the way of going digital”?
Arno: What’s interesting is that I’ve had my website through you guys now for I think about a year and a half or so. And admittedly, you’re the third company I’ve used in the last five years, no, in the last four years. So, you know, they say “you have to kiss some frogs before you marry the prince”, that kind of thing, right? I’ll give you a very brief kinda history.
With the first website company, I wanted to use a company that was creative but was outside of the real step, because I wanted something that was unique in all these things. So we had to create a lot of the pages, which was fine, but, you know, the leads that came in were of decent quality but I didn’t have the volume that I needed.
The second one was a company out of California that creates these beautiful websites. I mean, just extremely sexy, elegant people websites, I’m sure they’ve won plenty of awards. So the website looked beautiful, uh, and I was really proud of it, but then I was like “Listen, I need to get some leads coming in from this website”.
I sought you guys out because obviously, you’re active primarily in the real estate space and the proof of the puddings and the eating and not to be all things to all people, but I know the markets that I’m active in, and I wanted to be able to put that content in front of end users in a way that’s comprehensive, that customized, but in reality, a lot of it is kind of plug and play, but I didn’t want it to be too generic. I think it’s important to have something that is aesthetically pleasing and that kind of represents what your mini brand is, but have it also service purpose, which I need people to restate.
And that’s what the website so far has been doing. I would much rather have, you know, a decent amount of really good quality leads than have a huge influx of leads and the vast majority of them are odd quality. That’s why I’m taking the strategy that I am.
Carlos: What are some of the best practices on or offline that you consider are key to your success that you may wanna share with other agents?
Arno: Once you have identified people, whether they are repeat customers or clients, depending on your relationships with you can take clients or customers, but whether these are folks that are coming back to you, or if you have identified them as being very well qualified, even if they’re relatively new, I will follow up with somebody, if I know that they’re qualified, and I know that they love Miami, for probably a longer amount of time than many brokers would. That to me is key, as far as giving that individual follow-up. The fact of the matter is every single person, especially in a market like Miami, where there are literally tens of thousands of license agents, how you differentiate yourself?
For me, I’ve chosen to differentiate myself by demonstrating to these people that they’re not just a number to me, and then in my communication with them that I am reaching out to them in a way that I’ve learned that they appreciate whether it is their preferred means of communication, the frequency, and certainly the tone.
So I’ll have people who will tell me saying, “I have brokers calling you all day” And that’s because I’ve found my people, right? And that’s regardless of which country they’re from or whatever, they understand the value that I bring and the thought that I put into their needs, etc.
And it’s okay, after dealing with somebody for a relatively short amount of time, recognizing that maybe you’re not the best broker for them and putting them in the hands of a trusted client or trusted colleague that you think would work better for them. And they feel that everything’s good. So, you know, that’s important to recognize your own strengths and still make sure that if a client that you feel is not a good fit for you, they’re still treated with respect and taken care of.
Carlos:I would like people to know how can they find you and what is new in your market. Maybe tell them what’s new in your market, what are exciting projects that you are fishing on right now? How can they find you?
Arno: Sure on Instagram, they can find which De Vos Presents. If they go on YouTube and they type either my name, which is Arno De Vos on the screen there, or De Vos Presents, they’ll find some videos that I’ve done, uh, in months and years, and my phone number and things like WhatsApp Me. They can email me at email@example.com. Um, if they wanna see the website that I was talking about that Trem Group built for me, it is https://devospresents.com/, and there’s an example of what we’re on, and it’s always evolving.
So, your question about what is new in the market, you know, I think Miami really is one of the markets that evolve at a really fast pace. So I’d say the level, you know, call it 2012 to 2018, bigger was better. And, you know, you still see developers building these buildings that are larger than life and everything is about, you know, let’s make it Las Vegas and that’s fine too, I think that there are people that really love that kind of resort-style living. But what I find interesting right now is we’re going to see, and we’re starting to see it already, where there’s a different kind of an aesthetic and a style and a sensibility that’s coming to Miami that I think is gonna be a little bit more understated. You have more flowing lines, you have more understated color palettes, and there’s just more thought given to how these residents are going to live. So of course, with everything that’s happened over the last two years, we all know, Miami’s not just the peer-to-tier. And the two-bedroom is the new three-bedroom because people are working from home. They’re spending months at a time down here and developers have taken notice. So the unit tends to be larger, and they’re living like a primary residence potentially at least for a good part of the year.
And I think the city as a whole is gonna benefit from that. So you do short-term rentals and there’s a place for that. And there’s a buyer pro for that, for sure. But I think, I call it more, the pure residential side, I think these buildings that are gonna come online, certainly in the next three to five years that are being launched now.
And in the months ahead, watch the space. They’re gonna start looking for something where the address is something that they’re really proud to go home versus sometimes there’s not a name just slapped on the front door.
More about The Pipeline
The Pipeline is a conversational podcast hosted by Carlos Concepción, Chief Sales Officer at www.tremgroup.com, a real estate business accelerator platform that combines the power of innovative technology, proven marketing strategies, and experts working alongside.
TREM Group has scaled real estate professionals to 9-figures in yearly sales, by helping them boost their brands, dominate their local markets faster and generate higher financial returns year over year.
The Pipeline’s goal is to share knowledge and provide awareness of how top real estate producers leverage the internet’s power to achieve their business goals nationwide.