The ONE and the ONLY - One Sotheby's International Realty
Built on a foundation of quality and a passion for artful living, leading luxury real estate brokerage ONE Sotheby's International Realty is paving the way in a rapidly evolving industry. With offices spanning from Miami and Key Biscayne to Vero Beach and Melbourne, the company is rapidly expanding across Florida’s East Coast – with no slowing down in sight.
Marking a banner year in 2020 while faced with historic changes as a result of the pandemic, the brand adapted to stay current and support their agents to deliver record results. We sat down with the company’s founder and CEO Mayi de la Vega, and president Daniel de la Vega, to talk about the booming market and future of luxury living.
Elevated: You have managed to curate a unique real estate brand that is recognized around the world, how does ONE Sotheby’s International Realty set itself apart?
Mayi de la Vega: We don’t sell real estate; we sell a lifestyle in one of the world’s most appealing place to live, work and play. Nothing compares or competes with the power of the Sotheby’s brand and we are proud to work with agents who understand the industry and can expertly advise clients on lifestyle and investment decisions with a superior level of service. From our unrivaled global network to our forward-thinking technology and marketing techniques – we are driving the evolution of real estate and hyper-focused on empowering our agents to do their jobs better than anyone else in the business.
How did the pandemic impact your business?
Daniel de la Vega: Facing challenges with an innovative mindset is in our DNA. We launched the company in 2008 during a global recession, and we are now in 20 offices with more than 1,000 agents. Our culture is everything and we pride ourselves in being resilient, adaptable, and coming together as a team during tough times. The disruption caused by COVID-19 inspired us to intensify our shift to digital, with a new award-winning website, virtual open houses, an ad-builder app and other innovations that kept our agents productive. We also launched programs to support our community and the impact our team made was extremely gratifying. I say that in crisis we don’t merely survive, we thrive.
Currently the market across Florida’s East Coast is booming, what are you seeing on the ground? Why is the region so in demand right now?
Daniel: Our market experienced an incredible evolution during the pandemic with a staggering increase in demand from buyers looking for a lifestyle change. With remote work came the realization that if you can live anywhere, why not relocate to a city that offers the best of everything? People are flocking to Florida because of the economic advantages, less urban density and warm weather – but they are staying because of the culture and lifestyle that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. This shift has created unprecedented demand with a historic lack of inventory and a reset in pricing that we have never seen before. Our agents are working harder than ever before to match their clients with their dream homes and our company’s tools, technology and unrivaled global network are more relevant now than ever before.
Do you believe this market shift is here to stay?
Mayi: This migration isn’t just a “moment” - I feel strongly that it is a long-term movement. There are major firms in the finance and tech industries opening offices or relocating here, expanding business and the workforce across the coast. The feeling is electrifying! These decisions and investments are not being made on a whim, they are well thought out by some of the country’s leading executives and in turn are reshaping the growth and future of the region.
How do you envision the future of luxury living?
Mayi: The pandemic was a strong indicator for how buyer preferences are shifting, with more of a focus on residences that cater to open lifestyles and access to private amenities. For single-family homes, buyers are looking for expansive outdoor spaces and extra rooms for at-home offices, gyms, and kids learning and play areas. For condos, we see people gravitating toward boutique, low density buildings with large outdoor terraces and amenities that make them feel at home. People want privacy but are also social in nature and want to live among like-minded individuals who they can connect with – whether that be in their neighborhood or a vertical community like a condo building. This trend will continue to drive development and the future of luxury living.