Apogee Awards Honorees: Gil Dezer

Gil Dezer of Dezer Development, honoree in the Real Estate & Construction category at the 2020 Apogee Awards

Gil Dezer, President of Dezer Development, is one of the premier developers of luxury high-rise residential and condo-hotel properties across the U.S and South Florida. He has been instrumental in elevating the face and value of the South Florida real estate landscape through the introduction of curated brand partnerships, specifically with globally significant brands and fashion houses including Residences by Armani/Casa and the Porsche Design Tower.

Fun fact: I enjoy doing car rallies all over the world, driving through places that life wouldn’t take me otherwise and getting to see new cultures. Not as a tourist, but in my own car.

Favorite South Florida dining destination: I hate admitting it but I’m a huge fan of Houstons/Hillstones, but going here means gaining three pounds for a week.

What do you like to do on the weekends? I tell people if you live in Miami, you are either a golfer or a boater. I’m a boater. I like to be on the water and just like golfers have many clubs, I have four boats. Six if you include tenders. The mission of that day or week will indicate which boat to use.

How do you unwind from a long day at work? Work is kind of one of those never-ending things. It doesn’t start, so therefore it doesn’t stop. I wake up to emails and texts. I do try and respect those who work with me, and not bother them after hours unless it is necessary. I think I’m good about that, and even if I fire out an email late at night I do not expect a response until the next day.

Favorite quote? “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” — Sir John Templeton

From whom or what do you draw inspiration? Inspiration is all around us. My parents have also been a huge inspiration to me.

Biggest accomplishment of your career? Nearly 20 years ago, Dezer Development partnered with the Trump Organization to do something no one else was: branded residences. Together, they created the first-ever Trump-branded luxury condominium building in Miami, and five more Trump buildings followed. Dezer Development has since then had the honor of partnering with Porsche on the Porsche Design Tower. The team designed the patented, revolutionary car elevator system, the “Dezervator,” that whisks both residents and their vehicles up to their home where cars double as apartment keys. Most recently, the firm has partnered with Georgio Armani on the Residences at Armani/Casa. Through these strategic brand partnerships, Gil has forever changed the face and value of South Florida real estate.

Most challenging moment in your career and how did you overcome it? In 2010, we cleared up our issues with $475,000,000 of outstanding loans from the 2008 real estate crisis. I was able to negotiate terms of repayment to my lenders and successfully paid back 100 percent of the loan amounts within 22 months.

What advice would you give an up and coming professional? Work smart and hard. Be logical and most importantly ethical. I never understood how important it was to get a good reputation until I got one. The real estate community is small, so make sure you know everyone and that you are respected for your work ethic and work product.

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