CCIM Conference Has Upbeat Outlook

By Jim Fried

This month, we did a remote broadcast live from the 10th-annual CCIM Outlook Conference in Miami, which was attended by real estate businesspeople from all over the country. (CCIM is a designation for commercial real estate experts.) I had the chance to interview almost 20 different thought leaders at the event.

Manny De Zarraga, executive managing director at HFF, a major international real estate investment banking firm, says that the real estate industry continues to expand. He expects Miami will remain strong in 2016 across all product types in all markets. He continues to hire top brokers in his office to meet market demand.

Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, believes that Miami’s strength is its diversity, which makes it different from any other place in the state. He sees demographic trends in Orlando today that we observed in Miami 20 to 30 years ago. Mass migration to the area from Puerto Rico is combining with a big influx of Brazilian investors. This demographic shift is having the predictable impact: Values in some areas are rising dramatically as cultural enclaves develop.

Howard Taft, senior managing director of Aztec Group, seeks to understand what’s going on in the marketplace and then bring the top capital alternative to the table for his clients. He says the real estate capital markets remain strong for the best borrowers with good track records. If you’re not best in class, however, it may be tough to get your financing in 2016.

Jay Pelham, the new president at Miami-based TotalBank, says the Miami real estate market will remain strong. He looks to roll out a number of new programs in the coming months as he ramps up his vision for TotalBank. He has already bolstered the institution’s private banking group.

David and Michael Adler, the father-and-son team at Adler Group, have been developing in the Miami urban core as a family for over 50 years. Today, their focus is on high-density urban infill projects. They are particularly proud of the transit-oriented development they’re doing in the Dadeland area. That project will have larger units than those found in the Brickell and downtown Miami markets, but they will still be only 15 minutes away from the urban core by mass transit.

Yan Khamish, managing director of the business development broker channel at Auction.com, now called Ten-X, discussed the future of real estate process management. The Ten-X approach is a technology platform that will facilitate the brokers of today and tomorrow.

Michael T. Fay, managing director of Avison Young in Miami, says he has sold over 300 properties on the Auction.com platform and sees it as the way future deals will get done. Transparency and certainty of execution are two factors that he likes about the Ten-X platform. 

Make sure to catch our show on Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on 880 AM Miami. All interviews can be found on the show’s website, friedonbusiness.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.