An Opulent Bond:
Miami Meets Manhattan
By Jill Patterson
Miami and New York have a long-standing relationship. One might even say, Miami is New York’s beautiful younger sister. She’s sunny, glamorous, sexy. She likes to party. For decades New Yorkers have traveled to her shores for rejuvenation and revelry. Their ties go way back. It is no wonder that Opulence International Realty has just created a strategic alliance with another real estate firm in the Big Apple.
After 18 months at the helm of Opulence International Realty, President and Broker James Hoffman can see that the tide is changing. Buyers from South America, which were responsible for the bulk of transactions in Miami for many years, are beginning to slow with the value of the dollar increasing. New York has historically been a bread and butter feeder market for Miami. Besides her obvious beauty and ease of transit, the tax advantages alone make her very attractive to New Yorkers looking for a foot in paradise. It is interesting to note that buyers for the preconstruction projects in this new phase of development in Miami, especially on Miami Beach, have largely been New Yorkers.
As Opulence International Realty expands, Hoffman has felt the need to find an alliance in the big city to leverage all that the firm has to offer.
After some research, he and Director of Development Solutions, Jack Paget, found a solid partner who could mirror Opulence’s values and strengths. Enter Bond.
Like Opulence International Realty, Bond is a privately held real estate firm. In fact, with seven offices in Manhattan and over 500 agents, Bond is the largest independent firm in New York. Bond was established in the year 2000 by two lifelong friends, Noah Freedman and Bruno Ricciotti. Their motto was “friendship first, business second.” “Business is about relationships and everything in an organization trickles from the top down. I firmly believe the respect and trust in our relationship [with co-founder, Noah Freedman] is the foundation upon which Bond is built and is the backbone of Bond culture. …Every decision I make is one that tries to take into account the whole picture and whether or not it is sustainable and fruitful in the long term for all parties involved. Success is a team effort and at Bond, we are all a family.” Bond is a full-service brokerage, covering all New York neighborhoods for residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, new development marketing and corporate relocation. This kind of a diverse market strategy is what has set Bond apart from the competition, but they have still retained their hands-on approach. Ricciotti states, “No other company our size is self-managed. They have been created through mergers and acquisitions. The people who built them aren’t there day to day, and you can see that in all the interactions within that firm. Bond is not like that. We don’t ever want to be run like a corporation.” Bond’s inclusive, friendly management style has reaped some huge rewards over a relatively short span of time. Last year, it logged in a 222 percent increase in listing dollar inventory year over year and is counted in the top 12 brokerages in New York.
For Opulence International Realty President and Broker James Hoffman, Bond’s flexible, personal approach to business is very like his own. Hoffman is a real estate veteran of 20 years who has been executing start-ups in the real estate industry for his entire career. He thrives on the creation process. He founded his own company, Steamroller, Inc. that acquired and repositioned its own company assets over an abundant 10-year period. In addition, he has made himself an expert in all areas of the industry, including mortgage brokering, residential appraising, assemblage and development execution. Powerhouse brokerage, Corcoran Group, eventually recruited Hoffman and there he developed his inventive marketing approaches and established protocols for delivering top-of-the-line services to customers in the Palm Beaches. “All of the ventures I was a part of over the years came down to people and process. I have met some exceptionally talented people in this business. I have learned a lot about the multitude of disciplines in the industry and the passion and expertise that the real pros bring to the table.” Hoffman brought the wealth of his experience to launch Opulence International Realty in 2014, employing state-of-the-art technology with an expert eye for personnel talent to achieve his goals. “The moment you arrive at our office, you know we are not your typical real estate company,” Hoffman says. “We bring a level of sophistication, industry intelligence, and personal attention that communicates that we understand that you are seeking a unique and professional relationship, not just a Realtor.”
The New York alliance is part of Hoffman’s larger plan to expand Opulence International Realty. After founding the first Sports and Entertainment Division last year, Opulence International Realty was quickly able to obtain significant high profile listings, thanks to the talents of their OSE Senior Vice President, Tomi Rose. Hoffman’s next move was to create the Developer
Solutions Department to capture a piece of the new development market. He hired longtime development top producer, Jack Paget, for the task. The New York alliance is his next move. “We are so excited about the opportunities this opens up for our agents and, in particular, our customers. Leveraging OIR’s networks in Latin America, locally and now with Bond in New York, we can offer our customers extensive access to buyers.”
Bond is also keen for the connection. After seeing other top New York brokerages either establish offices in South Florida or team up with established South Florida brokerages, Bond welcomed the partnership. Bond’s company culture is all about cooperation and teamwork. Principals Ricciotti and Freedman recognized an affinity with Opulence and look forward to nurturing a relationship that will be winning on both sides and one that will capitalize on the strengths, creativity and connections of both firms for years to come.