Your mother, who also happens to be your mentor, created the highly successful company, Cervera Real Estate. What qualities did your mother possess that inspired you to join the company and grow it to what it is today?
As a child I always saw how hard my father worked to provide for the family. When my mother started working, he asked me to keep her company and help her. My mother is a visionary whose values make her an extraordinary person. She never wavers and has taught us that we are responsible for our lives. She is passionate about her family and took that passion into her business. When you have worked with my mother, it’s like when you are at Harvard and the professor asks you a question, you better be prepared.
We put in long hours, but what I remember the most is how much fun we had along the way. By consistently being there for our clients with innovative ideas, we built the company we have today.
What are two major milestones in your career?
In my twenties, my mother had an office building for sale, and I had the buyer. When the seller wouldn’t take my offer, I flew to South America. The nice gentlemen invited me for lunch and, as they repeated that they were not taking my offer, I showed them the picture of the front door of their largest tenant who was leaving; lunch was delicious, and I left with a signed contract. Mother always says you never let a deal get cold so, with my signed contract, I headed to Brazil to arrange the details of the closing. At the closing table, the seller’s attorney said it was a lot of money for a young person; my buyer pounded his fist on the table and said if he didn’t see my commission check, he would not close. For me, the personal relationship that I build with my clients is essential.
Today I see a new generation — some brilliant talent and among them some family members.
Our daughter, Alexandra Goeseke, asked me to help her to get the exclusive of 321 Ocean, an oceanfront development in South Beach being built by a young dynamic group of her friends. She closed the deal.
Our son, Nick, who graduated from NYU, joined the firm recently. When I asked him, are we were getting a return in our college investment? He said, “yes, mother, technology,” and he is spearheading our new website project, which we will launch in the spring.
My niece, Alicia Lorena, is an outstanding salesperson, and we enjoy going to dinner and talking about family and, of course, the business.
It’s rewarding to see the company has solid roots, and I feel that life has come full circle.
Do you feel that the current Miami luxury design retains a Miami flavor, or is the Miami ‘uniqueness’ lost? What do you think sets it apart from luxury design in L.A. or NYC?
Miami luxury is a combination of great design, spacious areas, amazing views and tempting prices. We live in a city where the world comes to see what we are doing — most of the time with local talent. As my daughter Alexandra recently told me while we were looking at luxury in New York, “we are spoiled because in Miami condominiums are much prettier.”
You recently led Cerveras to complete a $1.1billion sellout of St. Regis Bal Harbor Residence, selling two residences priced at $20M+. What was the most challenging aspect of this successful project?
At the St. Regis’s price point, a buyer can be anywhere they please, so it’s necessary to see beyond Miami to understand their options. The $20 million buyers were from different parts of the world, and both had been looking for some time when I met them. The key to closing the deal was that they felt I had listened to them, knew my market, and was not intimidated by the price.
Do you have any advice for those who aspire to have the kind of success you have experienced while juggling family life? Does something have to give?
If you are going to work outside your home and also be a mother, you have to be willing to make your personal time their time. Build a support system. Work in a family-friendly company. Try to focus on the big picture, whether at home or the office. Give lots of love and hugs to your children and get the family involved. Praying helps.
What’s your favorite interior design store in Miami?
Artefacto, a favorite of our clients.