Join Propy’s CRO, Joe Budelli and guest Yasser Ponce of Compass Realty as they discuss the Miami market. Additionally, Yasser talks about getting agents to adopt new technology, and how to work with buyers wanting to purchase using crypto.
Yasser Ponce is a Founding Agent Realtor Associate with Compass Realty in the Miami area. He spent twenty years working in the financial services field, so he has a 360-degree knowledge of real estate transactions from finding to financing a home. Yasser is active in numerous networking and nonprofit organizations providing first time homebuyer education and financial advice. Originally from Cuba, Yasser is fluent in Spanish and English.
Yasser explains that being a Founding Agent is an honorary title that is given to agents at Compass who joined the company in its infancy. He takes pride in knowing that, along with a handful of other Founding Agents, they have grown this company into the number one independent brokerage in the United States, with currently 2,000 agents in the state of Florida.
He originally joined Compass six years ago as a selling agent, but was later approached about taking on the role of sales leader. He felt that role was a good blend of his skill set, including his education in marketing. Being able to combine his knowledge of finances, lending, real estate sales, and marketing allows him to fully support his agents in every aspect of their career. He is a sounding board for his agents on conflicts between buyer and sellers, and matters of real estate law, but overall, he believes that he is able to provide value and make a difference in someone’s life.
Miami market update
“We have become the city everybody wants to live in,”
states Yasser proudly, and gives credit to Miami’s mayor Francis Suarez for being the energy behind making this happen. He continues by saying that towards the end of 2019, before anyone really had heard about COVID-19, there was typically 7,000 listings in any given month. Today there are approximately 600 properties for sale. Price per square foot is at an all-time high, people from out of state are making all-cash purchases and sometimes buying properties sight unseen. Multiple offers has become the norm.
Buyers have to make offers above the list price if they want to be in the running in the hot markets of Miami; anyone coming in at full price is bidding too low. Buyers have to be willing to pay all cash and waive appraisal contingencies. Yasser states, “It’s like you have to go to war and if you’re not prepared, don’t even play it; assume that you’re not going to win.”
The luxury market is also booming in Miami, and they have never seen so many sales in the $5 million + market. One agent in his office just closed three transactions in three weeks, all worth more than $30 million, which is unprecedented.
Getting agents to adopt technology
Yasser likes to think of Compass as a real estate company with a Genius Bar, like what the Apple Store has to teach you how to use your MacBook Pro. Agents like the idea of having cool, new technology, but if they don’t learn how to use it, it’s worthless. Compass has highly trained employees who are skilled with the various technologies offered, and they sit side-by-side with every agent to help them learn and adopt the technology.
“We have to be able to explain the technology to people in very simple terms,”
continues Yasser. “It needs to be a push a button and make it work, and that’s the type of technology Compass is providing their agents.” Getting agents to adopt new technology takes training, and Yasser spends a lot of his day coaching agents and doing product training.
Buyers purchasing with crypto
Miami has a lot of crypto enthusiasts, and Yasser is seeing more sellers open to accepting cryptocurrency. The challenge is, he doesn’t believe the real estate industry is prepared in terms of disclosures, or a hold harmless situation. Crypto is still highly unregulated, and Yasser states that they have a responsibility towards their sellers and must protect them in the case of the crypto dropping in price suddenly.
He continues by sharing that a single tweet recently dropped the price of Bitcoin in half overnight, and wants agents to imagine being at the closing table, but now the buyer only has 50% of what he had the day before. What happens to the transaction in that situation?
However, he states that as a company, Compass is taking steps to move forward with cryptocurrencies. Their legal department is working on a disclosure, so if a seller is willing to accept crypto and the risks that comes with it, they are willing to do the transaction that way.
Educating agents about crypto
Yasser believes that education is the key for agents and consumers alike to adopt a trending technology such as crypto. Real estate agents can’t conduct a transaction in crypto if they don’t know what it is, and consumers can’t consider using crypto for a transaction if they don’t know how to trade crypto, or understand the tax implications. There are so many different facets to learn about crypto, and he is appreciative that Propy is taking the time to bring that education to the forefront. Because so much education is needed, Yasser feels it will take some time before conducting a transaction from beginning to end in crypto is the norm.
Joe states that Propy has had many agents go through their Crypto Certified Agent Course who are available to help answer questions about using crypto. If there are agents with a buyer who wants to use crypto, and are unsure what to do next, he recommends that they contact Propy for guidance. The team at Propy are always happy to answer questions, and they have partner agents who can also assist. Propy also has many Title and Escrow companies in other states that they partner with who know how to transact in crypto.
Propy has had conversations with the Miami Association of Realtors, and the association is looking into providing training for their membership to educate them about crypto and blockchain.
For agents who want to learn more about crypto or blockchain, Joe recommends they take the Crypto Certified Agent course from Propy. Go to Propy.com, and visit the Products page for more information.
Adopt new ideas and technologies
Yasser sees a lot of agents who have been in the industry for many years who have become entrenched in how they’ve always done things, and he believes that the number one thing those agents need to do to succeed is get out of their comfort zone and learn about new trends. The nature of real estate is constantly changing, so agents are going to be left behind if they don’t embrace new technologies. With the influx of younger agents, buyers, and sellers who have grown up with technology, it’s more critical than ever for agents to take ongoing training and continue to educate themselves on the latest technology trends.