More than 200 people gathered in the heart of Downtown Dadeland for a festive street party Dec. 1 celebrating the merger between worldwide real-estate giant Century 21 and Miami-based Yarlex International Realty – a move that significantly expands Century’s fine homes and estates division.
“We chose this location because it’s at a crossroads between Pinecrest, Coral Gables, Kendall, and Coconut Grove,” said Alex Gonzalez, President of Century 21 Yarlex International Realty. Located at 9835 SW 72nd Avenue, Yarlex International Realty is a full-service company specializing in luxury homes.
At the celebration, Melva Garcia, Chief Operating Officer of Yarlex and Director of its Luxury Division, discussed how the company is particularly in tune with the needs of millennial buyers who favor technology and speed when it comes to the home-buying process, and who greatly value relationships with their agents.
She also acknowledged the many challenges facing the real estate market in Miami over the years. Garcia has dozens of years of experience in the field with a particular expertise in contracts and mortgages.
“This market is adjusting and constantly changing,” she said. “So to survive and thrive, you must see the real estate business for what it is – purely cyclical. And you need to adapt.”
The festive event kicked in after dark along a blocked-off strip of SW 72nd Place, allowing party-goers to enjoy cocktails and nibbles from Barley’s Gastropub, a live band, and tropical Latin rhythms spun up by a live DJ. More than 200 attendees representing a cross section of the real estate world, including real estate agents, insurance firm reps, mortgage brokers, and bankers, enjoyed the street party – as did many neighbors and smiling passers-by.
The firm also announced the launch of “Homes4Responders,” an innovative program serving the needs of firefighters, police, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
“Far too often, we see first-timer home buyers in this niche market taken advantage of,” said Andrew Squires, a Yarlex partner with Gonzalez. “Acknowledging they may lack the experience necessary to successfully navigate through the complicated process, we have introduced a unique educational component to help explain ‘why things are the way they are,’
“In addition, we are giving back 25 percent of the commission to program participants,” he continued. “It’s a real challenge, because most first responders make about $50,000 a year, yet the average cost of a home in Miami is $300,000. So we believe it is the right thing to do, because they give so much to their community.”
Also during the street party, members of the leadership team participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, during which they announced plans to update the company’s “somewhat stuffy image” in order to be seen as a more updated, technologically oriented, streamlined business. Century 21 Real Estate is comprised of 6,900 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 78 countries and territories worldwide with more than 101,000 independent sales professionals.
“More than $102 billion is the amount of money people outside the U.S. are spending to buy up American real estate – and the number one market is Miami,” said Rick Ellis, Atlanta-based Vice President of Century 21 Mergers & Acquisitions at the. “We’re thrilled to be working with Yarlex International Realty.”