Real Estate News

How Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli are helping to sell luxury condos

Singers Jackie Mendez (center) and Andrew Tosh (left) performed at a concert for 500 buyers, brokers and prospective clients at the Paramount Worldcenter Jam Session in Miami on Saturday night.
Singers Jackie Mendez (center) and Andrew Tosh (left) performed at a concert for 500 buyers, brokers and prospective clients at the Paramount Worldcenter Jam Session in Miami on Saturday night. WORLD RED EYE

Used to be, you would drop a few bucks on an overpriced T-shirt or other merch when you went to a concert.

But at the open-air performance held Saturday night in downtown Miami, developers hoped that at least some of the 500 invited guests audience would eventually put a down payment on a luxury condo, too.

Dan Kodsi, the developer of the 524-unit Paramount Miami Worldcenter, hosted a “Jam Session Event” featuring DJs, dancing and live performances by singers Jackie Mendez and reggae artist Andrew Tosh, son of former Bob Marley collaborator Pete Tosh.

On the playlist: Mendez’s rendition of a new tune called “Right Now,” which is also the theme song of a video ad campaign Paramount launched Monday titled “Most Amenities in the World.”

A trio of 30-second ads showcases the tower’s 40-plus amenities, which include a boxing ring, soccer field, indoor basketball court and a karaoke-friendly rec space known as the “Jam Room.”

“Real estate has always been behind the eight ball in terms of advertising,” Kodsi said. “We still tend to think in terms of traditional print and website ads. But the trend in advertising is all video-oriented. People don’t want to read anymore. This campaign is a way for our advertising to catch up with the times.”

Analysts say the introduction of music as a marketing tool signals new developer approaches to reducing the region’s stockpile of luxury condos. According to the 1Q 2017 Elliman Report released last week, the current absorption rate — the number of months it would take to sell all luxury condos now available — is 45 months, up 5.6 percent from 42.6 months a year ago.

“If units were selling at the absorption rate they needed to sell, the developers wouldn’t be spending their money doing [concerts],” said Mayi de la Vega, founder and CEO of One Sotheby’s International Realty. “But it’s great that they’re doing this, because we’re always trying find new ways to market these properties and engage clients and brokers and get them excited again. When these things go viral, Miami benefits from it.”

Paramount isn’t the only high-end development using music as a marketing tool. In March, singer Alicia Keys performed a surprise concert at the invitation-only grand opening celebration of the Porsche Design Tower, known nationally for its special elevators that allow residents to park their cars inside their private residences.

“This kind of secret, over-the-top event ups the exclusivity factor,” said Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, which created Porsche Design Tower. “We had 1,000 people at the party — a who’s who of Miami — and then Alicia Keys steps onto the stage and performs for 20 to 30 minutes. That creates an even bigger buzz.”

On Tuesday night, Dezer and the Related Group’s CEO Jorge M. Pérez are underwriting a private concert and dinner for an expected 250 guests by famed classical tenor Andrea Bocelli. Tickets cost $1,000 per person for the concert and $5,000 per couple for the concert and dinner. All proceeds benefit the Friends Fund of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, which provides humanitarian aid, education and medical care throughout Haiti.

The location of the show? The beachfront sales center of the Residences by Armani/Casa tower in Sunny Isles Beach.

The building, scheduled for completion in 2019, features 308 units, priced from $2 million to $15 million.

“Traffic drives sales, so if you can get people out to see the units, they’re more likely to buy,” said Michael Pappas, president and CEO of The Keyes Company. “It’s getting bodies in the seats, so to speak. The same people who would pay $1,000 a seat for a concert are all high net-worth individuals. A concert is a two-fer: I get entertained and I get to see the unit. It’s a very smart effort as traffic has been waning for some time. This is almost like an espresso shot to the market.”

Rene Rodriguez: 305-376-3611, @ReneMiamiHerald