Scott Klein found his true calling in real estate after spending more than 15 years working in the hospitality industry, eventually transitioning into the highly competitive world of Miami luxury real estate. Now, Scott has over a decade of experience helping his clients buy and sell their homes, as well as finding the perfect properties for their investment dollars.
With a solid reputation in the market based on his all-encompassing knowledge of market values, trends, and forecasts, Scott is widely respected for his hands-on approach and his ability to understand his client's wants and needs. His goal is to always make sure that the real estate transaction is an easy and stress-free process, never a burden to his clients.
Here Scott converses with Haute Residence about the real estate industry, maintaining relationships, and where it all began.
Haute Residence: Why did you choose to go into real estate?
Scott Klein: The real reason I got into the real estate industry is my mother, who is also a broker. Growing up I’ve always had real estate around me, my mother was initially an agent and eventually became a broker, ultimately owning her own office in Florida. My first occupation was in the restaurant and service industry. Following graduation at the age of 18, I moved to New York to work at a famous restaurant, owned by my uncles, which turned into a decade-long career. Then, I moved back to Florida and eventually obtained my real estate license. Having worked in fine dining, I was meeting many high-net-worth individuals on a daily basis, and through conversation, some would bring up their need for an agent to aid in their real estate endeavors. This led to establishing a great client base and jump-started my real estate career, with my first listing selling for $2 million dollars.
HR: Oh wow! Not a bad sale!
SK: Exactly! However, the transition didn’t come easy! The restaurant business I had been so heavily invested in ended in 2008 as a casualty of the economic downturn. From there, I turned all of my attention to my real estate career. Thankfully, my focus and determination in real estate were able to carry me through the tough market. It was not the most ideal time to start in real estate!
HR: This is in the same vein, but how did you get to where you are today in the real estate business?
SK: You know, it took a lot of time, tenacity, and putting yourself out there. When I began, the market and industry weren’t based on the internet and social media channels, everything used to be relationship driven. In Miami in particular, the real estate industry is competitive, everyone knows 25+ agents, so maintaining relationships by demonstrating value to your clients is key. In the beginning, it is definitely all about establishing relationships, from there it is about maintaining loyalty from past clients.
HR: How do you combat it if people aren’t as loyal as they used to be in this changing market?
SK: Gotta keep moving and keep trucking! You’ve gotta have thick skin and be resilient. For example, I had listed an apartment for sale for one of my clients. While showing him other apartments across the city as purchase options, he realized ‘What am I doing? My current apartment is fully paid for, and I’m happy there!’ He wasn’t liking anything the market had to offer, which led to a loss of the listing, as well as a purchase. However, he’s a great client, is well connected in Miami, and I’m sure he’ll recommend me down the line to his network, as well as come to me when he decides he is ready to sell.
HR: What would you say is your biggest success story to date?
SK: Biggest? That’s hard. There are so many different ones that are the “biggest” for different reasons. It could be a $300 thousand dollar deal that is someone's first purchase, and they are thrilled, those deals are super satisfying and gratifying to me. That is why I’m mostly a buyer’s agent. Although, the bigger deals are satisfying too. Some of them can be seamless, while others are a real pain to get done. The biggest deal I was a part of was a $16 million dollar deal for an apartment at the Setai, which I believe still holds the sale record within the building.
HR: Wow. That’s great, it seems like a nice mix of helping people to find something that means a lot to them regardless of size.
SK: Yes, I’ve also worked with a lot of renters who, two years down the line, call me up and want to purchase something in the multi-millions, you never know which clients will end up deciding to invest in real estate, so I’m grateful for the client network I’ve developed.
HR: Absolutely, and that ties back into keeping and maintaining relationships.
HR: What makes your market of Edgewater unique?
SK: Well, our market is unique altogether in Miami, period. We’re always in our own little bubble. Things have gotten a little slower, but people are still buying and people are still here. I believe our market is quite insulated and diverse, we have everything from original art deco buildings with units under $1 million dollars to modern complexes with $40 million dollar price tags. So we have from one extreme to the other and everything in between. And it is just so beautiful here, we also have that wonderful income tax break.
HR: Do you see anything big changing or happening in 2023?
SK: I think we’re [Miami] going to escalate as an international luxury market, and continue building. The building is truly not stopping. There are new buildings popping up everywhere every day. Personally, I think developers are building a little too fast, but you gotta hit the market while the iron is hot, and right now, the iron is still really hot.
Scott Eric Klein is one of the exclusive agents representing the Edgewater, Miami, FL real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listings here.