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In a special feature of Breaking Ground, we sat down with Adriana Vargas-Hernandez, a luminary in the luxury residential market, affectionately known as the ‘queen of pre-construction.’ Adriana’s wealth of experience, spanning more than two decades, has not only shaped her career but also the industry. Here’s what she had to share.

But before we dive in, we encourage you to enjoy the full interview here:

Q: Your journey in residential sales has been quite remarkable. Can you tell us how it all began?

Adriana: Reflecting on my start, I’m now 51, and it feels like a different lifetime when I began in high-end condominium sales. It was a path filled with unexpected opportunities and challenges, each shaping me into the professional I am today. I’ve always been drawn to the storytelling aspect of each property, the history, and potential it holds for the new owners, which adds a layer of depth to every sale.

Q: Selling high-end properties seems like a huge responsibility. How do you handle that?

Adriana: It goes beyond just selling a space—it’s about understanding and honoring the dreams and aspirations of my clients. They aren’t just buying four walls and a roof; they’re investing in a future, a lifestyle. With each client, I see a story that’s waiting to be told, a life that’s about to unfold in this new chapter. It’s about stewardship as much as it is about sales.

Q: You’ve been named ‘queen of pre-construction.’ How does that make you feel, and how did you earn this title?

Adriana: It’s a title I wear with pride, not just for the success it signifies but for the trust it represents. My involvement in numerous high-profile projects has given me a unique perspective on the industry. This title is a testament to the relationships I’ve built and the trust I’ve earned from clients and developers alike. It’s been a rewarding process, helping to shape skylines and lives with each project.

Image credit: South Florida Agent Magazine

Q: With over two decades under your belt, what’s your secret to staying innovative in the market?

Adriana: Innovation in real estate is about being receptive to change and anticipating the future needs of the market. It’s about embracing technology and recognizing its role in connecting with clients. From virtual tours to social media engagement, it’s crucial to leverage these tools to enhance the buying experience and provide value in ways that were once unimaginable.

Q: Technology has undoubtedly changed the landscape. How has it impacted your approach to sales?

Adriana: The advent of technology has been nothing short of revolutionary. It’s reshaped the way we market properties, the way we interact with clients, and the way we close deals. Social media channels have opened up new avenues for storytelling and connecting with a global audience. It’s more personal, more immediate, and allows for a richer narrative around each property.

Q: Why do you believe there’s a shift in agents focusing on new developments?

Adriana: The allure of new construction is strong—it’s the promise of the future, the potential of growth. Agents are recognizing that new developments are not just about selling units but about being part of something transformative. There’s a sense of pride in being associated with a project from the ground up, and clients are drawn to the idea of being the first to call a place home.

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Q: As a director of sales, you must assemble top-tier teams. What’s your approach?

Adriana: Building a team is like curating a fine art collection—it’s about finding individuals whose unique skills and personalities complement one another. It’s about leadership and creating an environment where talent can thrive, where innovative ideas are valued, and where every team member is empowered to excel. It’s not just about individual success; it’s about creating a collective that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Q: How has the definition of ‘high-end residential’ evolved during your career?

Adriana: High-end residential today is not what it was a decade ago. It’s become more sophisticated, more tech-centric, and more service-oriented. Today’s luxury buyers are looking for an experience, not just an exquisite property. Developers must now consider a myriad of factors, from sustainable design to smart home technology, to meet the ever-evolving expectations of the market.

Q: With the market as dynamic as it is, where do you see the future of high-end property pricing?

Adriana: The trajectory of high-end property prices has always been upwards, but it’s the pace and scale that have changed. We’re seeing record-breaking prices and a clientele that’s willing to invest in unparalleled luxury. Looking ahead, I believe we’ll continue to see this upward trend, driven by innovative design and an emphasis on lifestyle.

Q: What’s your perspective on projects that are in the pipeline but not yet underway?

Adriana: This is where the business becomes fascinating. The pre-construction phase is a dance of anticipation and strategy. Developers are carefully watching market signals and buyer interest before breaking ground. It’s about striking a balance between vision and viability, and only those projects that hit the sweet spot of market demand and uniqueness will rise from the ground.

Q: If you could offer advice to your younger self, just starting out, what would it be?

Adriana: I’d tell my 25-year-old self to brace for an incredible ride. The path of real estate is as rewarding as it is demanding. I’d say, stay curious, stay resilient, and let every ‘no’ fuel you further. This business is about relationships and resilience, and your passion will be the beacon that guides you through every challenge.

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