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2010-06-15 18:48:56

Condo Sales Expert Mark Pordes Rewrites Rules Of Marketing In South Florida


For condo sales expert Mark Pordes, the downturn in the high-end market has been a boom to his young company and has led to one of his biggest deals in his 25-year career.

In early June, Pordes pulled off the largest residential sale in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties this year, negotiating the sale of 150 units at the luxury 2700 North Ocean condominium towers on Singer Island in Palm Beach County. The deal is valued at roughly $120 million.

With three multi-million-dollar deals in recent months and more in the works, Pordes is transforming the condominium market by pioneering bulk sales in a way that’s a win for investors, developers and lenders.

“A number of condominium projects are at a critical point now,” says Pordes, founder and president of Pordes Residential Sales & Marketing in Aventura. “Smart developers understand that they haven’t met the threshold to pay off the construction loans that are past due." 

In these situations, you need a fresh approach, says Pordes. “We understand how important it is to reposition and sell inventory in today’s market place by taking a non-traditional approach.”

Pordes has assembled some of the best, seasoned sales professionals in the residential market. They identify opportunities, formulate strategies and tailor a niche marketing plan specific to the project, Pordes says. “Then, we create an exit strategy that ensures the investor, developer or lender that the plan will deliver the best results.” 

Pordes explains to developers that rather than lose a property to the lender and be obligated for personal guarantees, or to pay down a good portion of debt, Pordes’ firm can design and implement a program for a bulk or a strategic coordinated sale using its database of equity investors, funds or capital from wealthy individuals interested in today’s condominium opportunities. 

“We operate under the radar with developers on a quiet sale,” Pordes says. “I privately contact investors so that the property does not suffer from any negative publicity relating to the deal. This helps the property maintain its reputation and integrity, which supports future sales.”

The carve-out of units for bulk sales has to be strategic, Pordes says. “This requires the proper balance to avoid competition between the units that are purchased by the investor group and the units that the developer may still has for sale thereafter,” he says. “We put together the deal so it works for both sides. That’s the only way we will do a deal.” 

Pordes and his team have tapped their broad network of investors to generate sales at some of the best-known condo projects in South Florida. He started the one-year-old company after working for 10 years as vice president of Residential Sales for Turnberry Ltd, one of South Florida’s most prestigious development firms. 

He oversaw Turnberry’s portfolio in South Florida and the Bahamas including The Residences at Atlantis in Paradise Island, condo hotels Fontainebleau II and Fontainebleau III in Miami Beach, Turnberry Village and Porto Vita in Aventura to mention a few. 

Pordes remembers some of the similarities from his past experiences handling distressed projects in down markets such as Oceania Tower V, which was taken over by Turnberry after being stalled for more than three years and the revamp projects such as Ugo Colombo’s Santa Maria and Terremark’s Fortune House, both on Brickell Avenue. 

With his new company, Pordes’ focus is to market units for third-party developers, lenders or private equity firms, which today are inheriting many fractured projects. 

Pordes is also breaking new ground with an innovate approach to bulk or coordinated sales. In December 2009, he assembled a package sale of 12 units for $7.5 million at Peninsula II in Aventura to a group of Argentinean investors. 

“We tapped into our international investor market for this one,” Pordes said. “This brought in quick cash for the lender who owns the asset.” 

At the Fontainebleau condo hotel, Pordes Residential completed a 25-unit bulk sale in August 2009 to a private investor group from New York.   

In late May 2010, Pordes’ firm brokered the last 25 units at Fontainebleau Sorrento for $7.2 million to his client, BH III the current owner of Terra Beachside 6000 Collins on Miami Beach where he handles the exclusive on-site sales and marketing.

His latest deal at the oceanfront luxury towers on Singer Island took several months to complete. 

“We figured out a structure that worked for both the developer, Catalfumo and OZ Holdings, the private equity fund from New York,” Pordes says. “It took awhile because the deal kept changing.

“At first, it was going to be a partnership, and then became an outright buyout. To make it work, though, the lender required more time and diligence to get comfortable with the assignment of debt to the new group.” 

“Our approach is working for developers, investors and lenders,” Pordes says. “I expect to complete deals in the pipeline in the upcoming months.”

CONTACT Julie Talenfeld or Jennifer Clarin of Boardroom Communication, 954-370-8999 or 



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