Meet the Member - We get the lowdown on where is 'hot' in Florida and advice for anyone considering a new start...
AIPP Member, Nina Mormina, is a Realtor from South Florida, USA specialising in international buyer and seller representation. She is an international investment property & waterfront specialist (www.investsouthflorida.com)
Nina is also a member of the AIPP Advisory Board – AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals) is a membership organisation guided by an Advisory Board of AIPP Members, elected by AIPP Members.
We were delighted to have some time with Nina earlier this year to put to her some questions about her career in property, and how things are done differently on the other side of the pond!
Nina, you consider yourself Canadian born of Italian heritage, is that correct?
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. My parents were born in Southern Italy and immigrated with my grandparents to Montreal in the early 1950’s. I consider myself fortunate enough to learn the Italian language, culture, and traditions from childhood as it was taught to me by my wonderful grandparents and parents. In Montreal, mostly all immigrants have made it a point to pass on their heritage to their children. Montreal is a metropolitan city, a cultural melting pot. I would best describe it as “Little Europe in North America”. In the French speaking province of Quebec, French is the second language. I was Trilingual starting from an early age. My appreciation and interaction with diverse ethnical backgrounds mostly stems from there.
Where did you first enter the Real Estate Profession, and what prompted you to do so?
My father was an experience Real Estate Professional and teacher. He encouraged me to consider this profession because he believed I had the right personality for it. I did choose this field, but the choice was mine. He taught me the ropes, but then set me off to venture off and learn the field on my own, which is the only way to learn (the real school). I started with REMAX, which is the renown Real Estate Franchise in North America after I completed the required education in order to get licensed to operate.
What drove you to move and take your career to the USA?
I moved to the USA in 2000. I had been familiar to South Florida, because we vacationed there yearly, as my family owned a vacation property. At the time, the demand for Canadians buying property there became stronger. The owner of my Real Estate firm started his first office in downtown Boca Raton, Florida, and was looking for an experience person who was fluent in English, French, and Spanish. I was interested to eager to learn how this profession was in the USA. I also fell in love with the beautiful homes and amazing weather. I was hired, and I have been with the same firm for 18 years. Today, we have multiple office all over Florida, and are still growing.
Where there any challenges you encountered once you decided to give the USA a go?
Absolutely. Mandatory Educational requirements are a pre-requisite in North America in order to get your license to operate. In Florida, we are governed my State laws, and the DBPR (Department of Professional Business Regulation). They control all laws for proper education that cover various subjects, acts and conducts of the sales associate/brokers, all real estate laws ( of which are many), and set forth the law and disciplinary actions for all parties involved. We are independent contractors. My challenge at the beginning was learning the American laws and terminology, while my brain was still wired with the Canadian laws. I got past that.
Can you describe your scope of work as a Real Estate Professional in the USA?
We don’t just sell for the sake of selling. Firstly, it is important to clearly understand the client’s needs. Knowledge and experience of the market and its conditions, financial sources, legal counsel, etc., all need to come into play in order to provide the proper service for both buyer and seller, especially if they are from outside the country. It is a matter of educating the client, in many ways. We basically hold their hand from start to finish.
Do you have a good relationship with your clients?
Yes, indeed. I have a very good relationship with them. Many of them became friends. I have met many wonderful people. You can visit my website , www.investsouthflorida.com, and see my testimonials. In the end, it is not about effecting a sale, rather about building relationships, and that is built on Trust. Never about the commission earned whether tiny or decent, but most importantly, it’s about the quality of service you give your client.
Who are your clients and have you encountered any challenges?
Besides American, most of them I would say 80%, are Int’l Buyers and Sellers. They have purchased for vacation homes, retirement homes, investment properties, or personal residences. My clientele is diverse ethnically. My interaction with them is rewarding because they allow me to learn something from them, and in turn, in they learn from me. It is quite amusing also, because I find myself speaking a few different languages let alone Spanish in 1 day. Variety is the spice of life! Lol…
As for challenges, sometimes they have their own way of doing business and their own mind set. This comes from their own way of conducting their affairs in their own country or experience. This may impose a challenge at the beginning, because they are learning the system in the US. In the end, it’s all a learning process. We work together, with patience, proper communication and understanding and we overcome these bumps in the road, as we continue collectively to reach the goal.
Where are your buyers purchasing in South Florida, and what is the trend now?
Anywhere from Miami to Palm Beach, the Tri Country area. Every county is unique in its character and has a lot to offer. Miami offers the famous “Miami Beach” area. It is close to popular Sobe-South Beach, Downtown Miami District, Brickell, the new City Center. This whole area offers buzzing new trendy restaurants, shops, art exhibits, outdoor attractions, entertainment, all set in a South American background, with flair and warmth. Beautiful modern high rises have been built and take up most of the area overlooking Biscayne Bay. Minutes away from Miami Int’l Airport and the Port of Miami. One must have a Cuban coffee when in Miami, they make the best coffee! Another popular location, there is the Sunny Isles Beach area (AKA Florida’s Riviera) that has luxury oceanfront condos, and Aventura (AKA City of Excellence). One can enjoy prime shopping at the Aventura Mall, which is the second biggest mall in the USA. Palm Beach County continues to be in constant demand due to its pristine beaches, and golf course, and lovely residential communities in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Palm Beach.
Florida is currently undergoing a lot of development and infrastructure. There air airport expansion projects underway to accommodate more Intl flights. South Florida has 3 airports. The ports for cruise ships are also expanding due to the increasing demand. The growth rate in 2017 was the second largest in the USA. You can’t beat the weather. It is guaranteed 90% of the time. Florida is considered the “Sunshine State”, known for its climate and natural beauty. Florida has 663 miles of beaches. It is currently 87 Degrees Fahrenheit!
Are you happy with your choice of deciding to live and work in the USA?
Truthfully, the USA and its people believed in me, and what I could offer. They allowed me the chance and gave me the means to help me achieve my aspirations both professionally and legally. I have gained a lot of experience on many levels. For this, I am extremely grateful.
Would you ever consider expanding your experience Internationally or Overseas?
Yes, absolutely. I am open minded, and I would entertain the possibility of an opportunity. I love connecting with the world!
What advice would you give anyone who is thinking about making bold moves or a new start like you have?
If you desire something with all your heart, do not let anyone or anything hold you back from pursuing your dreams. You must be brave at all times. If fear or self-doubt gets in your way, do whatever it takes, and at all costs, to help yourself overcome it. I would advise to surround oneself with positive people, and people you can learn from. It is important to never, ever, give up. If it does not work at the beginning, get up, and try again.
Remember, it is never too late to change path in life, or to start something new. Anything is possible. Do take Action. Stay focused on the Goal. Take good care of your well-being in the process.
Is there anything else you would like to add as we complete this interview?
I appreciate you haven chosen me for this interview. Thankyou for the opportunity to be part of the Advisory Board with AIPP \AIPO. London and the UK have a special place in my heart. I look forward to working alongside the Board so all members and consumers can benefit from all the new developments and resources we are working to achieve for them. I can see nothing but positive things to come!
Our thanks to Nina for her time and this interview! Meet the rest of the AIPP Advisory board here
Interested in property in Florida?
Search AIPP members dealing with property in Florida via the button at the top of this page – or go direct to Nina by clicking the link below!
Preferred Properties Intl Realty Inc., is an International Real Estate Brokerage Company with offices throughout the entire state of Florida. We speak multiple languages and are able to communicate effectively with foreign individuals. Over the past decade, many Intl Investors and Buyers worldwide have been South Florida their No. 1 choice for property investment and second home investment, due to the guaranteed warm and sunny climate, increasing demand and popularity for locals, retirees, and vacation renters, corporate relocation, etc.. It continues to hold momentum and high demand today as the population and infrastructure continues to raise across the state. Selling Beach and Waterfront condos, (flats), Homes, Luxury Estates, Waterfront properties, Country Club & Golf Communities, Retirement properties, Commercial Properties & Investments, High End Rentals, and Property Management for absentee Owners. Providing Attorney/legal representation, Lender and Finance Options, Property Insurance, Construction/Renovation Services, Title and Transaction Closing Services.
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