Our mission at Inman is to help agents and brokers solve their business problems. Luxury agents in particular need trusted referral partners. That’s why we launched the Luxury Referral Network — presented by Engel & Völkers — to help you connect with the right person, at the right time, and in the right place.
This is the second in a series of select Luxury Referral Network agent spotlights to highlight the variety and caliber of elite professionals that are part of the network.
Real estate is often a second career, but few agents have a background like Adrian Burke. As a Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Burke brings an extreme level of professionalism and service to his real estate business in Miami with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.
How did you get your start in luxury real estate?
I was a pharmacist, but I found that growth was very limited in the corporate world. So I started to look into investing in real estate for myself as a wealth-growing strategy. I pursued my real estate license really as an educational point, but soon realized I could actually help other clients invest in real estate. Apart from licensing, I’d also taken many other courses on real estate investment with a focus on international markets.
I worked with different brokerages early on but found they couldn’t teach me what I wanted to know about being a luxury real estate advisor. My background in pharmaceutical science included rigorous schooling and high level of professionalism. And luxury clients expect this level of professionalism from all their trusted advisors. It’s no different than what they expect from lawyers or wealth management advisors.
So I pursued my Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Designation, specifically because Miami is such an international market. And I partnered with Sotheby’s International Realty because they are truly a global brand. This partnership assisted me with clients from countries like Canada, Egypt, Israel, England, and India.
What was your first sale ever?
My first sale was a townhome that was listed at $225,000. It was a tough experience, but still good for me. My brokerage at the time didn’t have a strong training program or mentorship, so I had to figure everything out as I went along. There were so many surprises along the way, but I was able to get through it and provide a smooth and professional experience for my client. Then the agent on the other side of the transaction recruited me to Keller Williams Miami Beach Brokerage. It was there that I first learned how to properly run a real estate business. Reading the Million Dollar Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller was a game changer for my career — as it’s been for many luxury agents.
There is a level of professionalism that luxury clients expect. They depend on professionals in all aspects of their lives — from lawyers to financial advisors, etc. So when they look for an agent, it’s not as easy to find that level of service and professionalism.
Sotheby’s uses the term Global Real Estate Advisor, and that is absolutely true of my business. My clients come to the US knowing how real estate works in their own country, but I have to advise them and even hold their hands here on everything from paperwork to negotiations, from exclusivity and commission.
What was your favorite sale?
My favorite sale is the most recent one I just closed. It’s my highest sale since I started in 2015, and will go for 1.9 million dollars.
I really love the marketing part of the business. I love creating videos, using pictures, and leveraging digital marketing — that’s my thing. And with this listing, I was able to do all of it, including having it featured during halftime at a Miami Heat game.
What’s new in your market?
Miami is a growing international city. We have the advantage of being a younger city and learning from other cities. We have international-level shopping, restaurants, waterfront, weather… all right here in the US. It’s really a huge value for overseas buyers. Plus, we have physical safety and the safety of investments. And we have direct flights nearly everywhere.
Miami is one of the largest growing second home markets. But also we’re running out of land. So the scarcity factor is kicking in and demand will start to skyrocket — like New York City where you can’t build new. The inventory is limited. Second homeowners won’t be in a rush to sell.
What are some words to live by you’d like to share?
Two words I live by are empathy and service.
By empathy, I mean that sometimes agents get very transactional and forget that they are dealing with people. They just think about prices and properties and marble floors. But our clients are people that are growing their families. They are building memories. They want a place to live and build their life. And anywhere they go, someone tries to sell them something. So when they meet a professional that isn’t like that, and that has their best interest in mind, it means even more.
When I say service, I mean always staying ahead of the curve and knowing what my clients need before they need it. I don’t want to be a firefighter; I want to prevent the fires in the first place.
I block time every Friday for two to three hours to update my clients. I make quick calls and check in, even if nothing happened on the listing. It’s not a formal email, just a quick chat on the market and the property.
This is why I do it: if they didn’t hear from me for three months, and then I call because we need a price reduction, why should they believe me? They need to know I’m working constantly. So I send screenshots from marketing results, with views and clicks. I can show the performance of the marketing and the fact we aren’t getting showings will justify a price reduction. That’s building trust.